P509 - Why SaaS CFOs need to think vertically and horizontally, with Carrie Dolan, CFO, Tradeshift


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SaaS businesses are ultimately recurring revenue streams, often with significant upfront costs for customer acquisition. Any profit or contribution from an individual customer is only typically generated in the second or third years. In order to be viable they need to have a deep understanding of their business model and, critically, an understanding of the underlying economic viability that allows them to stay on track, make good decisions, manage their costs, manage their cash, and plan for growth. For venture-backed businesses in particular, they ultimately have to unlock capital efficient growth in order to achieve the goals that they've set for themselves and for their stakeholders.
- In SaaS companies the finance function must be seen as a strategic partner to the business.
- Vertical financials looks at P&L and Balance Sheet, while Horizontal Financials look at lifetime value.
- Even as you are working to accelerate growth, make sure you’re doing so within a framework that allows you to be capital efficient.

In conversation with Stephen Millard and Paul Papadimitriou, our guide to this topic is Carrie Dolan, CFO at Tradeshift, a unicorn in the Notion portfolio. Notion led the Series A in 2009. Carrie has more than 20 years experience as a CFO, in fast growth venture-backed technology companies such as Metromile, Lending Club, and prior to that with Charles Schwab.
Read more about this episode: https://notion.vc/resources/saas-cfo-podcast/