Finance tech stack: the average discount for every type of finance tool
Aimee Manning | MAY 17, 2023
As cloud adoption accelerates, SaaS solutions are helping finance teams become more efficient than ever. But ‘finance SaaS’ is no one catch-all type of program. Nowadays, CFOs often leverage dedicated platforms for each individual function of the finance department, from payroll management to purchasing.
Well-integrated, accessible finance tools offer countless benefits — enabling streamlined forecasting, reporting, and risk management. A well-oiled finance tech stack is simply a no-brainer for any modern finance leader.
However, these tools don’t come for free.
According to data compiled in our 2023 Finance Software Report, SaaS costs grew around 14% faster than inflation in 2022 — with around 74% of vendors raising their list prices since 2019. But while your software prices might be continuing to rise, it’s worth noting that the listed prices that vendors provide aren’t necessarily set in stone.
In fact, we found that the average price paid by finance software customers is 22.2% lower than the listed price. In comparison to other SaaS categories, this places the finance software discount benchmark slightly lower than sales (23.4%) and HR (22.4%), but marginally higher than DevOps (21.1%) and marketing (19.6%).
So, to negotiate the best deal, you’ll ideally want to approach your procurement cycle fully informed of the average discount that can be attained when purchasing each type of finance tool.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the discounts to be had across the different categories, so that your organization can build the best and most cost-effective stack in finance.
The different types of finance tools
To build an effective SaaS stack, you’ll need to consider the specific needs of your organization with the functionality offered by each type of finance tool. The reality is, there are countless different types of finance software — but not every company will need every one of them.
Whatever your needs, we’ve considered the discounting data for some of the most popular categories. Here’s what we found:
FinTech platforms are among the fastest growing SaaS solutions on the market, providing services for mobile banking, digital wallets, cryptocurrency and more. But despite the surge in demand for FinTech solutions over the last decade, vendors in the space offer among the largest average discount rates at 24.3%.
Sending and receiving payments digitally provides the foundation for a vast number of business operations. In order to quickly and securely enable digital wallet and card payments, merchants and service providers use payment SaaS. The average discount available for this kind of platform is a strong 23.5%.
Exclusive pricing insights for payments software
Managing income, expenses, statements, and tax returns can be streamlined by accounting software. Nowadays, these tools are accessible to large and small organizations alike — forming a critical component of any finance tech stack. The average discount offered by accounting SaaS providers is 19.6%.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
ERP products help companies to automate fundamental business processes, making them some of the most widely used SaaS solutions on the market. Nowadays, ERP systems are accessible to businesses of any scale, and have supported the widespread shift to remote working. It’s fortunate, then, that they’re also the most likely type of finance tool to be discounted — with an average discount rate of 25.3%.
Exclusive pricing insights for ERP platforms
Payroll is many businesses’ largest expense, and needs to be effectively managed in order to support fair remuneration. This is especially important given recent cultural events such as the great resignation. Tools to help manage employee salaries, bonuses, benefits and tax are widely adopted to automate these vital processes. The average discount for this type of tool is 23.1%.
Exclusive pricing insights for payroll management platforms
Cap table management
Also known as equity management software, companies opt to manage their shareholder information using these platforms to ensure compliance and inform decision-making that can reduce costs elsewhere. As for the discount users can expect, we’ve found that vendors offer an average of 23.2% off of the listed price for cap table management tools, providing one of the larger opportunities for cost-savings.
Many holistic financial management platforms fall into the category of general finance SaaS. These are responsible for automated and productivity-improving functions for the CFO, whether they’re based in-office or require flexible financial systems for remote working. Looking at the price points for this category of tool, we see that there’s an average discount offered of 21%.
Investment and finance services
When it comes to managing investments, a broad suite of applications can help to support portfolio management, trading, and investment monitoring. The average discount on offer across this niche is a slimmer 18.5% — but for some firms, this may provide the necessary savings to keep abreast of competitors.
Exclusive pricing insights for investment and finance service providers
Creating and maintaining financial plans can be a time-consuming process, dependent on budgeting, forecasting, and goal setting. As a result, financial planning software is in hot demand — and the average discount provided by vendors is the lowest of all types of finance tool, at 9.6% below the listed price.
Exclusive pricing insights for financial planning solutions
How to get the best price for your finance software
One of the largest challenges currently faced by finance and procurement teams is managing the spiraling cost of software. While finance tools are only one type of software, accounting for just 6% of an organization’s total SaaS spend, the costs can still add up. In fact, our data shows that companies overpay for these tools by an average of 22%. In many instances, substantially more.
But what can you do to ensure you’re paying the best price possible for the tools within your finance stack?
Ultimately, there are two approaches you can take — and ideally, you’ll commit to a combination of both.
Negotiate with leverage
The first solution is to equip yourself with as much leverage as possible and negotiate a cheaper price with your software vendor.
We’ve written a full guide on how to negotiate a software contract, but here are some summary pointers that might help you.
Firstly, consider committing to a longer subscription if you know the tool will be a part of your tech stack for the foreseeable future. Our data shows that 89% of vendors adjust their pricing based on the length of contract a customer is willing to commit to, and typically provide a 5% discount to a buyer’s fee for each extra year of subscription.
The best leverage, however, is to research vendor pricing benchmarks for a better understanding of whether the quote you’re offered is a good deal or not. And this is where we can help — Vertice has access to the pricing and discounting data from over 16,000 global SaaS vendors to leverage during software negotiations, ensuring that you’re securing not only the lowest cost on offer, but also the best contract terms.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that the data provided throughout this article is based on averages, so with the right pricing intel, you can almost certainly secure far better costs. According to the data outlined in our latest report, some of the leading vendors in this space offer discounts exceeding 50%.
Practice effective software management
As we’ve discussed, there are plenty of factors to consider when you’re looking to build the very best finance tech stack. But as part of this process, it’s important to assess how each tool works in the context of your wider software portfolio.
As the SaaS market grows and each vendor continues to improve their products, it’s inevitable that there will be some degree of feature overlap between several of the tools in your stack.
For example, ERP systems like NetSuite have in-built functionality for both expense management and financial planning, meaning you won’t necessarily need to subscribe to separate tools for each purpose.
Before purchasing or renewing any SaaS contract, you should therefore ensure that you have visibility of every tool within your stack. This can help you to determine whether the functionality you’re looking for could be covered by an existing solution in your portfolio, preventing redundant SaaS from absorbing your budget, time, and productivity.
But how can you practice good software management?
In short, with a solution like Vertice.
Our SaaS purchasing platform specifically helps organizations across any niche to monitor, assess, and rightsize their software stack. Through this, we help businesses minimize their contract expenses and regain control over spiraling SaaS costs.
To see how much you could save, try out our free cost savings analysis tool. Alternatively, have a read of our latest report that provides exclusive pricing and discounting data for the 50 leading tools used across finance teams.