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Reviewing the Month-End Close Process in Zuora Billing

By Lana Lee posted 09-20-2023 14:13

  

There are many steps in the month-end close process as well as prerequisites to prepare your books before you begin. This month in our Finance workshop, Enterprise Services Manager Monique Romero gave step-by-step instructions on the accounting close process and the month-end close prerequisites needed for accounting close and revenue recognition.

VIEW THE PRESENTATION

The Accounting Close Process

The accounting close process is accomplished in the following steps that we will break down:

  1. Set accounting period to pending close
  2. Run trial balance
  3. Review accounts receivable aging detail
  4. Reconciliation Exercise – Payment/Invoice
  5. Close accounting period
  6. Create summary journal entries
  7. View and Export the data

STEP 1 - Run trial balance

  • Run Trial Balance
  • Action Needed
  • Transaction Dates

Run Trial Balance

After you set your accounting period to pending close, run trial balance to get summary information for billing, cash, credit balance and accounts receivable aging. We show you all transactions that need to be fixed before closing the accounting period.

Action Needed

Certain actions may need to be reviewed before closing an accounting period.

  • Draft Invoices - These invoices must be canceled or posted
  • Draft Payment - The payment must be deleted
  • Processing Payment - Payments in an unknown state. The payment status must be updated (contact Support)
  • Processing Refund - Refunds in an unknown state. The refund status must be updated (contact Support)

Optional Actions - Optional Actions

  • Unprocessed charges – Usage charges that are not rated. No action needs to be taken.

Transaction Dates 

Dates used to determine whether a transaction falls within an Accounting Period date range.

Transaction

Date Used to Determine the Accounting Period

Invoice

Invoice Date

Payment

Payment Date 

Refund

Refund Date

Credit Memo

Credit Memo Date

Debit Memo

Debit Memo Date

STEP 2: Review accounts receivable aging detail

  • Review accounts receivable aging detail 
  • Accounting Period Aging Report
  • Reporting Tool Aging Report

Review Accounts Receivable Aging Detail 

Review accounts receivable aging detail which provides a summary of all outstanding amounts and there are two reports which you can use:

  1. Accounting Period Aging Report - As of the end of the accounting period and is a canned report which cannot be edited
    Accounting Period Aging


  2. Reporting Tool Aging Report - A live report updated as customers make payments, adjustments processed, etc. In this report, invoice fields can be added/removed to build
    Reporting Tool Aging

STEP 3: Soft Close

Soft Close

 

Set accounting periods to Pending Close as an intermediate phase before closing. 

  • While an accounting period is set to Pending Close, only users with the Manage Close Process Z-Finance permission can create, update, or delete transactions that fall within the period. 
  • You no longer need to worry about extra transactions entering the accounting period that you’re closing during the close process.

STEP 4: Close Accounting Period

Once an accounting period is closed, No new transactions can be entered into the accounting period. Existing transactions in the closed accounting period cannot be updated. After closing an accounting period, a final balance will be created for the closed accounting period.

Close Accounting Period

STEP 5: Create Summary Journal Entries in Your Accounting System

A journal entry in Zuora is a summary of all Zuora transactions, such as account receivables, credit balance adjustment, and revenue. 

A journal run auto-creates journal entry objects from Zuora transactions. 

To create a journal run, go to Accounting Period -> Journal Run tab and select the type of transaction you want to include and the accounting period.

Create summary journal entries

STEP 6: View Summary and Transaction Details

Transactions are grouped into summary journal entries based on transaction type, currency, debit account, and the GL segmentation rule. 

  1. To view the summary journal entries, navigate to the accounting period for which you created the journal run and click on the Summary Journal Entry tab. You can also view the summary journal entries by viewing the completed journal run.
  2. You can download the details of each Journal Entry to verify the transactions
View summary and transaction details

STEP 7: Export SJE Data

Summary journal entries are well-formatted for exporting into a CSV file and importing into your GL system. The export is a standard Zuora data source export on the Journal Entry Item data source object.

STEP 8: Review Revenue Reports

Revenue recognition allows companies to recognize the monetary value of a contract over a period of time as the revenue is realized and earned (when goods are delivered or services rendered). 

Businesses can differentiate and report on several types of revenue, including:

  • Deferred revenue: Revenue from closed sales that have been billed but have not yet been recognized. For example, an invoice has been sent to a customer but the billing amount will not be recognized until the services or products have been delivered to customers.
  • Recognized revenue: Revenue representing services or products which have been delivered to customers.

SasS (Software as a Service) companies typically recognize revenue on billings over a period of time rather than all at once. The triggers and formulae that describe how revenue is recognized can vary greatly between business and product lines. In most cases, there is a defined best practice for revenue recognition around particular types of products and services.

Review Revenue Reports - Accounting Period Revenue Detail Report

The Revenue Detail download provides visibility into recognized revenue for a specific accounting period as part of the accounting code and journal entry generating process.

  • To download this data, verify that a trial balance was run for the accounting period. Click into the accounting period> Summary Tab to download the report 
  • The data exported represents the revenue potentially recognized for the selected accounting period-allowing you to preview revenue recognition before closing the period. 
  • Each row represents data from a revenue schedule.
Review Revenue Reports

Review the Month-End Close Prerequisites

Making the proper preparations for your month-end close process for accounting close and revenue recognition is an important step to avoid common mistakes and other pitfalls. Learn more about these prerequisites for accounting close and revenue recognition.

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