February 18, 2016 by Rhianna
The SIIA is delighted to introduce one of the most recent new members to join SIIA’s Software & Services Division, RevStream, a cloud-based revenue recognition tool. I had a chance to sit down with Mary Nguyen, Marketing Manager at RevStream, to learn a little more about automated revenue management. Please find my interview below.
Rhianna: Tell us a little about RevStream and what makes you unique.
Mary: RevStream was born in 2007 in the Silicon Valley. Our co-founders set out to accomplish what they were told by many venture capitalists couldn’t be done: create software that addressed the complexities of revenue recognition. In a market that was untapped by any of the major ERP vendors, RevStream pioneered revenue recognition automation. Our Enterprise Revenue Lifecycle Management (ERLM) suite is an unparalleled, comprehensive tool that manages the complete revenue lifecycle, from start to finish. We are a small company with a huge product, and that’s what makes us one-of-a-kind.
Rhianna: Why is revenue management an ongoing challenge for most finance organizations?
Mary: Revenue is the single most important metric to report on financial statements. But with evolving business models, there are hundreds of different variables that impact how and when a company can recognize revenue to be in compliance with revenue recognition standards. The norm for managing revenue has been to perform endless calculations across millions of lines of data in Excel spreadsheets. You can see how this could become problematic – Excel isn’t scalable, is highly prone to human-error, takes weeks to close the books with, doesn’t leave an audit trail, and doesn’t give finance organizations any insights or analytics for future revenue forecasts.
As a business continues to grow in order to stay relevant in today’s competitive market place, their revenue management process needs to be effective and scalable from beginning to end. This means that at any given time during the revenue lifecycle, it is a huge advantage for a company to have complete visibility into their revenue numbers. These insights allow executive leaders, such as the office of the CFO, to make agile decisions around performance management—including mid-revenue cycle strategic adjustments.
Rhianna: What advice would you give companies as they start to navigate and apply the new revenue recognition standards that take effect in 2017?
Mary: Most companies are definitely underestimating the amount of time, energy and work that is going to be needed to implement the new revenue recognition standards. We’ve said time and time again: if you haven’t started assessing the impact now, you are going to be scrambling when it’s already too late. The new revenue recognition standards are heavily data driven, meaning a company will need to identify specific data in order to be compliant. Our advice to companies is to complete an impact assessment as soon as possible, which includes looking at their data sources today. There are a number of ways to determine good and bad data, what data is missing, and what a company needs to do to fix and retrieve the data. Automation solutions like RevStream can help identify data gaps and bring awareness to what data issues that may need to be resolved in order to be compliant with the new revenue recognition standards.
Rhianna: How important is your partner ecosystem and how do they contribute to your customer’s success?
Mary: RevStream’s partner ecosystem provides a comprehensive environment of resources for our customers and can be incremental to our customer’s success. We have two different types of partners: Alliance Partners, as well as Platform Partners, for seamless implementation and integration RevStream’s software. Our Alliance Partners consist of top accounting and consulting firms who are industry-leading experts that can provide insights, skills and resources needed to address industry-specific issues and opportunities around revenue management. Our Platform Partners are leading enterprise software and SaaS solution providers that enable our customers to leverage their existing ERP and billing system investments harmoniously with RevStream’s automation software. Partnerships with providers like Oracle and NetSuite, whose ERP is a key function of many of our customers’ fundamental business processes, provide an added element of confidence that RevStream’s software can be seamlessly integrated.
Rhianna Collier is VP for the Software Division at SIIA. Follow the Software team on Twitter at @SIIASoftware.