5 Strategies to Cure the Pains of Rapid Growth

5 Strategies to Cure the Pains of Rapid Growth

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5 Strategies to Cure the Pains of Rapid Growth

By Paul Johnson
CPA, CGMA, MBA

Rapid growth is a both a blessing and a curse for services companies. Company growth is exciting, but as a result, your teams are knee-deep in new tasks, a fair amount of chaos, and one too many headaches.

Here’s 5 powerful strategies your company can take to ease the pains of growth, and scale success.

automation

#1: Automation Strategy – For Increasing Workloads

During rapid growth, teams often experience lots more work, and to quickly get from point A to point B, finance teams often turn to spreadsheets, data entry, and manual re-keying data into disconnected in-house systems.

Companies with heavy manual entry situations benefit the most from automation, to ensure accuracy and keep team workload capacities within reasonable volumes.

#2: Real-Time Visibility Strategy – For Project Profitability Insights

Companies that face growing complexities in their offerings, often face complexities in their metrics too.

Change happens fast, and finance teams that bring real-time visibility into their dashboards and metrics reporting can rest easy that they’re not missing a beat when it comes to fast-changing revenues and profits.

#3: Streamlining and Integration Strategy – For Disconnected or Isolated Internal Systems

Sometimes as companies scramble during fast growth, finance has a hard time syncing up with the company’s other isolated in-house software solutions.

As a result, teams re-key data manually in multiple systems, and departments remain disconnected. As companies grow their client base, it’s just as important to find solutions that streamline and integrate systems to keep data flowing seamlessly and accurately between teams.

automation

#4: Automated Global Consolidation Strategy – For Globally Growing Companies

With multiple entities, currencies or locations, global consolidations add a significant burden of time, effort and resources to financial teams.

Companies going global, can initiate an automated global consolidation strategy with software that can run global consolidations with one click, to boost accuracy and save time.

#5: Open and Integrated Software Strategy – For Companies Seeking Scalability

None of us has a crystal ball, so how do you know which software will be the best for your company down the road?

Think open and integrative. Consider software that plays well with other software solutions, and has flexibility in an open, cloud-based design.

A best-in-class cloud financial management solution like Sage Intacct offers a high degree of customization and automation, real-time visibility with customizable dashboards, one-click global consolidations.

If your finance team is looking to boost their success strategies as the company moves through rapid growth, we can help!

Give us a call to find out how we can help you choose a better fitting system that will grow with your company for the long haul.

Where Spreadsheets Fail, Follow Where Growth Leads You

Where Spreadsheets Fail, Follow Where Growth Leads You

Resources

Where Spreadsheets Fail, Follow Where Growth Leads You

By Paul Johnson
CPA, CGMA, MBA

For software and technology companies, the rapid growth that often accompanies their success can be energizing and rewarding, but the chaos that also comes along with that growth? Not so much.

Usually rapid success means teams are constantly having to switch gears and build workarounds to get the work done that they used to do alongside the new work coming in. Before you know it, their job structures have changed, and now everyone gets more than their fair share of aggravation. Nearly every day brings a new and unusual workflow hurdle to overcome.

Are your teams feeling the squeeze of success? It might be time you tune into where growth stresses your internal systems the most to choose the right solution for your unique needs. Let’s take a look.

billing

Dashboard Depth

When you started out, it made a whole lot of sense to work with in-house systems. They gave you exactly the data you needed to run your new software service company. Spreadsheets did the job for keeping track of your metrics back then. These types of systems have a purpose in the world of business, but only for so long.

Now, as your subscription and technology services company rapidly grows, your teams increasingly need a financial system designed to manage more complex data – things like churn, recurring revenue, add-ons, subscription changes, and product enhancements.

A cloud-based financial management system with a strong dashboard feature can help your teams work smarter and faster. Dashboards with customizable metrics based in the cloud means your key decision makers can design strong strategies on the fly in response to market activity and company data.

billing

Customizable Reporting

Excel spreadsheets for reporting might have worked for you in the past. Now though, your company manages more involved subscription options, service options, and more detailed revenue recognition compliance standards. like the upcoming ASC 606.

