Billing vs Invoicing


#1

We run all our clients on a calendar month billing (i.e. Jan 1 - Jan 31), but we invoice on the 20th of the month for the next months service.

It seems that the data usage calculation is calculating from the 20th of the month to the 20th of the month (billing) and not for the calendar month. So clients data usage is starting fresh from today when in reality it shouldn’t change until the first of the month.

Is this something we can configure as I can’t seem to figure it out in looking through the options.


#2

Ryan,

Currently, the ‘data round up’ function is performed when billing happens, so that usage based billing can occur if you are using it. This means that, in your case, it is rounded up on the 20th so that we can apply charges for prior usage when the invoice is generated.

There isn’t currently any way to configure round up to happen on a non-billing day due to the aforementioned UBB issues. I’d have to think about a solution. The only one I can really see would be to use the prior ‘billing period’ month for UBB, but that could leave you really far behind (in your case, you’d be billing for data ~50 days in the past, if you were using UBB.)


#3

It makes sense that if someone wanted to bill for usage when invoicing they would need to have usage data available - and if you’re doing it at invoicing time you are essentially “back billing” for usage.

In our case - and I would imagine others as well, we are not really billing from the 20th to the 20th - our billing is per calendar month and the invoice on the 20th is for the upcoming month.

If we are billing per month, but charging usage from invoice date to invoice date I think that is going to be way more confusing for customers to understand as you now have two different “billing cycles” for them to manage.

Usage billing is already a post-action item - it seems like doing it via a specific time period is more of a WISP policy than anything else. As a suggestion, putting a flag to calculate usage on a calendar month or by invoice date or by X day of the month might be a way to generate usage totals, and then when invoice is created it could simply look to see if there were any existing usage periods to bill?

Just a thought.


#4

Yeah, that would essentially be tying it to the bill period, so you’d be including data from Jan 1 - Feb 28 on the Apr 1 bill. I can put this on the list to do, it’ll take a bit of work as it’s currently all tied into the billing process, so it’d have to be separated out.


#5

Ryan,

Billing for overages or additional charges in arrears is normal. Telco bills for the service in advance, but DA, LD, etc is billed in arrears. The same is true for TV. The monthly service is billed in advance, but VOD is billed in arrears.

Steve


#6

So as I expected this has become more of a problem for us over time where customers are confused about the data usage period being different than the billing month.

Has there been any update or thought about this issue to try and accommodate different scenarios that I may have missed?


#7

We side stepped this by making billing and invoice date the same. My accounting department didn’t like the idea at first but acquiescence followed promptly.


#8

Business operations should not have to be changed to fit software limitations IMO - especially when it’s not overly difficult to solve within software. We’ve continued to deal with the issue and tried to train our customers around what is a pretty silly problem.

The software SHOULD be able to allow you to aggregate whatever “billing period” you want to include in an invoice as opposed to the “since last billing period” methodology that exists today.

As our customer base continue to grow we will continue to evaluate progress of this solution and determine whether or not it’s the right long-term solution.


#9

Does anniversary billing side-step this limitation?


#10

Not that I could see, the date an invoice is generated (prior to a billing due/date period) is when they are calculating data usage which would not really change. The only way for this to work correctly at the moment is to generate the invoice on the date that it is due.

It would make more sense for the billing process to simply ask for period of data usage to calculate when generating an invoice…

  • since last billing?
  • previous month?
  • month to date?

It shouldn’t really matter to the platform as it’s a business process decision.