Technology & Innovation

Slash uncertainty with SaaS tech stack AI

Discover how SaaS tech stack AI can slash uncertainty and optimize your business processes. Visit our blog for more insights.

As a SaaS CFO, you and your team members will never fully get rid of uncertainty. 

However, you can come impressively close if you’re equipped with an automated tech stack. 

Limiting financial uncertainty to the bare minimum is a huge piece of reaching your business goals, and having the right technologies in your department is a critical piece of that equation.

This post explores 1) Common tech stack challenges that make it hard for SaaS CFOs to eliminate strategic uncertainty while scaling their companies, 2) The importance of having a tech stack strategy for slashing uncertainty and what yours should be, and 3) Important questions to ask as you compare different companies that provide accounting software systems.

What’s needed to slash financial uncertainty while optimizing performance for small and large companies alike? 

Let’s find out.

2 legacy tech stack challenges holding today’s SaaS CFOs captive

Despite the incredible advances that SaaS finance tools have made in recent years, many CFOs continue to use legacy technology services. 

What’s familiar is comfortable, after all. 

But is it necessarily the best option?

In this case, the answer is a resounding “no”. Here are two of the most important reasons why.

1. Lack of integration sucks up time and money

SaaS CFOs require a centralized web app or piece of software with all the backend functionality they need in one place–with a sleek frontend user experience to match.

A role-based dashboard for a SaaS CFO.

Legacy tech stacks tend to be disjointed and composed of many different software solutions cobbled together over months or years. 

This approach is more expensive, less operationally reliable, and wastes a tremendous amount of time.

Some companies using legacy finance tools deploy internal software development professionals or engineering teams to fill in the gaps and make this outdated set of technologies more effective. 

That’s costly, features a questionable return on investment (ROI), and–given the availability of integrated cloud accounting tools–is completely unnecessary.

2. Your data isn’t actionable–and sometimes isn’t even available when needed

The fact that legacy finance tools aren’t integrated into a single application is hardly the only problem. 

One of the other vulnerabilities of legacy tech stacks is their lack of trustworthy real-time data.

Legacy solutions stacks rely on manual financial reporting rather than AI automation technology. 

The downstream impact of this is that reports generated with these tools often feature flawed business intelligence that can harm your company.

Bottom line: how can your tech stack slash financial uncertainty when it’s causing uncertainty through reporting delays or inaccuracies?

Plan to fail if you fail to plan

If all that just gave you a flutter, that’s good–that’s the effect it should have. 

Tech stack inefficiencies drastically limit your ability to reduce professional uncertainty.

That’s why SaaS CFOs need to formulate a specific tech stack strategy. Knowing what you want will help you steer clear of what you don’t want. 

And that’s essential because when it comes to choosing different tech stacks, taking the wrong path can be tremendously painful.

So, without further ado, what should your finance technology stack include to make sure you have the means to slash uncertainty?

Cloud-based tech stack integration

If you’re still using a legacy tech stack on an ordinary web server, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful business benefits of a modern tech stack: integration.

An integrated accounting suite weaves all the different pieces of your operating system into one hyper-usable product with a sleek user interface. 

And you don’t need a programmer, web developers, additional IT investment, or an internal development process.

The gold standard tech stack should come pre-built with everything you need. 

It’s much harder for you and your team to contend with financial uncertainty when you’re switching between a heap of different software apps to do your work. 

What else should your strategy include?

Real-time reporting data you can leverage to full effect

SaaS CFOs should ensure that their department has the technology infrastructure for real-time reporting. 

Usage-based or hybrid billing requires instant feedback on customer usage levels, billable events, and similar variables.

As you research different software options, you’ll know you’re on the path to choosing the right tech stack if it supplies you and your team with continuous real-time data and AI-generated financial reports.

SaaS metrics on an automated dash.

Modern cloud accounting tools supply advanced backend technologies for lag-free KPI readouts. 

They give CFOs immediate access to all the different SaaS metrics needed to track company performance and quickly maneuver if necessary.

Automated SaaS forecasting to help you shape your future

“I wish whipping up a SaaS forecast was as simple as using Google or Facebook, watching Netflix, or updating my Android IoS.” 

Odds are decent that some version of that sentence has passed through your mind before.

That’s hardly surprising. 

SaaS forecasting is crucial. It’s the central node that brings your strategies to fruition. 

Unfortunately, unless you’re leveraging tech stack AI, it’s also laborious and error-prone.

Cloud-based forecasting is the superior choice for slashing uncertainty because:

  • CFOs can build long-range, low-variance algorithmic forecasts in a matter of seconds.
  • Model documentation is taken care of for you. This is important because finance leaders have to keep detailed process and assumption records for AI-generated forecast models.
  • Finance leaders can access advanced data models for forecasting the effects of usage and hybrid billing models and other modern pricing options.

