How Cleanshelf helps FP&A teams assess software costs, saving time, uncover valuing and improving budget software costs during the Q4 crunch.

For finance teams, October’s entrance means mounting planning, budgeting, forecasting and cash management work. Departments everywhere are stressed. Critical data inputs are hard to find, not least when it comes to assessing software costs. This affects forecasts and stresses the planning effort.

Bain & Company captured the challenges within corporate finance departments in a recent report where, not surprisingly, they found finance leaders struggled with the competing priorities to save money, build efficiencies and help their businesses make more fact-based and effective decisions. Data challenges just compound the problems.

For successful plans, finance employees must collect information from disparate sources and teams. They need departmental heads clear on their plans and priorities with respect to headcount, capital investment and operating initiatives. They must standardize on data sources and reporting where the source-of-truth is not always clear.

The forecasting and predictive challenges for FP&A teams are significant. But, good news: assessing software spend for reporting and planning purposes doesn’t have to be one.

Planning software spend with Cleanshelf

Much of the software used in the enterprise is designed to boost employee productivity. Therefore, two thirds of SaaS vendors price their services by number of user licenses. To plan future spend, FP&A teams need to know the number of existing licenses, projected growth in headcount and license pricing.

The other major use of software is to provide enabling infrastructure services, like application engines, messaging systems, and monitoring tools. The providers of these tools price their offerings by the amount of workload their software does. Planning your infrastructure and hosting needs starts then by knowing what tools you’re using, their exact pricing model, and your current usage levels.

Unfortunately, data inputs to make forecasts for these models are often more challenging to find than finance teams expect. And they simply don’t have the year-end bandwidth to track this down.

With Cleanshelf however, customers can quickly and easily capture insight into the number and type of services, usage levels, and spend – by month and department. This insight means a truer foundation in the budget setting process and makes planning a simple calculation. If companies are planning for headcount growth, or intend to scale operations, they can’t just use this year’s numbers and hope spend will stay the same. Reviewing SaaS spend trends at the employee or departmental level is critical for realistic forecasting.

Finance staff have the unenviable job of having to be predictive in highly unpredictable environments. But with Cleanshelf, clarity starts to become the new norm.

As SaaS spend reporting and forecasting quality improves, finance teams also gain immediate insight into usage patterns, license allocations and utilization. Moving from simply reporting on the data, to enhanced decision making, cost-savings and productivity. 

And, should cash-flow planning be a critical part of the end of year planning effort, Cleanshelf’s ability to provide a simple, dashboard view of upcoming payments for widely deployed enterprise applications like Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce, Marketo or NetSuite, helps better manage cash.

Software has become one of the biggest line items on the corporate P&L. Companies are unconsciously watching spend and app usage explode – experiencing first-hand what Marc Andreessen meant when he said, “software is eating the world.”

It’s time to feel confident in what you’re reporting and planning.

If you’re a prospective or current customer interested in entering 2018 with certainty and confidence around your SaaS application budgeting, reporting and planning, contact us today.

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About Cleanshelf

Cleanshelf is the leading enterprise SaaS management platform focused on tracking, controlling, and benchmarking SaaS applications. Their SOC 2-compliant and AI-powered technology helps companies save up to 30% on their SaaS spending by automatically identifying unmanaged contracts, duplicate licenses, and wasted cloud software subscriptions. Based in San Francisco, Cleanshelf provides an enterprise-grade solution to over a hundred clients, including Hilton, Looker, and CoStar Group.

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