Small Business Finance Blog

Want to gain full control over your firm’s finances but aren’t sure where to start? You’re not alone and you’ve come to the right place. Read on and reach out if we can lend a hand.

Dave Robinson

Driven Insights founder, writes about informing business decisions and gaining and competitive advantage through financial management.
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Recent Posts

Mar 01, 2023

How to Calculate CAC (the Right Way) | SaaS Metrics Playbook

For a SaaS business, knowing exactly when and how much to invest in growth is critical to success. Overspending in areas like sales and marketing will cause a SaaS firm to burn through cash too quickly. While it’s tempting to pile on sales reps in...

Feb 15, 2023

How to Use the Rule of 40 | SaaS Metrics Playbook

Every SaaS founder wants to maximize their company’s value—a goal that requires high performance in two key areas: growth and profitability. In fact, the more you can demonstrate a combination of revenue growth and operational efficiency, the better...

Jan 10, 2023

How Much Do Part-Time CFO Services Cost In 2023?

Are you frustrated with the state of your firm's finances? You're not alone. That happens to a lot of small business and nonprofit leaders.

Dec 05, 2022

When & How to Use SaaS Magic Number | SaaS Metrics Playbook

One of the most critical decisions a SaaS founder or CEO must make is when to invest in scaling the business. When the timing is right, a strategic investment in sales and marketing will fuel exponential revenue growth. But, when the timing is off,...

Nov 25, 2022

Debt vs. Equity: Selecting the Right Type of SaaS Capital

Two of the primary forms of SaaS capital—debt and equity financing—are often defined by their drawbacks. Debt financing, as the name implies, requires taking on a loan and repaying principal with interest. Equity financing avoids the need for...

Oct 19, 2022

3 Ways to Calculate Churn (and Why) | SaaS Metrics Playbook

As a SaaS founder, CEO, or key stakeholder, you need a clear picture of the day-to-day health of your business. In theory, SaaS metrics can satisfy this need with basic formulas for calculating a variety of performance data. In practice, however,...

Sep 07, 2022

Bookings: The Easiest SaaS KPI to Get Right (and Wrong) | SaaS Metrics Playbook

Picture this: you walk into your monthly board meeting, exchange hellos, and then you get hit with this question — “what did we book last month?”

Both your CEO and Head of Sales each give different answers, and it becomes clear to your board and...

Aug 09, 2022

How to Build a SaaS Finance/Accounting Team by Growth Stage

Your SaaS business is poised for rapid growth. As you scale, solid financials are the key to growing efficiently and maximizing valuation—but your finance department is already getting stretched thin. You’ll need more resources, more expertise, and...

Jul 07, 2022

How to Act on Your LTV:CAC Ratio | SaaS Metrics Playbook

The financial priorities of your SaaS business will change as you move through each growth stage. In the initial phases, you’ll likely be working toward product/market fit, with a strong focus on bringing in customers, regardless of the acquisition...

Jun 12, 2022

SaaSOptics vs NetSuite: Who’s Best for Subscription Billing?

Your SaaS business is gaining traction and you’re outgrowing the basic accounting software that’s gotten you this far. With recurring and non-recurring revenue streams, varying contract terms, and higher volume, revenue recognition has become a real...

Apr 28, 2022

SaaS Metrics Glossary: Align Your Team | SAAS METRICS PLAYBOOK

SaaS metrics are more than cookie-cutter formulas for tracking high-level KPIs. They are dynamic growth tools that should inform the decisions your leadership team, management, and board make on a routine basis. Used well, they highlight trends,...

Apr 20, 2022

Netsuite vs. Intacct: Which is Better for SaaS Accounting?

For early stage SaaS companies, simple, easy-to-use accounting software makes sense. Many startups combine an accounting platform like QuickBooks Online with a subscription billing tool like SaaSOptics. This can be an effective solution—up to a...

Apr 14, 2022

The Right Way to Calculate & Use ARR | SaaS Metrics Playbook

When it comes to key SaaS metrics, Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) is the one every stakeholder has their eyes on. When a SaaS company is experiencing ARR growth, it’s a signal to founders, CEOs, investors, and others that the business is building...

