Most billing systems are batch based, meaning that the business will send out all their invoices in a single ‘batch’ at the end of the payments period.
Batch-based billing systems can run into issues in the following common scenarios:
- When one or more invoices are impacted by an error and the business either needs to send out the incorrect invoices anyway with the rest of the batch, or all invoices in the batch must be delayed until the errors are fixed.
- When customers would like to be billed on their own unique frequency, separate from other customers. A batch-based billing system has no way of accommodating this request.
- When a business provides ad hoc services that aren’t part of a regular customer agreement, that need to be charged for.
Some billing automation platforms like Emersion now offer real time billing, but why should that matter for your business?
Benefits of real time billing
Minimise the impact of billing errors
With batch-based systems, all of your invoices get sent out at once. This means that if there are errors present on one customer account you will have to hold off on invoicing for all of your customers until those errors are fixed.
With a real time billing platform like Emersion, you send out an invoice to all customers with no issues on the due date, and bill your other customers at a later date. This improves your cash flow, provides a more consistent customer experience and means you can send invoices at regular intervals.
Send both ad-hoc and subscription-based bills
Emersion is capable of handling subscription-based billing and ad-hoc billing for your customers. This means that if you end up doing one-off work for your customers this can be sent out as an ad-hoc invoice, speeding up cash flow and adding a bit of extra flexibility to your business processes.
Up to 28 bill cycles per month
Emersion allows you to have up to 28 bill cycles per month. This means that you can have separate anniversary dates for all of your customers. This again improves cash flow by spreading it out across the month, provides your customers with a predictable billing cycle and reduces the likelihood of billing disputes.
Automatically Calculate pro-rata charges
Emersion automatically calculates pro-rata charges. So when a customer adds, changes or cancels services from their account, they are automatically billed for their full usage amount. Not only does this save time, but it also means that you aren’t unnecessarily writing off billable expenses.
How to start real time billing at your business
We know all the setup and know-how required for setting real time billing can lead it to being permanently relegated to the too-hard basket.
But do you know what’s even harder? Continuing to deal with the huge manual effort at each month-end, having your finance department (or lone staff member) sacrifice hundreds of hours to the invoicing gods just to barely get through yet another cycle of sending out what seems like a million PDFs or letters, and then recalling some % of them to fix the human errors.
The best companies in the world have the best systems. Imagine the things your business could accomplish if invoicing was made a cinch, completely taken care of by your user-friendly billing automation platform, neatly fitting into all the systems you already use to track usage, on-board customers, and communicate with them. The hours of productivity gained back from the automated tasks alone would be a game-changer.
It could all start now.