As the founder and owner of a SaaS company, you might not want to spend time and resources on SaaS bookkeeping. However, if you and your team are going to raise money to execute aggressive expansion plans, you have to maintain accurate business books.
By developing a robust SaaS bookkeeping system at every early stage of your business, you can:
- Report your financials to all the key stakeholders and investors
- Glean meaningful insights into your business financials that leads to a betters decision making
- Expedite the monthly closing procedures so you can access accurate and up-to-date financial statements.
We found that many SaaS Company owners do not enjoy bookkeeping. They found it tedious, painstaking and time-intensive. What if they could automate their SaaS bookkeeping process?
Doesn’t it sound fascinating to you as a SaaS owner?
Before discussing techniques to automate the SaaS bookkeeping tasks, we first delve deeper into automated bookkeeping.
Overview of Automated SaaS Bookkeeping
From a technical standpoint, automated bookkeeping is a process carried out by leveraging machine learning capabilities.
Machine learning-based software allows companies to seamlessly perform their accounting and bookkeeping tasks with minimal human intervention. Besides, automated accounting software turned out to be insanely effective for all parts of the bookkeeping process.
The easiest way to understand how the automated SaaS bookkeeping process works in the real world is to break it down into many different categories:
Machine learning-induced automated software categorises your SaaS business transactions. Instead of merely relying on a single variable to categorize transactions, machine learning algorithms can consider hundreds or even thousands of variables.
Eventually, companies end up with the utmost accuracy and efficiency in bookkeeping.
Machine learning-based software can validate transactions and extrapolate meaningful insights from the transaction data. Using this data as a reference, SaaS Companies can identify unknown transactions.
Best Practices for an Automated Bookkeeping
Put a Team in Charge to Supervise Back-end of Accounting Software
The great benefit of automated bookkeeping for SaaS Companies is that it allows them to focus on the core business tasks rather them worrying about micro-management tasks. With that being said, the SaaS business must depute a person for monitoring the automation.
It doesn’t mean you need a dedicated team in your Company to oversee your bookkeeping automation on a full-time basis. However, your accounting team should have a firm understanding of how all the automation process works?
Train Your Team
Don’t let your team be overwhelmed by slight changes that took place overnight. Instead, spend money on your team learning so they can easily understand the automation integration process.
Your SaaS Company will only succeed with automation if you have a well-thought implementation plan in place. Seek the help of your automated solution provider in this area. They must have some great resources to help you.
Start with the Automation Process You are Already Familiar
Never try to fix a problem that you don’t have. Use the automation tools to solve existing business problems. It sounds a bit weird to you, but emphasising your business’s existing problems will certainly pay you off in the long run.
As a SaaS Company owner, we strongly recommend you start with automating something you have to deal with regularly, like payroll processing.
Why Should You Use Accounting Software to Automate SaaS Bookkeeping?
Here are the reasons you should consider using automated solutions for the bookkeeping process and how they can assist in achieving sustainable growth.
Organise Your Business Finances
Inserting data and numbers into an automated solution allows you to retrieve them when required quickly. Eventually, organising the client data, time, or alphabetic orders becomes easy to deal with.
Thus, the probability of data misplacement becomes minimal with the organised nature of an automated system.
Automated accounting solutions can be easily tailored to your SaaS Company finance. The accountant and bookkeeper can customise the software as per the company’s needs.
Furthermore, you can select from the wide range of pre-defined templated offered by an automated solution. Besides, an automated accounting solution streamlines cash flow management and assists companies in billing.
An automated accounting software aids in the exchange of data. Thus, you can easily share invoice receipts, billing information, and other essential financial information with your clients. Sharing relevant financial information with clients enables you to retain trust.
The SaaS accounting solutions generate reports of your business instantly. This report can develop a business strategy aligned with the market trend.
Adopting automated software can save tremendous time from being wasted on repetitive tasks. Eventually, accountants and bookkeepers can process more information and report accurate transactions.
This feature won’t only provide you with quick billing but also gives you accurate results. As we all know, time is as important as money. If a SaaS Company has spare time, it can use that time to develop a new and better marketing strategy to widen its customer base.
