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Automating Compliant Revenue Recognition Processes for an Enterprise SaaS Application Vendor

Client

Our client is a leading Customer Success platform provider that empowers hundreds of customer-focused businesses to deliver outcomes and exceptional experiences by helping businesses build deep and lasting relationships with their customers.

Business Case & Background

This project focused on integrating two software platforms, Sage Intacct and RevPro. Sage Intacct is a cloud-based financial management and accounting ERP used for process automation and strategic decision-making. RevPro is revenue automation and management software offered by Zuora, which helps SaaS based companies ensure revenue recognition compliance.

Revenue recognition is a complex issue for enterprise SaaS companies. RevPro addresses much of this complexity through automated calculations that consider contract attributes such as price/volume relationships, service delivery timing, product option subscription elements, and many other items. As contracts often change dynamically with SaaS customers, this information needs to be calculated and updated continuously.

Our client required contract data to be sent from Sage Intacct to RevPro where revenue recognition calculations would be made, and the resultant allocation data (GL entries) would need to be sent back into Sage Intacct for general ledger postings.

At the time of engagement with Dispatch, our client was in the process of implementing RevPro for their organization and required this bi-directional data flow to be automated immediately upon go-live, given the criticality of correct revenue recognition.  It simply wasn’t feasible to handle this flow manually.

Welcome

Challenge

Identifying the correct field mapping between RevPro and Sage Intacct was one of the biggest challenges during the development process. The field mapping process involved multiple teams within the client organization, with each decision driving downstream implications in multiple production systems. With the client’s RevPro implementation project being completed in parallel to integration development, many of the mappings and dependencies of the integration were subject to change. Dispatch had to remain agile, following our DIVE methodology to react and adjust quickly as teams at the client organization worked together to establish and test their strategies for using the new platform.

Due to the General Ledger object requirements for Sage Intacct, custom fields in RevPro were utilized to hold non-standard information. Another challenge encountered was the run-time limit for each executed integration. The Dispatch project team optimized the records to transfer per session to increase efficiency to work around this challenge.

 

Solution

The solution we delivered automated complex processes while minimizing the transformation complexity in the integration layer. To improve maintainability, we structured as much data transformation as possible at the data source instead of in the middleware. This design choice enables business users to update the data transformation logic directly when needed without changing the integration itself.

The data delivery process between Sage Intacct and RevPro was fully automated, which eliminated costly data entry and associated errors.

Using Workato and Slack, Dispatch built an interactive interface for teams at the client organization to initiate integration processes. Once initiated, the required data was delivered using a direct Application Programming Interface (API) approach. Notifications back to Slack and exception handling logic including process recovery were embedded into the integration.

Throughout the process, Dispatch maintained clones of all integration content, leveraging Workato to propagate changes from one master recipe to all cloned content. The cloned recipes were all connected to different combinations of sandbox and production instances of the applications. This was essential to allow the client team to test use cases in environments with different configurations to establish production business processes. Change management from one master recipe allowed Dispatch to react quickly to change requests and accommodate additional testing required not just for the integration but the RevPro platform implementation.

Outcome

Upon completion of development and following Dispatch’s rigorous testing standards, we were able to confidently confirm the successful transmission of contract data into RevPro and the successful creation of GL entries upon completion of Slack command trigger events. The timely delivery of integration content was essential to the success of the client’s software implementation. Overall, this integration has improved financial compliance for our client while eliminating manual data entry and associated costs and risks of data entry errors. The integration ensures timely and accurate GL entries at all times, which is vital when working with dynamically changing SaaS contracts.

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