How to close 80% faster: what every SaaS controller should know

Man staring at a computer

Can you guess three of the most essential words in any SaaS Controller’s vocabulary? If you guessed “monthly close cycle,” you were right on track. Staying on top of your monthly close is one of the most important aspects of keeping your department running like a well-oiled machine.

Forward-thinking SaaS accounting departments leverage automation to give themselves a massive competitive advantage in closing speed and accuracy.

Especially for publicly traded companies, reopening the books for a previous month can carry genuine consequences in the form of lost investor confidence and capital. With modern accounting software, you’ll never need to worry about that again.

This is just the beginning of the changes you can make by stepping away from manual accounting procedures. Let’s see what else there is to look forward to.

Streamline your operational efficiency

The speed with which you can close your books each month has a lot to do with your level of departmental efficiency. In general, how are you managing the day-to-day tasks in your department?

Two of the most significant operational roadblocks for SaaS accounting teams are manual data transfers, and revenue recognition under ASC 606 and IFRS 15. An accounting SaaS like Sage can dramatically enhance your efficiency in these two areas.

One of the best things about automation is that it eliminates the need for emailing data back and forth to different people and teams to collect data. Automated role-based dashboards from Sage will give everyone immediate access to the exact info they need based on their company role.

As the CFO, you’ll see the key SaaS metrics and information you need: nothing more and nothing less. Similarly, your Controller and other team members will have their own personalized dashboard containing the core essentials they need to track across days, weeks, and quarters.

Sage can also help SaaS CFOs automate finance and breeze through the revenue recognition process under ASC 606. For many SaaS companies, these regulations are a mess of red tape. Yet for companies embracing automation, ASC 606 is simple and even beneficial.

Audit trails and internal controls for security

Internal accounting controls are essential for SaaS CFOs. Establishing a clear internal control structure will help your company and your team in several critical ways.

  • Stay out of regulatory hot water. The government has stringent regulations governing companies’ accounting obligations around the execution and reporting of transactions. By failing to automate these processes, you open yourself up to potential errors and issues for which you could be held directly accountable at your next board meeting. Tread carefully.
  • Save time and money. Manually setting up audit trails and control architecture can be a costly (and risky) headache. Some companies even hire the task out to third parties, further elevating the chance that something will go wrong. Employing automation to do the job will allow you to get more done in less time and for less of your company’s valuable cash.
  • Prove your transparency to investors. Especially if you’re considering an IPO at some point in the future, you’ll need to be sure you’ve done everything possible to keep your company on the up and up. You want your accounting department to be the financial equivalent of a glistening, freshly waxed car: no scratches or marring, nothing to hide. Automation will give you the confidence to be 100% transparent with your investors.

There’s still one essential benefit of SaaS automation and accounting software that we haven’t touched on yet.

Slice and dice your data

When it comes to helping your team optimize for efficiency, the ability to apply search filters to your data sets is indispensable. Different individuals in your department will naturally have different subsets of data they need to look up in the course of their daily responsibilities, so this can save loads of time.

More goes into a single transaction than meets the eye. Members of your team should be able to search for data sets with granularly specific requests, such as transaction type and purpose, transaction currency, date and time, and much more.

Giving your team as much search flexibility as possible will save them from headaches and hassle and will save your company time and money in the long run.

Automate your way to a faster close

Hands down, automation is one of the most valuable tools you can give your accounting department, empowering the team to reduce monthly close time by more than 80%. So, what are you waiting for? To get closing faster than you ever thought possible, check out our digital guide.