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SaaS Startup Financial Fails and How to Avoid Them

Over the last decade, software-as-a-service (SaaS) has exploded as companies have flocked to subscription and cloud-based services for their software needs. While the growth of the SaaS market has lowered barriers to entry, it has also created opportunities for entry. This presents a double-edged sword: the SaaS sector provides you the opportunity of founding a lucrative company but it also poses the threat of that company failing. Failures are all too common in the industry and you can’t afford to make mistakes that can sink your company. Here are a few of the most frequent financial fails that SaaS startups commit.

5 SaaS Startup Fails You Can Avoid  

1. Cash Flow

When launching a product, you want to make a splash. But making a splash comes at a cost, which can include overspending on branding, marketing, offices, and other expenses. These types of overspends lead to cash flow problems for SaaS startups. The biggest splash you can make is with a good product. As a result, your money is best spent on product development and design until you have a viable product. 

Beyond this early phase, managing cash flow is important so that you don’t run out of money. This requires sound accounting practices and planning, including adequately forecasting cash flow needs for each stage of growth. Keeping track of costs should be straightforward and accurate. But projecting sales is where companies can be inaccurate and fail to bring in the revenue necessary to keep operations running. Make sure to maintain accurate financial projections.

2. Having More Churn Than Growth

In a subscription-based industry, churn rate is a key metric: it is the attrition rate or the number of customers you are losing. In SaaS, this means customers who either cancel or do not renew their subscription. Churn will be inevitable no matter how good your product is – customer wants and needs change over time and you can’t always respond to them. But when churn is higher than growth, your company is failing. 

Plan for some churn and don’t underestimate it. But focus on keeping your churn rate low by improving your product(s) and services(s) to retain as many customers as you can. You can also assess your pricing model and the competitive market to make sure you’re not overcharging.

3. Your Product Isn’t Market Ready When you Go to Market

Building a successful SaaS company involves having a viable and workable product that has a market. Basically, there must be a market need and your product must address that need. Even if you have a great pricing structure your product can be sunk by poor user experience, technical issues, lack of customer support and documentation if your product has a learning curve, and so on. If you try to book demos or close deals for products that aren’t quite ready, you can expect low adoption rates, high customer acquisition costs, and high churn rates. 

The old adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression stands. The customers who don’t adopt or are part of the churn may not come back even after you’ve worked out the glitches, given that SaaS is a competitive space and they will have moved on to your competitors. Ultimately, you need to do product testing, fix bugs, and make sure you have an intuitive and user-friendly product before you go to market.

4. Not Having the Right Pricing Structure

Pricing is one of the first things that customers will look at, which means it has a major impact on your viability. Despite this, SaaS companies spend surprisingly little time considering their pricing structure. Pricing is difficult to establish given you need to navigate your customers’ need for an affordable price and your need to generate revenue. Put differently, if you undercharge you’ll have happy customers but won’t turn a profit and will likely go bankrupt; if you overcharge, you’ll have a price structure that would make you profitable but there are no customers willing to pay the price. 

Obviously, there are no set rules to navigate this problem and it will depend on the product you have to offer, competing products, and the existing market. But the point is you need to devote time and effort to develop a reasonable pricing structure; this includes reassessing your pricing as your business grows, achieves new milestones, and moves through various phases.

5. Marketing Spend

Because marketing involves a trial and error process, overspending in initial marketing efforts is a major reason. Marketing involves knowing the market for your product, which can involve trial and error. Before you start spending on marketing efforts, you need to define your target audience, your goals, and your key performance indicators so that you aren’t blowing the budget at the start of your marketing efforts. Be sure to conduct market analysis and have a set marketing strategy before you begin. This will help you to maximize ad spend through targeted efforts, rather than the old spray and pray approach to marketing. Similarly, it is possible to underspend or not assign an adequate marketing budget when first launching. Finally, once you have your marketing up and running, you need to conduct marketing audits to see where your efforts are or are not working to better allocate your money and effort.

NOVAA’s Fractional CFO Services for SaaS Startups

Poor management is another fail for SaaS startups. Many of the above fails can be avoided simply with an experienced management team, including a CFO who can assess the financial status of your company, offer ways of improving operations, and check to see that everyone follows and tracks these improvements.

