Episode 7: Let’s Recap a Webinar

By Aarthi Rayapura February 19, 2016

Episode7Listeners to today’s episode of “Ask the RevRec Experts” are in for a treat as hosts Matt and Jim recap the webinar, “Five Best Practices for a Successful Revenue Automation Implementation.”

The highly informative event included representatives from one of our customers, Tintri, and an industry partner, Connor Group, offering a multitude of practical and proven successful revenue automation implementation strategies.

If you were unable to join the live session, you can still download and listen on demand here.

Some event highlights:

* Tim Saunders, Tintri’s VP of Finance, reinforced the fact revenue recognition today truly is a full-blown specialty requiring active management and agile responsiveness in terms of a solution.

“I knew I needed an automated revenue recognition and accounting solution I could rely on,” said Saunders, who has helmed successful RevPro implementations at Palo Alto Networks and Tintri. “We couldn’t continue to do this with (Microsoft) Excel.”

Saunders also stressed the importance of knowing inside and out every aspect of the implementation of a revenue management solution such as RevPro BEFORE the implementation begins.

“If you don’t, you’ll end up building your airplane while you’re flying it,” he said.

Gemma Orocay, Tintri’s Director of Revenue Recognition, concurred with this assessment.

* Know your upstream data, the sources, limitations and underlying business processes, in order to have a smooth and successful implementation, Orocay said. She also stressed the importance of buy-in from all levels within an organization and knowing just what information and reports you are expecting out of your incoming solution.

* A whole host of valuable lessons on how to achieve a successful implementation were dispensed by Jason Pikoos, who leads the Financial Operations practice at Connor Group, with specific attention devoted to the critical nature of a BRD (business requirements document) and full understanding of data sources (you’re probably sensing a theme here).

* Pikoos stressed the importance of spending the necessary time on your BRD (Business Requirements Document), properly vetting your scenarios, involving external auditors when factoring historic treatment and understanding how your company applies revenue rules in comparison to system-defined rules.

* Saunders, who tabbed himself among the “pioneers” in RevPro usage, said, in an ironic twist, what helped them implement the tool swiftly at Tintri was the fact they did not have any particularly harsh deadlines to meet.

“We actually had the luxury of being in a situation where we had the time to do (the implementation) right,” he said. “Because we had that, I think we were able to do it more quickly.”

The webinar also garnered quite a few thoughtful questions on a variety of topics, several of which are published below.

So many questions were received, in fact, that you can look forward to a Part 2 of our webinar recap in a future podcast episode.

The “Ask the RevRec Experts” podcast presented by Leeyo Software reviews questions asked through the website, email, out in the field, webinars or at industry events to find answers for each, often directly from our expert guest contributors.

Please submit questions and feedback to podcast@leeyo.com or via the “Ask the Experts” box in the right-hand sidebar.

A portion of the webinar Q&A:

“You haven’t mentioned ASC 606, where is Leeyo with assessing the impacts of the changing guidance?”
While we were making sure to touch upon some key best practices for a successful revrec automation implementation within the time available for the session, we are doing everything we can to make sure both Leeyo as a company and all our customers and prospects are keenly aware of all possible impacts of the coming new guidance. To that end, here are some helpful links for reference (and an excuse to show off our newly ‘freshened-up’ company Website), but we’d be happy to connect individually to discuss in more detail:
“How is Leeyo planning to handle the upcoming revenue changes?”
While we were making sure to touch upon some key best practices for a successful revrec automation implementation within the time available for the session, we are doing everything we can to make sure both Leeyo as a company and all our customer and prospective customers are keenly aware of all possible impacts of the coming new guidance. To that end, here are some links for reference, but we’d be happy to connect individually to discuss in more detail:

“In a medium-sized company, how many accounting people are involved in managing the RevPro system?”

 Our experience both in managing groups which use RevPro and in working with customers who are implementing the tool is to have 3-5 superusers, on average. This number is adjusted based on complexity of the company, number of products, divisions, types of accounting models, etc. These RevPro superusers truly understand setups and rules and can modify the rules for changes in the business. They are also the first line working both with IT and RevPro Support when changes are required.
“The calculations that are done in RevPro – is there a guide provided by RevPro?”
Typically, we will provide a client with sample scenarios demonstrating how the logic functions, based on individual requirements. This, of course, is in addition to the RevPro User Guide delivered to each customer.
“Any recommendations or guidance for startup companies that are pre-revenue, but ‘thinking big’ and planning for future growth?”
This depends on the type of products/services a company provides to customers. As the timeline gets closer to adoption of new GAAP, it will become critical for each company to assess its own need for revenue automation and how its current systems will scale under the new guidance. For each company, it is paramount to understand what information you are collecting when and where through your order to cash process, as good data is an absolute must in any successful automation project. Everyone today should be thinking about what might be necessary for new GAAP in addition to current GAAP. It is important to have a clear understanding of your company’s processes, revenue streams and controls. The earlier, the better. And, the opportunity to start in a system allows you to build your processes around the system rather than the other way around.
“We are a SaaS company implementing RevPro with an interface Oracle Fusion ERP, but we do not have a formal project management system. Have you ever seen a successful RevPro implementation without a project management system?”
Yes, several of our RevPro implementations were completed successfully without a PMS. This depends mainly on the revenue/financial personnel and their clarity on requirements as well as their understanding of the path needed for a timely and successful implementation.
“The calculations that are done in RevPro – is there a guide provided by RevPro?”
Typically, we will provide a client with sample scenarios demonstrating how the logic functions, based on individual requirements. While we do not currently have a specific guide which addresses this, we are working on additional documentation of this nature to be available in the future.
“Is implementation of RevPro possible for a highly decentralized, global organization where each individual global location is on 35+ different ERP systems, and the data needed does not currently reside within any system or ERP?”
Yes, a successful RevPro implementation is possible under these circumstances, as most global companies will do management/operational reporting out of a data warehouse (BI). If the company identifies the data point required for revenue recognition from the data warehouse (if all system data is pushed) and builds the integration, it is very much possible to implement RevPro. If the company does not have a data warehouse or the company does not push all the data into the data warehouse, this presents a challenge to implement not only RevPro, but any downstream application system.