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Is Your SaaS Business Outgrowing QuickBooks? The Alternative Approach to an ERP

Where are you with QuickBooks?

 

QuickBooks wasn’t built for B2B SaaS or subscription-based businesses, but businesses create complicated workarounds to make it viable. That process often looks something like this and leads many to question if an ERP is a necessary move.

Are we outgrowing QuickBooks? The stages of what that looks like

We’re glad you made it here! Why? Because, as a SaaS company, we know what it’s like. This blog dives into the major challenges with QuickBooks and how our SaaSOptics platform addresses each challenge with solutions specifically for SaaS businesses, allowing you to upgrade your subscription management and metrics and delay the need for an ERP until the time is right.

When the time is right, we grow with you and integrate with ERPs.

Common Challenges and Solutions for B2B SaaS QuickBooks Users

QuickBooks does many things well but wasn’t built to manage subscription revenue and recurring billing, especially if you have sales-negotiated contracts. It also doesn’t provide all the essential SaaS metrics and analytics necessary to manage, grow and retain customers or connect with customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

All of these challenges add up to make life pretty difficult.

These are the common challenges SaaS QuickBooks users face and the pain points we address with our SaaSOptics solution:

1. GAAP-Compliant Revenue Recognition and Deferred Revenue Management

Challenge

To produce GAAP-compliant revenue reports and correct deferred revenue, you need contracts, invoices and revenue schedules. But QuickBooks doesn’t support contracts and can’t schedule revenues, and it wasn’t built to handle recurring invoicing, at least not well.

As a workaround, SaaS businesses use Excel to model contracts, schedule revenues over the term of the contract and create invoice schedules to track upcoming invoices. Deferred revenue is an additional spreadsheet tab full of complicated formulas and is often full of errors.

Solution

SaaSOptics manages your contracts, transactions, revenue and invoicing schedules and reports the revenue and deferred revenue you need for GAAP financial reporting. Tightly integrated with QuickBooks, SaaSOptics records and reports on all key revenue numbers, including reportable revenue, deferred revenue and unbilled accrued revenue, so you don’t have to wrangle with spreadsheets or worry about inaccurate numbers, wasted time and resources.

We also have built-in revenue integrity checks that appear on your dashboard, so you won’t over or under report. You’ll know immediately if numbers are out of balance. 

2. Recurring and Subscription Billing

Challenge

QuickBooks has been around a while and is in use by millions and millions of traditional businesses selling anything from pet food to pest control. “Recurring transactions” is the closest thing to a QuickBooks function for recurring billing, but it’s a simple band-aid for a need that requires much more. You rely on a spreadsheet for invoice scheduling and for forward-looking visibility into cash flow. But invoicing is often missed, late or wrong. Emerging business can’t afford to miss invoices or the impact on cash flow by sending late or incorrect invoices.

Solution

SaaSOptics simplifies your recurring billing so invoices are fully managed and scheduled when a contract is won, ensuring invoices go out on time and providing you with the visibility you need into your business’ health. You can process orders, manage renewals and invoices, manage upgrades, add-ons and extensions, create custom invoice themes, include subscription dates in line-item descriptions, calculate sales tax and more with SaaSOptics. And with our complete dunning and collections function, reduce DSO to maximize cash flow.

3. SaaS Metrics and Analytics

Challenge

You won’t find subscription metrics in QuickBooks. Without metrics, SaaS businesses go deeper into spreadsheets to compensate. SaaS metrics like MRR, ARR, churn and retention (logo and dollar), and customer lifetime value (CLV) provide your business with a clearer picture of long-term health and inform growth strategies.

QuickBooks provides basic general ledger functionality, but that alone isn’t enough for a SaaS business. Some businesses will try to force a CRM like Salesforce to provide SaaS metrics like MRR or ARR, but these quickly get out of sync with numbers tracked by the finance team and lack a single source of truth.

Without the right financial operations solution in place, you’re stuck making important business decisions based on guesses or inaccurate information, and to investors, your business looks like a risky investment.

