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April 15, 2022

If you’re like me, you might be confused about bookings and MRR in finance. I remember when I first started working in the industry, everyone was using these terms and I had no idea what is MRR in finance. Thankfully, I had a friend who explained it to me. Here’s a clear explanation of what each term means and how they’re used.

What is MRR in Finance?

MRR is short for monthly recurring revenue and is a key metric for subscription-based businesses. It represents the amount of revenue that a business can expect to receive every month from its current customers or subscribers.

What is MRR in finance? MRR can be used to measure the health and growth of a subscription business, as it is a good indicator of customer churn and lifetime value.

What is the MRR Line of Credit Financing?

An MRR line of credit is a type of business funding in which the amount of money you can borrow is directly linked to your monthly revenue.

A business loan is for companies that have an outstanding invoice or inventory that they use as security for financing.

Because their customers pay upfront, the revenue for a Saas company is minimal. This also means that they have little in the way of receivables or stock.

While traditional software companies sell their products on a one-time basis, most SaaS companies offer theirs on a monthly subscription. This revenue model allows these companies to continue earning income for months and years after a customer signs up.

If you miss a payment, lenders can legally take your business assets to recoup their loss.

If you’re looking to fund your subscription service, then you may be a good candidate for MRR lines of credit. These loans are based on your business’ monthly recurring revenue and are seen as assets by banks.

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is the most important metric for a subscription-based business.

This is because, unlike in traditional selling, gaining a new client means that you will earn a certain sum of money from that company each month – as long as the relationship lasts.

Monthly recurring revenue is a key metric for measuring the profitability of a company. It also provides insight into what the expected revenue will be for the next month.

Thus, the goal is to increase this metric as much as possible while retaining clients monthly.

This KPI is important because it takes into account not only new users, but also upgrades, downgrades, and churns for current subscriptions. This allows for a more accurate monthly revenue projection.

To know the expected revenue for the whole year, you can just multiply the MRR by 12.

The Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) metric can be used to show the expected revenue for the current month. This helps identify highs and lows throughout the year and can give you a better insight into the evolution of your business.

While looking at your yearly sales, you can track the ups and downs of your business.

The Confusion Between Bookings and MRR

Calculating your Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is fairly straightforward, but what do you do if a customer wants to pay a year upfront?

In the following example, we have three customers who each have a different payment schedule. Two of the customers are paying $200 monthly, while one customer pays in advance for a year.

If we treated the advanced payment as monthly recurring revenue, our reports might look like this:

January: 200 + 200 + 2400 = $2800

February: 200 + 200 + 0 = $400

March: 200 + 200 + 0 = $400

However, that annual fee shouldn’t be counted as a monthly revenue, since it’s an annual charge.

The revenue should be counted as a part of your bookings. The bookings are the total value of all the new deals that are acquired over a specific period, without any distinction between upfront and recurrent fees.

Your booking number is great for calculating cash flow, but your monthly revenue is a more accurate measure of how much you’re making. To turn a booking into MRR, you need to spread it out over the whole year (i.e. turn it into a monthly payment).

January: 200 + 200 + (2400/12) = $600 MRR

February: 200 + 200 + (2400/12) = $600 MRR

March: 200 + 200 + (2400/12) = $600 MRR

If you’re receiving both monthly and annual subscriptions, this can easily cause your MRR to fluctuate, and make it difficult to spot trends.

Even some of the biggest and most successful companies have trouble distinguishing between bookings and MRR.

How to Calculate MRR

To calculate your MRR, simply take the average amount you make from each customer and divide it by your total number of clients.

what is mrr in finance (Source)

If you have 10 customers paying you an average of $100 per month, your MRR would be $1,000.

How to Calculate Net New MRR

As your company grows, it’s crucial that you not only track your total revenue but which factors are responsible for that revenue growth.

If you increase your revenue by $1,000, you’d want to know where it came from, wouldn’t you?

That is easy to figure out using three elements that form what we call Net New MRR.

  • New MRR – Additional MRR from new customers
  • Expansion MRR – Additional MRR from upgrades
  • Churned MRR – MRR lost from cancellations or downgrades

Here’s how to calculate your Net New MRR.

Net New MRR = Sum of New MRR and Expansion MRR Minus Churned MRR.

If you have more churn than new or expansion MRR, you will lose MRR for that month.

If you’re reporting to management or an investor, breaking down your Net New MRR can be a good way to give context and show the health of your business.

