A day in the life of an Aptitude RevStream user (or two)
We sat down with two Aptitude Software clients – and RevStream users, John Weis (Senior Financial Analyst) and Ryan Bidner (Finance Supply Chain Analyst), from The Climate Corporation to see how they use automated revenue recognition in their daily operations as revenue and finance analysts.
Q: Can you explain a little about your company.
The Climate Corporation is a digital agriculture company that provides farmers with weather, soil and field data that is critical to sustainably enhancing yield potential, improving efficiency, and managing risk. The digital tools we offer give farmers the ability to make more informed decisions about managing their crops and provide an avenue for achieving increased farming productivity.
Q: You have incorporated automated systems to help you reduce the manual tasks in your daily work, as well as recently completed your ASC 606 implementation. What are your goals with your ‘free’ time?
Weis: We have definitely been freed up to work on all of the things we have been neglecting! In particular we can now focus on actual value-add activities, the forward-looking activities. We have a goal to provide the business with better analysis and metrics on key performance indicators, these are the things that our finance leadership truly wants and that our business can make good use of.
Q: What is your most useful tool when forecasting?
Bidner: We are pretty enthusiastic about our forecasting capabilities. We use our revenue waterfall report to help us significantly with revenue forecasting. I like to do a summary by categories and I can see what has been scheduled as well as what’s new revenue that we’re going to generate this month.
Q: How have your positions evolved over the past four years as your office has become more automated and more systems oriented?
Weis: Over the last year we’ve been able to take over the forecasting responsibilities from our FP&A counterparts. It works extremely well, and it just makes more sense to have us do this because a) we have time now, and b) we are the ones working in Salesforce and NetSuite. So, we understand the key drivers of revenue, the triggers, and our KPI’s. We have a thorough understanding of what the insights mean and can really drive that information further into the organization.
Now we have the ability to really partner with the business more and help guide go-to-market decisions, product offering decisions and that sort of thing. Overall, we’ve definitely been able to increase our level of partnership with our actual business counterparts.
Q: How has reaching out to your peers helped your career aspirations?
Weis: It 100 percent makes a difference when you can get out and work with other departments because you have information to help them be more effective. We now have exposure to leadership throughout the company whereas before we could be siloed within finance and accounting. Building relationships and working with people, learning about the different parts of the organization greatly improves your business acumen and your career possibilities.
Bidner: I am early in my career path and come from a finance focused academic program, so I have been learning a lot on the job. Our team does more than just revenue recognition and being able to learn and understand systems that deal with the rev rec guidelines provides me with easy value. It also gives me time to work on adding value across all aspects of my job, not just my ability to work in spreadsheets.
My understanding of accounting, rev rec principles and guidelines has definitely grown with this recent implementation. In particular understanding the drivers between why we amortize things in different ways, carving out market fair value and different things like that. I’ve definitely been able to grow both my technical and non-technical skills.
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