SaaS, short for software as a service is basically an element of cloud computing. It encompasses businesses of all types from various different industries. SaaS businesses are changing the way organizations work. The introduction of new work norms such as remote or hybrid working models makes SaaS businesses appealing as they can offer niche services such as an instant messaging platform, which can be accessed through applications or online browsers on any device. Other types of SaaS businesses include video & music streaming platforms, or even SaaS marketing automation platforms. In this post, we will explore the benefits of NetSuite ERP for SaaS businesses.

What is a SaaS Company?

As previously mentioned, SaaS businesses are one element of cloud computing. It offers a service in the form of cloud-based software that maintains servers, databases and is accessible through web browsers from any device, including mobile devices, desktops, etc. SaaS businesses typically are involved in the creation and development process while also hosting and updating the product internally. SaaS businesses are unique in the methods they are able to use to distribute their products, there is unlimited access to the audiences they are able to reach and scale. Businesses that operate in this industry also use a subscription-based business model that is normally set monthly or annually.

Challenges for Saas Businesses 

Saas Businesses operate in all types of industries. From entertainment, communication, healthcare, and so on. Despise these businesses having an all-around system that operates their key business functions such as orders, subscriptions, HR,  and customer data records, there is a lack of a complete stand-alone solution. This means that SaaS businesses must resort to a second system that manages accounting and financial management. Unfortunately, many SaaS businesses must opt for a disconnected system that is standalone and isn't capable of integrations.

There is a demand for SaaS-specific software that will integrate the main product to a supporting platform that can manage financials and implement automation across different locations. SaaS providers must be flexible and have the capacity to cover the finances across different regions and currencies. A scalable solution that supports growth strategy is crucial for businesses looking to expand operations.

Why Saas Businesses Benefit from NetSuite, an Integrated Solution

SaaS businesses provide services that often already have their core business functions taken care of. This includes the management of the signup process, providing access to server and software tools, customer usage tracking, customer information database, and more. However, there are a few reasons why these businesses need additional support through the integration of NetSuite ERP.

SaaS businesses typically operate globally, as there does not have a tangible product and they are able to operate from anywhere as it is a service based on the cloud. Therefore, the businesses need to cater to all those users that are based in different regions and countries. This means billing must be offered in different currencies. Billing is also subscription-based and oftentimes based on usage. This is another reason where NetSuite ERP integration is beneficial. Based on customer usage data the ERP system may take on tasks such as invoicing and setting up recurring payments. Other areas where NetSuite ERP integration would support are automated financial consolidation, automated billing with tracking capabilities (such as price, customers, software products). A fully integrated solution that is available to display data in real-time and on the go, along with the ability to scale is crucial for SaaS businesses.

NetSuite ERP Features for SaaS Businesses

1. Integrations

The integration abilities of NetSuite are probably one of the most important features that it can offer to SaaS businesses. As mentioned, SaaS businesses are capable to offer most of the core business functions within their internal system. Where they fall behind is the integration of the billing, invoicing and all financial matters of the business. NetSuite is highly flexible and can be integrated to work alongside internal customer information databases to take on automated recurring billing and management of global operations that may work with different currencies in different regions.

2. Billing and Invoice Management

NetSuite's billing and invoice management solution offers automation of invoicing and billing tasks. Where business owners may manage entire subscription lifecycles, through modifying subscriptions, prorate billing, consolidating multiple charges on a single invoice, and auto-generate renewals that will improve customer retention and improve customer service. With a billing schedule feature, businesses may schedule for future, real-time, and back-dated invoices. Automate billing at the end of free trials or rate increases for when discounts expire. When the billing process is automated, invoicing becomes more accurate which in return, accelerates payments and improves cash flow. Consolidated billing creates trust and transparency among customers by stating every charge on an invoice. In addition, discounts drive returning customers and automated renewals. Working alongside accounting functions,  recurring revenue can be automated and managed accurately and remain compliant to standards.

3. NetSuite OneWorld

NetSuite OneWorld can also be an add-in, which can manage operations across multiple locations easily. With this support business owners can eliminate the need to use multiple solutions and integrate NetSuite OneWorld is a specialized module that has global operations, it provides real-time data at all levels to ensure that executives have access to data at any time. Furthermore, NetSuite OneWorld can adjust for different currencies, languages, taxation, and legal compliance at local levels, and handle regional and global business consolidation.

Business as usual is a concept of the past. SaaS businesses are changing the way we operate and communicate within organizations. A software company has more than just its core business processes to take care of, a crucial component is the way that financials are handled. Such as billing & invoicing, and accounting & financials. A SaaS business can have a customer base potentially anywhere in the world which means that a management team would greatly benefit from an integrated solution to make their operations seamless.

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