Cloud-Based Accounting Systems

Evaluating cloud-based accounting systems? Start with this smart take from Bessemer Venture Partners: “10 Laws of Cloud Computing”


Law No. 1: Drink Your Own Champagne
Drink it, live it, love the cloud. Use your own product, and that of your customers, partners, and peers. To understand the cloud revolution, you have to be a part of it–the issues, challenges, and opportunities of cloud deployments, starting with your own.

Law No. 2: Build for the Doer
Employees are now powerful customers themselves, and not just through their managers. We’re witnessing the “Consumerization of Software,” so focus on ease of use for SaaS and “developer citizenry” for PaaS and IaaS.

Law No. 3: Death of the Suite: Long Live Best-of-Breed and Even Best-of-Feature
For the last two decades, major software vendors like SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Microsoft, JDA, and others have pushed the concept of an “integrated” software suite. With cloud-based accounting systems, the pendulum is swinging back forcefully in favor of best-of-breed applications.

Law No. 4: Grow or Die
The growth rate is a big driver of valuation multiples in both private and public markets. Investors, employees, and partners aren't buying into your current company as much as they are investing in the future version of your business.

Law No. 5: Play Moneyball with the Five C’s
After surveying hundreds of leading public and private cloud computing companies, we’ve found five key “C” metrics that rise above the others as essential indicators of top performance: CMRR, cash flow, CAC, CLTV, and churn.

Law No. 6: Build the Revenue Engine
Hyper-growth is the goal of most aggressive cloud CEOs, but how do you know if your sales and marketing investments are ultimately profitable? The answer lies in measuring your customer acquisition costs and the CAC payback period. Intacct often looks at these metrics to determine ways to improve the business.

Law No. 7: Online Sales/Marketing: A Core Competency
In a cloud business, all of your sales prospects are, by definition, online. Savvy online sales and marketing is a core competence of every successful cloud business (sometimes the only one).

Law No. 8: The Most Important Part of SaaS
The only acceptable reason to lose a customer is death (bankruptcy) or marriage (acquisition). Every cloud company is in the service business, so your customer service can be the difference between failure (churn) and huge success via high retention and upsells. Intacct has a strong track record of customer satisfaction and loyalty, with very low levels of churn.

Law No. 9: Culture is Key
In its rich history backing hundreds of companies, Bessemer has found that the one single determinant of success is the quality of the team and how well they work together. This not only applies at the early stages, when we first work with a founding team, but also to the extended team they hire as the company grows.

Law No. 10: Cash is (Still) King
Understanding the cash flows of your business—including gross and net burn rate—is critical to survival in the early days and critical to your long-term dominance. Many promising cloud startups stepped on the gas too early and were wiped out as a result.

Intacct lives by these 10 Laws of Cloud Computing. To learn more about Intacct, contact us today.

We reviewed the top cloud-based financial management software and chose Intacct over its competitors because it was better architected to support our complex revenue management requirements
Victoria Bourne
SVP of Finance and Administration
CrowdStar