Business Daily Media

Six reasons why it pays to automate billing in your business

  • Written by Carl Warwick, Regional Sales Director APAC and Japan at BillingPlatform

Harnessing the power of technology to improve the efficiency and accuracy of your billing process can supercharge productivity and profitability.

Is your enterprise plagued by billing errors, or struggling to get invoices out on time? If you answered in the affirmative, you’re far from alone.

Australian businesses looking to up their game will typically home in on the quality of their products and services, the keenness of their pricing, or on improving their customer experience; the latter very often the ‘X factor’ that determines whether a buyer returns for more.

Improving their billing system and processes tends to be lower down the priority list but, in our experience, business leaders who neglect to optimise this aspect of operations do their organisation a serious disservice.

Why bad billing equals bad business

Why? Because poor billing processes can put revenue at risk. The most common example of this is when a billing system fails to register that a customer’s credit card details have expired; only clocking the fact after an unsuccessful attempt to collect payment.

Billing bloopers can also turn customers off dealing with your enterprise; in some cases, permanently, if the degree of aggro an incidence has entailed is sufficiently high.

Automating your enterprise billing process can paid to issues like these permanently, and generate a host of other benefits for your enterprise. Here are a few of them.

Improved productivity

Automation technology is steadily replacing manual processes across the enterprise and the billing department should be no exception. Minimising unnecessary repetitive tasks frees your finance team up to focus on activities where human intervention is essential, or can add genuine value. And because automation virtually eliminates the risk of human error, you’ll potentially save thousands of hours a year previously spent on identifying and correcting anomalies.

Simplified collections

Most folk are familiar with the old saying that the only things in life that are certain are death and taxes. Many business leaders would add a third certainty to the list: bad debts. Despite best efforts, it’s well-nigh inevitable that a – hopefully small – percentage of customers will pay late, or not at all. Automated billing enables you to track delinquents automatically and streamline the reminder and collections process. While it won’t eliminate bad debts entirely, it’s a good way to ensure most of your customers settle their accounts smartly and in full.

Greater visibility

Siloed systems can make it difficult for enterprises to gain that all important, bird’s eye view of financial operations. That becomes less of a problem if you choose an automated billing system that integrates easily with your critical front and back office systems – think ERP, CRM, payment gateway and the like.

Operational insights

Improving your operational performance starts with understanding what’s working and what’s not. An automated billing platform with sophisticated analytics capabilities can be used to dig deep into the data to extract critical insights, such as monthly and annual recurring revenue figures, customer lifetime value (CLV) and your customer churn rate. Knowledge is power and you’ll be able to use this information to identify opportunities to enhance or expand your offering, or improve the quality of your customer service.

Tighter security and compliance

In 2022, stringent privacy and data security provisions aren’t optional. Regulators, at home and abroad, have become increasingly willing to slap stiff fines on organisations that fail to deploy appropriate measures to safeguard customers’ privacy. Revenue management systems represent a rich source of personal data, which is why it makes sense to utilise a hard-to-hack automated platform which complies with international compliance and security standards.

Better customer experience

While billing blunders are a great way to turn customers off your business, providing them with timely, accurate bills is a great way to turn them on. Making it easy for customers to see exactly what they’ve used or received, and what they’re being charged for it, builds trust and loyalty and increases the likelihood they’ll refer others your way.

A solid foundation for success

In today’s times, there are apps for everything, revenue management included. If you’re committed to improving the accuracy and efficiency of your billing process, it pays to seek out a platform that’s robust, scalable and covers the revenue cycle from end to end.

If you’re smart, you’ll invest in a solution that integrates with your organisation’s ERP system and comes with a data analytics function that allows you to track and manage your customers and extract insights that can be used to inform the decision-making process.

In the absence of this foundation technology, you may struggle to capitalise on the advantages that automation can deliver, and be unable to provide the high quality personalised billing experience Australian customers have come to expect and demand.

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