Apr 07, 2022

Outsourced CFO vs. In-House: What’s Best for Your SaaS Firm?

As your SaaS business grows, your finance and accounting capabilities are being stretched thin. Frequent errors, omissions, and inconsistencies point to the need for more experienced SaaS financial leadership, and that means adding or replacing a...

Mar 31, 2022

Why Your SaaS Dashboard KPIs Need to Evolve (SaaS Reporting for Each Stage of Growth)

One of the most powerful ways to monitor the operational health of your SaaS business is through SaaS dashboards. Dashboards bring together your most important SaaS KPIs and present them in a clear and concise way that allows for data-driven...

Mar 24, 2022

SaaS Subscription Management: Choosing the Right Platform

Identifying the right SaaS subscription management platform is one of the most important decisions a growth-minded SaaS firm will make. There are plenty of options to consider, from entry-level subscription billing software to full-scale ERP...

Mar 17, 2022

ARR vs. EBITDA: Which is the Best SaaS Valuation Method?

Valuing SaaS companies is complicated. Every business is unique, every deal is nuanced, and markets are constantly evolving. With so many factors involved, it’s no wonder that buyers, investors, and sellers often arrive at very different numbers....

Mar 03, 2022

Essential SaaS CFO Duties for Each Stage of Growth

Your SaaS business is growing, and each stage brings new finance and accounting (F&A) challenges. As your focus shifts from achieving product/market fit, to building a repeatable sales process, to scaling the business, F&A roles and responsibilities...

Feb 24, 2022

Manage SaaS Growth Fears with Cash Flow Forecast & Burn Rate

The CEO of a high-growth SaaS company has plenty of things to worry about on a daily basis. One of their biggest anxieties, however, can simply be the fear of running out of money. One successful client SaaS CEO recently characterized that sense of...

Feb 03, 2022

Does Your Firm Need a SaaS Accountant, Controller, or CFO?

As your SaaS firm evolves from an early stage startup and reaches key milestones, your finance and accounting inevitably need to change. Leveling up to a new stage of SaaS growth can be the right time to assess those needs – whether you’ve just...

Jan 13, 2022

When Are Fractional CFO Services Right for a SaaS Business?

Your SaaS business is going from strength to strength. You’re bringing in more customers, building your ARR (annual recurring revenue), and positioning your firm to tackle the next stage of growth. 

Jan 06, 2022

The Average CFO Salary (2022) + 27 Key CFO Interview Questions

What's the average Chief Financial Officer (CFO) salary in the United States in 2022? Well, that depends on the size of your business and whether your business is located in Keya Paha, Nebraska (lowest salary) or San Francisco, California (highest...

Dec 01, 2021

33 SaaS CFO Interview Questions (and Answers to Look For)

Your SaaS firm is growing, and it’s time to hire a new CFO or to explore outsourced CFO services. In both cases, generic CFO interview questions just won’t cut it. To find financial leadership that’s as unique as your SaaS business, you'll need to...

Nov 04, 2021

Private Equity vs. Venture Capital: Which is Best for Your SaaS Firm?


Venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) are among the most common sources of SaaS equity funding, but which is the right choice for your company? Understanding the unique advantages and drawbacks of each is a great place to start. While PE...

Oct 28, 2021

SaaS Accounting & SaaS Finance: Twin Engines for SaaS Growth

Optimizing your accounting practices for the SaaS space is critical to running a healthy SaaS business, but it’s not enough to transform it into a market leader. For that, SaaS finance expertise is essential. In this article, you'll learn how...

Sep 07, 2021

Financial Metrics for SaaS Companies During the Product/Market Fit Phase

Why do startups flop? In 2011, the team at Startup Genome found a common thread. A survey of 3,200 startups showed that, of the companies which crumbled, 70% of them tried to scale too quickly.

Aug 16, 2021

Controller vs CFO: Which Does My Business Need?