Automated bookkeeping solutions can manage the humongous data accurately. This feature won’t only prevent your employees from repetitive bookkeeping but also significantly reduce errors.
Another fascinating feature of automated solutions is that they can do all the essential calculations, including subtotals, sales tax, and payroll deduction, with few clicks.
Assist in Understanding Account
Automated SaaS bookkeeping solutions are primarily designed for small and large businesses to allow them to explore an entire accounting process on their own. For this reason, they use simple words like ‘sale’ and ‘purchase’ instead of complex technical jargon like ‘debit’ and ‘credit’.
As the SaaS business owners become comfortable with the feature, they can independently streamline the core accounting process.
Thus, we can say that automated solutions for SaaS bookkeeping make the companies less reliant on CPA firms.
To help you achieve your long or short-term business goals, we are going to share the 13 practical and highly effective tips to automate the bookkeeping process.
1. Use the Cloud-Based Software
Irrespective of your business model, sheer relying on the spreadsheet to accurately record financial transactions is only a viable option when you are just starting or a considerably small SaaS Company.
However, as your Company’s bottom line starts growing, you need to adopt a SaaS accounting system perfectly aligned with your business needs.
This is where the significance of cloud-based accounting solutions like QuickBooks Online and Xero comes into the picture. These apps enable a seamless flow of financial data.
Harnessing the true potential of these apps, your Company can accurately monitor the key SaaS growth metrics like:
- Churn rate
- Monthly recurring revenue
- Annual recurring revenue
Likewise, integrated payrolls, payments and receipt tools can significantly reduce manual efforts and makes the process less prone to human avoidance. Moreover, you can attach your accounting software with the bank to reconcile the Company’s book upon the completion of each month.
In our guide on best accounting software for SaaS companies, we have discussed a list of the accounting software. If you want to know which app best suits your business, feel free to check that article.
2. Setup Recurring Payment Method for Monthly Billing
If running a subscription-based business with monthly billing, consider using recurring payment tools like Rotessa to receive regular and authorised payments from the client account.
Additionally, leveraging the accounting software, you can send and generate monthly invoices to collect outstanding payments. As a result, you won’t only get a flawless view of your company’s cash flow and reduce the efforts and time wasted on account receivable management.
3. Automate the Payment Method for Recurring Business Expenses
Does your SaaS Company pay a monthly subscription fee? If that is the case, consider using the Plooto as it helps with:
- They reduce the time and cost incurred in paying recurring business expenses via a bank account.
- We are establishing auto-billing on your company bank accounts.
Therefore, your expense management process won’t only become paperless. Still, if you select an appropriate app, you can streamline the flow of information between your expense management app and the cloud-based bookkeeping app.
4. Adopt Apps to Manage Subscription Billing
SaaS businesses usually have recurring transactions, particularly when it comes to a stream of revenues. This part of the reconciliation process puts some extra burden on an accounting firm as they are not always crystal clear on how to effectively handle this reconciliation process.
Adopting an appropriate subscription billing app compatible with your existing cloud-based accounting app is punitive to ensure the efficacy of the process.
You need a subscription-based billing app to send your sales invoices to your customers when you bill your customer. Furthermore, an ideal subscription billing app should calculate sales tax depending on your customer location.
Lastly, most SaaS companies incentivise their customers to purchase monthly subscription plans rather than monthly subscriptions.
If that is the case, you have to report the earnings received today and defer the revenue of the remaining days of the month or years. This process might become concerning for the SaaS companies if they try to accomplish this task via Excel.
5. Leverage Apps for Expense Management
It would be best to look for an automated system flawlessly to handle your business expenses. With a proper plan in place, you can make your entire expense management process paperless.
Suppose your expense management app can be integrated into your existing accounting system. In that case, you can ensure a seamless flow of accurate and the most up-to-date data into your accounting system.
A growing SaaS company have many expenses to deal with. In this case, Hubdoc is a great tool that can flawlessly manage all your operating expenses.
6. Use Project Codes to Track Long SaaS Projects
All the SaaS business models aren’t only limited to the recurring revenue model. If your SaaS Company relies on long-term projects where revenue recognition only occurs when the customer renders the service, consider using project codes to track income.
