Do I really need a billing system?

Given that we sell a billing platform, our usual answer is yes. But that’s not the point of this blog.

A lot of the potential customers we speak to have a slightly skewed point of view of what a billing platform can do, and what’s involved in adopting a system like ZOEY.

This typically manifests in pushbacks like “I don’t think a billing platform would benefit us” or
“…but isn’t changing billing platforms such a BIG job…”. But these are myths that may be preventing you from evolving your operation, and we’re here to dispel them.

So, let’s start with the key question…

Do I really need a billing system?

Technically no, but you could say the same for a lot of your systems. You don’t need a CRM system – you could put all that data in a centrally stored spreadsheet, or even a “home-made” database, and work from that – but a dedicated CRM does so much more, which is why it’s such a strong and positive investment.

Many resellers start off similarly, using spreadsheets and accounting packages to bill customers, but this stunts their ability to grow.

Operating and maintaining a “DIY” billing solution has significant regulatory considerations too. With ever evolving legislation and guidelines from Ofcom, the ICO, FCS, and other authorities, resellers face what may seem like a never ending battle to ensure systems are compliant.

Having a built-for-purpose billing system allows for far more customisations, a better user (and customer) experience, reduced complexity as the business grows, as well as the ability to create unique propositions for specific customers. Not to mention the peace of mind brought with ticking all the boxes for industry standards!

Not only will this free up a considerable amount of your team’s time, but customers will have a more positive experience, with lower wait times, more accurate bills and the ability to securely check their accounts whenever they like. In turn, leading to higher spending customers that spread their positive experience through word of mouth, leading to more new customers and increased growth!

Also, internal BI/MI reporting will be a lot easier, allowing key stakeholders to have a better idea of how the operation is performing and in the case of our billing platform, ZOEY, able to view account usage and charges in real-time, with hourly CDR imports.

Have we started to convince you?

Book a call to see ZOEY in action!

Isn’t migrating platforms difficult?

Honestly, data migrations do require significant focus and attention to get it right, but migrations to ZOEY are fully managed by our experienced billing experts.

Our staff have a genuine passion for supporting our clients and helping them get the most from ZOEY, and their knowledge and experience are pivotal when moving an entire business’ accounts from one system to another.

Sadly, it’s not as simple as ‘just migrating data like for like’. And in fact in many cases ‘like for like’ would not be desirable. The right billing partner will invest a lot of time to rationalise and cleanse the data, ensuring data is accurate, appropriate and compatible before moving forward to the actual migration.

In 2021, our average time spent on migration projects was 6 weeks – from signing to the first live bill run in ZOEY. In other words, in less than 2 months, we can completely overhaul and evolve your billing – from invoices to self-serve functionality, margin analysis to data protection – ultimately, helping improve revenue and business growth.

When onboarding one customer, we found over £30,000 in unbilled usage. Speak to us today to prevent a similar fate!

Can’t I use my accounting package to bill my rentals?

Many accounting packages available today are capable of billing simple recurring line items, but that doesn’t mean they are suited to telecoms and IT subscriptions.

Accounting packages don’t…

  • Calculate prorated part-month charges
  • Refund advance rental on termination
  • Apply ETCs for ceasing these services in-term
  • Allow for supplier SDR reconciliation
  • Link charges to usage bundles
  • Allow for metered usage billing

Furthermore, billing calls and usage from one platform and rentals from another incurs all sorts of negative “double” effects. For example, customers receive two bills in two styles on two portals, and payment is taken from two separate Direct Debit arrangements.

This may not seem like ‘the end of the world’ but it’s not the right experience for the end user, juggling multiple account numbers, logins for two different systems (possibly with different interfaces) and stopping payments could easily mean the wrong account is closed… not to mention the reseller incurring additional transaction costs for the separate payments!

This separation of customer details across two separate systems may also lead to incorrect or missing data from one to another – which isn’t great from a GDPR point of view – but could also severely harm brand credibility, if customers find the process too complex.

Would I actually benefit from a bureau billing service?

In a word, yes. Obviously, your particular needs may be more nuanced, but here’s why we think our bureau billing service is ideal for most growing businesses.

Firstly, the costs attached to a bureau service are far cheaper than the salary of a dedicated billing manager. While this does depend on the amount you’re billing, our costs are considerably lower than an average £40,000 yearly salary, according to Glassdoor!

Given the times we’re in, a bureau billing service would also de-risk your business from a single point of failure, such as illness absences due to Covid.

We’ve all seen the struggles of staffing this winter, and having offloaded that responsibility to a billing specialist team enables your personnel to focus on the main operation, while stakeholders will stay informed at every step of the billing cycle, so there’s no confusion or panic.

What’s more, our team has well over 100 years of billing experience, and developed ZOEY in-house, so we know how to leverage our platform to draw out new opportunities for increasing margins and optimising costs, to help your business grow.

And if the day ever comes that you’d like to sell the business, leveraging a bureau billing service means fewer overheads and staff, as well as an easier handover process, which could all make a difference when attracting potential buyers!

All told, you wouldn’t buy a Ferrari to plough fields, or use a Japanese katana to slice bread, so why would you use anything other than a billing platform to bill your customers?

And if cost is your main pain-point, we can be flexible with how and when we charge, and our support will mean your team can spend more time driving sales and growing your business, so what are you waiting for?

Book a time to speak to our team, or call 0203 972 3723 for an informal chat, so we can discuss how ZOEY can benefit your business and help you grow your operation in 2022!