What is ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue)?

By Techfunnel Author - Last Updated on April 18, 2022
Annual Recurring Revenue

Metrics, when tracked with proper understanding, can be extremely beneficial to a business. They help you analyze your company’s success, improve your forecasts, and drive your company’s growth strategy, all at the same time. For most SaaS companies, an important statistic for subscription businesses is their annual recurring revenue (ARR). With this tool, you may get a high-level perspective of your overall business health and figure out the growth rate that is necessary for your company’s success.

What is the term “Annual Recurring Revenue”?

One of the most important business metrics is the annual recurring revenue (ARR), which illustrates how much recurring revenue you may expect based on the number of yearly subscribers. The Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR), which represents revenue for the calendar year, is simply an annualized variant of the Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR).

What is the formula for calculating the annual recurring revenue (ARR)?

A variety of factors, including your current pricing strategy and the intricacy of your business model, will influence how you calculate ARR. As a key metric for evaluating your annual growth rate and the velocity at which you can expand, there are several factors to consider.

Calculating ARR is as simple as taking the income generated by annual subscriptions and upgrades and deducting the revenue lost because customers canceled their subscriptions.

To help you get started, we’ve put out a simple formula.

The formula for ARR

The formula for ARR is straightforward: ARR = (Overall Subscription Cost Per Year + Recurring Revenue from Add-ons or Upgrades) – Revenue Lost from Cancellations.

The annual subscription price of a subscriber must be affected by any incremental revenue generated by add-ons or upgrades. This calculation should exclude any one-time options.

The ARR can alternatively be calculated by multiplying the MRR by 12 if your pricing strategy is based more on monthly recurring revenue (MRR).

Definitions you’ll want to know

Keep in mind that your calculations will be affected by any changes to these metrics:

  • Customer revenue per year: This is the starting point of your ARR calculation. It is the total income accumulated per year from annual subscriptions and renewals.
  • Add-on purchases: A continuing increase in the annual subscription fee due to the addition of a new feature or service.
  • Product upgrades: Any upgrade that raises the annual subscription fee on a continuous basis.
  • Product downgrades: A continued reduction in the annual subscription fee as a result of product downgrading.
  • Cancellations (Churn): Loss of revenue as a result of account closures and clients who have left because of churn.

What is the difference between ARR and MRR?

Your firm’s recurring revenue can be measured in two ways: as annual recurring revenue (ARR) and as monthly recurring revenue (MRR). This recurring revenue is the foundation of your pricing strategy and business model as a subscription firm, therefore mastering these metrics is critical. Each shows how quickly your business can grow.

Monthly vs. Annual

ARR is determined on an annual basis, whereas MRR is done on a monthly basis. An ARR is an indicator of your company’s recurrent revenue on a macro level, whereas MRR is an indicator of your company’s recurring revenue on a micro-level.

Why should you calculate both?

Insights into your company’s health can be gained from looking at both ARR and MRR. If you know how much revenue your firm will generate as it expands, you may make strategic decisions about how to spend it judiciously.

To plan for long-term product development and create corporate roadmaps, especially for SaaS companies, ARR provides a high-level view of year-over-year growth.

Using MRR, you can see the company’s growth in more detail. Using this method, it is possible to see how changes in product or pricing strategy affect renewals immediately. It’s also a technique to keep track of seasonal variations in client behavior.

By combining the two, you can better plan your strategy and track your progress each month. This larger pool of knowledge enables you to make faster and better decisions, resulting in a better overall client experience.


(Also Read: ACV vs. ARR: What is the Difference?)


Why Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) is a pivotal measure for subscription businesses

A thorough understanding of your company’s present financial situation and how you compare it to yearly growth targets is essential for monitoring the health of your subscription-based business over time. You must know the real-world consequences of any decisions you make before you can reevaluate your product-market fit, schedule new feature releases, or double down on revenue expansion.

The good news: ARR is a great tool for doing just that.

  1. It offers a scale for measuring business progress.

    To get an accurate picture of your company’s annual recurring revenue growth, ARR is the best metric to use. You should make use of it to plot your company’s future course and see the impact of the actions you’ve implemented year after year. In fact, using ARR to measure growth is just like using a compass.

  1. You can use it to predict future revenue.

    ARR serves as a foundation upon which more complex calculations can be built. To get a sense of what it will take to succeed in the future, and can create a predictable revenue model to manage its sales processes and goals. You might compare your churn percentages, acquisition goals, or anticipated adjustments in price and packaging to ARR. You’ll never know the true impact of your decisions on the company’s customers if you don’t use ARR.

  1. It allows you to define attainable goals

    You may not have a crystal ball, but a deep knowledge of your firm’s annual recurring revenue is the closest you’ll ever get to being a fortune teller. With the help of this statistic, you can make better business decisions in the future. As a business owner, you may identify areas of opportunity in your present model and take the best course of action to capitalize on them. How important is obtaining new clients for your business? Upsell the current customers? For long-term and short-term goals, this helps you establish realistic plans that you can keep to.

  1. It shows the overall health of a subscription business

    We understand that subscriptions are at the heart of your business model. The only way to tell how much money your company is making is to track the entire yearly cash amount of those subscriptions. You can get the most realistic view of your company’s health and success by just including subscription revenue.

Final Thoughts

ARR is an important metric for every subscription-based business. With this statistical data, you’ll be able to monitor the overall health of your business and also see how any decisions you take can either positively or negatively affect the company’s overall growth momentum. The ability to generate more recurring revenue is a growing sign of your business’s ability to expand.

Remember, these fluctuations can help you see the best course of action for your business. It’s easier to create better products and build a better team with more recurring revenue. Your company’s success will be impossible to measure if you don’t use annual recurring revenue as a baseline.

Techfunnel Author | TechFunnel.com is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicated to sharing unbiased information, research, and expert commentary that helps executives and professionals stay on top of the rapidly evolving marketplace, leverage technology for productivity, and add value to their knowledge base.

Techfunnel Author | TechFunnel.com is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicate...

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