The tech a SaaS CFO Needs for Company Scaling

May 19, 2022 | 5 Mins Caitlyn Simons

The SaaS CFO is a chief financial officer charged with focusing financial investments on SaaS business platforms and innovative technology that positions an organization for high-growth and success.

This new type of CFO is a hybrid of the more traditional CFO but with a focus on SaaS technology, digital platforms and innovative tech stacks that are quickly becoming key business drivers at multinational and technology companies all around the world.

This CFO may be a bit more familiar and knowledgeable with the world of technology and in particular the level of innovation that has taken place in the SaaS space. Software as a Service (SaaS) has become an industry in its own right, CFOs are often the people at organizations who sanction the spending of large sums of money on technology platforms for digital innovation. Therefore, the SaaS CFO feels a responsibility to be as fully informed about the technology in the market as they possibly can be.

In this article we are going to look at the kind of technology that a SaaS CFO needs when it comes to meeting ambitious company growth and scaling ambitions.

The focus is on the long term

Growth and scaling objectives are about long-term success, consistent revenue streams and creating powerful business processes that result in agility, as well as the ability to move swiftly into new markets to take advantage of opportunities. Technology stacks and digital platforms will always be needed to facilitate this. Scaling ambition is to be expected but if the technology and SaaS infrastructure is not there to support it, then scaling and growth will not happen.

These SaaS platforms will not just appear from nowhere, investment and financial support will be needed and in many multinational companies it is likely that the responsibility for signing off on such investments will fall at the door of finance leaders and more prominently, the chief financial officer.

Therefore, the CFO needs to do the research and talk to the various senior stakeholders within the organization who are requesting investment. The focus will be on the long-term business model and the questions will be around the ability of the technology to deliver on a consistent basis while also being flexible enough to adapt to business and economic conditions. The tech infrastructure must be able to have staying power and agility.

Short term quick wins and investments can be attractive and even effective for growing business, but if they lose value rapidly or are simply not robust enough to keep pace with the competition of SaaS companies, then this will have a negative impact on scaling ambitions. This is why considering the long-term investment is important for your financial model, and as CFO, it is beneficial to recognize and consider the benefits that this kind of investment and SaaS tech will have for your company’s financial performance. By being willing to sacrifice the quick rewards of a short-term win and go with the long-term view, then you are likely to achieve more successes and overall business growth.

Build technology connections in related departments

One area that a SaaS CFO could look at is connected or interdependent departments and how investments in digital SaaS platforms could help deliver the kind of long-term growth that is necessary for them.

If departments have connected services and require connected data flows, then this is an area that can benefit from digital software that would be better for enabling these connected departments to interact, collaborate and work efficiently together.

A good example of this is connecting human resources and payroll. These departments cannot operate in isolation, and they will always need fast, secure, and efficient data flows between them. Investing in new technology like automation or a digital platform that integrates and connects these two departments, is something that would make business sense and fit in with the overall growth strategy of the company. If HR and payroll systems can work more efficiently and faster together, then this will result in operational gains and future proofed technology connections.

The CFOs own financial services department is also closely connected with these two crucial service departments, so further integrations and digital connections aligning HR and payroll to the finance software and department would be taking it to another level and make perfect business sense.

Digital integrations that result in better financial data flows and a smoother and more efficient process between interconnected departments is an investment in technology infrastructure that benefits several business units at once. This is more than likely going to be a solid investment that aligns with the overall business strategy of scaling and growth. The result would be having a technology in place that facilitates this level of growth, because overall operational efficiency is improved when innovative digital infrastructure is implemented in traditionally connected departments.

Cost control SaaS tech

Every CFO wants to manage their finance model and costs in an effective way, and they will always be asked to be as efficient as possible with financial reporting, spending and company expenditure- any innovative software tools that can help them track and manage real-time spends across the business will be welcomed.

CFOs will therefore look at SaaS technology that helps them do this, technology that enables them to quickly see what has been spent and in which department. This kind of technology will also likely give them year on year comparisons, including percentage increase spends and trending data and information that will be helpful with analysis and reporting.

With these types of digital innovations tools in place, a CFO can quickly see if there is over or under spending happening in specific business units and carry out more accurate decision making. Financial planning software developments can be leveraged to optimize and increase visibility, control, and transparency around corporate expenditure, these are very useful tools for a CFO to use when trying to convey complex expenditure structures to other stakeholders and financial leaders in the business.

These tools will focus on visually displaying dense and complex information in an easily digestible format. A SaaS CFO, like any CFO, will always want to feel in complete control of the level of spending happening in their business and any digital tools that can help this person to do this in their financial systems will be welcomed. The allocation of these tools can have the ability to help track financial activity within the finance department as well as the wider spending across the business. They can help the finance team and the CFO to stay on budget and identify any gaps or anomalies in corporate spending and they will also be quite useful for audit trails in terms of digital spend proof and historic purchasing records.

By focusing on the long-term investments that can deliver successes on a consistent basis and facilitate business growth, along with connecting various related departments to work more efficiently together via the implementation of SaaS technology, the CFO can help facilitate ongoing company scaling.

 

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