Organizations making the shift from traditional one-time purchases or standard subscriptions to consumption-based services require a new set of systems and processes to ensure the billing process is efficient, accurate, and easy for both customers and team members.
An intelligent billing system like the goTransverse platform enables these consumption-based services by empowering businesses to manage the entire quote-to-cash process, from order to revenue recognition, at scale. But what does that mean, exactly? Let’s take a look at five characteristics of a sophisticated system to unpack how intelligent billing can save time and resources, improve customer loyalty, and help improve an organization’s bottom line.
1. Flexible & Configurable
For evolving businesses, flexibility and configurability are critical components of any system, and billing is no exception. While many legacy billing systems require custom coding to reconfigure processes and functionality for every customer and every product release, goTransverse’s intelligent billing platform is designed to be highly configurable, meaning it’s ready to handle a wide variety of unique use cases based on individual customers’ needs and the demands of new product and service models.
The platform is also built to integrate with a wide variety of existing systems, enhancing efficiency by keeping data, processes and workflows centralized, automated and free from redundancies. So adopting intelligent billing doesn’t mean throwing away investments in other systems or duplicating efforts — goTransverse’s platform is ready to become a key player in your existing setup.
Finally, a flexible product catalog prevents object proliferation and SKU sprawl by including different countries, currencies, recurrence periods and bundling options in one catalog object. Unlike traditional systems, which require separate SKUs for every variation, goTransverse’s flexible catalog supports dynamic and adaptive models to prevent customer confusion, missed cross-sell or up-sell opportunities, incorrect orders, product cannibalization and missed revenue.
Research from MGI has found that almost 60% of companies cite billing disputes as a significant source of customer friction and another 30% of companies indicating that billing issues are impacting their financial results. A major cause of this friction is lack of transparency into the billing process — on both the customer and the organization side.
However, goTransverse’s intelligent billing platform gives users full visibility through smart, real-time rating and reporting and granular invoicing.
The smart rating engine allows businesses to bill based on a wide range of usage attributes, and you can learn more about usage and rating in our recent blog post. But the key transparency driver here is the engine’s real-time rating capability, which allows the business to process usage and apply charges immediately following a usage event. This means, rather than waiting until the end of the month to receive their invoices (risking sticker shock), customers can check in any time to see where they stand, and businesses can notify users when they hit various consumption tiers or other usage milestones.
This consistent availability of information — and the granular detail included on invoice line items — cuts back significantly on billing disputes as it eliminates the element of surprise and gives both sides time to clarify any questions as they arise rather than waiting until the bill is due.
Recently, ASC 606 regulations have modified the way organizations manage billing and revenue recognition, eliminating transaction- and industry-specific revenue recognition guidance and replacing it with a principle-based approach for determining revenue recognition. This new set of regulations — just one of many that organizations have to keep up with when it comes to billing — strengthens the case for automated revenue recognition to ensure accurate, reliable and timely reporting.
Fortunately, intelligent billing systems like goTransverse are equipped with configurable, native accounts receivable subledgers that can handle complex, compliant revenue recognition without the logistical headaches or risks of human error that come with manual recognition processes. The goTransverse platform can manage periodic, consumption-based revenue recognition (even as often as daily), taking into account service period, agreement length, customer lifetime metrics, milestones and many other factors — and all securely adherent to revenue recognition and other regulations.
The advanced reporting capabilities of sophisticated intelligent billing platforms go beyond providing transparency for consumers. They enable businesses to capture detailed, real-time data on customer preferences and usage trends, empowering them to identify (and even automate) cross-sell and upsell opportunities and pinpoint low usage patterns suggesting dissatisfied customers in time to reduce churn and improve customer average lifetime value. These usage data and trends can even help businesses identify new product and service opportunities based on consumer preferences.
Further, the goTransverse platform includes a variety of forecasting capabilities, including “what-if analyses” that allow both customers and businesses to see the effects of changing consumption patterns on total cost (for the customer) and revenue (for the business), making adjustments as necessary.
All of these benefits of intelligent billing add up to one characteristic that’s critical to keeping any business ahead of its competition: speed to market. By offering a flexible product catalog to keep offerings connected, synchronizing the front and back office and ensuring consistent regulatory compliance and customer transparency, the goTransverse intelligent billing platform empowers businesses to bring new produces and services to market quickly and smoothly, avoiding logistical logjams that lead to extended time to market, lost revenue, missed opportunities, jumbled orders and disgruntled customers.
And even better, the platform is ready to scale as those launches lead to rapid expansion into new market segments, handling increased volume and complexity as well as the currency, tax and language complications of global expansion.
These are just a few of the key features of intelligent billing platforms to support consumption-based services. To learn more, download our Executive Guide to Intelligent Billing, and schedule a complimentary, personalized demo with goTransverse today!
Clare Corriveau is the Director of Marketing at goTransverse. An award winning marketer, over the last 10 years Clare has built her career in SaaS and demand generation. When she’s not kicking SaaS in marketer-mode, you can find her spending time with her husband and kids, hiking with her pup Pippa and cheering on Michigan State.