NOVAA offers experienced fractional CFO services for SaaS companies to chart out a path to growth and profitability while avoiding the common SaaS startup fails mentioned above. For our fractional CFO clients, we have a 10 step growth strategy that plots out the full development of your company. Using the latest analytics software, we sit down with you to look at Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and historical data in relation to your business goals and industry standards to see if you’re accomplishing the necessary goals to become a profitable company. We also evaluate the effectiveness of KPIs as your business grows and continuously analyze them to implement necessary changes in your business operations and evaluation metrics. We also conduct cash flow planning for 6 or 9-month periods at a time so that you can keep your company operating or plan financing rounds and loans to fill in the gaps for any shortfalls. Finally, we conduct quarterly audits to see whether your company is meeting its goals, as well as discovering where goals or operations need to be tweaked.

For more information on our CFO services and how we can help your SaaS startup, book a consultation.

Top 3 Financial Considerations for Acquisition

The goal for most startups is acquisition. Being acquired shows that your company has a successful product and your hard work and long hours have paid off. But there’s a lot of work to be done for the acquisition to be successfully executed. As you’ll know from funding rounds, investors do their due diligence to see if there are any deal breakers in your books. With acquisitions, that due diligence is more extensive because the investor is buying 100% of your company. Ultimately, they require information to show that your company is profitable and therefore worth acquiring. 

Getting through the acquisition process requires financial statements, realistic projections and compliance with tax and other regulations. Without these, your acquisition could fall through or the prospective buyer might offer a lower valuation. To avoid these problems, you need experienced accountants to help you through the process. Ultimately, accountants provide the information to backup the viability and profitability of your business. Here are three key areas that an accounting firm can help with during the acquisition process.

1. Providing Accurate Financial Statements

As investors did during funding rounds, potential buyers want a full financial accounting of your business. Accountants provide financial statements with this information, including: 

  • Assets
  • Recurring monthly and annual revenue
  • Your tax status, including compliance and any liabilities owing
  • Historical growth
  • Cash flow
  • Potential cash injections
  • Growth projections for the future 

Beyond this, accountants create reports for the board on any performance indicators that they require. What’s important here is that you have experienced accountants to provide accurate statements and attainable financial projections. Failing to account for cash shortfalls or providing unrealistic projections can undercut your sale.

2. Determining Your Valuation

Financial statements are important in and of themselves – they show whether or not your company is profitable and, therefore, whether it’s worth acquiring. But they’re also necessary for valuation purposes. Figuring out your valuation involves assessing a number of factors:


You need to know your key performance indicators, including historical and projected growth and sales, and the basic financial status of your company, including cash flow. Again, these numbers need to be accurate and realistic. If you want to value your company at $100 million, you need to be able to show figures that can back this up, including growth over your company’s lifetime, increases in annual and monthly recurring revenues, and the prospects for continued growth into the future.


You need to know the market for competitors and how you stack up in terms of growth and other performance indicators.

Historical Financial Information

You need to know your valuation during previous funding rounds as well as growth since that time.

Buyer’s Background

You need to know your buyer’s background and why they are looking to acquire you. If they are an equity firm investing for financial reasons, the valuation process may be more formulaic based on assets, debts, and other financial figures. If they are acquiring you for strategic purposes, the valuation may be higher and more negotiable, as the company is interested in your product or technologies because they have a synergy with the acquirer’s existing business.

During acquisition, accountants are constantly guiding CEOs and founders on when and where they should be positioning themselves in terms of valuation, including supplying them with the financial statements and projections to back up their position during negotiations. Particularly if this is the first time you’ve gone through an acquisition, it’s necessary to have experienced professionals helping you through the valuation and negotiation process.

3. Staying Compliant

Tax Compliance is the main arena of accountants during the acquisition process. First and foremost, you want to be able to show prospective buyers that you have stayed compliant and they won’t be liable for any tax issues. Beyond this, because share structures and ownership change, compliance issues become more complicated. 

While things are more streamlined if you are an entirely Canadian company being acquired by another Canadian company, more complications arise if the company acquiring you is based in the US or elsewhere. In the former case, the company retains its Canadian Controlled Private Corporation (CCPC) status. But in the latter case, that status changes. With the different statuses come different tax rates and considerations. Similarly, different rules apply to different statuses for claiming the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive (SR&ED). 