What is the difference between a controller and a CFO? Which does my business need? Do we need both?

Jul 06, 2021

7 Essential Features Your Finance Dashboard Must Have

When you're on a road trip, how often do you check the gauges on your car’s dashboard? Routinely, if you're like most people. Those indicators tell you important information like where you are in your journey, how you’re tracking relative to...

Jun 05, 2021

A Remote Culture Built Around Your Experience

Working remote, but not working alone

Apr 05, 2021

A Guide to Small Business Funding Sources for Growth

The Best Financing Option May Surprise You

Mar 09, 2021

Cash Accounting vs. Accrual Accounting: Which is Right For Your Firm?

If you are a new business owner, you have undoubtedly already tackled many decisions regarding your company operations. However, one of the most impactful choices to make is whether you should use the cash or accrual accounting method. Since this...

Dec 01, 2020

Pro Forma Financial Statements: Model Worst Case to Enable the Best

No one likes to imagine the worst-case scenario. But if you are planning a new product or service in your business, forecasting failure is necessary to demonstrate your firm can withstand a slower than projected start or an unanticipated hiccup....

Oct 01, 2020

Why Excel SaaS Financial Models Stink and What to do About it

Spreadsheet SaaS financial models stink, whether built in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. There, we've said it.

That doesn't mean that spreadsheet models don't provide some value in the very beginning stages of a SaaS company or that the talented...

Aug 06, 2020

Do I Need Interim CFO Services or Should I Tough it Out?

Small businesses and non-profits may benefit from interim CFO services in a variety of circumstances. Your current CFO may be absent for what is expected to be a few weeks to a few months due to illness or maternity leave. Or you may need someone to...

Jul 06, 2020

More Productive Board Meetings Start with this Board Packet

How constructive was your last board meeting? Can you name at least 2 or 3 specific insights or outcomes that will add meaningful value to your enterprise? You're not alone if you view these quarterly meetings as a necessary evil, standing in the...

Jun 08, 2020

CFO Consulting Services Breakdown: Top 10 Pros & Cons

Most CFO consulting services include a one-time engagement. The consultant comes in and looks at a snapshot of your business in its current state.

May 20, 2020

What's included in Virtual CFO Services? Why is it a growing trend?

Now more than ever, startups and corporates are looking for ways to run lean. There is pressure to make cuts to staff and outsource when possible, and this has led to a trend of hiring virtual CFO services over the more traditional in-house...

Apr 13, 2020

7 Steps to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your SaaS Metrics Software

SaaS metrics software - also known as subscription billing management software or recurring billing software - should be one of the most powerful weapons in a SaaS CEO's arsenal. The complexities of managing subscriptions are real and the costs of...

Mar 16, 2020

5 Most Popular CFO Advisory Service Insights & Deliverables

Let's face it, the vast majority of small business CEOs and nonprofit executive directors are flying blind when it comes to having sound, data driven insights upon which they can base their decisions. For a variety of reasons, the finance functions...

Dec 09, 2019

9 Ways Your Current Priorities are Pouring Money Down the Drain

You're in good company if you're being pulled in countless directions as you work to grow your firm. Keeping all those balls in the air is tricky and tiring. Prioritization is a constant battle.

Oct 16, 2019

5 Steps to Prepare Your Business Plan for Next Year

Large firms have the finance staff and business intelligence tools to inform their decision making and provide a competitive edge. Here are 5 simple, cost-effective steps to level the playing field for your small business, for 2018 and beyond.

Sep 11, 2019

What To Expect From Shared CFO Services

Your small business has reached the point where you're considering shared CFO services - otherwise known as fractional, part-time or contract CFO services. The decision to bring in the right financial leadership is a milestone unto itself as many...

Jul 17, 2019

How Big Does My Company Need To Be To Contract CFO Services?

Before selecting an outsourced CFO service, companies must weigh the pros and cons. How long does it take for the business to get a positive ROI? How big does the company need to be to experience all the great benefits that a contract CFO service...

