How to Calculate Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

How to Calculate Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

In the prevalent world of subscription-based business models, Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) has emerged as an important metric to follow. It represents the predictable revenue that a company can anticipate every month. As such, it serves as a steady pulse, allowing businesses – particularly those in the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry, to assess their financial health and make informed decisions.

MRR is crucial in a SaaS accounting context, providing visibility into the company’s financial future. Its inherent predictability aids in budgeting, forecasting, and making strategic plans. Furthermore, it is an essential tool for potential investors, who view MR as a measure of a company’s stability and growth potential. 

However, it is important to note that calculating MRR is not as simple as tallying up the monthly subscriptions. It is a nuanced process that considers various types of MRR – new, expansion, churn – and involves careful calculation. Understanding how to calculate and apply MRR can be a powerful tool in a company’s arsenal, driving sustainable growth and long-term success.

Understanding Recurring Revenue Metrics in SaaS

For SaaS companies, several key metrics govern the business’s financial health and growth trajectory. Understanding them is vital for managing and optimizing a recurring revenue business model, with some detailed below:


  • Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): MRR is the predictable income a SaaS business can expect to earn monthly from its subscribers. It is a sum of all recurring revenue normalized into a monthly amount, providing a clear snapshot of a company’s revenue. This allows for better decision-making and forecasting. 
  • Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR): ARR is essentially MRR multiplied by 12. It provides an annual view of the subscription revenue, assuming no upgrades, downgrades, or churn occur during the year. ARR offers a longer-term perspective of a company’s financial status and is particularly useful for SaaS businesses with longer subscription periods. 
  • Churn MRR: Churn MRR quantifies the monthly revenue loss due to customers canceling their subscriptions or downgrading to cheaper plans. High churn MRR is a warning signal, indicating issues with product quality, customer satisfaction, or market fit that need addressing. 
  • Expansion MRR: This represents the additional revenue gained from existing customers through upgrades or purchases of additional services. Expansion MRR is a positive indicator of customer satisfaction and the effectiveness of upselling and cross-selling strategies. 
  • Net New MRR: This is the sum of new and expansion MRR minus churn MRR. Understanding the net growth or contraction of your monthly revenue is vital, providing a clear picture of your company’s overall growth trends. 

These recurring revenue metrics are essential to a SaaS business. They provide granular insights into a company’s revenue streams, customer behavior, and business growth. By closely monitoring and optimizing these metrics, SaaS businesses can ensure they maximize their recurring revenue, improve customer retention, and strategically drive their growth. 

How to Calculate Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is a metric that allows SaaS businesses to understand their predictable revenue. It gives a clear snapshot of the company’s revenue streams, enables more accurate forecasting, and provides insights for strategic decisions. Calculating MRR involves accounting for different types of MRR, namely New MRR, Expansion MRR, and Churn MRR. Here’s a detailed guide on how to calculate:

Step 1: Start by calculating your New MRR, the revenue you gain from new customers who sign up for your service within a given month. To do so, multiply the monthly subscription price by the number of new customers you acquired in that month.

Step 2: Next, calculate your Expansion MRR. This is the additional revenue you gain from existing customers who upgrade or buy additional services within a given month. It includes cross-sells, upsells, and add-ons. To calculate Expansion MRR, you take the sum of the incremental revenue gained from all existing customers who have upgraded their subscriptions or purchased additional services.

Step 3: Next is to calculate your Churn MRR. This is the revenue lost from customers who either canceled their subscriptions or downgraded their plans within a given month. To calculate Churn MRR, you sum up the monthly subscription price of all customers who have canceled or downgraded their subscriptions. 

Step 3: Now, calculate the overall MRR by adding the New MRR and Expansion MRR, then subtract the Churn MRR. The formula is:

monthly recurring revenue formula

This final figure gives you a precise measure of your predictable, recurring revenue, excluding one-time fees or variable usage fees.

Remember, it is crucial to consider all forms of recurring revenue when calculating MRR. Also, remember that MRR can fluctuate based on customer behavior and market dynamics, making it important to track regularly.

Difference Between MRR and Monthly Revenue

While both Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and Monthly Revenue provide a snapshot of a company’s earnings within a specific period, the two metrics measure slightly different aspects of a company’s financial health, especially in the SaaS business context. 

