The Move from Live to Virtual: What to expect from remote User Acceptance Testing

A typical Quote to Cash UAT used to mean up to 50 people in a room on laptops, coached by #teamVFP in person, as they learn and test their Quote to Cash implementation.

Those travel days are behind us for now. With restrictions in place and C-19 to deal with, we’ve made the transition to 100% virtual UATs and tailored them to fit each client’s needs across geographies, time zones, and teams.

We interviewed Heather Stewardson, Consultant at VFP, who has navigated virtual UAT sessions with five clients since the Covid-19 restrictions were in place to find out what works and how successful businesses are adopting their new systems.

What’s the goal of a UAT?

When we are configuring software, we borrow the tried-and-true model of User Acceptance Testing common in the tech industry. First, we ensure functionally everything is working – no errors or gotchas in the system. Second, we test their processes from an end-to-end perspective to make sure all critical workflows operate as expected in the new system across all departments.

How important is UAT to the process of implementing Quote to Cash in a business?

It’s critical! At the beginning of any engagement, we focus our time on understanding the need and requirements for process improvements into the client’s workflow. This can be very simple or very complex depending on the project – but once we get to UAT we spend time with all of the users, showcase the functionality, and ensure that we have met all of the needs we uncovered during requirement gathering. It’s generally the first time the client has been hands-on in the system, and it’s crucial to make sure we’ve got it right.

How many UAT sessions does a typical VFP implementation team go through?

Typically we plan for two UAT sessions — and that’s true of most implementations. However, every project is unique and it can be anywhere from one to three. The first UAT is the “getting to know you” phase where we introduce the system, work out any kinks, and identify any new functions we may need to add. At the second UAT – everyone has more fun. The team is familiar and has some experience using the system – we focus on finalizing, re-confirming, and training everyone.

What changed when we moved to an all-virtual platform? Did anything surprise you?

Everyone in the UAT is trying to absorb so much information that’s all new to them: new processes, new steps, new buttons. Even if they are already using Salesforce or FinancialForce, it takes time. We have honed it into train-test-train-test on each piece, so we can keep everyone comfortable with bite-sized material while we still progress through the whole system. 

For example – we’ll go through a test case together – sometimes as simple as creating a new opportunity record, approving a timesheet, or creating a journal entry –  walk through it together and ensure everyone is comfortable with the function, and then talk about it before moving on. Comfort is built individually while working collaboratively with your peers across the same test case.

What’s the biggest difference between a virtual UAT and an in-person UAT?

I’m surprised at how many clients love having a virtual UAT. It’s allowed us to ensure all parties hear when questions come up rather than having side conversations in other parts of the room. It means that everyone becomes a change champion and moves through all the test cases instead of just a few. That helps teams get and understand everyone’s role, which makes for a smoother transition. 

Are there any tips and tricks you’ve learned to make their experience so strong?

Using the full functionality of a web collaboration platform like Zoom is a big part of it. By using virtual break out rooms online, we’re able to move into an “office” with a couple of people at a time and give them one-on-one attention. We also use Zoom’s participant icons – such as Yes/No and Raise a Hand. It’s allowed us to read the room, and we hear from everyone. So it helps us pace ourselves and ensure we know who needs more time, and who’s ready to move on. As consultants, it gives us a great sense of who’s paying attention and engaged, and where we need to focus.

What do your clients say about the virtual UAT experience?

It’s been four months since we started the 100% virtual UAT – and every client has been extremely receptive.

Individually, people have told me they’ve loved it, and some even prefer it. It’s allowed us to accommodate multiple time zones with varying breaks, and generate a sense of accomplishment and progress. They’ve felt that by testing functionally the first day or two and then end-to-end testing the following days on their own, the material and processes are sinking in.

What’s the best advice you have for a company thinking about adopting a Quote to Cash system – knowing it’s all virtual right now?

It’s possible! And it really works. Even in the “new normal” we’ll keep many of these new virtual processes to give our clients the choice and tailor the experience for them. Nothing is better than face-to-face consulting, but virtual UAT sessions are an excellent option now, and when the pandemic is behind us. You can still seize the opportunity to digitally transform your business without consultants getting on airplanes.

