Armanino Blog

7 Key Considerations for Growing Global SaaS Organizations

by Dave Burlington
April 23, 2015

As you scale and build your SaaS Company there are 7 key areas to optimize in order to ensure stable and long-term growth. It's important to lay out the foundation, game plan and strategy for these key areas prior to gaining momentum with your growth as an expanding global organization.

This article will cover seven key considerations as you structure your optimal strategic plan for growth and expansion as a Global SaaS company.

  1. "Best of Breed" Global & Expandable Cloud Accounting System" – One of the most important considerations for a growing, global SaaS company is to have a "best of breed" cloud accounting system as a foundation to run your business. The benefits of a cloud accounting system include flexibility, ease of use, scalability and a lower total cost of ownership as compared to on premise software. Also, as you grow, you will inherently break out of US boundaries and into global markets to expand market share. It will be extremely important to have a core accounting system that will be able to handle this expansion from a global presence of legal business entities as well as multi-currency requirements and global consolidations of your financials for these separate global entities. Therefore, a key consideration here is to have an accounting system that has a multi-dimensional structure to build the optimal shared chart of accounts and target elements of the business to track and report against these dimensions from a global entity basis.
  2. Real-time KPI SaaS Metric Reporting – Another critical consideration is real-time SaaS KPI metrics reporting to give you complete visibility into your business. It is important to structure the business with target elements, such as customers, items, and locations, in order to easily report your target KPI's metrics such MRR, ARR, CAC, LTCV and Churn to make the right decisions at the right time in driving the strategic goals of your business.
  3. Collaborative Forecast & Budget Planning – Forecasting and budget planning are essential considerations for a growing SaaS company. This is where you will need to be collaborative, remove the "death by spreadsheet" scenarios, and become very nimble with actionable visibility on key forecasting and budget planning data at the click of a mouse. A cloud-based, flexible, intuitive, easy-to-use solution allows a company to achieve this easily.
  4. Stock & Equity Management – As you build value as a company, raise capital funding and incentivize your workforce you will be managing an ever increasing stock cap table and schedule. Automating these processes with best-of-breed cloud solutions and even outsourcing some of the more tedious processes to a trusted partner enables your team to concentrate on more strategic decisions for your growing company.
  5. Corporate & Sales Tax Optimization – As you transact and grow globally, the need to handle and optimize tax considerations will continue to increase as well. It will be important to consider how you approach and transact in both the US and abroad as in VAT to minimize tax impacts and prepare in advance of any potential unknowns. Utilizing cloud-based applications that can easily link and leverage your cloud infrastructure enables you to automate and optimize your sales tax transactions, and also, prepare for any future tax audits.
  6. Audit & Compliance – Another key consideration as you grow your global SaaS business will be the audit and compliance area. This can range from the governance, risk and compliance around your core financial systems to how you transact with partners, customers and vendors. Planning with this in mind minimizes future audit aches and pains.
  7. IPO Readiness – One of the benefits of growing a SaaS company is the eventual liquidity event of going public or being acquired. This is another key area to consider as you move closer to the right spot for your company to be at in terms of valuation and when and if to go public or to sell your company.

As you prepare for global growth and a possible IPO or equity event, it is very important to consider these seven key areas and the possibility of including a strategic partner to guide you through these strategies to optimize your approach and execution.

Discover more strategies for growing global SaaS organizations.

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Dave Burlington - Partner, Consulting - San Francisco CA | Armanino
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