Recurring billing software allows companies to invoice their customers for the products or services purchased on a recurring schedule such as monthly, quarterly, or annually. With countless options available, selecting the right recurring billing software solution that will meet your unique needs can be a challenge. So what factors should you consider when choosing recurring billing software? To get started, let’s uncover 12 primary factors to consider and questions you need to ask before selecting a solution.
Key Factors for Choosing the Best Recurring Billing Software
Selecting the best recurring billing software depends on your business model and requirements. Keep in mind that what may be right for your colleagues, partners and competitors, may not be right for you. Consider these key factors when choosing recurring billing software, and understand the questions you should ask yourself and the vendors you are considering.
1) Pricing models
To rise above the competition, you need the ability to quickly and accurately execute innovative pricing models.
To make this a reality for your company, be sure you know the answers to: Can the recurring billing solution support virtually all pricing models such as flat-rate pricing, tiered pricing, per user/per unit pricing, freemium, pay-as-you-go, volume pricing, formula-based pricing, time-based pricing, demand-based pricing, event-based pricing, and any combination for a hybrid pricing approach? Equally as important – can the customer include multiple charge types within a single plan?
2) Billing cycles
Customers want and need the flexibility to easily make changes to their billing cycles.
Are customers locked into payment schedules? What if customers want their multiple subscriptions (that renew on different dates) to all renew on the same date? Can customers with annual subscriptions make mid-cycle quantity changes prior to the next renewal date? Can the recurring billing software manage multiple contracts and terms within an account?
3) Invoice support
As one of the most crucial processes your business handles, it’s vital that the recurring billing software supports automated invoice processing.
Does the recurring billing software support complex account hierarchies? Does it include an invoice template that can be easily configured and customized for an unlimited number of invoice templates? Does it enable event-based invoicing cycles? How are override rates handled? Is the entire invoicing process automated for accurate and on-time delivery? When it comes to delivery – can invoices, credit memos, supporting documentation, etc. be delivered in different formats and across a variety of channels?
4) Payment options
Customers love options, and the best recurring billing software provides your customers with what they want.
5) Revenue recognition
You want and need to recognize revenue as soon as possible, while remaining compliant with guidelines.
One of the first questions you should ask: Is the recurring billing and revenue recognition software in a single solution? Other questions you need answers to include: Does the software enable you to be compliant with standards such as ASC 606 and IFRS 15? Will you be able to assign financial transactions and execute revenue recognition in real time? Does the software provide for auditable tracking of changes? Do changes require custom coding or IT involvement?
6) Dunning management
To ease the manual burden, you need the ability to automatically collect and recover lost revenue. Doing this requires automation of the entire dunning process.
In addition, be sure you know the answers to: Can messages be easily scheduled and tailored? Is there a limit to the number of dunning reminders? How are dunning messages triggered?
7) Security and compliance
Since compliance requirements change frequently, your recurring billing software needs to be able to quickly adapt.
Questions regarding security and compliance should include: Can the vendor ensure that customer data will be protected and kept confidential? For example, does their solution enable GDPR and CCPA compliance? Do they follow the PCI security standard for credit card payment processing, and offer DKIM protocol for emails sent from the platform? Can they ensure that your revenue recognition is in alignment with ASC 606 and IFRS 15? Can they help with achieving billing compliance through SOC 1 & 2 audit processes? And finally, how do they ensure that customer data is shared internally with only those who absolutely need it?
8) Open connectivity and integration
Recurring billing software shouldn’t be an island unto itself. For a complete financial ecosystem, you need the ability to easily integrate with enterprise resource planning systems (ERP), customer relationship management systems (CRM), and other disparate systems.
Two must ask questions: Are robust application programming interfaces (APIs) offered for limitless billing integration capabilities? What is the availability of enterprise connectors for easy integration with third-party systems?
9) Multinational support
Going global shouldn’t be complex, and with the right recurring billing software you can expand your business across borders with ease.
As you’re evaluating recurring billing software, be sure to ask: Does the recurring billing software allow for easy localization (language, currency, number fields, tax providers, payment providers, etc.) to meet region-specific requirements? How does the recurring billing software handle a diverse and complex portfolio?
10) Customer relationships
Attracting new customers and building a loyal customer base isn’t easy. They expect personalized service, immediate response and 24/7 access to the information they need.
Your recurring billing software should support your customer relationship goals, rather than be a hindrance. When evaluating recurring billing software be sure it provides a customer portal that enables customers to get real-time access to their account information and invoices, make payments, and virtually serve themselves.
11) Business intelligence
Knowing the financial health of your company is key to making informed business decisions, so you need business metrics.
Before partnering with a recurring billing software vendor be sure you know: Can they provide in-depth reporting capabilities that can be sliced and diced to give you the information needed? Do they provide ready-to-use reports, as well as the ability to customize reports? Are real-time dashboards part of the offering?
12) Vendor assistance
Last, but certainly not least you need to evaluate the vendor and their overall solution.
Do they offer the ability to test their recurring billing software before you buy? How do they handle set-up and transitioning from your current billing software? How long does the transition take? What sort of access do they provide for ongoing support?
Get the Best Recurring Billing Software
When it comes to choosing recurring billing software, you can’t leave anything to chance. If you don’t do the research, you may find yourself with a purchase that doesn’t meet your requirements or will end in added expenses.
Ultimately, the best recurring billing software will simplify the entire recurring billing process. It will accelerate payments to drive revenue while helping you to reduce costs. With core capabilities that support the entire quote-to-cash process in every pricing tactic, BillingPlatform automates and manages even the most complex recurring billing processes. Contact our team to learn more about how BillingPlatform’s solution can help your business today.