Automation is an option for nearly every task we encounter throughout the day. Reminders for appointments, recording a TV show, and even the water dispenser for your pet. But what about how your organization collects revenue – do you have an automated enterprise billing system? It may be surprising to know that many organizations still rely on manual processes for their complex billing needs. If you’re one of those such organizations:
- Are you tired of the stress resulting from manually handling repetitive billing tasks?
- Is the labor required taking time away from activities that could boost your profitability?
- Are errors becoming more frequent and beginning to affect your bottom line?
- Is it taking days (or even weeks) of research to identify outstanding payments?
- Do you use spreadsheets to close the books at the end of the month?
- Are long-term customers beginning to churn?
- Does it take an excessive amount of time and copious reports to gauge the financial health of your business?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, it may be time to automate your enterprise billing system and processes. If you’re not quite sure if your enterprise is ready for billing automation, here’s one more question. Would you like to improve your profitability? Our guess is… the answer to this question is, YES!
Why Billing Excellence Matters
You probably provide the best products, excellent services, and proactive support at a competitive price. But if your traditional billing processes result in late invoices, billing errors, and miscommunication, you may be putting your business at risk.
Without a doubt, billing is not only the most frequent communication you have with your customers but arguably the most important. Get it wrong and customer churn is a very real possibility. In fact, in the U.S. 17% of customers will walk away after just a single bad experience. This percentage increases to a staggering 59% when the customer has had several bad experiences. And that’s just voluntary churn.
When it comes to involuntary churn, billing is typically the culprit. For example, it’s been estimated that approximately 12% of customer credit cards will fail each month. Add to this incorrect billing information, and the more than 75% of customers that fail to respond to ordinary dunning notifications, and customer churn can have dire effects on your enterprise.
Benefits of Automating Your Enterprise Billing System
You’ve probably automated many of your repeatable processes such as sales, customer relationship management (CRM), employee onboarding, inventory tracking, logistics and delivery, and are reaping the benefits that automation provides. What about billing?
If you haven’t automated your enterprise billing system, you’re not alone. Often overlooked or lower on the priority scale, finance typically lags behind when it comes to automation. That being said, the tide is changing, and enterprise billing automation is now becoming a priority – and for good reason.
Manually managing the repetitive processes of invoicing, payments, credits and refunds, outstanding balances, collections, and revenue recognition is extremely inefficient, prone to errors, and can result in cash flow bottlenecks. Enterprise billing automation improves efficiency, reduces and often eliminates errors, expedites revenue recognition, and improves the customer experience… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With an automated enterprise billing system you can:
1) Improve Productivity:
Eliminating unnecessary manual work provides your finance team with the time to identify and resolve other critical financial processes in need of improvement.
2) Minimize or Eliminate Errors:
The risk of human error when manually handling billing functions is all but eliminated.
3) Simplify Collections:
When delinquencies are tracked automatically and past-due notifications are on auto-pilot, you’re able to streamline the communication process and collect money faster.
4) Accelerate Revenue Recognition:
The complex formulas used in manual revenue recognition processes makes it difficult to accurately track earned revenue and deferred revenue.
5) Enhance Transparency:
Automated enterprise billing systems help you easily integrate critical front- and back-office systems. This includes financial, general ledger, tax solutions, payment gateway, CRM, enterprise resource management (ERP), business process management (BPM), robotic process automation, (RPA), etc. for a single source of the truth.
6) Gain Better Insights to Operational Performance
Increase visibility into operational performance with customizable reports, analytics, and dashboards. Automation means you’ll better understand monthly recurring revenue (MRR), annual recurring revenue (ARR), customer lifetime value (CLV), churn, month-to-month variances, revenue growth/decline, and more.
7) Improve Security and Compliance:
Keep customer data protected and confidential while adhering to compliance and security standards (ASC 606, IFRS 15, SOC1/SOC2, PCI, DKIM protocol, FIPS 140-2 encryption, etc.) with an enterprise-grade control environment.
8) Deliver Better Customer Experiences:
Not only will providing timely and accurate bills improve customer relationships, but the insights received from an automated enterprise billing system will provide the information needed to analyze situations and proactively take action.
Essentially, an automated enterprise billing system removes bottlenecks, enabling you to keep cash flowing and customers loyal. But with the numerous choices on the market, how do you know which one is right for your enterprise? There are 7 questions you need to ask yourself and 6 automated enterprise billing system aspects that need to be taken into consideration.
Don’t Let Billing Get in the Way of Your Success
There are plenty of choices when it comes to purchasing an enterprise billing system. The key to gaining and retaining a competitive advantage is in selecting an automated enterprise billing system that meets your current needs, as well as future requirements.
Only a cloud-based enterprise billing system provides a complete solution to support all your business needs – any product, any service, and business model. With our unmatched agility, you’re able to easily integrate with up or downstream systems or extend the platform to accommodate any business process. With us, you’re able to run your enterprise with greater efficiency, accuracy, and control, which is essential for profitable growth over the long term. Ready to see more? Request a demo from our experts.