As companies scramble to adopt the new accounting standard on revenue recognition, Zuora rolled out the Spring 2018 product release of its Zuora Central Platform subscription management software, including a new Zuora RevPro user interface to automate compliance.

The company introduced the upgrade Tuesday at its Subscribed user conference in San Francisco. Zuora built new capabilities into the software for finance and operations teams, including billing, collections, revenue accounting, deal desk, orders and CXOs.

The new revenue recognition standard has become an important consideration for accountants and has specific complications for companies that deal with subscription revenue, such as software licenses. Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo has been an outspoken critic of the new standard (see ASC 606 or 666? Revenue recognition standard could spell trouble for software companies).

Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo at the company's Subscribed conference
Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo at the company's Subscribed conference Courtesy of Zuora

Zuora noted that for a typical subscription business, approximately 70 percent of revenue comes from the existing customer base through renewals, upsells and cross sells. The new Zuora Central Platform upgrade helps finance and operation teams process and capture these subscription change orders.

The new Zuora RevPro UI element of the upgrade helps businesses automate revenue recognition. It includes a new configurable dashboard, faster load times, data grids with advanced filtering, export features, drill-down capabilities and more.

Other features include a new workflow builder with drag-and-drop capabilities, a Zuora Collect feature for collecting on recurring payments, and improved invoice settlement and payment operations in the Zuora Billing module. Zuora has also added Zuora Orders to the upgrade, giving subscription companies greater order flexibility, a new set of metrics, and more order-to-revenue automation.

“This is our biggest product announcement ever,” said Zuora senior vice president of product Tom Krackeler in a statement. “The Zuora Spring ‘18 release includes a number of new features and product upgrades to arm finance teams with the technology required to address their most pressing subscription order-to-revenue needs.”

Also at the conference Tzuo released his new book, “Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will be Your Company’s Future – and What to Do About It.”

“Industry after industry, businesses understand that subscriptions are the future of revenue growth,” said Tzuo. "But they’ve been clamoring for a how-to succeed guide. That’s why I wrote "Subscribed" — a blueprint to win in the 'Subscription Economy.'”

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.