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) focuses exclusively on predictable recurring revenue. A SaaS business typically includes income from subscriptions customers have committed to paying monthly. This revenue is highly predictable as it’s based on ongoing customer subscriptions, making MRR so vital for SaaS companies.

On the other hand, Monthly Revenue encompasses all revenue generated within a month, recurring or not. This includes one-time sales, services, products, and any other sources of income that may not be consistent from one month to the next. It’s a more comprehensive metric but includes revenue sources that can fluctuate greatly, which may make it less predictable than MRR. 

While Monthly Revenue gives a comprehensive overview of a company’s total earnings within a month, MRR provides a more focused look at the consistent, predictable revenue stream. The predictability of MRR makes it especially crucial for SaaS companies, as it allows for more accurate forecasting, strategic planning, and evaluation of the business’s financial health and growth. 

Impact of Customer Acquisition Cost on MRR

Another factor to consider when evaluating Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). CAC is the total cost associated with acquiring a new customer, encompassing expenses such as marketing and sales costs, salaries of the sales team, and any other resources spent on attracting and converting potential customers. 

The relationship between CAC and MRR is significant. Ideally, the MRR generated by a customer over their lifetime (Lifetime Value or LTV) should exceed the CAC, indicating a profitable acquisition strategy. It means that the recurring revenue brought in by the customer is more than what it cost to acquire them in the first place.

If the CAC is too high, it means that a business is spending a lot to bring in new customers. Even if MRR is growing, a high CAC could lead to an unsustainable business model, as the revenue might not be enough to cover the acquisition costs in the long run. This contrasts with a low CAC, which could signal efficient marketing and sales processes. Still, if MRR growth is slow, it could indicate problems with the product’s appeal or the retention of existing customers.  

Therefore, understanding CAC in relation to MRR is important for gauging the financial health of a SaaS business. It provides insights into the efficiency of customer acquisition efforts, the profitability of customers over their lifespan, and the overall business model’s sustainability. 

Using MRR to Evaluate and Enhance Business Performance

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is an essential metric for any subscription-based business, especially those in the SaaS sector. It provides insights into the predictability and stability of a company’s revenue, which is critical in a financial assessment. 

MRR allows businesses to monitor growth trends over time. Seeing MRR steadily increasing month-over-month suggests a thriving business that is continuously adding value to its customers. A declining or stagnant MRR might indicate customer dissatisfaction or competitive challenges, prompting further investigation.

Moreover, MRR can help evaluate the effectiveness of various business strategies. For instance, a significant boost in MRR might result from a successful marketing campaign or the launch of a new product feature. In contrast, an MRR drop could signal customer churn or pricing issues. 

So how can businesses enhance their MRR? The first strategy is to increase customer acquisition. Businesses can attract more customers by effectively marketing the product and showcasing its value, thus increasing the New MRR.

Another strategy is to focus on customer retention and expansion. By reducing churn (Churn MRR), businesses can keep their existing MRR intact. Moreover, by upselling and cross-selling (Expansion MRR), they can increase the revenue earned from existing customers.

Finally, optimizing pricing can have a profound impact on MRR. This could involve increasing prices for new customers or introducing premium pricing tiers for additional features or services.

Overall, MRR is a powerful tool for businesses to evaluate their performance and devise strategies for growth. With careful monitoring and strategic planning, businesses can use MRR to drive sustainable success in the SaaS marketplace.


Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is a fundamental indicator of SaaS businesses’ financial health and growth potential. Its accurate calculation is crucial as it offers valuable insights into the stability of the revenue stream, facilitates performance evaluation, and guides strategic decision-making. By understanding the different types of MRR, including New, Expansion, and Churn MRR, businesses can accurately assess their growth trajectories and pinpoint areas of focus. MRR is not just a metric to track, it is a tool to leverage for informed business strategies that propel sustainable growth. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


How do you calculate monthly MRR?

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is calculated by summing up the monthly recurring revenue from all active customers. This includes revenue from new customers and existing customers and subtracting any revenue lost to churn or downgrades.

How are MRR and ARR calculated?

MRR is calculated as described above. Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) is typically calculated by multiplying the MRR by 12. However, it’s essential to consider any annual subscriptions or contracts that may not be reflected in the MRR.

What is the difference between MRR and monthly revenue?

MRR refers to the predictable revenue a company can expect to earn monthly from its subscriptions, while monthly revenue includes all income streams for a given month. This might include one-time sales, non-recurring fees, and other income in addition to subscription revenues.

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