May 01, 2019

How CFO Services Solve Financial Challenges For Nonprofit Organizations

Raise your hand if you're a nonprofit executive director (or you serve on a nonprofit board) and have a long list of mission-advancing ideas but scarce resources to make them a reality. Keep it in the air if your board has limited financial...

Apr 03, 2019

Mud Season is the Perfect Time to Build Profits. Really.

Last weekend, I took my retriever, Fletch, for a run in the woods and found myself post-holing through the snow. With every stride, I sank ankle deep into the soft snow, slowing me to a crawl as the mud below tried to suck the shoes from my feet....

Mar 01, 2019

How Integrated Bookkeeper, CFO and Controller Services Deliver Critical Financial Insights

Have you ever stopped to wonder if the staff you have running your firm's finance function is helping or hurting? You might be surprised to learn that the model used to manage accounting in most small businesses is flawed. It’s important to...

Feb 04, 2019

5 Greatest Benefits of Outsourced CFO Business Advisory Services

Sometimes pushing your business into growth mode feels like being stuck in the mud. You think you're gaining traction but suddenly you find yourself sliding right back into the muck.

Nov 08, 2018

7 Ways to Use Fractional CFO Services to Your Advantage

Is cash tight? Are you frustrated with the state of your organization's finances? Do you need confidence that you're tracking the right metrics?

Sep 04, 2018

CFO Services For Startups Under Financial Stress

Much has been written (and spoken) about navigating the winding road to startup success. So much so that it’s hard to know which resources to trust and when each should be tapped. It’s also not trivial to find resources that truly align with your...

Aug 16, 2018

When Temporary CFO Services Might Not Be Right For You

Sooner or later, circumstances lead many small business owners to consider engaging a temporary CFO. When you find yourself in that mode, you might wonder, is now the right time to engage a CFO? What is the opportunity cost of waiting to hire one?...

Jun 08, 2018

3 Ways to Use Financial Reporting Services to Create a More Profitable Business

How long has it been since you last went on a road trip, or even to a new destination, and didn’t have an app on your phone (eg: Google Maps)  to guide you, step-by-step, towards your goal? Five years? A decade? Maybe even longer. GPS and map apps...

May 10, 2018

What Is A CFO Service? How To Know if You Need One

One of the top issues keeping your business from growing the way you would like is its financial management. That is, you just can't get the numbers together to tell you where your biggest risks and opportunities are going forward, let alone the...

Apr 05, 2018

5 Crucial Questions To Ask About CFO Professional Services

Are you considering CFO professional services? It's a fantastic option for some small businesses and nonprofits, but don't make the mistake of thinking every CFO services company is a good match for you.

Oct 30, 2017

8 Must-Have Metrics for Your Finance Dashboard

We were invited by the GoDaddy Garage blog to write a guest article for small business owners detailing what comprises a great finance dashboard. Click here to read it now.

Oct 19, 2017

Sources of Competitive Advantage: Start With Your Finance Department

The term “competitive advantage” might trigger thoughts of a company with a defensible market position, best product, lowest price (and cost), superior customer service or consistent client outcomes. But the truth is, there are many sources of...

Oct 18, 2017

Bookkeeping Management 101: Is Your Bookkeeper Happy?

Where to start when you've committed to take control of your firm's financial management? A small business owner could look to the current reporting, reevaluate the accounting technology or even thumb through the accounting manual. But what about...

Oct 12, 2017

November Small Business Tax Deadlines: Why to be Thankful

As we move further into the fourth quarter, small business owners everywhere begin to breathe a sigh of relief as their most pressing tax deadlines fade into the distance.

Oct 06, 2017

How to Find a CPA: 4 Questions to Navigate to the Right One

Your CPA (certified public accountant) is a crucial part of your finance team. They must turn a year’s worth of accounting entries into final yearend financial statements that ultimately lead to the smallest possible tax liability.

It seems as...

Sep 20, 2017

October Small Business Tax Deadlines: They Don't Have to Be Scary

Halloween isn’t the only frightening event in October; there are several October small business tax deadlines looming ahead. Here’s the list of important due dates next month.