How else can tech stack AI help you slash uncertainty?

Automated ASC 606 management

Revenue recognition is one of the biggest sources of financial uncertainty and general anxiety for SaaS CFOs. 

Revenue recognition slip-ups pose dual financial risks: non-compliance fines and revenue leakage. 

Centralized, automated ASC 606 management helps SaaS CFOs maximize certainty around some vital questions:

  • Can your tech stack provide accurate, compliant revenue recognition for your chosen SaaS billing model?
Revenue recognition data for a SaaS company.
  • Are you leaking recurring subscription revenue? If so, how substantial are the leaks?
  • How do you make sure you’re aware of any regulatory changes that impact your software organization?

Cloud accounting software paves the way for compliant and accurate revenue recognition with a single source of truth. 

Tech stack AI eliminates revenue leakage and surrounding uncertainties for good.

Beyond that, cloud accounting suites even supply real-time updates on regulatory changes impacting your company.

Detailed deferred revenue and cash runway data

Deferred revenue waterfalls can have a dramatic impact on a software organization’s cash flow. 

SaaS CFOs need to keep detailed track of deferred revenue to ensure effective cash management.

If you allocate resources based on flawed deferred revenue assumptions, you could make an extremely costly mistake.

Modern tech stack AI can eliminate uncertainty around the amount and timing of your deferred revenue.

Predictive analytics to help with trend capitalization

SaaS finance leaders need robust predictive capabilities to help them spot trends in cash flow, churn levels, and subscriber behavior. 

“Will our users’ sentiments and tastes change? If so, how and how much?”

These are some of the most important questions for CFOs to answer but also some of the most slippery.

A tech stack with predictive analytics AI can analyze your historical data and use it to make predictions about your users’ feelings and future actions. 

This important functionality has implications for your cross-selling and upselling efforts, marketing campaigns, churn levels, win-back rates, and much more.

There’s one more essential piece to your tech stack strategy.

Vetting your software vendor

Doing your due diligence on various tech stack options is crucial when purchasing an enterprise accounting solution. 

But it’s especially critical when purchasing finance tools that incorporate AI.

You’re in a strictly regulated industry–there’s a lot at stake, and you need to hold your accounting software to the highest standard.

What are some of the key questions to ask when researching different accounting suites?

Ease of setup and quality of support?

Smooth and professional implementation, followed by personalized training and support, are two hallmarks of a great tech stack provider.

You should have access to training sessions that fit your and your team’s schedules for as long as needed to get you functional with your new tools. 

A good provider will want you to succeed with their products and will work hard to see that you do.

Corporate culture around AI?

It’s always a good idea to get a sense of a software provider’s corporate culture, development practices and standards. 

How do they go the extra mile to ensure their tools operate as planned and don’t fall prey to problems such as AI hallucinations?

Again, the ROI on these tools can be extraordinary, but the stakes are high and the margin for error is razor-thin. 

That’s why the vetting process is central to long-term success.

Relevant end-user expertise?

Does the software provider have extensive experience helping businesses with similar or identical needs to yours? 

If the answer to this question is “no”, it’s probably better to steer clear of that particular software company.

The ideal candidate should be able to point to clear and quantifiable results that they’ve helped customers like you achieve.

As an early stage SaaS CFO, your choice of tech stack is vital

For SaaS CFOs at early-stage companies, being able to eliminate financial uncertainty is especially important. 

You’re contending with all the same financial pressures as any other CFO, but you have the added obligation of figuring out how to generate market share for a fledgling organization.

With respect to your tech stack, the choices you make today could continue to affect your company in negative or positive ways for a long time to come. 

That’s doubly true when you’re looking at tech stack solutions that incorporate AI, ML, and other cutting-edge technologies.

You need to be sure that you’ve made the absolute best choice for your company. 

Anything less than that won’t do.

Sage Ahead: Crafted to exceed the demands of modern SaaS CFOs

Sage Ahead is a fully integrated, automated tech stack equipped with everything modern SaaS CFOs need to slash financial uncertainty.

Designed to help early stage SaaS CFOs scale their companies from seed to IPO and beyond, the software includes:

  • Automated billing, touchless invoicing, and 500+ subscription and usage billing scenarios with corresponding revenue recognition AI.
  • 200+ investor-grade SaaS KPIs and reports generated in real time with cloud automation.
  • Flexible real-time scenario planning with ML algorithms and automatic model documentation.
  • Predictive analytics AI to help you gaze into your subscribers’ minds and predict their behavior.

Learn more about Sage Ahead,

Sage Ahead

A complete FinOps tech stack to scale to IPO and beyond.

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