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November 24, 2021updated 26 Nov 2021 4:07pm

SaaS companies: Are you using the right metrics for growth?

Fast growth for SaaS companies requires rapid decision-making based on the right information – but what is that and where should you look for it at each stage of your growth?

By lead monitor

The past 18 months have seen some seismic shifts in how individuals and businesses consume products and services. Economic uncertainty and the subsequent disruption to traditional sales models – and budgets – rapidly accelerated the transition to software-as-a-service (SaaS) and subscription models.

However, the growth in the market means SaaS companies face some unique challenges. Rapid growth requires fast decisions made with the right information – but what is the right information and where should companies start to look for it?

Fast growth for SaaS companies requires rapid decision-making based on the right information – but what is that and where should you look for it at each stage of your growth? (Photo by eclipse_images/iStock)

There are, of course, a range of metrics that can help companies understand their organisational health and determine the best ways to optimise the business. However, one of the biggest hurdles they can face is compiling reports with data pulled from disparate applications, aggregating that data and then performing calculations within spreadsheets – which can be a manual, time-consuming, error-prone process.

In its eBook, Managing SaaS Metrics, Throughout The Company Growth Lifecycle, Sage Intacct examines SaaS metrics, and why they matter.

Moreover, it delves into which metrics really make a difference at each stage of company growth as the metrics used to capture and predict growth are very different depending on where the company is on their journey. From super-early and early-stage companies, through those in the growth stage, all the way up to public companies – this report covers them all.

The goal of leveraging metrics is to easily capture and instantly access the detailed metrics you need, right when you need them. These metrics should shed light on the pitfalls and opportunities ahead, as well as the root causes of performance trends.

Alongside metrics, the role of the company controller is central to the growth of any SaaS company. The role can differ from the equivalent in a traditional company, with the controller likely to be involved with a variety of functional areas beyond finance. While the role can be more complex in some ways, it can also be more dynamic with the controller able to adopt a forward-looking, proactive view of the business instead of relying solely on figures based on historical data.

Evolving relationships

Importantly, however, as the office of the controller creates higher levels of financial visibility to help drive growth and profitability, the financial organisation’s relationship to the controller role must evolve accordingly.

So what does that mean? Put simply, today’s CFO needs to work closely with the controller to ensure that not only does the organisation get the full benefit of the controller’s talents and knowledge but their office is operating at the highest levels of efficiency and accuracy.

In The 5 Questions SaaS CFOs Should Ask Their Controller, Sage Intacct compiles the key talking points for CFOs to initiate a conversation around best practices. Exploring the answers to these questions with your controller can help create a stronger, more effective financial structure.

In fact, the entire organisation may benefit from a finance team that understands and controls sources of financial risk, implements more efficient processes, and develops deeper insight into both the financial and operational metrics of the business to drive better decision making, better-informed board meetings, and better-executed strategy.

Download Managing SaaS Metrics, Throughout The Company Growth Lifecycle here.

Download The 5 Questions SaaS CFOs Should Ask Their Controller here.

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