The process of scaling a startup can be an exciting moment. The leaders are given a chance to think up and present grand plans for the future. They recruit new talent and establish a distinctive culture, and develop the brand by starting from beginning to finish.
These are vital aspects of building a business. However, they may need to be revised compared to creating business systems that can expand and allow the big goals to be realized. For instance, businesses must ensure that the lights stay on when customers pay their bills on time. The billing process must be quick, smooth, and accurate for both sides. However, today, 82% of businesses fail due to cash flow problems. And that’s not even all.
Small-scale businesses in the United States currently have to spend 120 working days each year in administrative work and one hour and a half of each day by themselves, chasing down accounts that are not paid. It is not sustainable. The key hires must work hard to move the needle for your business instead of manually going through a continuous billing process.
If this sounds like you, It’s about time to implement flexible billing software for your business startup. This article explains how to select the most effective software for invoice and billing by providing a quick list of the essential considerations.
Steps to choose the most efficient billing software for your business
Checklist when you are looking at potential billing software providers.
Find the authority, trust, experiences, references, and social evidence.
If you want to select the payment platform for your order, it is essential to conduct some research. When researching the best payment software, firms’ websites will be first.
While browsing the sites, consider the following: What is the service offered? Does the content make sense to comprehend? What are the company’s distinctive advantages (USPs)? Are you able to identify with the material?
The customer testimonials reference usage cases, and success stories provide details on industries and business situations where the accounting software is successful.
However, it’s equally important to consider the company’s online presence.
Review testimonials of customers on reliable rating websites such as Capterra, Software Advice, or G2 Crowd. Review their experiences and reviews. Please take note of those who have received the highest number of stars from their clients. It is a massive help in ensuring that the billing platform offers the services described on its site to the delight of its clients.
As a result, be sure you can prove that the application does what is stated on the box, literally talking. Never purchase software in the form of a tin.
Be sure to keep your startup’s goals for scaling in your mind.
Each scaling startup has its specific background, goals, direction, and customers. So, selecting the right accounting software to suit your business is essential. If you’re a little unselfish, it’s okay! Determine your objectives before moving backward to discover which situations will allow you to achieve these goals.
One of the most effective exercises could be “blue sky thinking” or “if I could be king/queen for a day”? What would it be like if everything went 100% flawless and 100 percent within budget and met the entirety of your requirements? Before considering any limitations, you should consider the ideal outcome and work towards what you can achieve.
Your blue-sky perspective could show the use cases you require to run your financial business:
- Manage subscriptions: This service is necessary to provide a subscription model. We want to develop unlimited subscriptions and bundles through one platform providing recurring and usage-based services. It is also essential that the subscription lifecycle management process is automated, reducing the need for manual work.
- Order-to-cash Automation of billing: “Automating recurring invoices will make billing faster and more reliable. It should also be accurate. We’d like to have intelligent business logic to make it easier to automate the billing process for any business model and apply flexible billing rules and create accurate invoices with the least amount of effort.
- Pay management: We’d like to adopt a more customer-centric payment method and provide payment options that our client groups would prefer (and utilize). This will require one-time transactions as well as automatic regular payments. The integration of top payment service providers (such as Stripe, Klarna, or PayPal) should be swift and simple to do so quickly and easily, and the automation of allocation and assignment of payments should be scalable without a lot of effort.
- Accounts and Tax features for digital business models: “We’d like to stay on top of our accounting duties automatically, manage all debtors, automate our sub-ledger accounting, and ensure the accuracy of recognized revenues.
- Analytics and reporting: “We want customized, highly customizable dashboards that analyze financial data in real-time. This lets us make informed decisions with the help of solid sub-ledger reporting.
After identifying your needs, the next step is to assess the available services. Are the functions you require available? What changes to the functionality are required, if any, to use the new system easily? Do you require more information? Be bold and ask crucial questions.
Consider choosing an invoice and order-to-cash solution that is flexible and can quickly adapt to your specific industry and use cases.
One of the main reasons for growth in growing startup companies lies in the rate with the speed at which invoicing and billing infrastructure can be put in place to expand. In many cases, this can become a significant issue due to rushed software implementations in the initial stage or problems with staffing.
One of the easiest methods for you to “break the bottleneck” is to locate a software partner with experience in scaling and awareness of the challenges that arise. They will know your needs and preferences, offer the flexibility to meet them, and can quickly adapt to your unique requirements.
When looking for a software partner, determine the possibility that a prospective software partner can customize their offerings to meet your requirements (like increasing productivity or freeing the internal resource).
There are few companies with a flexible offering and cross-industry. They have the required capabilities that allow quick implementation and focus on personal collaboration. These things are often absent in the accounting and ERP software companies which are currently the dominant market. But they exist.
What customer service post-sale can they provide?
The signing of the contract is only the beginning. The most reliable invoice and billing software providers realize that the process only starts when they’ve brought a client to join.
They should then collaborate with your organization to apply for the program, educate the employees to utilize it provide regular customer service, and be sure of the possibility of having comments or suggestions. They make sure their tool is adding value to your business. And if they don’t, they’ll assist you in fixing it. That is, they create long-lasting work relations.
It’s best to select an unpopular, smaller service to make you feel comfortable rather than a massive company that puts you in the middle of numerous automated customer service calls whenever you try to reach them for an issue or question.
Do they explain how to gauge the effectiveness?
Startups and scaling-ups can only spend the money to achieve a return on investment, even if they’ve recently completed a funding round.
Thus, the top billing and invoice software is aware that showing the value it allows your team to provide is vital, from the growth in revenue for the company to the amount of newly-acquired subscribers and customers and even the decrease of DSO (days of outstanding sales).
In this way, you can track your company’s most crucial objectives and KPIs at a glance and keep your ROI in mind.
Are they an ideal long-term match?
It can be difficult to determine since nobody can anticipate the future. But, consider the following points when deciding the likelihood of a company being a good long-term fit.
In the same way, Check how accommodating and flexible the service provider is. However, consider the company’s culture rather than focusing on how flexible and adaptable the software is. The people working together?
What’s their corporate philosophy? What is their vision? Are they prepared to consider your company’s particular objectives and context before altering their platform in line with your business’s needs? If yes, it shows that they have their client’s best interests in mind.
They don’t intend to offer generic solutions. They’re committed to helping their customers develop their methods of working.
In addition, do they have transparency? Is the company transparent and honest regarding what happens if the system goes down? Do they make excuses and refuse to accept responsibility? Even the largest firm often needs to meet the expectations of its customers.
Acknowledging their shortcomings and addressing the situation can go a long way to developing a lasting relationship.
However, frequently cutting and switching billing providers will only create clarity and security between your employees and customers.
After you’ve mastered the six essential steps for choosing the most suitable billing software to support your expanding business, consider the next steps.
Even if the project has a long way to go before beginning, or you’re reading this to plan to expand, you must look at your options right now.
Be sure to work with companies who can assist you in reducing your time-to-market and seamlessly connect to your current technology stack, scale with your company, and be flexible.