Any last thoughts?

I really want companies to see that the time and effort you put in now will truly impact your business, your employees, and clients in the future. 

Staying open, communicative, positive, and ensuring plans, agendas, and checklists are put in place for critical milestones – UAT, training, and go live – keeps everyone accountable for their contribution to a successful system and a smooth transition. We are here to help companies grow and thrive, and this is a great time to put Quote to Cash in action.

Talk to the Quote to Cash experts on Salesforce and FinancialForce now!

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Raul Acosta

Sales Director

As an agile, focused and collaborative team player Raul strives to consistently take a holistic approach and make an impact with each networking experience and partnership forged.


With 15+ years of experience in sales strategy, application sales, and relationship management, he excels at solving complex business challenges through data-driven insights, superior customer service, and relevant Salesforce expertise.


As a former trusted advisor at Certinia and Salesforce, Raul has successfully implemented strategies that drive revenue, align business units, engage target audiences, strengthen brand image, maximize productivity, develop people, transform processes, and improve overall customer experience, showcasing his commitment to clients, partners, and colleagues.

Michael Kelly

Engagement Director & Head of Project Management

Michael, with a background in project financial management and analysis, has spent over a decade in various project management roles. Leading clients, project teams, and fellow project managers, he ensures successful project deliveries and implementations. Michael’s PMP Certification enables him to stay current with the latest industry standards and project management practices.


Passionate about his field and role, Michael finds fulfillment in successful projects, tangible results, and meeting client needs.


Throughout his experience in engagement management Michael has successfully led over 25 clients, projects, and go-lives. He has overseen a project budget portfolio of $25 million per year, managing 21 separate project engagement efforts concurrently for his client base. In his career, Michael has hired, trained, and personally managed a team of over 50 project managers.


He has also contributed to the development and training of new agile project methodologies in multiple companies.


Currently, at VFP, Michael has played a crucial role in implementing the new agile methodology across all active projects for their client base in 2023.

Greg Plaisance

Managing Consultant

Throughout his career at VFP, Greg has progressed from the role of Consultant to Senior Consultant and currently serves as a Managing Consultant.


With 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, Greg possesses a diverse skill set that spans Retail Banking, Post Audit, and Consulting. He holds 3 Salesforce certifications and 2 Certinia certifications, showcasing his expertise in areas such as Accounting, Revenue Recognition, Billing, and leadership strategy. Greg’s extensive background equips him with a deep understanding of financial processes, enabling him to offer valuable insights and guidance to clients within the industry.


Passionate about process improvement, efficiency, and leadership he helps companies by managing the systems that support their core objectives, allowing them to focus on their key goals.


Greg aims to build VFP into a premier consulting firm that is highly sought-after by both clients and professionals as a desirable place to work.

Kristin Hubbard

Managing Consultant

Kristin, a seasoned Salesforce and Certinia professional since 2011 specializes in Financial Management, specifically focusing on areas such as Billing, Revenue, and Accounting.


With a degree in Accounting, Kristin began her career as a Billing Specialist, where she actively contributed to the implementation of Salesforce and Certinia, showcasing her problem-solving skills and passion for process improvement.


Recognizing her abilities, she transitioned to the role of Certinia Administrator, playing a crucial role in the system’s global rollout. Later, as a Business Systems Manager, she assumed responsibility for the entire Salesforce platform. Motivated by her love for the job and a desire to help multiple organizations, Kristin pursued consulting, specializing in Certinia ERP and leading consultant teams for approximately eight years.


Since 2018, she has played a vital role in planning and executing the Florida Dreamin event. Recognized as a Salesforce MVP in 2023, she holds 7 Salesforce and 1 Certinia certification, demonstrating her expertise and dedication to growth.


Kristin understands the value of embracing technology and streamlining processes to reduce costs and enhance profitability. With expertise in Salesforce and Certinia, she guides organizations to implement efficient systems, optimize operations, and achieve financial success.

