4 Ways to Optimize Enterprise Billing Automation

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A good billing solution doesn’t cut it—not at the enterprise level. What you need is a solution that can go above and beyond for your business.

It’s not enough to automate invoicing, to simply get the job done. You need something that hums in harmony with the rest of your tech stack. Something that maximizes operational efficiency, ensures compliance, and frees time.

A tall order to fill, perhaps, but that’s billing at its best. If you know what to look for, you can find a solution that checks all of your boxes and touches nearly every aspect of your business.

Switching billing systems is often seen as a difficult task, but the results are worth the effort—and often isn’t as labor-intensive as you may worry.

Weigh your current system in terms of its operational efficiency, its ability to handle integrations, security compliance, and dunning. If the technology you have isn’t up to muster, an alternative solution can bridge the gap in your services, saving tremendous effort in the long run.

1. Ensure your existing billing software is up to snuff.

At the enterprise level, many businesses start coding up homegrown billing solutions. These have their merits—operational functionality tailored specifically to your business’s needs can be a major gain for convenience.

Unfortunately, enterprise billing with homegrown tech only works when the business has put in the time and money to develop a cutting-edge service.

Granted, this can be done. It just usually isn’t.

Data security features alone are an enormous boon. Most good billing solutions are PCI compliant, which is helpful not only from a security standpoint—your customer information is simply safer once you’ve achieved it—but also a competitive one.

As of 2019, when the issue was last broadly surveyed, only 27% of businesses have achieved full PCI compliance. Being the company that is compliant can appeal significantly to potential customers. In 2020 alone, there were 36 billion records exposed through data breaches.

Customers, particularly at the enterprise level, want to trust the services they use to keep their information safe. High-quality billing software can provide the highest level of security with the lowest level of effort on your part.

 

It’s also important to note that automated billing platforms can assist with ASC 606 compliance. Properly recognizing revenue is very difficult, and it comes with high stakes. Ledger-backed billing platforms naturally update your records throughout the billing cycle, keeping your revenue straight in real-time to avoid compliance issues and the hefty fees that come with them.

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2. Work more strategically.

A good automated billing service partially or completely automates certain tasks outside of regular billing and invoicing. One example that provides huge ROI is automating dunning tasks.

About 60% of businesses experience late payments at least some of the time. Of them, more than half have reported that late payments have impacted their ability to make new hires or expand their operations.

Not getting paid on time is a real problem—especially when the follow-ups begin to eat away at your finance team’s precious time. Automated billing services, though, can change the game.

Good billing solutions allow you to automate customer communications around missed payments. When a payment is late, your system can automatically send out emails or even text messages alerting the customer that they have missed a payment.

There are other features as well that, while seemingly small, can have a significant positive impact on your collections over time. For example, automated payment retries or automated credit card updating allow you to correct billing issues and collect payments before the invoice is ever past due.

Combined, these solutions help fight revenue leakage—a problem that can cost businesses up to 5% of their revenue each year.

And while your billing service does all of that, your financial departments are free to perform more strategically-driven work that can have a much higher impact on future growth.

3. Monitor and action billing analytics.

A report from several years ago suggested that improper data implementation is costing businesses millions of dollars every year. Meanwhile, automated billing solutions can automatically generate customer-related reports that have positive company-wide implications.

Take marketing as an example. Currently, almost 90% of marketers say that data is the most under-used asset at the company they work for. Good billing solutions can change that.

For example, the platform offers sales-related data that can help your marketing and sales divisions see which packages are most appealing to the new customer. Using that information, they could be more aggressive than Will Smith at the Oscars as they push those specific plans.

Billing-related data can also be used to reduce churn by isolating the point in the customer lifecycle where customers typically cancel their plans. Using this information, customer success can be more targeted in their efforts.

As Peter Sondergaard of Gartner Inc. says, “Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.” The more data at your fingertips—and the better you can use it—the more competitive your business will ultimately be.

4. Integrate, integrate, integrate.

Certainly, good billing software serves as an integral element of any tech stack. But its benefits can be dialed up to 11 if you set it up to “talk to” your other software. When integrating with your accounting solutions, along with your ERP and CRM, billing software can be a vital means of optimizing operations and making sure your tech toolbelt operates like a well-oiled machine.

Your billing software as integration can help with inventory management, upsells, proper revenue recognition, and more. By allowing data to communicate seamlessly between software, your entire staff can get the information they need without ever leaving their system. Data siloes are torn down and efficiency wins the day.

It just makes sense

In 2021, Salvador Perez hit 48 home runs. He batted 121 runners in and maintained a respectable .273 batting average. He did not, however, make his own bat. He let Spalding focus on that, so he could go out and get his wins.

Be like Salvador.

Possible though it may be to make your own billing solutions, the rewards are rarely proportionate to the costs—both in terms of time and money. Most businesses don’t need a new project. What they need is a billing solution that can make life easier, coordinating with the rest of your tech stack while optimizing billing operations.

With the right software, you get big results with relatively simple effort.

Tags: Revenue Management SaaS Billing

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