6 good reasons why you should stop managing your SaaS billing manually

photo auteur emmanuel pasquet

EMMANUEL PASQUET

Approx. reading : about 5 min

SaaS business and subscriptions models can be complex to manage and require a lot of involvement from your sales and accounting teams to handle sales, invoicing and payments. To grow and develop, your business will need tools that simplify daily life, make management more reliable and eliminate unnecessary and time consuming tasks for your sales and accounting teams. 

In the beginning, your favorite tool will probably be a spreadsheet such as an Excel spreadsheet. But, what is going to happen when your business grows further and you have to share this Excel document with your team? Is Excel the right program to manage your business? 

In this article we will give you five reasons why managing your data manually could hamper your business growth and make your and your teams’ daily life more difficult.

in the context of manual management of SaaS subscriptions and contracts, the spreadsheet is king!

The spreadsheet, a management tool? You already know not!

When you have to manage your SaaS activity or your subscriptions manually, the first tool that will come to mind is using a spreadsheet, for example an Excel or a Google sheet one. Using a spreadsheet such as an Excel one to manage your deadlines might seem like a good idea at first. It doesn’t cost anything, it is easy to use and everybody has worked with spreadsheets at least once in their lives. You might think, Jackpot! Well no…Even if a spreadsheet can be efficient for some things, it is not at all a management program. And in the long run, it can quickly become risky, restrictive and make you waste precious time.

So why do so many companies use it on a daily basis?

Simply because at the beginning of their activity, the files are not as big and you might think that it will be easy to have statistics from those files. At first, it is still easy to manage everything with a spreadsheet without getting lost. However, as your business grows, this bureaucratic program will become inadequate to keep up with your SaaS subscription contracts, deadlines, prices and payments. Finally, even the statistics will be unreliable and out of date. 

That said, your business’ growth can not rely on manual processes and tools that are not suitable for Saas management and recurring invoicing. The manual management of your SaaS contracts will hamper your development and here is why in the 5 main reasons why businesses are not able to quickly become a strong and profitable version of themselves. 

In order to help you understand what are the main drawbacks, we have put together the 5 reasons why you should stop manual management below: 

1- Putting an end to the manual management of Saas contracts and subscriptions: the 6 main reasons why you should do it

1-1 First reason: Lack of accuracy and reliability

Manual management could involve the use of a spreadsheet. However, the lack of accuracy and reliability of spreadsheets will require you to constantly check on the data. 

This is due to two simple reasons: Entering each element manually can be a source of errors and the spreadsheets round off the amounts entered. 

You have chosen to use a spreadsheet as your managing tool so you have to manually enter the data in it. Among this data, some are amounts (the amount of an order, amount of an offer, turnover, etc) According to a report from the University of Hawaii, 88% of spreadsheets contain errors. In fact, even if you enter your data carefully in Excel (Which means you will spend extra time to do so), the risk of error is huge, especially if there are several people entering the data. And this is normal! It is not possible for a human being to enter hundreds of pieces of data without making a mistake… With a management program you will not have this problem anymore. 

Moreover, a spreadsheet tends to round up every amount and not take into account cents. In fact, for all of your custom pricing that requires several decimal places of precision, or in the case of annual discount or price increase calculations, spreadsheets are not as accurate as one might think. On small amounts it won’t matter much, but what about when large volumes of data are stored in your file?

1-2 Second reason: No automatic update

Another main problem of manual management and using spreadsheets such as Excel sheets as a main monitoring tool is that your files are not updated directly. In fact, it is up to you to check and note if the payments have been made or not, to edit manually each one of your invoices and to modify your files if a customer adds or removes an option. 

You have to check daily and be extremely careful not to miss a deadline.

You will probably have to manually create customer orders from the offers put on your Excel file. Each one of your payments, quotes, invoices and orders must be indicated. Keeping track of deadlines, renewals, and product/services additions to the contracts can become a real headache. 

Manually managing such a diversity of cases, will make you lose considerable time. 

1-3 Third reason: Scattered information and difficulty to share your SaaS contracts or subscriptions information.

With Excel, you have the possibility to create several files, and even create different categories (sheets). Unfortunately, the more your business grows, the more numerous and complex your files will be and you will quickly be lost with all your files. At the beginning, it is easy to sort through a few files, but eventually you’ll end up losing track of who has to pay for what. 

Besides, your spreadsheets are going to be used by the sales and accounting teams too. Several people working on the same spreadsheet increases the risk of data errors, bad versions, deletions made by mistake, misunderstandings etc.

