The Pros & Cons of Two SaaS Pricing Models for Technical Report Writing

You’ve recently come across a new SaaS (software as a service) product with an appealing offer: unlimited Users under one license. You’re not yet certain who from your organization will need to use the software, so this sounds like an ideal pricing model.

But there’s a catch. “Unlimited Users” does not mean “unlimited everything.”

Most likely, the software you’re looking at charges via an output-based model. Take technical report writing software, for instance. The “output,” in this case, is each technical report your team produces. While Quire’s technical report writing solution prices per User, other software providers may charge per report.

So which is truly the better fit? 

Let’s take a look at these two SaaS pricing models for technical report writing in-depth.

1) Planning personnel vs. planning report volume

Our research has shown that the volume of reports a company writes can vary drastically throughout the year. For example, we’ve found that more commercial real estate (CRE) due diligence reports are written during the month of May in the average year than in any other month.

When you purchase technical report writing software with unlimited User licenses, you will, in turn, be limited in some other area–typically report output. You will purchase the software license for a set number of reports, based largely on your best guess as to how many you’ll need. That means a higher likelihood of:

  • Underusing your license and paying extra for unused reports, or
  • Overusing your license and getting hit with unexpected charges for surplus reports.

In contrast, user-based licensing for technical report writing software means that you’ll never be charged for more than the number of people using the software. No matter how many reports they generate, you’re only paying for the number of licenses you’ve purchased.

In the end, it’s much easier to plan personnel needs than it is to plan report volume. 


The point of technical report writing software is to make your team more efficient. With features like intuitive templates, easy-to-insert dropdown values, and company-approved formatting every time, you should be able to drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to produce each technical report.

With Quire, each user licensed to use the platform can create as many Reports as needed of any type–from ESAs to PCAs to geotechnical Reports.

With a user-based pricing model, you have much more flexibility to:

  • Take on extra work during peak reporting seasons without worrying about exceeding your limits, and
  • Take advantage of increased efficiency by generating more reports without having to pay more.

However, with other software, report volume is limited. Your team will have to meet to decide which reports to write within the platform, and which you’ll have to cast aside, save for the next billing period, or pay a la carte for.

In other words, an output-based or report-based pricing model can ultimately hinder your team’s productivity, causing confusion among the team when billing isn’t cut-and-dry. Here’s what one financial expert had to say:

“As a buyer and evaluator of SaaS products, having predictable costs and expected productivity gains are critical inputs into evaluating the ROI from the purchase of a new product. Moreover, removing any impediments such as usage limits or price spikes from overuse are critical to ensuring a user will get the full value from the product.” 

Gene Godick, CEO, G-Squared Partners, a financial and operational consulting company specializing in SaaS technology businesses. 


In order to make the most of output-based pricing, you’ll need to have more users on board, which can be costly in and of itself. You may over-staff, leaving team members idle when there is limited work. So, while every user has access to the platform, is it really worth it when the platform is not being used?

User-based pricing is a more flexible, manageable model that can save your company money and help your team be more productive overall. With this type of billing, you’re only charged for the people who are using the platform—not for what they’re producing.

User-based licensing also allows you to control costs in other ways. For example, if you no longer need a license for a particular user, you can cancel it and stop paying for it immediately. With output-based pricing, on the other hand, you would continue to be charged for any unused reports even during hard times for your business.

While user licensing may sound like a limitation, it really gives you more flexibility to grow your team and your business (and have periods of downtime without worry).

For more information about Quire’s Technical Report Writing solution and pricing model, reach out to our team!