7 Tips for Choosing the Best Recurring Billing Software for NetSuite Integration
Last week, I ordered a jacket online. When it arrived, I tried it on and I was immediately disappointed. There was extra room in the arms and the sleeves were way too long.
I’d ordered from a well-known brand (and paid top dollar), so naturally, I assumed I’d be provided with a high-quality product that was ready to wear with no alterations needed. It wasn’t the end of the world—it was still quite a warm jacket—but it certainly wasn’t ideal.
I had two choices: I could either keep the jacket and learn to live around the inconvenience, or I could return it and find a new one that worked better for me.
While outerwear and software might seem worlds apart, this is pretty much what’s happening when subscription business leaders try to make existing features and modules in their non-billing software solutions perform their recurring billing and subscription management.
These features and modules may get the job done, but odds are the process is still quite manual, and some crucial functions just aren’t possible.
In other words, the fit isn’t quite right. The recurring billing module for NetSuite is one example. While the platform itself is an industry-leading ERP and accounting solution—and the default billing module does work for billing management—recurring billing just isn’t NetSuite’s specialty.
By opting instead to integrate a dedicated recurring billing platform with your technology stack, you suddenly have increased automation and a whole range of other features and functionalities at your fingertips. It’s a step toward optimizing efficiency, streamlining processes, and ensuring billing and data accuracy.
Many of these billing management platforms have the capability to integrate with NetSuite. But again, not all software is created equally.
Below are seven key features to be on the lookout for when selecting the best recurring billing software for NetSuite integration.
Some NetSuite billing software integrations are infamous for their lack of user-friendliness. You could have the most capable billing integration in existence, but that means nothing if your team is struggling to use it.
Your best choice for a recurring billing software is one that delivers exactly what it sells itself on. If it promotes its automation capabilities, then setting up the automation shouldn’t be a confusing or complicated manual process.
Neither should completing daily tasks. Your team needs to have the ability to manage customers and their subscriptions easily, adjust pricing and discounting as needed, and run reports to perform their month-end close. If your staff is struggling to understand how to do everyday tasks, it’s a sign you’re using the wrong software.
The software you choose should be intuitive enough that anyone on your team can figure it out—without being a developer or NetSuite expert.
2. Automates both billing and collections
A robust billing solution for NetSuite should come with collection automation right out of the box, without having to pay an extra fee for the feature.
After all, automating your dunning management process is almost as important as automating your initial subscription billing. Up to 75% of revenue from failed payments—and a huge amount of involuntary churn—can be recovered simply by retrying a credit card a few days after it initially fails!
Having your system automate failed collection retries also makes for a much more customer-centric approach.
When your billing software automatically retries a customer’s credit card at set intervals, it’s often so successful at assuring collections that there’s no lapse in service for your end-user. And they’ll have no idea what went on behind the scenes.
A comprehensive billing solution will simplify the process even further by including pre-made communication templates for a variety of collection-related activities.
3. Robust data reporting
The recurring billing software you choose to integrate with your NetSuite should serve as your organization’s single source of truth (SSOT)—your primary source of accurate, real-time data—when it comes to accounts receivable.
Accessing this data is something your team will need to do often, so it should be a simple process. However, not all billing software developers seem to agree. Some make data reporting a very complicated and intimidating task!
A need for user-friendliness within the software applies to data reporting functionality as well. Creating reports in your dashboard should be easy to do, especially for essential data like churn reports. Your dashboards should provide immediate clarity and help your team derive insights in seconds into key financial metrics, such as sales, cash, recognized revenue, and monthly recurring revenue (MRR).
Look for a recurring billing solution that has this data readily available as standard and enables you to easily customize your dashboards, using drag and drop functionality, for example.
4. Goes beyond accounting
Those in your finance department aren’t the only people who might need to access customer or subscription information in your billing software.
Operations might need to go in to pull some numbers. Or maybe your sales department logs in to update customer data occasionally.
Some options on the market take a strictly accounting-focused approach to presenting your data within the software. However, each department that uses your billing software will need to access different reports, features, and details. Accounting and sales won’t be logging in for the same reasons.
The best billing solution for NetSuite integration is a solution that anticipates and prioritizes the needs of all the different employees that will use it.
5. Supports multiple billing frequencies
You have your way of doing things, and your customers have already come to expect billing at certain set intervals. You know your product and your customers’ needs best, so you know what frequency of billing makes the most sense for your subscription business. And that means not all your customers have to be on the same billing schedule.
Maybe some are billed monthly while others are on an annual plan. Perhaps certain customers have multiple subscriptions on their billing account, each billed at a different frequency.
The right recurring billing solution for your business makes handling multiple billing frequencies a straightforward task, even in a complicated scenario. You should be able to make billing changes at the customer and individual subscription level so there’s no chance of accidentally impacting your greater catalog.
6. Comprehensive catalog flexibility
One of the biggest perks of integrating a dedicated recurring billing software with your NetSuite installation is the flexibility you gain in terms of your catalog. It gives you the ability to make real-time adjustments to your products, plans, and pricing.
With an adaptive billing solution for NetSuite, adjusting plans and pricing doesn’t need to cause headaches for your finance team. Sales and marketing can handle product bundling and pricing adjustments as they see fit. Meanwhile, finance is unaffected by these changes—they’re still able to accurately bill customers and recognize revenue for those offerings, whether they’re recurring subscriptions, one-time purchases, or physical goods.
As a result, your business can win more deals, increase customer trust, and improve accounting accuracy.
All financial transactions need to talk to your business’s general ledger (GL) system. For accounts receivable, managing multiple ledgers is a big job, and challenging enough for a traditional business. But, when recurring billing is added into the mix, this job becomes even harder—billing hundreds or even thousands of customers each month, every month, indefinitely.
Choosing a strong, ledger-based recurring billing software to integrate with your NetSuite platform makes this process much smoother for your accounting team.
The software creates a streamlined solution by automating much of the administrative work around juggling multiple ledgers, mapping products or line items from the billing software to NetSuite, and ensuring accurate, detailed invoices.
Finding a complete billing solution for NetSuite integration
There are plenty of recurring billing software options out there that, much like an ill-fitting jacket, get the job done well enough.
But when it comes to optimizing your business’s accounting functions, well enough shouldn’t be good enough. Especially if you’re paying a premium price for a solution that doesn’t meet all of your needs.
The best billing software for NetSuite integration is not only comprehensive in terms of its capabilities, but it’s also easy to use and designed to meet your business’s needs right out of the box.