It was straightforward to do revenue calculations when we had 5 customers.
Growing companies oftentimes build manual processes by utilizing Microsoft Excel or Google sheets spreadsheets because it is the easiest, most affordable process to implement at the time.
Prior to my time at Ordway, and before I could invest in a billing and revenue automation platform, I built a series of Excel-based templates to help me and my team keep track of a growing customer-base.
Download the Recurring Revenue Schedule Template
Here is the first in a series of templates I will share with my fellow finance and operations professionals in the SMB market. You can download the Ordway Recurring Revenue Schedule template here.
Based on my experience, this type of approach works up until you have approximately 20-30 customers depending on the complexity of your business, how your sales team generates custom deals with custom terms, and if you have the time and patience to deal with updating error-prone spreadsheets for the most critical line on your financial statements – revenue.
Be Forewarned… You Will Outgrow the Template
For one of our Ordway customers – Raffa Aspire – during the beginning of their growth phase their account managers ended up having to spend about 10-15% of their time on accounting tasks each month. This didn’t even account for the rest of the team’s contributions to closing the books. They quickly outgrew their spreadsheet-based process.
Ultimately, billing and revenue automation software or a spreadsheet-based recurring revenue schedule template needs to make our lives as finance and operations professionals easier.
The template I’m sharing today made my life much easier when it fit the stage my company was in. At a certain point, I outgrew my own template. That was an amazing day because I knew it meant the company was growing fast enough that we needed to bring in something to help with pricing flexibility, invoice delivery and payment collection automation, and improved revenue recognition accuracy.