How to Analyze MRR

While at first glance, MRR may seem straightforward, it provides crucial insight into how your business is doing.

But how can you get access to that detailed, comprehensive, and actionable data? What should you look for?

What warning signs indicate problems? And how do you increase your monthly recurring revenue so you can grow your company?

Let’s take a closer look.

Break Down Your MRR by Type

There are five different types of monthly recurring revenue:

  • New MRR – MRR from new customers
  • Expansion MRR – MRR from upgrades
  • Reactivation MRR – MRR from previous customers
  • Contraction MRR – Lost MRR from downgrades
  • Churned MRR – Lost MRR from cancelations

It’s important to know the different types of MRR because it helps you understand why your MRR changes from month to month. This way, you can take specific actions to improve your results.

Seeing a “why” in graph form is extremely helpful. If we look at the MRR in further detail, it’s easier to understand.

what is mrr in finance (Source)

Look at this monthly graph that shows gross and net profits as well as total monthly revenue.

what is mrr in finance (Source)

Here’s what all those colors and bars mean.

  • New MRR (new customers) was $4,140, which was an 80% increase over the previous month.
  • Expansion MRR (upgrades) was $2,619, which is down 20% from the previous month.
  • Reactivations MRR (previous customers) was $473, which is up 6.5% from the previous month.
  • Contraction MRR (downgrades) was $158, which is a 40% improvement from the previous month.
  • Churned MRR (cancellations) was $4,622, which is a pretty steep decline of 20%.
  • Adding all of these MRR types together resulted in a net increase of $2,452 in MRR.

Now, the conclusions we can draw!

Churn and contraction MRR outpaced expansion MRR, meaning more customers canceled or downgraded than upgraded. This is a negative trend that needs to be worked on. New MRR jumped significantly and was the highest of the year, helping to cover the losses from churn and contraction.

If you want to get a clear picture of your business’ MRR, you need to break it down by type. This way, you can see which areas are growing and which ones need improvement. Many factors go into building a successful business, so knowing how each one contributes to your bottom line is essential.

Subscriber Plans As a Percentage of Total MRR

It’s important to know what percentage of your total MRR is generated by each of your plans.

For instance, if you have 90% of customers on plans that only make up 10% of your revenue, that’s an imbalance that you shouldn’t force to work. The customer support costs wouldn’t justify themselves.

A table is a great way to visualize this data.

what is mrr in finance (Source)

These top plans make up a significant portion of the total MRR, with the mid-tier plans being the most popular.

Nearly half (49%) of customers pay $250/month or less. We don’t rely on 10% of customers for 90% of our revenue, which is a good thing. That means that if a few big clients leave, our recurring monthly revenues won’t be affected too much.

19% of customers are on the cheapest plan ($50/month), but that only makes up for 6% of the MRR. Increasing the cost of that plan by just $25 could give a significant boost in MRR.

Trends

Sometimes looking at large data sets can be deceiving. For example, seeing a large drop in one day can alarm you, but it’s important to look at the bigger picture.

What’s really important to pay attention to are the trends over time.

Trying to react to every event that occurs is a fool’s errand as there are an infinite amount of events that could occur.

Looking at data on a level more granular than a monthly basis is pointless.

When making major decisions that will affect your company’s direction, it is best to use data every month. Going any smaller than that with your data can lead to inaccurate results.

If you’re looking to get a better understanding of where things are heading, trend lines are a great way to average out some of the anomalies and focus on the bigger picture. By getting rid of distractions, you can see the general direction things are moving in and make more informed decisions.

Here’s an exponentially weighted moving average that averages out a few data points to smooth out the ups and downs.

what is mrr in finance (Source)

There are a few different types of trend lines you can use when analyzing your data, each with its own benefits.

Linear trend lines ignore peaks and valleys, while logarithmic ones follow a curve.

Polynomial trend lines are great for data with lots of peaks and valleys, while power trend lines change at a specific rate.

Exponential trend lines work well with data that rises or falls at an exponential rate, and moving average trend lines are good for data that ebbs and flows regularly.

Conclusion

What is MRR in finance? It is a term that refers to the monthly recurring revenue of a company. This metric is important because it shows how much money a company is bringing in consistently. To calculate MRR, you simply take the total amount of revenue generated each month and divide it by the number of customers. While bookings are also used to measure sales, they differ from MRR in that they only reflect new business deals or one-time purchases. Bookings do not show how much money a company is generating regularly, which makes them less useful for long-term planning purposes.

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