New software as a service solutions hit the market every day, it seems. And SaaS business leaders are often the target audience.
Everything from sales, marketing, and customer success can now be streamlined thanks to integratable subscription model platforms.
When it comes to your fintech stack though, the stakes are raised. Mismanaged billing, payments, accounting, and taxation can be the downfall of an otherwise strong SaaS subscription business.
It’s critical to cover all your financial bases.
Many SaaS companies begin adopting fintech solutions one by one as needs and pain points arise. However, this approach comes at a cost. Having the right systems in place for your business before you start to feel the pain establishes a future-proof technology setup that supports unenumbered scalability.
So which software solutions belong in your SaaS fintech stack?
The ones that play well together and offer broad coverage of your business’s needs.
SaaS businesses require a complete stack of fintech solutions
SaaS fintech solutions work best when they’re integrated into a comprehensive stack. This ensures there are no gaps in functionality or silos where information becomes trapped. Anything shy of complete coverage risks bottlenecks, breakdowns in communication, and recurring revenue loss.
And implementing a single fintech solutions will often fail to meet all your SaaS business’s needs.
Fintech software providers develop and evolve their solutions to maximize value in specific, functional areas. Depending on all-in-one solutions often leaves your business cobbling together workaround processes, creating a lot more manual work than you may have anticipated.
Take NetSuite, for example—a leading solution for your accounting and ERP needs. The platform also offers an add-on recurring billing module. Yet, it doesn’t measure up to a standalone recurring billing software solution. Recurring billing simply isn’t NetSuite’s specialty, so the user experience can be overly complex and the features and functionality can fall short.
Implementing the right financial software helps your business run efficiently and crunch numbers accurately for clearer perspective on its overall health. It can also boost your cash flow, reinforcing financial strength and stability for a more scalable subscription business model.
To make sure you’ve got all your bases covered, here are five software solutions you should have in your SaaS fintech stack.
1. Accounts payable software.
Accounts payable software solutions like AvidXchange, Emburse, and Tipalti enable bills to be approved and reconciled easily. This reduces the possibility of payment errors and even fraud.
Paper processes in accounts payable move slowly. Between data entry and chasing down invoice approvals, documents go missing or may sit on someone’s desk for weeks. These delays aren’t just inconvenient, they also increase costs. Late payment fees and hours worked trying to rectify issues add up fast.
What’s more, missing paperwork and human error increase the chance of fraud.
An automated process where software handles everything from receiving an invoice to payment reduces these vulnerable touchpoints.
2. SaaS subscription billing software.
- reduces the risk of manual errors
- assists with managing customer subscriptions, reporting, and revenue recognition, and
- helps with revenue forecasting.
Legacy billing systems are notorious for requiring workarounds when it comes to SaaS subscriptions. These platforms simply aren’t built to meet the needs of recurring revenue businesses at scale.
SaaS businesses that opt to build their own billing solutions often bump into a similar issue. Their development teams end up focusing a lot of time on regular updates for their in-house systems—taking valuable time away from improving their own SaaS products. And often these homegrown solutions fall short when it comes to financial best practices and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
By contrast, modern billing and subscription management software like Stax Bill is specifically built to meet the needs of the SaaS subscription business model.
Using automation to streamline processes and reduce errors, these platforms make billing a breeze. Robust billing software then uses subscription and billing data to automate other processes like reporting and revenue recognition.
And your accounting team will thank you when it comes time for the month-end close.
3. Tax software.
If you’re doing business in multiple tax jurisdictions, it’s almost impossible to stay on top of taxes manually. Tax software solutions like Avalara, Digital River, and TaxJar help you stay compliant while reducing your team’s workload.
Tax regulations change often, particularly for SaaS businesses. The industry is still rapidly evolving, and every government entity responds to evolutions in its own way. This means it’s critical for SaaS subscription providers to find a solution that accounts for changes in all the places they do business.
Sean Brodie, a partner at PwC Ireland predicts, “in the next 10 years, nearly every tax authority will have some form of real-time reporting requirement.”
Realistically, SaaS providers can only offer this real-time data with the help of tax software.
Consider CoConstruct, a SaaS subscription business operating in the construction space. The business was previously managing its taxation manually, leaking thousands of dollars a month.
Once it implemented a modern recurring billing platform with an integrated taxation software solution, it began recovering around $2,000 a month on collections and taxation alone and reallocated about 40 hours a month from billing related tasks to new growth initiatives.
4. Integrated payment gateway.
Integrating a payment gateway like Stax, Stripe, or Authorize.net helps your business get paid faster. This is about more than simply processing credit card payments at the best rate possible.
Fully integrated gateways can do things like:
- eliminate end-of-day processing
- analyze revenues, and
- manage user expectations
This is accomplished by completely digitizing the SaaS payment process.
No more printed receipts or transaction write-ups. With completely digital transactions, an integrated payment gateway automatically feeds into invoice reconciliation, posting payments, and ledger management.
All of this is done automatically, with each transaction linked directly to the appropriate sale or invoice. Ultimately, this saves your SaaS business time, improves cash flow, cuts costs, and makes it easier to review and analyze data.
5. Accounting and ERP platforms.
Accounting and ERP platforms make it possible to easily track revenue and expenses.
They also rapidly:
- generate reports
- summon user account data
- document sales, and more
These two types of systems are not exactly the same, of course. Accounting platforms like QuickBooks keep a historical ledger of transactions. This rear-view look is a fine option for startup SaaS companies or businesses offering single purchases.
Large SaaS subscription providers tend to lean more toward ERP platforms like NetSuite. These provide real-time operational data to aid in business planning.
ERP systems use ledgers, supply chain data, and other information to manage multiple data tables. Some even offer billing functionality.
ERP platforms are great for more complex operations. However, it’s important to note even if your SaaS business uses one, having dedicated software for things like taxation, recurring billing, and accounts payable still creates better coverage and optimization of your SaaS subscription business’s fintech needs.
SaaS subscription businesses need robust fintech stacks
A comprehensive, well-integrated stack of fintech solutions isn’t just critical to SaaS businesses looking to the future. It’s also transformative for those ready to truly harness their revenue potential today.
Together, the five software solutions above cover almost every possible financial base for a SaaS subscription model business. From critical compliance areas like taxation to accurate billing and collecting complete payments, a fintech stack that includes all these solutions is sure to optimize cash flow and reduce revenue lost to leakage, penalties, and fines.
So while there’s a cost to implement, the benefits will pay for themselves and then some.
Financial wellness for your SaaS business is just the beginning. ERP systems, subscription billing platforms, and payment gateways all come with additional features that go beyond tracking where money comes from and where it goes.
Many of these tools can help:
- reduce churn
- identify customer pain points, and
- integrate with your CRM and marketing platforms to maximize outcomes.
Together, fintech software and other solutions in your stack give you a complete overview of your SaaS subscription business. With this visibility, you can make informed decisions that improve your business and help it grow.
Your complete fintech stack is a vital element of any digital transformation strategy.