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How do I recognize revenue with Z-Suite?

Overview

Zuora powers the revenue recognition used for the Z-Suite integration to NetSuite.

Many of the hardest challenges for revenue recognition are managed by Zuora, including the proration and calculation of the revenue recognition start and end dates.

Zuora has robust functionality where you can define a Revenue Recognition Code per Charge in the Zuora Product Catalog.  Each Charge can also have a separate revenue recognition trigger date that can trigger revenue such as a recurring charge to start when the Service is activated.

Z-Suite has extremely powerful revenue recognition capabilities and powers all the information NetSuite needs to build the revenue schedule.

This article explains how you can recognize revenue using Zuora Z-Suite.

Solution

In the Zuora Product Rate Plan Charge, you can define the Revenue Recognition Code, which equates to the name of a Revenue Recognition Template in NetSuite.

You can also define the type of Revenue Template you are using in NetSuite:

  • Standard templates: These templates take the invoice item amount and recognize it over the revenue recognition start and end date.
  • Variable templates: These templates are used for percent complete revenue recognition when you use NetSuite Projects.

Z-Suite supports both standard and variable Revenue Recognition Templates. And since these are on every charge, you can have one charge in a rate plan use a Variable Template and another use a Standard.

Variable Revenue Recognition

Variable Revenue Recognition is primarily used for milestone-based revenue recognition for projects, such as a fixed-price project.

When using Variable Template, the NetSuite Project Code entered on the Zuora Subscription is used as the project. If this field is not populated, the invoice will not be synchronized to NetSuite - so the recommended best practice is to create the project in NetSuite first, which will give you the needed project code.

When Variable is selected as the NetSuite Revenue Recognition Template Type and the NetSuite project is populated on the Zuora Subscription, the invoice will be synchronized to NetSuite using the Revenue Recognition Template and in NetSuite, the Revenue for the Invoice Item amount will be placed on hold.

In NetSuite, you can track the project, enter milestones and take the revenue off hold and recognize it.

Standard Revenue Recognition

Standard Revenue Recognition uses the start and end dates entered on the Product Rate Plan Charge.

You can define the Revenue Start and End Dates when you define your product catalog and automatically populate these dates based on what is entered on each subscription (Contract Effective, Service Activation, Customer Acceptance). 

  • For the NetSuite Revenue Recognition Start Date, you can select either the Charge Period Start or the Rev Rec Trigger Date.  This means you can use the standard start date from the charge or use one of the delayed dates that you define as your revenue recognition trigger. This is standard Zuora functionality as described in How do the invoice and revenue recognition triggers work in Zuora?.
  • For the NetSuite Revenue Recognition End Date, you can select Charge Period End or the Subscription End Date. The Subscription End Date is often used when you want to recognize a one time charge over the subscription term.

Examples

If you want to recognize each invoice item using the charge service period, which is common for straightforward recurring revenue, such as quarterly or annual billing, you would set the following:

  • NetSuite Revenue Recognition Start Date=Charge Period Start
  • NetSuite Revenue Recognition End Date=Charge Period End

If you want to use delayed revenue recognition where you invoice on contract effective and trigger revenue on either the Service Activation or the Customer Acceptance, you would set the following:

  • NetSuite Revenue Recognition Start Date=Rev Rec Trigger Date
  • NetSuite Revenue Recognition End Date=Charge Period End
  • Revenue Recognition Trigger=either Service Activation Date or Customer Acceptance Date

Z-Suite will automatically create the invoice in NetSuite on Contract Effective Date and will put revenue on hold in NetSuite if the Service Activation or the Customer Acceptance is not known.  When these dates are entered, Z-Suite will automatically take the revenue off hold in NetSuite.  Pretty cool stuff!

If you want to recognize a charge, such as a one time, using the subscription end date when you have to recognize a one time or professional services fee over the life of the subscription and not the service period, you would set the following:

  • NetSuite Revenue Recognition Start Date=Rev Rec Trigger Date or Charge Period Start
  • NetSuite Revenue Recognition End Date=Subscription End Date
  • Revenue Recognition Trigger=either Service Activation Date or Customer Acceptance Date depending

Z-Suite will use the subscription end date as the revenue recognition end date and you can use this feature with delayed Rev Rec as well.

So, there it is. Z-Suite has extremely powerful revenue recognition capabilities and powers all the information NetSuite needs to build the revenue schedule.

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