Finally, you’ll need to complete “deemed year end” taxes. Even if your acquisition closes on March 31st, you’ll need to file a tax return for the 3 months of the year you owned the company. Executing these aspects of the acquisition and remaining compliant through the process involves utilizing accounting experts who know the ins and outs of the tax regulations you are under.

Acquisitions with NOVAA

More often than not, acquisition is the outcome that companies are looking for – a realization of the dream that your company started with. Given the complexity of acquisition, realizing this dream requires the help of experienced professionals who have been through the process and can help you navigate it, avoiding any deal breakers or disappointments in valuation.

NOVAA is a technology-forward accounting company that uses advanced financial tools to help you realize your company’s goals. We have years of accounting experience and an established record with acquisitions, including for technology companies. We view ourselves as part of your team and can answer the due diligence potential buyers will demand of your company during acquisition, whether it’s financial statements, valuation, or compliance.

For more information on how NOVAA can use its experience and track record to help you realize your acquisition goals, book a consultation.

SaaS Profitability

SaaS Profitability: Determining a Break-Even Point for SaaS Startups

One of the first benchmarks for any business is reaching its break-even point. The break-even point is when you’re in a no profit, no loss situation. But you’ll encounter many obstacles on your road to break-even, particularly in competitive industries like software-as-a-service (SaaS). SaaS companies often face a long road to get to break-even. This can be achieved if you focus on three basic factors necessary to get you to SaaS profitability.  

Estimating Costs and Revenue

Finding your break-even point requires estimating your costs and revenues. When making financial estimates, you need to be accurate as underestimating costs or overestimating revenues can lead to shortfalls.

Costs will, of course, depend on the specifics of your business. But here are some basics to start with:

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Payroll
  • Infrastructure, including: hosting; website design, development and maintenance; marketing

Figuring out the individual costs for each of these and adding them up gives you your basic costs.

Next, you’ll need to determine your pricing structure. Obviously, the structure will vary depending on industry and you’ll need to consider standards and competitors in your SaaS sector. In doing so, you also need to strike a balance between what will make you money and will not dissuade your potential customers from subscribing.

Finally, estimate your revenue. This will be based on projected monthly recurring revenue, or sometimes annual recurring revenue, and the rate of acquiring new customers. Once again, you need to be accurate and reasonable here. If you project a certain amount of revenue based on an estimated client base, this has to be realistic and you have to have a plan to acquire that many customers – all while also accounting for the costs of doing so.

Keeping an Eye on Churn Rate

When you are starting out, your customer base should experience growth well above your churn rate. But as your customer growth increases, your churn rate will do the same. The problem arises when your customer acquisition and churn rates are equal – that is, when you’re losing as many existing customers as you are acquiring new ones. The good news is that you have time to account for this, as there is a bit of a lag as the churn rate gets closer to the rate of customer acquisition.

The immediate thing to consider is whether you need to re-evaluate your pricing model. If it’s too high, it could be driving clients away. Of course, pricing isn’t the only cause of churn. You need to analyze other elements of customer satisfaction, including customer service, satisfaction with your product, etc. On the flip side, you should consider whether you are being active enough in trying to acquire new customers. This involves putting more revenue into advertising, marketing and sales.   

Understanding Customer Acquisition Cost

The problem with trying to acquire new customers is that it can come at a cost. This is why it’s important to consider your customer acquisition cost (CAC) – the amount of money you put into marketing, advertising, sales, and other avenues to acquire leads and convert them to customers. Calculating this is important. Customer acquisition can look great on its own but if your churn rate and CAC are high, you aren’t getting close to your break-even point let alone making a profit, which can deter investors. Ultimately, you need to calculate your CAC and the lifetime customer value (LTV).

