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When to use a new subscription record vs. amending an existing subscription


When to use a new subscription record vs. amending an existing subscription

I recently had a customer ask for guidance regarding when to use a new subscription to record a customer transaction versus amending an existing subscription.   I haven't found specific guidance elsewhere so I thought  I'd ask the community for input.

My initial response is this:


You can choose whether subsequent purchases should be transacted as amendments to the existing subscription or setup as new subscription records.   Both approaches are supported in Zuora and have their merits depending on the particular use case requirements.
Some key reasons to transact purchases on the same subscription record:
  • All recurring charges need to co-terminate (align to the anniversary/renewal date)
  • Use of the suspend/renew function for recurring charges is transacted at the subscription level, not the rate plan or charge level
  • Invoice preview function is available at the subscription level, not at the overall account level (through the Zuora UI or through the API)
Some key reasons to use a separate subscription to record subsequent purchases:
  • A different company is paying the invoice for some of the subscribed charges (i.e. different invoice owner).   Invoice owner is specified on the subscription level rather than at the product/charge level
  • When some recurring products need to be maintained as a different subscription type (Termed vs. Evergreen)
  • When charges must be invoiced separately from the other charges of the same charge type (i.e. same customer account, but requires separation of the charge details for invoicing purposes)
  • If there are multiple subscribed usage charges using the same UOM and the charge ID is not being supplied to Zuora on the usage record loads
Are there other scenarios I may have missed that would impact the subscription versus amendment decision?
Sean Ralph CPA CA
Zuora Staff

Re: New to use a new subscription record vs. amending an existing subscription

Great posting, and I agree with everything you say. Another way to view this issue that can be helpful is to look this from the business side. Is the customer signing a new contract? Even if it's a click though that no one's ever read? Does that contract differ from the current contract, even if the boiler plate is identical, does it establish a new start/end date? Or contract length? If yes, then you're likely headed down the path of a new subscription. But if it's new stuff on the existing contract, then you're likely going to use amendments.


So it's not that I think you missed a scenario, but if you ask about the contract or deal or order or whatever the lingo in play at the customer is, you can obtain the necessary guidance for set up in Zuora without having to explain a bunch of Zuora terminology. Win win 🙂