1-4 Fourth reason: the evolution of your pricing and Saas or subscription offers will be stuck

Your Excel or GSheet spreadsheet is not a price catalog and it does not allow you to manage pricing and the invoicing of SaaS contracts and subscriptions easily nor in a flexible way. These files give you less possibility to set up promotional discounts and coupons and to track if they were applied or not. Finally, if you combine subscription and usage, the use of a spreadsheet will become very complicated because the perpetual changes in the content of SaaS contracts or subscriptions are very difficult or even impossible to track with this tool. 

To sum up, without automation, you will be forced to not/or to no longer propose certain types of offers at the risk of making errors during the collection or input of data into the file. Moreover, you can not transmit information to your customers automatically. So, you will have to reenter the elements, which is a big waste of time. 

1-5 Fifth reason: Less security of your SaaS contract and subscriptions data

Another difficulty that you will encounter if you manage your SaaS contracts and subscriptions manually with a spreadsheet such as an Excel or GSheets one, is to guarantee and ensure the security of the data.

In addition to the risk of accidentally deleting a file, there is also the risk that the Excel file will be unusable, corrupted. This could happen for example, when the amount of data exceeds the size of the spreadsheet. 

Besides, if you notice an error, unlike with a management program, you will not have any way to track it to know where it came from. 

The leakage of data can not be ruled out either, whether it is inadvertently or maliciously

1-6 Sixth reason: Lack of statistics of your SaaS contracts and subscriptions

One of the main disadvantages of manual management is that you will not have reliable performance indicators (KPIS) in real time. It will be impossible for you to know your MRR or CHURN accurately, even with colossal maintenance and tracking efforts. However, these metrics are essential if you want to continue improving the management of your business and move in the right direction. 

As you know, it is important to keep constantly informed about your business performance since your future business decisions will be made based on metrics such as CHURN, MRR etc. 

For all the reasons mentioned above, it is imperative to find an alternative to managing data manually with a spreadsheet. In fact, if you want to see your business grow further, a management program for your SaaS contracts and subscriptions such as Dotsha could simplify and automate the monetization, invoicing and payment of all your offers. You will save time, avoid mistakes and reduce the risk of losing money or of having disputes with your customers (declined payments, invoices with error, etc).

How and why you should replace your spreadsheet with a management program for your SaaS contracts and subscriptions so that you no longer have to track your activities manually?

For SaaS companies to take full advantage of a subscription-based, usage-based billing model, they need to have a secure system to manage all of their invoices, payments and offers. So, instead of handling all this data manually with a spreadsheet such as an Excel or a Google sheet one, why not use a management solution for subscriptions to do the work and make the management easier for you? 

After having gone through the 6 reasons why you should stop managing your data manually, it is time to give you the 6 reasons why you should use a management program to handle your Saas contracts and subscriptions to save time and work in a more professional way!

First reason: to centralize your price catalog and optimize the monetization of your offers and products sold in SaaS or by subscription

 

The Dotsha platform has been designed to centralize your catalog of products and Saas or subscriptions offers in one single application. Since Dotsha can connect to other programs (CRM, accounting), you have a single source of truth for your pricing that the whole company can use (accounting and sales teams). 

In short, you will avoid all risk of errors concerning your prices and your products.

But more than that, you will also be able to perfectionate your offers. In fact, manual management strongly limits the implementation of offers that could have variations according to the type of customer, volume or usage. 

With an integrated management system such as Dotsha, you will no longer be limited because the system can adapt to the complexity of your pricing/offers. Dotsha evaluates the amounts of subscriptions in real time, regardless of the complexity or the model: variable pricing, consumption-based billing, paid options etc…

This way, you will always have accurate offers and quotes without having to waste time constantly checking on everything. 

Second reason: to have a secure program to manage Saas contracts and subscriptions to be always compliant with regulations and GDPR

Before, when you were using a spreadsheet, you didn’t have the possibility to check if your data was correct and compliant with regulations. With Dotsha, this is possible.

In fact, each piece of information is traced, in order to be able to know which action was taken, when it was taken and by whom. This may seem trivial, but, in the event of a tax audit or in the case of tracking the actions of your team, this data is essential. 