Aug 14, 2017

September Small Business Tax Deadlines

Summer may be drawing to a close, but the IRS turns up the heat in September with several important tax deadlines for businesses. Mark these dates on your accounting calendar so you have time to get the necessary information to your accountant and...

Aug 09, 2017

How to Find a Good Bookkeeper: Outsourced Bookkeeping for Rural Firms

Nearly all small businesses struggle with hiring experienced staff at one time or another. The most recent NFIB Small Business Problems and Priorities Report ranks “locating qualified employees” as one of the top 10 struggles of small businesses....

Aug 07, 2017

3 Tips for Creating Cash Flow Projections


Does your company experience ebbs in revenue at times? Or periods of particularly heavy costs? Is growth constraining your cash position? Creating cash flow projections will help ensure you'll always have adequate cash to pay the critical bills,...

Aug 01, 2017

Building Business Value

There are many ways to measure the effectiveness of your firm’s finance function. For starters, there’s the accuracy, frequency, timeliness and utility of the reports your finance team produces. Are those reports digestible at a glance? And don’t...

Jul 19, 2017

Why Budgeting is Important for Business: 3 Reasons You Need One


Ask any small business owner what a budget is and they will likely respond with something like this: a financial plan for a firm's future that projects revenue and expenses. Ask them if they have one, however, and you may get a variety of excuses...

Jul 13, 2017

Why Do A Bank Reconciliation: 5 Reasons to Reconcile Monthly

First things first, for those new to reconcilation, to reconcile a bank account means to identify and explain the differences between the entries in your accounting system and the corresponding transactions listed on your bank or credit card...

Jul 12, 2017

August Small Business Tax Deadlines

August is right around the corner and although there isn’t much heat in the way of upcoming tax deadlines, there are a few target dates that may apply to your business.

Jul 11, 2017

How to Find Gross Profit Percentage: Careful it's Often Misleading

As a business owner, you know that your gross profit is an important figure, to you and to potential (or existing) lenders, investors and acquirers. For starters, your pricing strategy, ability to benchmark your performance and even you firm's value...

Jun 28, 2017

Why You Need a Financial Close Checklist

As a refresher, a financial close is the process of entering all of your expense and revenue transactions from the most recent period, reconciling your bank and credit card accounts and a handful of others steps that tie up loose ends to set the...

Jun 14, 2017

July Small Business Tax Deadlines

The accounting world is ruled by deadlines and missing them can prove costly to your business. To help you avoid any such repercussions, we like to use our weekly tips to remind you of the most essential upcoming accounting deadlines. The summer...

Jun 08, 2017

A Guide to Internal Controls for Small Business

Are you tired of inaccurate financial reports? Do you lay awake at night wondering if someone might be exploiting your systems for personal gain? Are you confident your data is secure?

Jun 07, 2017

Internal Controls for Small Business: An Introduction

Tight financial controls are a must for every small business and they don’t need to be overly complex or cumbersome to establish and maintain. To get started, here are three essential areas your internal controls must address, along with examples of...
Jun 02, 2017

Small Business Focus: The Key to Drive Profits

In a former career, I analyzed hundreds of small business acquisition opportunities through the lens of a private equity investor. If there's one thing I learned from that experience, it's that the firms with the highest valuations, biggest profits...

May 30, 2017

How to Get a Business Loan

Need cash to expand your business? Consider these steps to secure a business loan:

May 17, 2017

Why Financial Reports for Small Business Should be Game Changing

The minute the bookkeeper hands you the latest financial reports, you check the top and bottom lines. But once you have the big picture, you’re ready to dig into the details. All too often, the out-of-the-box income statement, balance sheet and cash...