While a textbook response might suggest that your LTV to CAC ratio should be higher than 3:1, this isn’t always the case at every stage of your growth process. In fact, your initial CAC costs may be extremely high, but this can be worth it if you are trying to establish your brand by acquiring high value customers so that others will follow. Netting a customer who can directly or indirectly influence others to become customers may be extremely expensive on its own, but the cost of the single customer is worth the extra customers who come along because of name recognition. Likewise, you need to consider other factors, like the total value and duration of the contract. While in some SaaS fields, contracts may be relatively small (e.g. $50 per month for basic software) in others they could be significantly higher value and duration (e.g. $50,000 per year for cybersecurity software). Higher value and duration can often justify a higher CAC.

NOVAA’s Fractional CFO Services for Forecasting SaaS Startup Profitability

SaaS companies often try to reach break-even or hit profitability on their own and only seek professional advice when they struggle. This can involve processes of trial and error around estimating costs and revenues, pricing, and monitoring important analytics such as churn rates and customer acquisition costs. Accurately forecasting your company’s road to break-even, and analyzing your performance along the way, requires experienced professionals in the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role.

NOVAA offers fractional CFO services for SaaS companies at all levels, from startups to established companies in the field. Our goal is to help you not only break-even but turn into a profitable SaaS company. In this role, we view ourselves as part of your team, taking a hands-on approach in working with you to accurately forecast expected costs and revenue months or years into the future. To do this, we utilize advanced business intelligence software to provide accurate metrics to help you determine what is and isn’t working. This begins with assessing your pricing model, in relation to your margins and industry standards. 

But pricing models aren’t the only thing that can help your company. We also analyze other key performance indicators and projections, including churn rates and CAC, with an emphasis on isolating variances and why they occur, as well as seeing your performance indicators in relation to other companies in the industry. These can help to assess your overall operation to see what other costs can be brought down to aid in your growth to break-even and profitability.

For more information on NOVAA’s fractional CFO services or how to determine the break-even point for your SaaS company, book a consultation.

Cloud Accounting Software for SaaS Startups: QuickBooks Online vs Xero

Accurate accounting is key to the success of any business. It allows you to keep track of costs and revenue in order to implement your business plan, while also giving you concrete numbers to show potential investors. While this might seem to go without saying, many in the competitive software-as-a-service (SaaS) field have failed to follow through with accurate accounting. For startups, this is a particular concern as you attempt to go from pre-revenue to bringing in profits. Agile Payments found that one of the main reasons SaaS startups failed was the failure to save financial resources because they didn’t know how much money they had or needed.

Luckily, accounting software has become a standard technology that SaaS startups can use to avoid this problem. But this poses a different problem: which accounting software should you choose? While there is no “one size fits all” choice and it will depend on your needs, two of the most used accounting software platforms in the SaaS industry are QuickBooks Online (QBO) and Xero.

The Importance of Cloud Accounting

Both QBO and Xero are cloud accounting software platforms. This means that your accounting will be 100% online rather than stored on a computer. This has a number of benefits over desktop solutions. Because desktop solutions are on a computer, they present a greater security risk both in terms of being hacked and in terms of theft. Cloud solutions are protected by state-of-the-art security systems and are not on-premises. Likewise, cloud solutions are constantly backed up and you don’t run the risk of losing your accounting data, which can happen through manual errors or system failures with desktop solutions. Finally, while desktop options are largely limited to the single computer they are on, cloud accounting software allows for easy accessibility to those who have permission. Relatedly, you can check cloud accounting software while on the go via your phone or other devices, whereas desktop solutions require direct physical access to the computer on which the accounting software is on.

Choosing Your Solution: QuickBooks Online vs. Xero

While QuickBooks Online and Xero are both cloud accounting software solutions, which of them is better for you will depend on compatibility with your needs. Here are some things to consider when making a choice.

1. Subscriptions

Xero offers three monthly subscription plans: Starter, Standard and Premium. While they all come with basic features and allow for unlimited users, Starter has usage limitations, including for quotes, invoices, and bills. Standard offers unlimited quotes, invoices, and bills. On top of these unlimited features, Premium includes foreign currency transactions and project and expense management. 

QBO also offers three monthly subscription plans: EasyStart, Essentials and Plus. While there are no limits on usage, as you move up the scale different subscriptions offer increased user capacities and more complex features, such as accelerated invoicing and enhanced reporting and tracking. 

Aside from feature sets, the biggest difference lies in the price ranges: Xero ranges from $15 to $52 per month; QBO ranges from $20 to $60 per month. But price isn’t everything. What really matters is figuring out which feature set will best suit your needs.

