A Message from Leo Solomon, CTO
It’s astonishing how much things have changed since our last newsletter. We hope you are coping amidst these unusual and historic times.
While the shift to a virtual working environment was an adjustment for some, I’m grateful we have such a resilient and customer-focused team that didn’t lose focus on our commitments. That is why we are pleased to announce that the Spring 2020 release is live! This release delivers more flexibility and innovation to help you manage your solution and continue to provide the best customer experience.
You can find more about the release below, but as a reminder, earlier this year we delivered some great new features and capabilities that you have been clamoring for. Things like:
- Multi-tab Browsing
- Predictive Search
- Configurable Screen Layouts
- Updated Navigation
With the Spring 2020 release, we are adding even more:
- Enterprise Acceleration: Configuration and code migration tools, system insights and monitoring, as well as integrations with partners in financial and payment ecosystems
- Billing and Functional Innovations: Revenue commitments, voucher/coupon management, enhanced credits and adjustments, subscription lifecycle management and many others
While it seems there may be light at the end of the tunnel as the pandemic eases, your safety, well-being, and success remain our top priority, so please let me know if there is anything we can do to help manage your customer needs.
Streamlining your billing operations
We’ve added a number of new features in this release, including:
- BillingPlatform Change Management
- Operational System Insights
- Advanced Credits
BillingPlatform Change Management
This feature provides the ability to automate the promotion of changes between your BillingPlatform environments, whether that be changes from development or sandbox to production. This solves a critical compliance requirement for any size company, especially enterprises to be able to track and promote changes within your organization.
Configuration changes can include items from the product catalog, workflows, data model customizations, user roles, etc. Here is an example of what this automation will provide:
- With the configuration deployment tool you can bundle items into a single unit and deploy atomically (all or nothing) into UAT and then to production, with no manual rekeying of data
Not only will this new feature simplify operations, it will also reduce data entry errors caused by manual input, and save time in creating, testing and deploying changes to your system.
Operational System Insights
This new feature provides insight into platform processes and system activities carried out by background processes. The feature will provide a real-time view of system statistics and progress on tasks such as:
- Bill preparation
- Invoice generation
- General ledger computation entries
- Information exchange with external systems
- Bulk loader
It also gives users with the appropriate security profile to start, stop, or restart any process.
This real-time view will provide you with vital statistics about all processes running, execution status, and pending work item counts as well as the peace of mind that all critical processes are up and running.
This feature allows you to combine multiple line item credits onto a single credit memo or issue prior billings adjustments as negative charges on the invoice. In addition to crediting specific line items on an invoice, you can also issue partial credits as well as credit taxes, all through an intuitive user interface. All credit line items will be accessible from Revenue Recognition, which will allow for better revenue recognition entries. And finally, this new functionality will allow you to create detailed credit memos and send them as PDFs to your clients, all in a seamless, easy to automate, workflow.
BillingPlatform is now also able to accommodate credits as “adjustments” on invoices. This means a negative charge can be added to invoices, which will lower the amount of the invoice without generating a credit.
These new features will help speed credit processing, increase the agility of operations, and improve customer satisfaction.
This new feature provides the ability to offer customers and prospects discounts through the use of promotional vouchers or coupons, a great way to increase revenue and gain new customers.
Vouchers/coupons can be used to provide discounts by either:
- fixed dollar amount off
- percentage off
- formula calculated amount
And those amounts can be applied to a specific:
- time period
- set of products
- customer-defined criteria
In addition, you decide the effective dates for using these vouchers/coupons: one-time use, set expiration date, or no expiration date.
The new voucher/coupon management capabilities help to attract additional revenue, increase customer loyalty, increase the use of new services, and help to convert prospects to customers.
Adding value to the platform with partner solutions
From adding new partner connectors to enhancing existing connectors, learn more about these new features:
- Taxation Automation via SureTax Connector
- Salesforce BillingSync
- Taxing on Consolidated Invoice Line Item
Taxation Automation via SureTax Connector
BillingPlatform has completed the integration to Wolters Kluwer SureTax, providing a connector to deliver comprehensive tax calculation.
This high throughput solution accurately calculates taxes down to the invoice line item level. The connector has the flexibility to calculate taxes automatically based on tax location rules for a variety of industries including the complexities of communication service providers such as interstate/intrastate transactions and tax-exempt customers.
The mappings between BillingPlatform transactions and SureTax codes are user-configurable, giving you full control over taxation behavior of existing or new offers.
