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Excel is not enough

For B2B SaaS finance teams, Excel is not enough. If your company is still using Excel to track your B2B SaaS metrics, then here are five of the top limitations to keep in mind.

For B2B SaaS finance teams, Excel is not enough.

It had to be said.

Finance teams love Excel (and rightfully so!) because it helps them understand all of the data that they need to model their businesses.

But, year after year, the volume and complexity of that data grow exponentially. Excel, no matter how valuable a tool it is, simply can’t keep up anymore.

If you don’t believe us, we get it. We recently sat down for an interview with CircleCl CFO, Chitra Balasubramanian, who helped us understand finance teams’ need to expand their toolsets.

She explained:

It's hard to stay on pace with that without the right tools. - CFO at CircleCI

If your company is still using Excel to track your B2B SaaS metrics, then here are five of the top limitations to keep in mind:

The 5 problems with Excel when managing your SaaS metrics

1. Data is constantly out of date

Chances are your spreadsheet requires a human being to manually enter data weekly or monthly. That means that your information is nearly always out of date!

Your team deserves real-time access to your SaaS metrics so you can make strategic decisions with the most accurate information. In addition, that access should be automatic, so your team can focus less on data entry and more on the things that matter.

2. Difficult to share with investors and cross-functional partners

Imagine receiving a giant spreadsheet held together by complex formulas, and being expected to dig through it to find key insights. Is that really the experience you want to give your partners and investors?

Now, imagine something worse: you send a huge sheet like that to a partner whose accidental keyboard slip breaks the entire thing!

Your company is more likely to find success when the entire leadership team has instant access to your SaaS metrics in a format that is easy to digest (and impossible to break).

3. Excel spreadsheets are error-prone

As we mentioned earlier, it’s remarkably easy to make one tiny mistake in a spreadsheet that renders all the resulting information inaccurate. You certainly don’t want to present inaccurate information to your leadership team or board.

You need and deserve software that is always on the lookout for inconsistencies and can alert you right away when they’re found. On top of that, you deserve a system that doesn’t require manual typing of formulas or cutting and pasting to get the job done.

4. Unable to double click

One of the great things about Excel is that it makes it easy to present basic information like “What was our ARR in January?”

However, unlike a website, Excel makes it more difficult than it needs to be to learn more about that ARR. You should be able to double-click on your ARR to see, for example, how much came from new business versus upsells. Then, you should be able to double-click on that new business number to see which customers gave you that revenue.

5. Every new question requires a different cut of your data

Looking at your SaaS metrics in Excel is likely to bring up strategic questions like, “I wonder how our NDR differs based on the size of the company?”

Sadly, in Excel, getting to your answer requires re-working your entire dataset. To make matters worse, when answering questions is a challenge, most of us just stop asking them.

Your questions are important and thoughtful, and you deserve answers that take no more than a few clicks to uncover.

The solution to the Excel problem

We’re not suggesting you abandon Excel. We’re just saying that you should add to your toolset.

Subscript is a great complement to traditional spreadsheet software.

It displays all the data you’d keep in an Excel sheet in a visually intuitive format and allows double clicks for deeper information, so it only takes a few seconds to get the key insights you need from your numbers.

It also automates many processes that are manual in Excel, minimizing error and reducing the necessary time commitment, so your team can focus on the things that matter.

Ready for a demo? Let us show you around.

Looking for clarity around your SaaS metrics? Subscript can help.