One of the key challenges that small businesses face is their employee’s decrease in productivity over time. While there are many factors that may be attributed to this, repetitive tasks related to billing and collections are at the top of the list.
Repetitive tasks lead to boredom which, in most cases, also leads to errors. As a small business, you cannot afford to have errors, especially in your billing department.
Using billing software to automate the collections process over manual billing methods can reduce errors and increasing productivity. Automated billing systems are designed to make accounting departments more effective so they can easily manage aging accounts receivables, as well as sync with your other business tools.
Automated billing systems have proven to be an effective solution to a wide range of problems that are caused by sudden increases in the number of clients, errors made during manual billing, as well as increasing the likelihood your business will be paid on time and not experience cash flow issues.
Before we get into the benefits of automated billing systems, let us take a look at how they have helped different business models.
What types of businesses benefit from automated billing
Non-subscription service-based business
Traditionally subscription services are thought of when it comes to automated billing, but non-subscription based businesses benefit from automated billing.
Take, for example, a business where clients are billed by the hour for consultation. If such a business has many employees handling the consultations, it becomes hard for the accounting department to accurately measure the amount of service their clients are getting, and consequently, how much to bill them for it.
It is for such scenarios that automated billing computer-based systems were created. These systems use a mixture of computer vision, AI, machine learning, text recognition, and other tools to accurately analyze and track the tasks being carried out by an employee from his work station and automatically bill the client being served.
Subscription-based/ Returning clients businesses
There comes a time in the lifecycle of a business when it is growing too fast for the billing department to keep track of revenues manually.
This is especially true for subscription-based businesses or those with a wide base of returning clients. Say you run a local fitness center and want the ability to bill clients every month for a recurring fee. Or you run a lawn care business that has an agreement to provide a set of services over the course of the summer, surely you don’t want to reach out to customers every month asking for a payment method? Or worse, complete the service, and then wait weeks for a paper check.
How have automated billing systems helped in such cases?
Companies that have used automated billing when it comes to billing, invoicing, and handling a surge of new clients enjoyed benefits such as scaling easily, a reduced number of errors associated with manual billing and so much more.
Let’s recap and take a look at the full list of these benefits.
The benefits of automated billing systems
Improved accuracy and elimination of errors
Automated billing systems eliminate the need for a constant input of data by people. This helps in reducing errors as data (such as credit card information and addresses) is input only once and then reused for the client’s lifetime at your business.\
Simplified payment collection
With automated billing systems, you do not have to manually charge clients at the end of every billing period. Instead, clients are charged automatically and on time after every period. Due to how they store data, they are simple but effective for billing many returning clients.
They improve customer relationships
Just like with the case of a seamless and faster shopping experience courtesy of IoT, automated billing helps in improving customer relations by giving them a hassle-free business experience.
Businesses save time and money
Automated billing systems remove the need for businesses to hire many people to manually bill clients. As a result, they cut down on the amount of time it would have taken people to do manual billing and the money they would have used to pay those people.
They help you prepare your business for the future
Automated billing systems are designed to collect key metrics such as sales, revenue, and so on. Using these KPIs, businesses can predict future trends and performance with some degree of accuracy.
Does your business need an automated billing system?
Maybe not right now, but what if your business starts growing exponentially? Maybe you need to improve customer relations or their shopping experience. Maybe you need a faster and cheaper alternative to your current billing method.
Whatever the reason may be, we are sure that your business will need an automated billing system at some point in its lifecycle.
When our company had a growth spurt, an automated billing system reduced our time spent on billing and payment collection.
With all the benefits we have discussed above, your business simply cannot afford to stick to traditional billing methods.