Billing management is the next stage of the Order to Cash process, billing takes place after Sales Order fulfilment, in the cloud it is an automated process that automatically creates an invoice for the customer, effectively a request of payment for the customer.
In the cloud billing management can be as vanilla or complex as you and your business need it to be. The good thing about the cloud is that this can all be managed and automated. There is no need for reminders to be set up in your calendar, or having to sift through agreements to see when the next invoice is due for payment.
Billing schedules are a key area of billing management, an example of a billing schedule is a subscription based agreement, like a magazine subscription or your broadband monthly payment. This is a recurring bill set up each month that you are invoiced for to use their service. The cloud can automate this process, that on a certain date each month an invoice is generated for a certain period e.g. 12months.
Billing and invoicing management can also play a part in sales forecasting and commissions, with a billing schedule attributed to sales and commission. With the cloud, real time data makes reporting and managing forecasts and commissions payable far more accurate, efficient and reliable. An example of this would be when a monthly invoice is generated and paid, on marking of payment, the commission payable to a sales rep can be automatically created, approved, and attributed to the specific rep.
Another benefit of the cloud is managing your A/R aging process, managing terms, the auto creation of invoices on specific dates and receiving payment. The overall functionality of a cloud based system allows you manage your receivables, monitoring customers in the A/R Aging process, viewing late payments, where each customer is in the life cycle in terms of balances that have aged. Ultimately real time visibility allows the A/R team to manage their customers better and more efficiently at any point in time, knowing that they have the most up to date and accurate information.
The invoicing process is the request for payment from your customers, being able to manage these in one place is a more effective and thorough process. When a billing schedule is applied the creation of invoices is a smooth, automated process at a predetermined point in time. Another example of this would be when running projects, milestone billing can be put in place, therefore invoices are only generated, not against sales orders but completed work in a project, for example in a software implementation when the accounts have been uploaded and opening balances are loaded, this could be when invoicing takes place, effectively part invoicing for a much larger piece of work.
In summary billing management and invoicing in the cloud plays an essential part in running a successful business, the reason for this is that it brings organisation and efficiency to the billing process. The automated process removes the possibility of human error in the overall functioning of billing, while also enabling the end user to not rely on reminders, removing the chance of missed payments and backlogs. Reporting on a cloud based ERP system gives you full real time visibility to be able to manage your receivables in a much more efficient, clear and concise way, increasing you overall business functionality and execution.