2. Setup 

Once you’ve selected which software and subscription you prefer, both offer easy setup and provide customizable dashboards so that you can organize it in a way that best fits your needs. However, before you sign up for a subscription you need to check whether they are supported by your bank. If they aren’t, you won’t be able to integrate your bank accounts with the software and there will be no reason to purchase a subscription.

3. Functionality 

Much like choosing a subscription, functionality will depend on your needs and your expertise. QBO is an older platform and was designed for people with accounting backgrounds. While you should obviously have accountants doing your accounting, if you take a collaborative approach and want you or your team to have some oversight with accounting software, there can be a steeper learning curve. At the same time, its advanced reporting and tracking tools are exceptional. 

Xero is a newer platform and designed in a way that is more user friendly for non-specialists. This makes the learning curve less steep and allows for easier training when it comes to things like invoicing, which may be done by members of your team other than accountants. But it can also mean limitations in terms of advanced features.

4. Integrations 

Your cloud accounting software needs to interact with the other platforms and tools you use, whether it’s payroll, payment, or any other software. Both QuickBooks Online and Xero offer a growing number of integrations, with Xero providing, at the time of publication, more integrations. Of course, raw numbers don’t matter. You need to make sure the integrations they have work with the software solutions that you depend on.

4. Scalability

You want to choose software that will grow with your business. Migrating to another platform because your accounting software can no longer handle what you need is costly and time consuming, as well as rife with the possibility for problems. QBO offers a great solution for small businesses hoping to expand to the Enterprise level. However, Xero has increasingly become the choice for startups, as it can cater to mid-market companies with up to 1000 employees. 

Live Accounting with NOVAA

Even if you’ve narrowed down your cloud accounting software choice to QBO or Xero, the choice isn’t easy given the different subscriptions and features available. This is why it’s best to consult experts so you can best assess your accounting needs and which solution suits them.

At NOVAA, we are accounting experts and are certified by Xero with Silver Partner status, and as QuickBooks Online certified ProAdvisors. Regardless of which cloud solution you choose for your business, we provide “live accounting” for our clients. Unlike many accounting firms that wait until the end of the month or year to update your books, we update them daily so that you have live access to your accounting data. That means that you can login to your account and look at accounting entries as they happen, assuring ease of use and access to all of the information you need to run a successful SaaS startup.  

For more information on NOVAA’s live accounting services for QuickBooks Online or Xero, book a free consultation.

Creating Attainable Financial Projections

Understanding your company involves knowing where you are financially at any given moment as well as where you will be in the future. For this reason, financial projections are imperative for any company. Financial projections draw on available historical data to model the future financial performance of your company, including cash flow, costs, and revenue. Modeling this data is a standard practice. But it’s important to know why it is a standard practice and how financial projections can benefit your company.

3 Benefits of Financial Projections

1. Funding Rounds

In order to take your business to the next level, you need funding from investors, and they want to see future growth in sales and revenue. Financial projections provide potential investors with key benchmarks for your company that let them assess whether you are worth investing in, including, most importantly, when you will start bringing in a profit and showing them a return on their investment.

2. Loans

As with funding, companies may need loans for additional capital. In order to give out loans, banks and other lenders require not only a full accounting of the current state of your company but projections for where it will be in the future. They need to know that your company is viable and that you’ll be able to pay back the money you borrow.

3. Planning and Growth

Financial projections are also important from an operational standpoint. On the one hand, they allow you to assess how your company is doing from a cash flow perspective and when you need to open a new funding round or seek out loans. On the other hand, financial projections allow you to analyze key performance indicators, including assessing actual vs. projected numbers so you can re-adjust your projections to account for deficits or surpluses in projected funds. These are necessary for long term growth strategies, including knowing when you need to start hiring new employees, spending money on capital investments, and investing in other expenditures or reducing costs.