May 10, 2017

Top 5 MSP Bookkeeping Challenges with Subscription Billing

As the reality of cloud-based business technology catches up to the hype, MSPs (Managed Service Providers) face fundamental changes in their revenue models. Project-based billing and margins on hardware sales are being replaced by recurring monthly...
May 08, 2017

Get Tighter Control of Your Business with Outsourced Bookkeeping

As a business owner, it’s natural to be hesitant to hand over the reins of your accounting processes and financial reporting to an outsourced bookkeeping firm. You trust your in-house bookkeeper to file the taxes, get the bills out on time and do a...

Feb 28, 2017

9 Advantages of an Outsourced Finance Department


If you receive accurate, insightful financial and operating reports each month -- without taking time away from where you need to be adding value -- and that information fuels the decisions that drive your business month after month, then there’s...

Jan 26, 2017

10 Steps to Better Financial Insights From Your Finance Function

As operators, we know how many balls a small business owner needs to keep in the air. Days are spent on sales, operations and the crisis of the day, leaving nights and weekends for administrative tasks such as preparing the reporting required for...

Dec 12, 2016

Outsourced Bookkeeping: Your New Best Resource

Sure, every small business could use a new sales person who can “make it rain,” but this year, we recommend you look to another – less obvious – position to fill the most important gap on your team (or that of your client or portfolio company). Most...

Nov 17, 2016

5 Questions Every Owner Should Ask Their Financial Controller

A small business owner places a great deal of faith and responsibility on their financial controller. If you don’t yet have a financial controller, read on to ensure you or other members of you team are filling this critical need. Much of your...

Oct 31, 2016

9 Reasons to Entertain an Accounting Career

There are so many reasons why anyone would want to consider an accounting career. This article addresses the most compelling motivations below, but first, we thought it was important to clearly define what an accountant is and describe exactly what...

Sep 30, 2016

Small Business Insights: What your Reporting Should Reveal about Your Business

Are you thirsting for more business information?

You know that feeling when you’re so thirsty that you just can’t stand it anymore? Sweat is beading on your brow, you’re parched and all you can think about is a pint of cold water (or beer!). 

Aug 31, 2016

2 SaaS Metrics Every Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Firm Must Master

Let’s face it: As the CEO or leader of a growing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) firm, you have your hands full. Whether you’re busy onboarding new customers, retaining existing customers, hiring to meet anticipated demand, managing your board or...

May 31, 2016

3 Questions to Ask a Bookkeeper

As strange as it may sound, many small business owners are reluctant to engage with their bookkeeper as often as they should. Most report that they don’t feel qualified to proactively manage someone in finance, which can be intimidating to those...

Apr 30, 2016

How to Find Gross Profit Percentage: 9 Ways Yours is Misleading You

Gross profit is gross profit, right? The math is simple enough. Revenue less the cost of goods yields your gross profit. Divide that figure by your total revenue for the same period and you have your figure. Unfortunately there's more to it than...

Mar 31, 2016

5 Step Guide to Get a Business Loan

So you have your next great growth idea in hand.  The catch is you need cash to implement it.  Before dusting off your suit and marching off to the bank, consider these five critical elements to get a business loan that best meets your specific...

Feb 23, 2016

4 Steps to Useful Cash Flow Projections

Profits don’t pay bills, cash does. Just because a firm is profitable doesn’t mean it won’t run out of cash. Cash flow projections may be the single most important business planning activity you perform, in good times or bad. Whether you are...

Jan 26, 2016

Balance Sheet vs Income Statement: Where to Seek Key Insights

Many small business owners aren't certain where to look for key insights. Balance sheet vs income statement? After two articles dedicated to balance sheets - on why and how to use your firm's balance sheet - it's time to turn our attention to the...

Dec 17, 2015

3 Ways to Use and Understand a Small Business Balance Sheet

You’re in good company if you aren’t comfortable reading a balance sheet. So create some separation from your competitors by following these 3 ways to understand and begin using your small business balance sheet.

Nov 30, 2015

Why Use a Balance Sheet: 3 Reasons to Start Today

Lots can be found online about how to read a balance sheet. In fact, our next blog article, written with the small business owner in mind, will cover how to read and use yours in a few simple steps. But what’s less clear is why a small business...

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