How to Streamline Rebate Management in Finance and Accounting

October 7, 2021 Team Zilliant

Zilliant’s new Rebate Management solution simplifies the intricate process of creating, executing and analyzing off-invoice incentive programs. Flexible cloud-native software replaces spreadsheets and one-off agreements to streamline and optimize the process for the key stakeholders that are integral to a successful rebate program. In this blog series, we examine how the solution drives value for the pricing, finance, and sales teams within a B2B organization.

Finance and Accounting are Critical Stakeholders in the Rebate Management Process

When it comes to rebate management, finance and accounting has ownership over what is perhaps the most important part of the process: accruing and ultimately paying out and crediting customers. However, many B2B companies often run into transparency and accuracy issues from an accounting perspective that can lead to major headaches for sales reps, pricing managers and ultimately customers. This illustrates the need for a streamlined and optimized approach to rebates, and why a comprehensive rebate management solution is the key to getting there.

Rebate Challenges for Finance and Accounting

Tracking Rebates and Managing Accruals

Finance and accounting departments aren’t always aware of all of the rebate agreements that are made throughout the year. Particularly when they are created over email between a sales rep and a customer. Then when accounting is trying to close the annual books, a sales rep mentions, “Oh, we owe my customer a rebate.” The lack of awareness across the board is a major challenge because it creates a pain for accounting, finance, and the sales rep who is responsible for getting the rebate paid out.

Managing accruals is also critically important to the rebate process. However, accrual management is a complex and a labor-intensive process due to reliance on manual processes and tools such as cumbersome spreadsheets. Accrual spreadsheet inaccuracies hinder the entire rebate management process and may result in errors in balance sheets or income statements.

Optimal Rebate Settings

The overall goal of a rebate is to incentivize a behavior in exchange for a price or other commercial concession, but the problem lies in not understanding how much is too much or not enough to receive that incentive. Finance and accounting need an easy way to tell who has been paid, who needs to be paid, and when payment is expected. However, not a lot of analysis and science goes into understanding and setting up a rebate.

This results in rebates that pay out far too much or don’t pay out enough or at all because the customer doesn’t meet the rebate threshold. So, the rebate often becomes useless in that sense. Correctly setting up rebates and ensuring optimal settings and payout thresholds is critical to rebate success. An effective rebate management system should include analytics that convey profitability reports and spotlight problem areas that need to be addressed.

How Rebate Management Software Benefits Finance and Accounting

When it comes to finance and accounting, rebate management software can offer a 360-degree view of active rebates and accruals, with a simple dashboard showing who has been paid and when the next payments will come due. Profitability analysis is made easy with price waterfalls giving a complete picture of impact to the bottom line, especially when the rebate management software is fully integrated with price management software.

Zilliant Price Manager™ offers powerful rebate management capabilities that can streamline and optimize rebate management for all roles essential to the rebate process, including finance and accounting. These capabilities include:

  • Defining and publishing rebate programs
  • Simulating forward-looking program effectiveness
  • Running accruals
  • Tracking rebate payments due
  • Backward-looking waterfall analysis

Within Price Manager, finance and accounting teams can easily access an accrual and payout workbook where they can define all parameters for how the rebate program pays out and define accruals. This allows high visibility into the payouts based on how the accruals have been set-up. These capabilities are also highly portable for use in the finance and accounting process including simply defining what the customer has been paid and what’s due within the solution, exporting the data to CSV and making changes and importing it back in, or accessing and retrieving all information via API, which you can then bring into another third-party system.

Conclusion

Rebates, or off-invoice discounts and incentives, are powerful method to motivate a customer base, build brand loyalty, and ultimately, increase revenue. However, the process of executing and managing rebates is cumbersome and complex due to many factors. The new rebate management capabilities within Zilliant Price Manager eliminate complexity to streamline and optimize the rebate management process for all critical pricing, sales, and finance and accounting stakeholders.

Watch our on-demand webinar – Streamline Rebate Management Across Pricing, Sales and Finance – for in-depth product demos of Zilliant’s new rebate management capabilities available within  Zilliant Price Manager, Zilliant Deal Manager™ and Zilliant Campaign Manager™.

Contact Zilliant today to learn more about streamlining the rebate management process in your business. 

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How to Streamline the Rebate Management Process for Pricing
How to Streamline the Rebate Management Process for Pricing

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