The Importance of Accurate Financial Projections

It bears mentioning that it’s important your financial projections are accurate. Ultimately, you want to be optimistic but realistic at the same time. If you want to have X million dollars in sales in 2 years, you need to have a plan to get there. Likewise, you need to have reasonable explanations for all of your expenses. For example, you need to show why the salaries you are paying are necessary (e.g. are they in line with the average for the market) or how you are coming up with your future sales projections (e.g. are they based on current contracts and the prospects for renewals and growth). If your numbers aren’t realistic, investors and lenders will not provide you with funds. Moreover, inaccurate projections can lead to shortfalls that undermine your ability to operate.

Financial Projections for SaaS Startups

Financial projections are particularly important for startups, especially in the SaaS industry. Because startups are in the infant phases of developing, they often lack direction in their first few years as they adjust to changes in the market and within the company. Likewise, they are often pre-revenue and need to understand future financials. At such an early phase, they need to know their monthly and annual burn rates to see how much cash they have on hand and how much they need to keep operating. 

Likewise, they need projections to tell them when they can break even or even start pulling in revenue. From a purely operational standpoint, projections allow them to know when they need to cut costs and when they need to spend money as part of their growth planning, whether this is hiring new employees or acquiring new technologies or another company. Finally, financial projections are key to understanding when they might need to bring in outside capital through a new funding round or loans and what their valuation is.

Recurring Financial Projections with NOVAA

Both as a standalone service and as part of our fractional CFO services, NOVAA offers experienced recurring financial projections using cutting edge business intelligence technology. This involves offering more than just a model or template. Models and templates are based on projections and historical data. But startup companies in particular evolve in directions that alter financial projections. Most companies don’t have the skills to re-assess and re-model their projections, which become obsolete as your company changes and grows. It’s necessary to maintain accurate and useful financial projections whether you’re looking for investment or just engaging in long term planning. To help do this, we tailor your projections to your company and business plan, then maintain and change them on a recurring basis so that your projections develop as you do. This avoids your financial projections becoming obsolete because of changes in markets or within your company.

Additionally, we have a proven track record helping SaaS startups grow into successful enterprises. Given this, we know how to account for future expense projections and costs as you grow from pre-revenue to revenue-bearing. This includes accounting for cash flows, planning for the next 6 to 12 months of operations, and figuring out when you need to open a new funding round. Given that in the tech industry who you know is as important as what you know, we also have connections in the venture capital world and can get word out about your product.

For more information on NOVAA’s financial projections services, contact us today.

Fractional CFO

When to Hire a Fractional CFO For a SaaS Startups

Early phase SaaS startups face a number of decisions in their drive for growth and profitability. One of the biggest decisions relates to executive hiring. No matter how young the start-up, you need a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). CFOs are key players in the success of a business, overseeing day-to-day financial matters as well as taking on the long-term assessment of key performance indicators and planning related to growth. But companies with less than $5 million in annual revenue often don’t need a full-time CFO. Their CFO needs are limited to signing off on cheques or preparing for a funding round, after which the CFO needs will decrease. Given the limited duties and that a base salary can start at $200,000, hiring a full-time CFO is burning money that could be better spent elsewhere.

It’s because of this that many SaaS startups are turning to fractional CFOs. Fractional CFOs are outsourced, part-time CFOs, whether individuals or firms. They are hired only for the number of hours required to carry out these early phase CFO duties, which may be as little as 10 hours a week or even a month. This helps to cut down on costs, while laying the groundwork for growth until you need to hire a full-time CFO. A fractional CFO obviously helps you to save money. But who should hire a fractional CFO and what benefits will they bring, aside from costs?

Who Should Consider a Fractional CFO and When Should They Hire One?

  • Startups in the seed funding stage
  • Startups going through Series A, B, or C funding rounds

At the Seed and Series A to C fundraising rounds, a fractional CFO is ideal for SaaS startups. At these early phases, the CFO’s job will be limited and hiring a fractional CFO allows you to bring someone on with the expertise to do the job, while avoiding paying them a full-time salary that is unnecessary. The cost- and time-savings can then be better allocated towards other strategic and growth areas. That said, as you progress in funding rounds and your company grows, interactions with your CFO become more regular. As a result, at the D series or higher you will generally need to hire a full-time CFO.

To successfully carry out fundraising rounds, you need to have all of your financials and projections in place. The CFO’s duties include creating a financial plan based on modelling and tracking key performance indicators, as well as building relationships with potential investors. If you’re going to hire a fractional CFO, you should hire them at least three months before a fundraising round. This will give them time to have everything in place so that you can meet your fundraising goals.

