Sage Intacct

January 23, 2024

Mastering Subscription Accounting: How To Streamline Recurring Billing and Revenue Recognition Tasks

SaaS Revenue Recognition

We all know subscription models are everywhere these days. They’ve become so pervasive that clever entrepreneurs pull out all the stops to capture a share of consumers’ subscription dollars. You can now subscribe to a flock of chickens, personalized potato messages, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, to an AI companionship service. All that fun aside, navigating the complexities of subscription revenue accounting is no small potato. It’s intricate, often nuanced, and demands precision. Fortunately, accounting applications are getting much better at supporting the subscription model. In particular, we see our clients in the subscription and recurring revenue space have a lot of success with Sage Intacct.

Here, we briefly examine the complexities associated with subscription billing models. We know you know them — this is more to make it clear that we understand what you’re dealing with and make sure we’re talking about the same details in the issues. Then, we’ll show you how our team of industry experts helps clients use Sage Intacct to simplify those challenges.

Automating SaaS Revenue Recognition

Subscription businesses must recognize revenue as services are delivered, not just when payments are received. (Is that putting the chicken before the egg? Okay, we’ll stop now.) It’s a complex process that requires meticulous tracking and reporting. We’ve seen companies rely on extensive (and error-prone) spreadsheets for this task — which often consumes most of the month.

When we migrate these companies to Sage Intacct, they can simplify SaaS revenue recognition and compliance with revenue recognition standards, making sure that they can focus on growth while staying firmly within the lines of regulatory requirements — and we can help your company do the same.

BT Partners helped this SaaS company, which develops and distributes applications used in the healthcare space, move from Sage 50 to Sage Intacct to accommodate their new subscription model. They have highly customized, unique customer agreements, and in their old system, it took nearly an hour to set up a new contract and prepare the first invoice. With Sage Intacct, it now takes just minutes.

This same client also benefitted from the experience and expertise of BT Partners’ Sage Intacct implementation and support team. The company’s Accounting Director told us, “Our consultant has so much experience working with software companies that they were able to offer tips, best practice ideas, and overall guidance that gave us an even better result.”

Streamlining Recurring Billing and Revenue Management

Managing recurring billing is another major hurdle. Subscription businesses must handle ongoing billing cycles, renewals, and modifications precisely. Ordinary accounting applications don’t support this model — Sage Intacct does. When implemented for SaaS companies, we help clients automate these processes, reducing manual errors and improving efficiency. As a result, they benefit from a comprehensive view of billing operations that allows them to stay on top of their financials.

Another SaaS client of ours has tripled in size since implementing Sage Intacct, something its CFO says would have been impossible without the efficiencies the software offers. “We used to set calendar reminders to remind us when to invoice a client. Now, it’s virtually automatic. We’re saving days every month — and that’s not even factoring in the higher volume we’re doing now.”

Real-Time Metrics and Analytics

Real-time data is invaluable — it informs quick, strategic decision making. Sage Intacct’s analytics provide deep insights into subscription metrics such as churn rates, customer lifetime value, and revenue streams. This information is crucial for making informed decisions and staying agile in a competitive landscape.

We work to understand the metrics that matter to your SaaS business and ensure the software is delivering on those metrics. For example, we can help you configure user dashboards that offer real-time access to key metrics like monthly recurring revenue (MRR), customer lifetime value (CLV), churn rate, and more.

Integration Capabilities

Every SaaS or subscription company we work with relies on multiple applications to run their business successfully. Integration between those applications drives accuracy, efficiency, and scalability. Sage Intacct can integrate with other business systems (like CRM, eCommerce, or business intelligence tools), providing a comprehensive view of customer data and financials.

A common integration among our subscription business clients is between Sage Intacct and Salesforce. We helped this client accomplish the task, creating a single source of truth for the organization. Their CFO had this to say: “BT Partners plays a key role as the intermediary between the two systems. Their technical experience and expertise are proving invaluable.”

Sage Intacct also offers APIs for further customization and integration with third-party applications, enhancing its flexibility and utility. Avalara, a sales tax compliance application, is one example. Many (if not most) of our subscription industry clients use this powerful application that integrates seamlessly with Sage Intacct. The Director of Finance for this client noted, “It’s important to us to leverage other applications with our financial management system — it extends the value even further.”

The Experience to Back It Up

In short, Sage Intacct simplifies SaaS revenue recognition and recurring revenue accounting by automating complex processes, ensuring compliance with accounting standards, offering real-time financial insights, and providing scalability and integration capabilities. This makes it an effective solution for businesses looking to streamline their financial operations, particularly those with subscription-based models. However, software alone does not a solution make. The complexities and nuances surrounding the SaaS and subscription industry mean you’ll also want an experienced partner on your side.

BT Partners works with dozens of SaaS and subscription companies (none that rent chickens, though. Yet.), helping them streamline accounting tasks, optimize efficiency, and ready themselves for growth.

“Success with Sage Intacct is all about partnership. It takes a great partner to realize the solution’s value, and we’ve found that in BT Partners.”
Laura Sparks, Accounting Director, nVoq Incorporated

Keep It Simple

Sage Intacct is a cloud-based financial management and accounting software that simplifies revenue recognition and recurring revenue accounting. It is exceptionally well suited for businesses with subscription-based models — as is BT Partners. If you’re grappling with the complexities of subscription revenue accounting and SaaS revenue recognition, we are here to guide you through every step of the journey. Please reach out for more information or to discuss how we can assist your subscription business.

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