In case you were not aware, with our BillingSync connector, billing and invoicing data can be managed in and connected directly to Salesforce. This out-of-the-box connector gives your sales team the most accurate and up to date information about their customers from lead to revenue.
Further enhancing the tool, we’ve implemented the following:
- Enhanced sync history: now payloads of failed jobs will be stored automatically, so the user can download them for quick troubleshooting and testing
- “Ignore Nulls” checkbox: this provides the possibility to treat null values differently depending on the field being synchronized
- “Run Now” button: this lets you sync a change in a record by pressing a button so the job will run without affecting the rest of the scheduled processes
- History of job mappings modification: old versions of the sync jobs will be stored to easily track changes, allowing users to experiment with new mappings knowing that they will always be able to revert to a previous version
To learn more, watch this webinar to discover the benefits of connecting Salesforce directly to BillingPlatform.
Taxing on Consolidated Invoice Line Items
For customers using a tax service provider, we have added the capability to consolidate individual line items before sending them to the tax engine, thereby lowering the transaction volume run through the tax provider.
By consolidating line items, tax calculations can happen on aggregate totals rather than on individual line items. As with the rest of the solution, the rules to consolidate invoice line items are customer configurable. In addition, the system can be set up to submit the entire invoice as a single transaction, consolidation can also happen along any number of required dimensions to achieve accurate tax rates with minimal transaction volume.
Below are a couple of examples on how to take advantage of this feature:
- Consolidate invoice line items by their location and SKU codes (customer-defined attribute)
- Consolidate usage per invoice but not apply to recurring charges
The end result for you: significant cost savings and less financial data to store in your system.
BillingPlatform is excited to announce the first features to come from the Lab, the Finance Control Dashboard, BillingPlatform Add-in for MS Excel, and BillingPlatform Customer Portal Templates.
Finance Control Dashboard
The dashboard shows the key aspects of your data in charts and graphs and allows you to click to report details and quickly access other areas of the application for management.
In the dashboard you can search across different objects and see the details. For example, you can search for a particular account and see the associated invoices and payments easily in the dashboard’s type-ahead search feature, then drill down into the details with a single click.
This dashboard is completely configurable, allowing you to add or remove components with simple point and click configuration.
If you are interested in a demo of how the Finance Control Dashboard can help you manage your business or test the beta version, contact us today.
BillingPlatform Add-in for MS Excel
This new add-in provides easy access to a tool finance people know and love – Excel. With a single click from within Excel, instantly generate rich billing and revenue reports for month-end, revenue comparison reporting, and more.
BillingPlatform Customer Portal Templates
With our extensible customer portal templates, create a branded, self-service experience and allow your customers to manage their service and stay on top of their invoices and payments.
We have several new features in progress that will help you better manage your operation, save time and cost, and increase your efficiency.
- Advanced Collections - our new add-on module will provide the capabilities for you to collect on past due debts and minimize bad debt write-off with a platform-native collections module. With this tool, you will be able to:
- Tailor recovery strategies for any customer segment
- Introduce just the right mix of user performed and automated actions to achieve high touch or low touch debtor interactions
- Payment Gateway Framework - This framework will help reduce the technological barrier and speed deployment of new payment providers as well as allow payment providers to plug-in their own integration to BillingPlatform. In addition, chargeback and settlement notifications will be supported. By expanding our ecosystem of payment providers, customers can select from a pre-built connector or select their payment provider of choice and be assured that BillingPlatform has the ability to link to new providers quickly and easily.
- Audit History and Compliance Management - This capability will be appreciated by all as it gives you the insight to know who changed what and when. The audit system will provide both user-centric (what did this user do?) or data-centric (what changes were made to this entity?) reports.
BillingPlatform Innovation Lab Update
As we announced in the last newsletter, we’ve launched the Innovation Lab, an environment designed to explore and develop new ideas to help solve the business challenges faced by enterprises today and into the future.
We’d now like to introduce you to the Innovation Lab Forum where you can learn more about the innovations coming out of the lab, sign up to beta test versions, and share ideas for future innovations.
Start sharing your ideas, and test our new innovations today at the Innovation Lab Forum.
New innovations in the works:
BillingPlatform Add-in for MS Excel 2.0
After the overwhelming response to the Add-in for MS Excel, we’ve enhanced the Add-in to give you the ability to create and run your own personalized reports. The addition of a report builder provides easy drag and drop capabilities to report on specific fields, aggregate results, and add filters. From this data, create charts and pivot tables to create the reports needed to manage your business.