A best-in-class financial management solution like Sage Intacct offers the kind of reporting depth and customization that can accommodate multiple entities, locations and currencies. Product details and revenue recognition becomes simpler. Global consolidations happen seamlessly, data transfers between entities and integrated software solutions effortlessly.

If your teams are still struggling under the confines of static, on-premises accounting solutions, now is a great time to explore other more accommodating options that streamline your work days, energize and empower your teams, and get more powerful results from your metrics.

Give us a call! Finding solutions for tech-savvy companies is right up our alley, and we want to help you choose the best solution to make rapid growth more comfortable!

Automation – A Tech Services Slam Dunk

Automation – A Tech Services Slam Dunk

Resources

Automation – A Tech Services Slam Dunk

By Paul Johnson
CPA, CGMA, MBA

If you’re a growing software services company running business systems the way you did when you started, it might be time for a change. A newly-released analyst report from Ventana Research gives a clear understanding of today’s SaaS challenges, and how automating the billing process can overcome them.

Let’s break it down.

Automation Simplifies Billing

Technology services company billing is anything but simple, and if you’re operating with in-house systems, it’s probably more complicated than it needs to be. Maybe you sift through spreadsheets or isolated systems for hours to get simple answers, or spend long tracking discounts, plan changes, usage charges and subscription modifications. This wears on client satisfaction and company margins when over or underbilling happens as a result.

According to Ventana Research, “Only 20 percent of participants who have finance and accounting roles, and fewer than half overall, are satisfied with their subscription invoicing process…most say it requires too much effort.”

While you probably can’t affect subscription-related complexities, you can automate things like where and how you access your data, and how many spreadsheets you use.

billing

Automation Unifies Your Teams

When your businesses processes lack automation, your teams are divided. You’ve got sales and marketing on one end, responding to clients and the market, and finance on the other, responding to increased workload of more reconciling and reporting.

However, with automation, finance is happier because their reconciling and reporting is done for them, and sales and marketing is happy because they are able to market needs with reduced push-back. Win-Win!

Automation Keeps You Compliant

I’m sure you’ve heard that a new set of compliance standards are coming soon – ASC 606 and IFRS 15 – which means more complicated bookkeeping.

Technology services that use a strong financial management system can better handle complex revenue recognition than companies still relying heavily on spreadsheets. Automated billing is sorted more consistently. Teams can quickly dive into transactions. Much of the compliance details are organized for easier reporting.

billing

A Tech Services Slam Dunk

When you automate with the right financial management system, you can house all your data in one place. Subscription details go from scattered and error-prone to controlled and accurate.

In Ventana’s research, 85 percent of companies that use a dedicated subscription billing software said they’re satisfied with their systems in place, measured up against the 50 percent of those companies that still use spreadsheets.

When software service companies bring on a best-in-class financial management system like Sage Intacct, they get real-time visibility into data, can keep track of critical revenue recognition information. Teams collaborate effortlessly. Data stays reliable and strong.

If your teams are struggling to stay ahead with your current setup, let us help you find the right solution for your company.

Give us a call – we want to see you dunk one in the bucket with automation streamlining – Swish!

How SaaS Companies Blaze Their Own Trails to Success

How SaaS Companies Blaze Their Own Trails to Success

Resources

How SaaS Companies Blaze Their Own Trails to Success

By Paul Johnson
CPA, CGMA, MBA

When it comes to today’s software and technology business metrics, if Saas and software-related VC companies want to succeed, they need to blaze their own trails to success by stepping outside traditional software’s benchmarking norms. Find out how they do it.

Why SaaS Metrics Are Different

Traditional on-premises software companies spend most of their time and energy measuring their financial metrics, such as recognized revenues, operating expenses and profits. However, software-related venture capital and other Saas businesses have a lot more moving parts – like revenue recognition, growth rates, and new customer acquisition costs, just to name a few.

This means these businesses need to focus on customer metrics, revenue metrics, cash, and metrics for cost, expense and profitability, so they can track the really important data that goes along with providing subscriptions as a service.

technology companies

How SaaS Companies Blaze Their Own Trails

Because Saas companies have greater complexities with their products than on-premises software companies do, they need more flexible, responsive systems in place that can accommodate their unique service needs.