Finally, with the GDPR law, the priority is to secure your customer’s data. Even if Excel gives you the possibility to lock your files, you are not completely safe from a potential hacking

THIRD REASON: THE OFFERS AND QUOTES OF THE SALES DEPARTMENT ARE SYNCHRONIZED WITH THE INVOICES OF THE ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT

With the automation of your management, you will save considerable time. In fact, you will no longer need to reenter your subscriptions quotes into your accounting or in your  invoices. This process is done automatically with Dotsha.

In addition, the automation of the monitoring of your Saas contracts and subscriptions will help you avoid errors. In fact, by managing all this data manually, you risk making mistakes when entering your data. Which could lead to disputes with your customers.

The content of SaaS subscriptions and contracts changes often, according to sales operations or in case of options added by customers. Some of your customers may decide to cancel certain options or want to add products.

With a solution like Dotsha, which allows you to synchronize quotes with invoices, you will not need to do anything or organize meetings to make sure that everything is under control at the end of the month.

This way, you will save time, make the daily life of your teams easier and increase customer satisfaction and retention rate. 

FOURTH REASON: TO STOP WASTING TIME SENDING EMAILS AND COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS

It takes an average of 4 to 6 minutes to write an invoice

Have you ever tried to calculate the time that you need to send an invoice by email to your customers and more generally to communicate with your customers by email? In the context of invoicing, if you add up the tasks of searching for your customers and his email, writing the message, searching for the invoice, sending it and making sure it was received, it takes you between 4 to 6 minutes by email. Up to 60 minutes for 10 invoices to be sent by email. Without taking into account all the other messages concerning management to communicate something to your customers.

Dotsha has an automatic emailing engine that takes care of sending invoices, contract changes alerts, price changes information, late payments reminders and other kinds of alerts for you, without any intervention, according to your settings. 

That’s several hours saved per month thanks to Dotsha. In addition, all the emails are tracked and stored in Dotsha. This way, you can check and control what has been sent at any moment and answer your customer’s request for a message to be resend or checked. 

FIFTH REASON: TO MAKE THE FOLLOW UP OF SAAS CONTRACTS AND SUBSCRIPTION PAYMENTS EASIER

In the past, you had to keep track of payment deadlines and make sure that the payments  had been done.

However, as your business grows, you are likely to forget or miss some of these deadlines as the number of contracts and subscriptions increases every day. Not to mention that the deadlines will be for the main contract but also for the options which can be much more numerous and more specific.

Finally, the invoicing schedule is different from that of the payment schedule because some customers may pay in cash, others every 30 days, others every 45 days etc. This means you have a lot of dates to take care of.

With a Saas and subscription management program like Dotsha, this problem does not exist. In fact, Dotsha takes care of managing the lifecycle for you. The solution will notify you and your customers of upcoming deadlines while proactively notifying you in the event of late payments as well. 

SIXTH REASON: TO HAVE REAL TIME STATISTICS OF YOUR SAAS CONTRACTS AND SUBSCRIPTIONS

Our management tool allows you to monitor the health of your business in real time, thanks to an integrated dashboard with indicators that are calculated directly with real invoices and payments

Dotsha gives you thus access to important metrics to be monitored for the evolution of your Saas or your subscription sales without having to re-enter or confirm any information.

dashboard kpis

This is a major advantage when compared to a spreadsheet where entering data is imperative. In fact, with a spreadsheet, calculating the MRR, CHURN rate or ARPU each month will require up to several hours a week in order to be able to hand reliable and up to date indicators to the direction.

Moreover, transmitting these KPIs is much easier with Dotsha. The integrated dashboard can be accessed freely (but controlled by roles and profiles) so you don’t have to export, copy, save or transmit the files to your interlocutors. They can just log in to Dotsha’s dashboard and that’s it. 

illustration solution dotsha

To learn more about dotsha and understand how we can help you, feel free to contact our customer support team and request a demo.

Conclusion

Dotsha has been designed to overcome the recurring problems caused by manual management. You will not only be able to automate your entire invoicing process, you will also be able to propose different offers and have access to real time statistics while being sure that the invoices are compliant with the different regulations and that the data is accurate. 

Thanks to the API directly integrated to our platform, your technical teams will be able to use the data from Dotsha, in other applications used by your company, such as a CRM, an accounting or an analytical application for example. 

An application like Dotsha can help you become more effective in order to maintain your competitive advantage for years to come. To learn more about Dotsha and understand how we can help you, do not hesitate to contact our customer support team and request  a demo.

photo auteur emmanuel pasquet

EMMANUEL PASQUET

Approx. reading : about 5 min

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