Solution

The SaaSOptics analytics engine is the most optimized subscription analytics engine in the market, delivering accurate and real-time insight into all of your key SaaS metrics, including MRR, ARR, dollar churn and retention, logo churn and retention, subscription momentum, cohorts, CLV and more.

With SaaSOptics, you have all the subscription analytics you need to run your busi­ness. And because they are built from the same financial transactions that generate your GAAP revenue and invoicing, they are the most accurate subscription analytics you can get.

4. No Single Source of Truth and a Disconnected CRM

Challenge

QuickBooks doesn’t really integrate with Salesforce and other CRMs well, if at all, so you end up managing customers and orders in one system that isn’t connected to your financial systems. Sales teams and those using Salesforce or another CRM will see ARR, MRR, churn, retention, and other metrics that don’t align with the accurate ones produced by the finance team. Lots of time and energy is spent trying to get your team on the same page with a common understanding of performance against your key business metrics. 

Solution

SaaSOptics bridges the gaps between finance, sales and customer success teams with a single source of truth. This is critical for upgrades and expansion opportunities, renewals, ongoing account management and keeping sales teams updated on payment and invoice status for commission insights. Our direct integration with Salesforce and other CRMs via Zapier or APIs closes the gap that often exists between sales, finance and customer success teams by providing a common view of each customer’s orders, contracts, transactions, invoices, payments and renewals.

With SaaSOptics, you can close an opportunity in your CRM and book it in SaaSOptics with complete revenue schedules, analytics data and invoicing. You can fully automate the process or insert a finance checkpoint to approve orders, from closed business to emailed invoices in seconds.

5. Silent Failures

Challenge

With all of these disconnected, moving parts, it’s easy to see how and why QuickBooks and spreadsheets get out of sync. When this happens, it’s often a “silent failure.” Silent failures are the scourge of finance teams because they often go undetected and when finally detected, cost hours to track down, diagnose the root cause and fix. Over the course of a year, this adds up to a tremendous amount of wasted time and money. 

When uncovered during an audit or due diligence, your credibility can be damaged and worse, you may see adjustments to valuations and deal terms.

Solution

SaaSOptics performs constant data checks to minimize risk and to ensure: 

Contract Value = Revenues Scheduled = Invoices Scheduled 

These checks are in place so you recognize all of the revenue you are entitled to recognize and invoice for all of the contract elements you are entitled to invoice. If any of these values fall out of balance, you receive an immediate alert. 

Getting out of manual processes and moving to automation with SaaSOptics means you won’t miss renewals or invoices or incorrectly recognize revenue, which could jeopardize your enterprise value.

Practical Reasons to Extend the Life of QuickBooks

So with all these headaches, why not move to a general ledger like Intacct or NetSuite? There are many practical reasons to avoid adopting a more sophisticated set of financial systems too early in your growth cycle. Here’s why:

  • It’s too expensive. The license fees for ERP solutions are costly and typically require a multi-year commitment.
  • There’s a lengthy implementation time. Depending on your growth stage, it typically takes four to 12 months to implement an ERP. You are often required to work with one of their third-party professional services partners.
  • It’s too disruptive. Emerging and growing B2B SaaS businesses usually prioritize engineering, sales and marketing resources over finance and administration resources. Your finance teams don’t have the excess capacity to manage the business and make all the necessary business process and configuration decisions quickly to successfully implement an ERP solution.
  • ERPs aren’t optimized for B2B subscriptions. ERPs are powerful and address some of the gaps in QuickBooks, but like QuickBooks, they are built for broad usage and are not optimized for the unique needs of B2B subscription businesses.

SaaSOptics fills the gaps in QuickBooks so you can successfully and affordably manage your growing B2B SaaS business. Our customers might move to a more sophisticated general ledger like Intacct or NetSuite when there are certain needs, for instance when a need arises for multi-entity international consolidations or more granular expense management and controls. When that time comes, we grow with you and work with the general ledger you select to continue to provide the market’s leading B2B subscription optimization and subscription management you need.

Regardless of which general ledger you use, we’re there to power your subscription engine. 450-plus B2B SaaS and subscription businesses are seeing the difference already. Schedule a SaaSOptics product overview or chat with one of our product specialists today.

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