These software and technology companies need strong data tracking systems that give managers deep insights into the right KPIs, and real-time visibility into data that they can leverage to create powerful business growth strategies. Real-time tracking solutions provide insight into:

  • Churn rates, customer segmentation, customer lifetime values, and sales and marketing expenses – that are valuable, especially in the beginning stages of a business.
  • Revenue growth rates that rise with initial startup momentum for managers to monitor company value.
  • Customer acquisition costs (COCA) and customer lifetime values (CLV) that are critical to measuring a businesses’ profitability.

Managers of today’s software and technology companies carve their unique paths to success by closely following deep insights into revenue recognition and growth rate indicators by using best-in-class solutions like Sage Intacct.

technology companies

With this kind of responsive financial management system, teams can accurately forecast with a high level of predictability, and easily identify key aspects of their services that are working great, or not-so-great for their business, and their clients. Ultimately, these companies don’t miss a beat as they handle the fast growth that SaaS companies typically see.

Today’s software and technology companies that want to continue on the path to success need to blaze their own trails, by bringing in robust, responsive systems that best fit their unique needs. If your Saas, or software related VC company is ready to take your business forward, drop us a line – we can help!

7 Good Reasons to Step into the Cloud

7 Good Reasons to Step into the Cloud

Resources

7 Good Reasons to Step into the Cloud

By Paul Johnson
CPA, CGMA, MBA

Today, we can get answers to just about anything we need with a few clicks. So, if your company wants to remain an industry leader, moving to the cloud really is a necessary step. We know change is hard, so here are seven reasons to make your decision easier.

cloud computing

1. Time Is Money

Naturally, many companies resist moving beyond on-premises software because it’s familiar. But however familiar current setups may feel, cranking out piles of manual entry, re-keying that same data into other systems, and then explaining endless customizations to IT takes time, and time costs money. When businesses move to the cloud, reports come together instantly through automation, data travels effortlessly between integrated systems, and user-customizable business metrics show what’s happening in real-time. All that efficiency conserves resources.

2. The Answers Are Quick for the Taking

Financial data sitting in on-premises systems is data in isolation. Because cloud users get 24/7 access to update and modify company information, their data comes alive. Stakeholders, decision-makers, and sales teams can build strategies that drive the company forward.

3. Bottlenecking is Expensive

Few things in your finance department consume your team’s time more than spreadsheets and workarounds. When companies move to the cloud, they begin working smarter, faster, and more cost effectively. Streamlining builds space into team schedules, giving them time to tackle more projects without adding more man hours.

cloud computing

4. Automation Energizes Your Business

Established businesses often struggle with automation because they’re deeply rooted in spreadsheet and paper trail systems. When companies see how even one day with automation can transform their business, they quickly see the value. Automation streamlines workdays, ramps up productivity, ensures accuracy and trims down expenses.

5. Accounting Teams Aren’t Mind Readers

Sometimes only you know what you need when you need it. Easy customization and report configuration is a unique rescue feature designed by best-in-class cloud solutions. When decision-makers work in the cloud, they always have their unique business metrics at their fingertips for critical analysis, be it 5 AM or 11 at night.

6. Time Moves More Quickly, and So Does Business

Back in the day, we needed IT to get anything customized. Now, it’s all in the software. When you link up with a configuration-based setup like Sage Intacct, not only can you modify your own fields and data, customize your own dashboards, and drill down into metrics, but you can easily collaborate with teams anywhere in the world for answers beyond the data.

7. Strong Businesses Think and Plan Ahead

Your clients need fast answers, but your teams need them too – like real-time operational metrics to build tomorrow’s strategies, and unique invoice tagging options to weigh in on new product success. Cloud tools support your teams to deliver the best possible service today, and help your teams plan ahead for the company’s future.

In the cloud, teams are out there collaborating online and inside of transactions. They’re accessing data from around the world. Invoices are turning more quickly. Global consolidations are happening with one click. Data in the cloud is data that moves.

Are you ready to ditch spreadsheets, workarounds, bottlenecking, slow answers and yesterday’s solutions for quick customizations, integrations, real-time reports, strong automation, deep insights and powerful collaboration?

