Save time tracking finance and focus on growing your SaaS business
Finance is an extremely essential part of running your startup or business, however also the most manual and time consuming part to get automated.
As Q1 of 2023 swift pass our head, many of us starts looking at our numbers and sadly many do not have everything automated. The automation of actual vs forecast vs budget is never at the forefront of startup and sometimes small medium business as we focus all our energy on selling, product development and operating.
Thats why over the weekend, i am like ok i got to automate it as i want to get to the dream state where numbers are at my finger tips without me lifting a finger. That’s how it should be with today world of data and technology, we live in.
I am going to outline what I used for tracking and what i have done to automate it, and probably dive deeper into the details as i expand on how I am doing it with our very own VAL.
Essentially we use a couple of systems that contains the number we need for finance. We have our CRM which is Hubspot, our accounting system Quickbook and a mixture of Notion and Excel for budget, forecast and delivery tracking.
In this post i am going to focus on tracking our subscription and setup revenue for both actual and forecast.
So the biggest headache for SaaS company like us is that our revenue is spread over a time period like 12 months, 24 months or broken months and have different start and end date. What we need to do is ensure that we recognise the revenue as an when it realised.
Now the same is needed to be done for revenue from setup although slightly more tricky as it is done per the milestone of what we have completed and there will be some manual allocation of percentage complete per each milestone to derive the revenue to recognise.
In order to create the automated process, we created fields that are mandatory for us to capture specific deal attributes so that once it is lodged into hubspot this data point can be used to automatically calculate what our signed contract revenue look like alongside our forecasted sales number.
Subscription Revenue and Setup Fee Revenue is the actual amount either you have signed on your contract or forecasted. We have just used the same fields for both Closed Won contracts and contracts pending to win. You can choose to create separate ones for signed and non-signed contract.
Subscription Start Date and End Date is the full period of subscription which would be used to calculate the number of months to derive the MRR.
Once this fields are made available, maintenance of this data stays in hubspot while VAL will pull in the data automatically.
For us to track the delivery completion percentage of our setup we maintain that information in a notion database or excel setup, you can do it really either way but I decided that I am going to used VAL our own platform as I am easily able to create entries from the Deals i extract into VAL and create delivery milestone related to each one directly in VAL.
With the data now fully in place in VAL, we create the dashboard that gives us the view we need without me lifting a finger and have my finances ready whenever i need it. All I need to do is ensure the base data is populated and all calculation and transformation of data is taken care by VAL.
Sample views of separate view of actuals and actual + forecast
Sample views of breakdown of deal stage contribution
The process is rather straight forward, however the problem occurs when you have many deals with different period and different revenue due to different scope of work and delivery. The problem is further exacerbated by use of different systems and tools. I wanted to make sure that people just need to ensure data is maintained and then the rest should just be automagik!
In subsequent posts, i will be adding in the budget figures and also enhance this further along to help on my daily finance needs.
Hope this give some ideas to the fellow SaaS entrepreneurs out there!
And if you need any help on this or would like to give this solution a ride, let me know, happy to share and help. Feel free to reach out to me. Contact Me →