Ty alibhai

Managing Consultant

Ty is a seasoned consulting leader who has focused his experience over the last 15 years on the Salesforce platform and solutions in its ecosystem. He brings 20+ years of business knowledge, consulting experience, and a knack for successful Salesforce and Certinia implementations in the quote-to-cash space. Ty has successfully implemented technology solutions such as Salesforce and Certinia to over 100+ customers over his career and has led/managed consultant teams of 5-10 people.


Graduating from UC Berkeley’s Haas Business School and with a strong background in Computer Science, he launched his career in technology consulting. He focused his career on the Salesforce platform after experiencing success at Salesforce in the early 2000s and growing that knowledge with consulting partners the latter half of his career. His knowledge spans multiple industries, solutions, and market segments from SMB to Enterprise level experience.


As part of his role at VFP, he effectively manages a team of consultants, empowering them to achieve their career objectives. He also leads project teams and ensures the seamless adoption of technology, thereby driving client success at VFP.


Driven by a strong desire to make a positive impact on customers’ lives by simplifying their experience with new systems he excels as a leader, mentoring consultants and guiding project teams to successful outcomes.

Nick Anderson

Managing Consultant

A global Salesforce and Certinia consulting and implementation leader, Nick is an expert in his field with more than 8 years of experience on the platform, specializing in Quote to Cash and Professional Services Automation best practices.


With a focus on mid-market and enterprise accounts, Nick brings a deep knowledge of best practices to all aspects of client projects including change management, business process documentation & improvement, system configuration, revenue recognition and managed services.


With an extensive background in International Business and PSA solutions, Nick is the driving force behind the VFP consultants, helping the team tap into their full potential in order to deliver excellent results.


Never one to back down from a challenge, Nick embraces his ever-changing environment and encourages customers to do the same as a way to drive further success down the road. He stresses the importance of clear communication and building strong working relationships in order to effectively articulate a vision for the future of a business.


Using his own years of consulting experience as a touchstone, Nick’s focus is on developing talent and ushering in customer success for the VFP team across the board.

Doug Johnston

Chief Operating Officer

Building scalable large-capacity services teams in enterprise environments for more than 25 years, Doug is focused on operational excellence and builds high-quality and high-growth companies and teams.  

As COO, Doug’s responsibilities encompass overseeing all facets of customer services including a Project Management team, internal operations, and a team of expert consultants. His primary focus lies in fostering a high-performing team and culture, guiding its development, providing support, and offering coaching to optimize efficiency.

Doug’s diverse experiences in industries including software services, government, private sector, medical, and beyond have led to the development of a global team, overseeing projects ranging from small initiatives to multi-million dollar implementations and long-term relationships with clients.

With unwavering determination, Doug strives to establish a top-tier consulting firm in collaboration with VFP’s CEO, Stephanie Taylor. Together they shared a vision that transcends software implementation, aiming to provide value, challenge conventions, and leverage expertise for optimal outcomes. Though strategies shift with growth, the core objective of building an exceptional company remains a constant in Doug’s journey. 

Doug joined VFP in its infancy, with a goal to grow the team and scale the operation – which is now doubling year over year, based on a passion for people matched with a deep sense of purpose. With 2x INC5000 placements under 1000, team growth of more than 10,000%, high customer success ratings and stability within the team, his leadership has proved vital to positive growth and long term stability for VFP. 

Stephanie Taylor

Chief Executive Officer

A sought-after leader with a 20+ year history working with global Fortune 500 companies, Stephanie is a business process expert with a deep and well-recognized expertise in the Salesforce and Certinia ecosystems, with a focus on Quote-to-Cash, ERP, CRM, and Financial Management.


Stephanie founded VFP Consulting to offer companies with access to a 360 approach to not just implementing but managing their technology investments over time, from aligning people, process and product needs to long term management that maximizes the investment and fuels growth and business needs over time. 


Front-line experience overseeing 100+ projects and relationships with diverse clients, from mid-market enterprises to billion-dollar enterprises, Stephanie’s expertise spans high-growth businesses, private equity, mergers and acquisitions across various industries. Her leadership at VFP places a premium on the core values behind the name – Vision, Focus, and Passion.