The importance of efficient billing cannot be overstated. It is through this task that a company collects payment from customers. One way of ensuring accurate and timely billing is through automation.
Automated billing systems are designed to manage the entire cash collection process from data gathering to sending invoices. The system contains critical elements of billing such as data input and verification, billing codes, tracking payments, and security.
The advantages of electronic billing are far reaching. Although migrating from manual to automated process seem daunting, its numerous benefits make it all worthwhile. Below we highlight some of its rewards.
Shifting from manual to automated billing significantly minimizes human involvement in the process thereby reducing the possibility of human error. In an article posted at Forbes.com, it lists down some invoicing mistakes attributable to human errors, such as poor formatting or editing, incorrect or missing details, and sending invoices to wrong recipients. With electronic billing system, these lapses can be avoided.
Typically, the only involvement of employees is limited to the collection and encoding of customer and transaction details. This significantly minimizes the chances of mistakes.
Efficient invoice management
Managing and tracking customer subscriptions and other recurring transactions can be difficult with manual invoicing. This can even get more complicated if there are special rates, subscription upgrades, automatic renewals, free trials, and refunds. It requires tremendous clerical effort to keep all subscriptions organized and keeping the records error-free.
Enterprise billing platform simplifies and organizes invoicing. It allows you to schedule sending of invoice, discount, renewal and termination notices. This can help avoid accidental gaps in subscription and lack of follow ups on unpaid bills.
You can even set automatic reminders so your subscribers will be warned of upcoming dues or renewals. When subscribers are able to prepare for their bills, they are more likely to pay. This will help improve payment and debt collection rate.
Billing and payment issues are not uncommon. Having accessible and reliable information can help you give quick answers to such concerns. Electronic invoicing provides retrievable audit trails of every step in the billing process.
You can access billing records anytime with ease. This allows you to provide immediate solutions to client concerns. This saves time, ensures transparency, and builds customer confidence.
Ensure data security
Assuring consumer data safety is an increasingly crucial aspect of any technology solution. The best billing platforms employ latest data security standards. This ensures that all consumer data and business information are safe and protected.
Electronic invoices are sent securely to their intended recipients. Likewise, automated billing gives you control on who can access the information in the platform. High level of security minimizes the risk of credit card fraud, identity theft, and data breaches.
Streamline business processes
Billing software can be integrated with your existing technologies, such as accounting, CRM (Customer Relationship Management), payment gateways, and other business management tools.
All data encoded into the billing system can be made automatically available to different departments, thereby facilitating collaboration within the organization. Likewise, integration eliminates the need to transfer from one platform to another saving time of employees.
Most automated invoicing systems include automated analytics and reports, particularly on billing and cash collection data. It gives information about total invoices issued, amount collected and uncollected on a given period, number of subscriptions, client buying attitude, and detailed sales tax data, among others.
Accurate and timely reports are vital for decision makers. Data from the invoicing system is highly customizable. You can pull out information about a specific customer, project or period. This data can help you derive useful insights to better improve business, sales, and marketing strategies. It can also help improve business processes, products, and services thereby ensuring success and growth.
Send bills remotely
Some billing software can be accessed remotely through online or smartphone app. With this feature, you can bill customers anytime and wherever you are.
Remote access is beneficial not just for your clients but also to your organization. You can access financial information and reports as needed even when you’re out of office. You can continue to manage your business while on working vacation or at home.
Automated electronic billing ensures that customer get their invoices and other related information immediately. This facilitates faster communication, fostering good relationship and customer satisfaction.
For example, if a client inadvertently purchases the same product twice, they will instantly get a receipt in their email. The customer can correct the error right away. In manual paper-based billing, the client will have to wait for the mail to arrive before the mistake will be noticed and corrected. This avoids refunds and unnecessary costs in delivery of erroneous orders.
Save on costs associated with paper-based invoice
The cost of sending snail mail might not seem that much. However, if you have hundreds of customers and you’re sending out mail to them monthly, this can be very costly. You need to spend on paper, stamp and mailing, plus the manpower needed to prepare invoices.
Shifting to automated billing will give you substantial savings on both the mailing costs and manpower. Add to that, you’re helping save the environment by reducing the impacts of paper.
Get prompt payments
As mentioned above, electronic billing can send scheduled notifications to customers. Not only will this ensure customer convenience, but also increase prompt payments.
Without these reminders, people can easily forget their bills. Automated billing is actually being proactive so clients will avoid late or missed payments.
Clearly, the benefits of automated billing software are far reaching – and it’s not surprising why many businesses now employ it. However, to make the most of all these advantages, it is crucial that you choose the most suitable program. There are numerous billing platforms available out there but not every software is right for your business. Be careful when selecting the system your company will use. Do your home work and take your time! Don’t rush the process.