What May You Want to Include on a SaaS CFO Dashboard

For a SaaS (Software as a Service) CFO dashboard, focusing on financial metrics that provide insights into the company's performance, growth potential, and financial health is crucial. Here are some key elements to include:


Relevant Templates:

I am going to build a few general SaaS dashboard templates and I'm thinking about having multiple types. Enterprise SaaS would be a bit different than a B2C SaaS for example. Also, one or multiple pricing tiers may require different dashboard layouts. I think the more general I can be, the more useful the dashboard will be. Here are some things I'm thinking about including:

They key here is that the dashboard should immediately highlight the most important information and then go down from there with less important KPIs.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR): These metrics are fundamental to understanding the company's steady-state revenue. They help in tracking the monthly and yearly predictable revenue generated by subscribers. The inputs would not likely be pulling from raw customer data, but probably based on an input of customer count and average MRR / customer. Maybe a helper calculation is needed to understand the average MRR / customer. Although, it may make sense to have these high level figures entered in a database per month. Something like a pie chart showing total MRR from various customer segments or pricing tiers is going to be helpful.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): This measures the total cost of acquiring a new customer, including marketing and sales expenses. It's crucial for evaluating the efficiency of the company's investment in attracting new customers. Here the inputs would be total customers acquired over a given period and total sales and marketing spend over the same period. Here I think you may have a database of data per month that has the user enter the total spend / new customers.

Lifetime Value (LTV): This estimates the total revenue a company can expect from a single customer account throughout their business relationship. Comparing LTV to CAC provides insights into the profitability of acquiring new customers. For this, I think there is no way to easily calculate or input besides having a prebuilt template that allows the user to enter their historical data. Luckily, I already have a SaaS template for entering historical LTV and customer cohort framework built out so I can easily integrate it into a dashboard. That also has churn data.

LTV to CAC Ratio: An essential metric for understanding the return on investment in marketing and sales. A higher ratio indicates a more efficient and profitable business model. This is a pretty easily calculation once the two data points are calculated.

Churn Rate: The percentage of customers who cancel or do not renew their subscriptions. A low churn rate is critical for long-term success in a SaaS business model.

Gross Margin: This measures the difference between revenue and COGS (Cost of Goods Sold), expressed as a percentage of revenue. It highlights the profitability of the company's core business activities.

Burn Rate and Runway: These metrics indicate the rate at which the company is spending its cash reserves and how long it can operate before needing additional financing. To do this, there is going to have to be some level of an estimated operating cost model or a place to enter data from a full operating model.

Cash Flow: Understanding the inflows and outflows of cash is crucial for managing operations and making strategic decisions.

EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization): This provides insights into the company's operational profitability by focusing on the earnings from core business activities.

Capital Efficiency and ROI: Measures how effectively the company is using its capital to generate revenue and return on investments.

Customer Segmentation Revenue: Tracking revenue by customer segment (e.g., by industry, company size, or geography) can provide insights into which segments are the most lucrative or growing the fastest. This would be fairly tricky to do on a broad basis as different SaaS companies will have different segments.

Expansion Revenue: This metric tracks additional revenue generated from existing customers through upsells, cross-sells, and add-ons. It's a key growth lever for SaaS companies.

Debt to Equity Ratio: Understanding the company's leverage and financial structure is vital for assessing financial health and risk.

Operational Efficiency Metrics: Such as sales efficiency, productivity ratios, and cost management indicators, to optimize operations and improve profitability.

Forecast vs. Actuals: Comparing forecasted financials with actual figures helps in assessing the accuracy of financial planning and the need for adjustments.

Incorporating these metrics into a CFO dashboard provides a comprehensive view of the company's financial performance, enabling informed decision-making and strategic planning. Tailoring the dashboard to highlight the most relevant metrics for the specific business model and industry is also crucial for maximizing its utility.