4 Benefits of Hiring a Fractional CFO

1. Cost Saving

The biggest reason start-ups fail is that they run out of cash. Hiring a fractional CFO is an obvious cost-saver. You’re paying for the hours you need, rather than paying a costly full-time salary. But beyond this, a fractional CFO also helps to save you the costs of an intensive job search. Instead of looking for a single person with vast expertise in numerous roles, which involves a recruitment firm and a lengthy search process, you can bring in a firm or individual with an established record in the early phases that you are in. Likewise, you have the flexibility to increase or decrease the hours you are paying for as your business needs change.

2. Experience

Of course, while you want to avoid unnecessary costs, you also want to have the best, most experienced support possible. Fractional CFOs, particularly when the role is filled by firms, provide you with precisely this sort of support and experience. They have entire teams behind them, with expertise in different areas, including accounting, bookkeeping, and taxes. These are often areas that a single individual, even while working full-time, doesn’t have covered. 

3. Flexibility

Because firms have full-time teams, when you contract out fractional CFO duties, their teams have the flexibility to ramp up or ramp down work in specific areas according to your needs. Basically, you have a team of experts read to meet your needs, based on the required hours, as they arise.

4. Outside Perspective

At the same time, when you hire an experienced fractional CFO, you’re getting someone with a record of helping startups in diverse fields, which can bring different perspectives and new connections to your company. In terms of different perspectives, a fractional CFO brings best practices and diverse-market knowledge to the table, which leads to a solid business model. In terms of connections, it’s often said that tech success is based as much on who you know as what you know. Fractional CFOs can open your company up to new business connections and investors. Moreover, if your fractional CFO has these types of connections and a successful record, it brings greater credibility to your company.

NOVAA: A Full Suite CFO That Is an Extension of Your Team

Given the importance of a CFO, the idea of hiring a fractional CFO may give you pause, as you worry about how much value they are going to bring as an outside consultant who isn’t invested in your company beyond the part-time work they do for you. Likewise, fractional CFO services often focus only on CFO responsibilities and rely on other companies for basic tasks like bookkeeping or tax services. As a result, in addition to the CFO’s part-time salary, you’re also paying for outside services.

At NOVAA, we view ourselves as an extension of your team, not as an external consultant. This means always making time for you and being fully invested in helping you to achieve your business goals. We embrace technology and build skills that best fit your evolving needs and provide full suite support backed by an experienced team of professionals with expertise across the CFO spectrum of needs.

Technology Forward

Our full suite approach begins with a technology forward perspective. We use Fathom’s cutting edge financial reporting tools to fully integrate all of your technology systems. The purpose in doing so is to allow your different software solutions, from billing to accounting to payroll and beyond, to talk to each other and harmonize operations. Because every business’s goals are different, we then customize your dashboards and analytics reports to match your business objectives. One of the great things about Fathom is that, in addition to integrating with virtually any software platform, it’s analytics come in easy to digest graphic representations that better allow you to see how your company is performing.

Experienced Professionals

Additionally, we have a full suite team of experienced professionals to cover all your areas of need. This solves major problems that can arise with a standard fractional CFO. To begin with, contracting out services that are below the CFO’s job description puts data into other people’s hands. We want to control data so that we have the most accurate data possible to measure key performance indicators. For these purposes, we have a team of professionals and strategic partners that cover the full spectrum of financial tasks, including accounting and bookkeeping. Historically, CFOs have limited knowledge in tax and tax planning, which results in them having to hire tax people to complete important tasks. Taxes are one of our specialities, which means that the task remains in our experienced hands without additional costs.

Working With NOVAA

CFOs are integral to the success of any business. SaaS startups need a CFO to help manage day-to-day operations and provide expertise for fundraising, but a full-time CFO isn’t always necessary. For Seed and Series A-C level SaaS startups, a fractional CFO can help to keep costs down, while still providing levels of expertise that a full-time CFO doesn’t have. NOVAA offers full-suite fractional CFO services that operate as an extension of your team and provide the expertise and support that you need to grow your business. For more information on our CFO services, don’t hesitate to contact us.