Technology & Innovation

Choosing a SaaS metrics dashboard: a CFO’s dilemma

This SaaS metrics dashboard sure beats excel. In a tale of two software trials, see how a SaaS CFO found the best SaaS dashboard for her growing company.

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Having a SaaS metrics dashboard can be one of the most valuable tools that any recurring revenue CFO can utilize. In fact, contrarily, your SaaS company is at a major disadvantage if you don’t have a rock-solid understanding of your metrics with the ability to track and calculate them in real-time.

Lucy, a SaaS CFO at a rapidly growing firm, was finding this out the hard way. She was fortunate enough to be part of a successful enterprise, but that meant she was under a lot of pressure to keep that momentum going. Lucy knew that investing in the right SaaS metrics dashboard to help make strategic, data-driven decisions was one of the most crucial investments her company could make.

What should be in a SaaS dashboard?

“Why do I need a SaaS dashboard and what should it do for my business?” This was the central question Lucy sought to answer when she and her team were deciding whether to invest in a SaaS dashboard, and if so, determining which solution would best meet their needs. They wanted a metrics solution that could help them in a few different ways, including:

Seamlessly track KPIs

First and foremost, a SaaS metrics dashboard should help SaaS and subscription-based companies track and leverage KPIs to scale more quickly and effectively.

Move beyond spreadsheet accounting

As much as possible, the best SaaS dashboard for any team should be able to eliminate manual workflows through automation. This ensures that mistakes are minimized and gives more time to each department member to reroute to more valuable activities.

Get organized and stay organized

The best SaaS dashboards should help accountants and business leaders see the exact metrics and info they need to execute their role effectively. Visual data organization is central to an optimally run accounting department. This was a make-or-break factor for Lucy and her colleagues.

SaaS metrics dashboard (first trial)

With the above functionality in mind, the first product trial that Lucy gave a spin was a stand-alone billing solution. She and her team were pleased with a few aspects of it. In particular, they were very happy with their newfound ability to use automation to track their monthly recurring revenue (MRR), annual recurring revenue (ARR), and other important SaaS metrics

They were also happy to be able to track their company’s data quickly and easily without spreadsheets. Their company had grown to a point where spreadsheet accounting was just no longer practical, and leaving it behind represented an essential step in their corporate development.

After an initial trial period, though, the team decided they needed to look elsewhere to meet their software needs. Their purchase helped them meet their first two goals of tracking KPIs and moving off spreadsheets. But after spending more time with the team’s new SaaS metrics dashboard, Lucy realized that the dashboard detail and customization level weren’t everything they could’ve been. 

And since finance leaders need to see particular sets of metrics for their roles, this wasn’t acceptable.

SaaS metrics dashboard (second trial)

Lucy’s next attempt at software implementation was more successful. After a second wave of careful research, she and the team decided to try SaaS Intelligence by Sage Intacct

Some of the primary reasons they found Sage Intacct SaaS Intelligence particularly attractive included: 

  • Role-based dashboards: Unlike the previous SaaS metrics dashboard that Lucy and her team tried, SaaS Intelligence gave them access to fully customizable role-based dashboards. This allowed every finance leader in their department to see all the metrics they needed at once, which they loved.
  • Investor-grade reporting: One of the essential features of SaaS metrics dashboard is its ability to aid teams in their reporting responsibilities. SaaS Intelligence takes this one step further and gives you access to reporting that’s so polished it’s ready for fundraising uses without further manipulation. This saved Lucy and her team a ton of hassle when it came time for their next fundraising round.
  • Metrics for all stages: Companies should prioritize different SaaS metrics depending on their unique growth stage. Just as importantly, investors will want to see different metrics depending on your growth stage. In this way and others, SaaS Intelligence helped Lucy gain the visibility she was looking for in an ideal SaaS dashboard. 

After the team concluded their first financial quarter with SaaS Intelligence, they saw significant improvements in several important metrics. Their company’s overall trajectory had also improved; they were booking subscriptions more quickly while using their time and capital more effectively than ever.

As Lucy got ready for her next board meeting, she felt more confident and relaxed than she could remember feeling in ages. 

The best way to track the right metrics for your SaaS company

Forward-thinking finance teams at subscription-based companies use a modern SaaS metrics dashboard to transform reporting and increase their long-term strategic vision. And with Sage Intacct SaaS Intelligence, they can produce the metrics up to 80% faster, and better forecast their future.  

Click here to learn more about how Sage Intacct and SaaS Intelligence can help your company succeed.