FinancialForce Embraces XaaS Economy in Spring 2018 Release

FinancialForce's new Spring 2018 Release includes tools that enable enterprises to shift to as-a-service business models.


Enterprise resource planning vendor FinancialForce on April 19 took the wraps off the Spring 2018 Release of its namesake business software portfolio aimed at enterprises participating in the XaaS economy or are considering making the leap.

XaaS, short for anything- or everything-as-a-service, describes a business model in which products and services are sold on a subscription or pay-as-you-go basis. For businesses, this can open up new and ongoing streams of revenue, but not if their legacy finance and business management applications get in the way, argues the San Francisco-based ERP provider, whose offerings are built on the Salesforce cloud platform.

"In the XaaS economy, customers expect to consume products and services the way they want," said David Krauss, global solutions evangelist at FinancialForce. "They also demand that complexity and friction be removed from the buying and services usage experience."

Along those lines, the FinancialForce Billing Central app, which debuted in September 2016, is designed to provide consistent billing and pricing experiences, regardless of revenue or business model, or whether prorations and other pricing adjustments need to be made, explained Krauss.

"Customers will also be able to support the entire life cycle of the billing contract, from net new creations, modifications and renewals with the announced integration between Salesforce CPQ and Billing Central, while benefiting from better insight into recurring customers and revenue," he added. Formerly Steelbrick CPQ, Salesforce CPQ (Configure Price Quote) is software that helps hasten sale cycles by automating many of the tasks associated with generating a quote.

Although XaaS is gathering steam, not all businesses are fully onboard. For those organizations, Krauss said Billing Central's "ability to now represent subscription and usage-based services alongside other traditional revenue models in our unified self-service customer portal called FM [Financial Management] Community improves collaboration and eases the shift to as-as-service business models."

Similarly, the FinancialForce Revenue Management Spring 2018 Release automates revenue and expense-side allocation, recognition and accounting for businesses whose sales are generated by a mix of product-based, subscription and usage-based models. In addition, the application supports the new ASC 606 and IFRS 15 revenue recognition standards from the IASB (International Accounting Standards Board) and FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board), complete with tools that help customers complete the transition.

FinancialForce Accounting now features Payments Plus, a new accounts payable and payment processing interface. Using a wizard-driven UI inspired by online shopping carts, Payments Plus streamlines data entry and helps reduce errors, claims the company.

On the HR front, FinancialForce Professional Services Automation (PSA) integrates with ADP payroll and HCM (human capital management) platforms, enabling organizations to maintain a single record for each employee.

"This creates one place to request and approve time-off requests, which updates the PSA resource calendar and timecard," said Krauss. HR managers no longer have to re-enter employee information into separate systems and project managers gain improved visibility into worker availability, he added. Other updates include new skill filtering and search capabilities, improved forecasting and a revamped interface that uses the Salesforce Lightning design system.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...