ARR in SaaS business and its Calculation

Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses have gradually understood the enormous benefits of ARR, one of the most important recurring revenue metrics. That is why they have welcomed the software industry’s subscription-based delivery model. If your company operates on a recurring revenue model, you need to know what ARR means and how it’s calculated. 

What is ARR?

The total annual revenue generated from your current clients through their varied spendings on your firm is known as Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR). ARR gives you a transparent idea of how your company makes money from its installed base. It shows how good you are at obtaining new clients and how good you are at keeping existing ones.

It is one of the essential indicators used by investors to monitor the condition of your company. It provides financial stability and consistency to a business, allowing the direction of growth to be predicted. Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is an annualized form of ARR representing revenue over a calendar year.

Calculating the ARR for SaaS

ARR calculations can have the following: 

– Revenue at the start of the year

– Revenue from existing customers 

– ARR from existing customers who renew their contracts

– Add-ons and upgrades

– Downgrade losses and lost clients

ARR formula: (Annual Subscription Cost + Recurring Revenue from Upgrades or Add-ons) – Revenue lost as a result of cancellations.

It’s vital to remember that any revenue generated by add-ons or upgrades must be factored into a customer’s annual subscription price. This calculation should not include any one-time options. 

Consider the following example.

1. Let’s say a person subscribed to Netflix for three months before switching to the Premium package. 

Total $ amount of yearly subscription = $8.99 X 12 months = $107.88

Total $ amount gained through Premium upgrade: + $7 (for a total of $15.99) per month for the remaining 9 months = $63

Total $ lost due to cancellations = $0 

ARR = $170.88

2. If your pricing plan is based on monthly recurring revenue (MRR), multiply MRR by 12 to get the ARR. 

For example, if your customer signs a 3-year contract for a monthly plan and pays $35,000 in total, the ARR calculation is as follows:

ARR= MRR x 12

35,000 x (12/36) = $11, 550 

What differentiates ARR from MRR?

Unlike MRR, which can differ significantly from actual monthly revenue due to the number of days in the month, ARR can be closely related to actual revenue if your subscriptions are in annual or accurate multi-year intervals. However, if your term subscriptions are for non-standard lengths, such as 15 months or 30 months and 8 days, you may see the same MRR jitter with ARR.

What role does ARR play in SaaS and subscription businesses?

ARR is a good indicator of a subscription business’s health. ARR allows measuring corporate progress and predicting future growth because it is the revenue that a company expects to repeat. It’s also a valuable indicator for tracking new sales, renewals, and upgrades, as well as lost momentum from downgrades and lost clients.

The ARR is beneficial as a measure for:

1. Clarifying the state of your company: ARR is a metric that measures a company’s performance in certain areas, indicating where revenue is increasing or decreasing and why. Knowing your ARR may help you make better decisions about employee evaluation, remuneration, operational planning, and finance, all of which can help you enhance your business’ profitability and efficiency.

2. Retention of top talent: Monitoring ARR helps a SaaS company concentrate on specific sales areas to understand what is beneficial and needs to be changed. Compensation that is aligned with productive job performance leads to lower turnover and reduced training costs for new employees.

3. Forecasting of revenue: Forecasting revenue from potential clients is made more accessible by planning the duration and cost of various subscriptions. Businesses can better manage expenses and cash resources by tracking the value of renewals and the price of lost customers (i.e., churn).

4. Boost your revenue: Tracking client relationships and their changes gives you insight into what they want and need. Furthermore, it also helps you promote cross-selling and up-selling, which leads to more revenue.

Ways to grow your ARR in SaaS Industry

Executing a high-growth ARR plan is undoubtedly a team sport. Examine your SaaS marketing operation as a whole, including both customer-facing and non-customer-facing teams.

Invest and optimize your marketing channels

This can vary based on which marketing channels and industries you’ve invested in as a SaaS company.

– Lower your Customer-Acquisition-Cost by optimizing inbound and outbound marketing channels.

– Facilitate cooperation along the buyer’s journey to increase funnel speed and conversion.

– Increase ARPU by increasing upsell discipline and scalability with automation.

– Increase the session-to-contact rate for inbound leads by improving conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Why ARR is important for SaaS

Reduce churn and increase customer retention

Reduce customer and revenue loss by implementing nurture and retention strategies. For that, you can work on the following areas: 

– Identifying clients who are likely to churn

– How to calculate churn and reduce it

An annual increase in prices

Raising the prices of SaaS solutions might provide you with a lot of advantages.  It has little effect on sales volume. Make constant improvements in your product and continue to provide value to your customers.

Avoid Discounting 

The customer’s Lifetime Value (LTV) is the holy grail for a SaaS company. A one-time discount may be acceptable but avoid subscription discounts. Under best circumstances, you’ll end up with clients you don’t want anyway since they’ll churn.

Things to understand when changing from MRR to ARR in your SaaS business

Businesses that formerly relied on MRR for revenue forecasting and other purposes are now converting to ARR. The process is not streamlined, despite the fact that it is critical. The repetitive nature of ARR and its challenging use (as the computation is done on an annual basis) is one of the primary challenges that has proven to be a stumbling block in the adoption process.

A lot can change over a short period, including contract terms. As a result, a few errors will inevitably occur during the ARR calculation, or that one will need to keep the relevant modifications in mind.

– If a SaaS company uses AAR as a standard and common vernacular for revenue forecasting, changing MRR in the case of new shorter-term contracts might be difficult. 

– Not to mention that transitioning from MRR to ARR necessitates extra effort in terms of communication, culture, reporting systems, and monitoring.

– When you choose the right ARR service provider, you can eliminate a lot of these headaches and obstacles. Their high-level competence makes the work a lot easier.


Any subscription-based business will benefit significantly from real-time tracking of ARR metrics since it provides a more complete and accurate view of the company’s future. It also allows businesses to get things right and accelerate their growth.

Our team at Velainn understands that ARR is a crucial measure to check in on your company’s overall health and see how any actions you do improve or diminish overall growth momentum. Please get in touch with us to find out how we can help grow your Saas business. 

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