7. Outsource Your SaaS Bookkeeping Task
If you find that a lot of your valuable time has been wasted on non-revenue generating tasks like bookkeeping, consider outsourcing such types of functions. It is worth mentioning here that global business process outsourcing is likely to reach $405 billion by 2027.
SaaS entrepreneurs can benefit from the outsourcing process, particularly when they want to:
- Reap the benefits of efficient and cloud-based apps.
- Seek the help of diligently-designed accounting solutions.
- Emphasise the business growth rather than dealing with the small repetitive tasks.
8. Prepare Accounts to Track SR and ED Expenditures Accurately
As a SaaS entrepreneur, if you aim to achieve sustainable research and expenditure development (SR & ED), you should prepare a separate account to track SR&ED for claiming the tax credit.
There are a plethora of ways to claim SR&ED tax returns. However, the most prominent is the direct cost method or proxy method.
Whichever method perfectly aligns with your accounting standards, consider that optimising bookkeeping makes the process less time-intensive and easy.
To track the actual expenses your SaaS Company has done on the SR&ED during the project execution, and you can:
- Create a separate account for individual costs that are related to SR&ED.
- Create a capstone account in your existing accounting software to realise all the SR&ED-related costs.
To keep that in perspective, suppose that a SaaS company has some employees assigned to work on SR&ED projects. A company should record their wages and benefits separately under the SR&ED account.
9. Capture Receipts and Invoices Using the Dext Prepare
Whether you track expenses for the SR&ED tax credit or monitor the company cash flow, following the sales invoices is crucial.
Apps like Dext Prepare enables businesses to:
- Capture photos of a company gross receipts and sales invoices
- Store these documents in an easily retrievable manner when required.
Next, Prepare harnesses the OCR technology to extrapolate all the essential information from the paper documents. As a result, you can upload all your transactions directly to your cloud-based apps.
10. Automated Invoice Approval
SaaS Companies are often forced to deal with a lot of paperwork. However, keeping an eye on all the documents leaving and entering the Company is not practically possible. Consequently, invoice approvals and payment processes become excruciatingly time-consuming.
Therefore, we strongly recommend you automate the invoice approval process using digital payment solutions to mitigate such problems. This process won’t only stimulate faster payment but will also make the accounting system more efficient.
11. Online Invoice Tracking
Unleashing an online invoice payment solution, you can automate your invoices. With an online invoicing tool, you can track all the invoices in real-time and receive instant payments. All SaaS companies should switch to online invoice solutions to receive immediate payment for this purpose.
Furthermore, it allows your SaaS customers to pay immediately via a debit or credit card. Lastly, invoice systems are equipped with instant mailing and payment methods for smooth and efficient invoicing.
12. Strengthen Reporting
Preparing reports could be a time-consuming process, particularly for SaaS Companies. It might look slightly similar to management accounting, but it requires more than that. Establishing a consolidating reporting system simplifies the reporting process and save too much time.
13. Link with Internet Banking
Avoid manually entering all the business transactions data but rely on the online bank feeds to accomplish this task. For this reason, we strongly recommend you link your bank accounts with your cloud-based apps. So you can digitally manage all your transactions and reconcile them in real-time.
Thus, you can stay informed about every penny leaving and entering your bank account. Apart from that, these automated solutions make the taxation process more convenient than ever before; thus, you can stay rest assured regarding all your business transactions.
Linking your business with an online payment method not only saves time and frustration that would otherwise have been wasted on these painstaking tasks.
Pay close attention to the automation of the bookkeeping process of your business. Explore the different features offered by automated bookkeeping software. Using these solutions, you can understand how accountants ensure accurate financial reporting of a business.
You might have seen many SaaS Companies who have managed to configure and integrate an entire tech infrastructure independently. But that takes a considerable amount of time and effort.
As SaaS entrepreneurs are ambitious to execute long-term growth plans, they cannot afford to waste time on such time-intensive tasks. Therefore, we strongly recommend seeking the help of experts like https://freecashflow.io/, who specialises in helping SaaS Companies automate the bookkeeping process.
I sincerely hope this article will enlighten your mind, and all the tips mentioned above will undoubtedly help you in your endeavour to automate the SaaS bookkeeping process.