Is your finance team tethered to an endless supply of spreadsheets? Are you hiring additional resources to handle your end-to-end quote-to-cash processes? Do you encounter billing and invoicing errors that are dipping into your profitability, and putting you at risk for non-compliance to regulatory mandates like ASC 606 or IFRS 15? There’s an answer to these and other billing-related challenges. That answer can be found in a single phrase – workflow automation software.
Workflow Automation Software And Its Benefits
At its most simplistic description, a workflow is a series of repeatable steps or tasks, and workflow automation software is the application that automates tasks found within various processes. The advantages of implementing a workflow automation software solution can be found in nearly all aspects of your business. From a billing perspective, workflow automation software benefits include:
- Reduced manual effort: Workflows help you uncover redundant tasks, enabling you to reallocate or reduce resources. For instance, say you have a diverse product line with multiple pricing models, such as pay-as-you-go and subscription-based. As customers use the service, each billable activity must be associated with an event type and grouped to determine which rates should be applied. This is then followed by tax rules, which must be calculated by region. To generate an invoice, all of these elements need to be combined for accurate billing. Using a spreadsheet to accomplish these tasks is not only time-consuming but error-prone. Workflow automation software takes the manual effort out of these tasks, enabling you to bill and collect payments in real time.
- Timely delivery of purchases: Regardless of whether the purchase was for a product or service, your customers expect their purchases to be delivered on time. When irrelevant and redundant tasks create a delivery barrier, the customer experience is less than desirable. This ultimately puts you at risk for customer churn.
- Revenue recognition compliance: When you have a well thought out and defined workflow, nothing is left to chance. This is especially important when it comes to revenue recognition rules, such as ASC 606 / IFRS 15. Non-compliance is a significant risk that leads to earnings restatements, which can lead to employee dismissals, fines and even jail time. Not only can this have a negative effect on your brand, but can result in substantial penalties – putting your company in jeopardy.
- Increased insights: Are you still creating audit trails and managing records manually? If so, you’re not only at risk for non-compliance, but you’re missing the opportunity to proactively push insights to dashboards and reports. With information at your fingertips, you’ll always be on top of your billing records and your customers’ billing methods.
- Enhanced customer experience: To grow your business, you need a loyal customer base and a brand that attracts new customers. Invoices sent with errors send the wrong message. With workflow automation software, you’re able to reduce billing errors and respond to customer issues faster. All of which gives your company a competitive advantage.
- Improved internal collaboration: The quote-to-cash processes touch nearly every department, including sales, finance, legal, order fulfillment, customer service, and more. In most organizations, these departments work in silos, making efficiencies nearly impossible. With workflows that span functional areas, your organization will work as one. This enables you to avoid bottlenecks so you quickly deliver on customer promises, invoice in a more timely manner, and collect revenue faster.
Essentially, workflow is about people performing specific tasks within different processes. To obtain the efficiency desired, there is another piece of the puzzle – business process management. Let’s take a look at why this is an essential component for your workflow automation strategy.
Working Together: Workflow Automation Software And Business Process Management
Sometimes there’s confusion between workflow and business process management, and for good reason. In many cases the terms are used interchangeably, when in fact they each have their own distinct purposes and benefits. Business process management is a methodology used by companies to organize, analyze and improve current business processes. It typically encompasses multiple workflows, across company silos to optimize processes and improve efficiency.
To illustrate, let’s assume you just received a shipment of laptops. Once they arrive, the receiving document is scanned. This triggers two notifications. One for the appropriate department to pick up the laptops, and the second to the accounting department informing them that the laptops have been received and the invoice can be paid. Without business process management and workflow, emails or phone calls wouldn’t have been made to the appropriate departments. For optimal efficiency, it’s always best to make workflow a component of your business process management.
Automate Your Billing Processes
Businesses with complex billing scenarios undergo multiple manual steps in rating, billing, and invoicing customers. With BillingPlatform, you can execute complex billing tasks without manual effort. Once your business model is defined in our cloud-based solution, BillingPlatform lets you sequence and orchestrate automated workflows with just a few clicks. Business processes can easily be configured for event-based triggers, such as a new customer record or other information updates. This lets you sync information across various applications via remote application programming interfaces (API’s), extending your automated processes to outlying systems, like your general ledger or customer relationship management (CRM).
BillingPlatform’s cloud-based solution offers extensive automation capabilities that increase efficiencies and improves customer satisfaction. Our platform enables critical workflows to be completed through event-based triggers, giving you the flexibility needed to streamline and automate your redundant processes. Invoicing is automated based on the criteria you define. This enables you to schedule an invoice to auto-generate a PDF invoice at predetermined intervals, attach related documents, and send the invoice directly to your customer without lifting a finger.
Are you ready to reduce costly errors, eliminate tedious spreadsheet processing, and simplify your billing processes? Ask our team to tell you more about how BillingPlatform is helping companies like yours automate critical billing tasks. All while giving you the time to focus on growing your business.