The importance of the billing system means that a lot of businesses live with a lot of pain and anguish caused by their traditional system failing. Only when the pain becomes unbearable do they seriously think about doing something about it.
Here are three typical scenarios where traditional billing systems hit the pain threshold.
1. There’s too much improvisation
One way to know if your traditional billing system is failing is by looking at the amount of improvisation you have to perform to get it to even come close to doing what you need it to do.
Do you use a) Excel and a billing clerk who on a monthly basis enters new orders into the traditional system in order to trigger the right things to happen? Or b) some sort of ticketing/workflow system that sends out reminders to people who then perform task(s)?
In both a and b, reminders tell people to do things such as manually charge a credit card, and if the card goes through, then manually process the order, then perform any order fulfillment requirements.
We’ve seen some very creative ways in which people try to essentially create their own recurring billing subscription management system. This usually happens when, (as many things do) the subscription project starts as a test, pilot project or a “let’s try this and see what happens” experiment.
No one wants to invest too much in systems when they don’t know if the test is going to result in something ongoing, so you make do with what’s around, and what’s around tends to be Excel, or Excel plus Quickbook,s or Excel plus a tracking management system. But at some point there is so much improvisation and so many pieces to remember that it’s no longer sustainable.
2. There’s not enough security
A second way traditional billing systems fail is when it comes to security. Most often, this occurs when people try to build projects themselves.
There are two different types of build your own projects. The first is the quick and dirty development project where a database is hacked together to store credit cards and purchase orders.
The second is the long drawn out development project that while sometimes come to completion, never really ends, because as soon as you start developing, people discover just how entwined the billing system gets to be.
Both types of “build your own” often have security issues – risks that can be devastating to a business. Security and PCI compliance is a big issue, both in terms of the risk of loss of data on your customers’ behalf, risk of losing your customers trust (which usually results in the loss of their business. But once you’ve proven to have security issues you could lose the ability to process credit cards all together.
3. Revenue Leakage
Revenue leakage occurs when money is lost due to manual errors. For example, you’re shipping to customers who have stopped paying you or not shipping the right things to people who are still paying you.
Customers aren’t billed on time, credit card processed for the wrong amount, etc. all of these types of errors cost you money, and don’t provide you the visibility you need to run your business.
Whether that’s forecasting your requirements and inventory levels, or understanding which marketing programs are working and delivering good customers.
All three of these of these scenarios become barriers to scale. And what we most often hear from our customers when they talk to us about why they need a new billing system is that their billing system is getting in the way – that it’s become a barrier to growing the business. They’ve proven success, their idea or concept or subscription model, and now they need to get bigger and they need billing to be a key part of that.
Learn more about how an automated billing system like Fusebill can take away this pain. Join Fusebill CEO Steve Adams on March 13th for a live Product Demo!
Product Demo: Fusebill Automated Billing and Payments Platform
When: March 13, 2:00 PM
Presenter: by Steve Adams
Subscription billing stresses business processes and systems. The challenge of creating and delivering accurate bills, and securely collecting payments, can overwhelm billing teams as a business scales. Accounting teams are challenged with applying proper revenue recognition rules to subscriptions, and analyzing performance.
Keeping the wrong billing system means tightening the bottleneck around the whole business while moving to the right system means invoices are accurate and on-time, collections come in faster — and the bottom-line gets a huge cash-flow boost.
Hosted by CEO Steve Adams this fast-paced and interactive hour will give you an insider’s view of Fusebill’s market leading Billing and Payments platform, an overview of subscription commerce including best practices, and a live in-product demonstration.