Product & Package Pricing Simulator
The Pricing Simulator will allow you to construct a new pricing plan for an existing product or assemble products into a new package and simulate the revenue impact. You will be able to run the product or package against a set of customers, a set of invoices, or even look globally on how those price changes or repackaging may affect your overall revenue, either on a customer level or across the organization.
Don’t forget, if you are interested in beta testing any of the innovations or have ideas you'd like to submit for future consideration, check out the new Innovation Lab Forum site today.
Since we frequently talk about the flexibility of the solution and the ability to extend the platform, we’ve added a section where we can highlight some of these new capabilities. If your business can benefit from these features, let us know and we can help add to your solution.
Do you have customers who also sell products or services through your system? Or maybe you are struggling with settling intercompany transactions where you buy and sell from each other? In these instances, you likely have more invoices and payments going back and forth than needed or the transactions are difficult to account for.
To help streamline the accounts receivable and accounts payable process for this complicated settlement scenario, we’ve added the capability to easily determine the net position of those transactions. This feature allows you to generate a debit memo in the Accounts Payable system and create a receipt document for the same amount that closes the invoice in the Accounts Receivable system.
Here’s an example: let’s say you have five invoices for the products your customer/buyer bought from you and you have three invoices from the customer/seller for the products you bought from them. With netting, you can match the exact transactions from the buy-side to the sell-side and collect only the difference.
With Settlement Statements from BillingPlatform, you can easily aggregate buyer and seller transactions to streamline the settlement process and ensure no payment overlap.
Reclassification of Revenue
Classification of revenue can be tricky, particularly for enterprise operations. Chances are you need to record revenue with multiple classifications such as location of the buyer, the services purchased, and the legal entity where the intellectual property resides in order to populate the right level of detail in the general ledger.
With BillingPlatform’s native subledger, you can set up rules to automate the reclassification of revenue between multiple accounting entities before passing the entries to the general ledger. This feature helps ensure regulatory compliance, accurate calculation of taxes by market location, and the ability to run your business and make informed decisions based on accurate revenue reporting.
The functionality was created using the intelligence of our revenue recognition engine and the inherent capabilities achieved by combining billing and subledger into a single system.
Contact us to learn more.
4 Critical Features That Deliver Complete Billing Control
July 22 @ 1:00 pm ET
Join BillingPlatform’s SVP of Finance, Brad Sawaya, to learn how platform-based billing solutions can be configured to support all of your pricing, packaging and strategic needs.
MGI Research: Mediation 2.0: The Data Management Challenge in Quote to Cash
In case you missed these webinars:
Recurring Revenue Models Continue to Evolve,
Are You Prepared for the NEXT Wave?
Learn from industry experts, Forrester analyst, Lily Varon, and BillingPlatform CEO, Dennis Wall, as they discuss the role technology plays in the evolution of your business and your billing models.
Benefits of BillingPlatform DataSync with Salesforce
Discover the benefits of connecting Salesforce directly to your billing solution.
The 2020 BillingPlatform Trends in Finance Survey Report
BillingPlatform recently completed a survey of 300 finance vice presidents and directors to uncover the most important priorities and areas of concern facing the country’s largest corporations in every industry.
Read 2020 plans from this key group of finance leaders.
Markley Group Case Study
Discover how this rapidly growing cloud services business automated billing processes while maintaining its agility and reduced billing time from days to hours.
EPIC Case Study
Learn how EPIC was able to increase efficiencies with cloud-based billing, reducing invoice and labor costs by over 50%.
Billing Vendor Checklist
Read our blog to learn about the five critical billing capabilities every software company should demand.
Continuing to enhance our partner network, we’d like to introduce you to a few partners:
For companies with aggressive growth goals, managing sales tax can be a challenge. While you’re working to get more customers, more sales, or more products into the market, you’re also creating more tax liability. Avalara lets you prepare for sales tax fallout from growth activities, so it doesn’t stall your plans.
Meet your sales tax obligations with accuracy and efficiency. This solution offers a comprehensive sales and use tax calculation system that combines industry-leading tax rate and taxability rules with precise jurisdictional information to simplify your collection and remittance, and mitigate audit risk.
Customers looking to collect funds via direct debit in the US, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Sweden, and the rest of the European Union now have the option to use GoCardless as their payment gateway.
Navint is an advisory and technology services firm that enables enterprise organizations to drive growth and operational efficiency throughout the lead-to-revenue lifecycle. Specialists in recurring revenue, monetization and business process transformation.
Built on shared values of innovation, reliability and client success, our partnership with Navint will further enable clients to drive innovation and efficiency in complex operating environments. And, together we will work to drive additional value for customers who leverage Salesforce as an enterprise platform.
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