Need more clarity? Let’s break it down to help you find a solution to uplift your company for the long haul. Give us a quick call – we’re here to help you!

5 Reasons Why Outsourcing Your Accounting Improves Your Vacation

5 Reasons Why Outsourcing Your Accounting Improves Your Vacation

Resources

5 Reasons Why Outsourcing Your Accounting Improves Your Vacation

By Paul Johnson
CPA, CGMA, MBA

If you are like many people, this time of year is when winter is dragging on and spring is eagerly anticipated. Maybe you’re already looking ahead to a much needed vacation. Daydreaming of this year’s vacation may look something like this: picturing yourself on the beach, waves crashing in, light breeze, full sun and a beverage in your hand.

Perhaps your vacation takes you to the mountains, desert or favorite large city. Regardless of where it will take you, small business owners often grapple with the same concerns…Who will manage the finances of the business while I am gone? Can I afford to take this time away? How will I know if the business is performing well while I’m gone? Will performance of the employees remain the same without me there? And the list probably goes on!

Get online and book your vacation…you deserve it! Oh yeah, all those concerns you have about leaving the business…Well, they will be significantly reduced thanks to you making the smart decision to outsource your accounting! I know, you’re probably thinking this is quite the stretch of topics to correlate, and no, I haven’t gotten lost in daydreaming about my own vacation! Seriously, regardless of your vacation plans, outsourcing your accounting will improve your vacation thanks to these five reasons:

More Time – Outsourcing your accounting will improve your vacation as it relates to time in a couple of different ways. Initially, not having to complete the accounting tasks will afford you additional time to focus on other areas such as marketing, sales, operations and strategy. Secondly, because the vital accounting function isn’t dependent on you being there, and you have full access to your accounting system and reports, you can spend more time on your vacation while still keeping close tabs on your business!

Improved Revenue – With the increased time discussed above, you are able to spend more time focused on those activities closer to revenue generation. Whether this is through marketing or direct sales communication, or through increased time available to provide services, you are able to attain a higher level of revenue overall. The positive impact improved revenue will have on your vacation is the impact on profitability which is discussed below.

Reduced Costs – Achieving reduced costs through outsourcing your accounting may sound counterintuitive, since you are adding an expense for the service, but it is a likely result and here’s why. As discussed above, you will find you have additional time to spend on other areas of your business. Often this results in taking a closer look at processes, product costs, vendor pricing and other functions. Perhaps you even work with your outsourced team to analyze these areas. When performing these analyses it is common to find areas of cost reduction and improved efficiencies. Consider the reduction of annual software maintenance costs, and the integration possibilities of today’s business solutions and you will find even greater improvements. Reduced costs achieved can have a significant impact on the business profitability as noted below.

Enhanced Visibility – Unless you are a power user of your existing accounting system, it is likely that your monthly reporting (assuming you prepare monthly reports) consists of the ‘out of the box’ reports that were created when you set up the system initially. The ability to keep transaction processing current, as well as collect other metrics important to your business, has significantly improved with today’s software. The monthly reporting available can include much more than just the financial information, which leads to improved visibility into other functions of your business. This improved visibility allows you to make better informed management decisions.

Additionally, with the ability to access your accounting system anytime (internet connection required) you can see how your financial picture develops throughout the month. Better yet, implement a dashboard solution for your business (discussed in a previous post here) and you can have all of your vital information in one place! While on vacation you can easily check in from your mobile device and see how the business is performing (financially and other metrics), thus reducing the stress or concern you may have of not knowing what is going on while you are away. Less concern and stress equals a better vacation!

Greater Profitability – The revenue increases gained from the additional time spent on the business, combined with the reduced costs you have achieved in part due to improved visibility, have led you to greater profits! Greater profitability has improved your personal cash flow, and your level of comfort in stepping away from the business for a much needed vacation. Not only are you more comfortable about leaving the business knowing your financial processes won’t skip a beat, but you now have more cash in your pocket to enjoy the vacation of your dreams!

There you have it. While maybe not one of the main benefits people think of when outsourcing their accounting, improving your vacation should definitely be considered!