Click on Billing from the Settings Menu to open the Billing Preference page. This is where you set some of the default Account settings relating to billing. The default settings controlled from this screen are:
- Auto post draft invoices
- Auto Collect
- Show $0 Charges
- Earn Revenue in Previous Period for End of Period Charges
- Default Net Terms
- Default Customer Grace Period
- Auto Un-suspend Behavior
- Customer Acquisition Cost
- Default Billing Period Configurations
Note: Always remember to click on the UPDATE button to save changes.
The default behavior of the Fusebill system is to create a Draft invoice for your review and to allow you to manually post the invoice if it is correct. This is not an ideal situation if you have many customers, so by checking the Auto post draft invoice option, you configure the system to automatically post every invoice. There is an override at the Customer level settings that will allow you to override the auto post in the case where you want to review a customer’s invoices before sending.
If you want to auto collect payment for posted invoices, ensure you have Auto collect set to ON. If turned on, and the customer has a valid Payment Method configured, the system will automatically attempt to collect and monies due when invoices post. If the system is unable to collect payment for a customer with a configured Payment Method, the Dunning process will start. If configured to OFF, you will have to manually add payments to customers.
This functionality is configured at Account level but can be overridden on a per customer basis.
Threshold Billing Functionality
Threshold billing allows you to set a balance threshold where if a customer's account gets below this threshold, the system will automatically attempt a Gateway collection call to replenish the balance to the predefined default.
When you have Auto collect turned on, the additional box for setting the threshold billing rules appears.
- The amount you set in the "When balance is below" box is the minimum amount a customer can have in their account. When the balance goes below this amount, the system will attempt a Gateway collection to bring the customer's account to the amount configured in the "Bring balance back to" box.
- The "Bring balance back to" is the balance you want the system to replenish to when a customer drops below the defined balance.
- Via the "Use minimum balance of $25 for Dunning", you can also control if you want the Fusebill system to consider the Threshold amount when deciding to set a customer’s accounting status to poor standing (i.e a customer set to use a threshold amount of $25 for Dunning would be flagged as poor standing the moment his balance falls below $25). The "Use minimum balance of $25 for Dunning", if turned ON, will start the Dunning process if the system is unable to automatically collect on the configured Payment Method to replenish the customer's balance.
The default behavior of the Fusebill system is to include $0 Dollar charges on customer invoices in order to clearly inform customers of all services they have provisioned even when they are not incurring a fee for these services. In some instances, it may be desirable to not display $0 charges on customer invoices in order to prevent large invoices or minimize customer confusion. By checking the Show $0 Charges setting to “Off” you configure the system to always suppress charges that have either a 0 Quantity or a $0.00 unit Price value. There is an override at the Customer level settings that will allow you to override this setting on a by-customer basis.
If you have charges which bill at the end of a period, you can choose this accounting default setting to have those charges' earned revenue appear in the period in which the service was delivered. This is a common requirement for customers who bill on the first of the month but need the usage fees to be earned in the previous month.
Note: This feature only works with the "Auto post" setting enabled. If a ready draft invoice is posted manually, the charges will earn in the period the invoice was posted and not the previous period.
Consider the example of a usage fee that is charged at end of period and the bill date is the 1st. The current month is April and the amount of usage that was incurred in April was $30. If this setting is enabled:
- The charge ($30) for the usage fees will take place just after midnight on May 1st. Note that if there are any start of period charges, they will be combined together on the same invoice (e.g. monthly fee for May + usage fees for April).
- If the account is set to auto-post/auto-collect, the cash amount of $30 will be collected on May 1st and show up in May's cash collection numbers.
- However - the earned revenue for that service - $30 - will be recorded as earned revenue at 23:59:59 on April 30th. This reflects the fact that the usage fees represent a service which was delivered in April and therefore needs to be recorded as earned revenue in that period.
Keep in mind that the cash collected and the revenue earned are two separate things, and in this case, will be recorded in two different months.
In the first month that you enable this setting, you will "double-count" the revenue earned for these end of period charges. The system does not apply the change retroactively, meaning that the previous month's charges have already been recorded this month, and then this month's charges will also be recorded in the same month. From that point forward, the revenue will be earned once only and in the same month as the service was delivered.
This is an account-wide setting; all end of period charges will earn based on this setting and there is no individual charge or customer override. Your Accounting team should advise on which way you would like to earn revenue on these charges and set the account default accordingly.
This setting allows you to set the default terms to set on customers when they are created in the system. Terms control the due date for posted invoices which in turn controls when automatic credit card collection is triggered or when the Accounting Status of customers moves to Poor Standing.
If the majority of customers under the account are going to be automatically paying via credit card or ACH then this setting should be set to a default of Net0.
Grace Period works in conjunction with Dunning Management and AR state and determines when to automatically move a customer to a Suspended state. An invoice moving into an Overdue status will change the customer’s Accounting Status to PoorStanding and after X days (based on the number of days entered into Default customer grace period box), will change the customer's Service Status to Suspended.
If you enter 0, a customer’s Service Status will change to Suspended as soon as an invoice moves from Due to Overdue. If you enter 30, a customer will have 30 days after an invoice becomes overdue before their Service Status will change to Suspended.
This setting allows you to specify how you would like the system to behave if a customer is automatically moved from Suspend Status back to Active status as a result of successfully auto-collecting outstanding balances. Because this can happen as part of the Fusebill system re-attempting previous failed payment attempts it is important to specify if you want the Fusebill system to automatically charge for any fees that were not applied while the customer was in a suspended state.
- Charge for all missed periods – when this setting is chosen the Fusebill system will automatically charge for all fees that were missed during the time of suspension. (i.e. a customer who has been suspended for 6 months would be recharged for all 6 months of missed service)
- Charge for Current Period (Prorate if Applicable) – when this setting is chosen the Fusebill system will only charge for the current period's charges and will consider the Pro-rate settings on the Plan-Product. (i.e a customer who has been suspended for 6 months will only get charged for the pro-rated amount of 1 month when they are automatically un-suspended)
- Do not charge for any missed periods – when this setting is chosen then the Fusebill system will only set the customer’s status back to Active but will not apply any charges for missed periods.
This setting allows you to specify the default Acquisition cost for a new customer. This value is used as the starting point when calculating a Customer’s profitability. The value can be over written on an individual customer. If the average customer acquisition cost is known for your organization then this value can be set, otherwise, the value can safely be set as $0 and the Fusebill system will simply track the net profitability of the customer without considering Acquisition cost.
You can specify default billing period configurations for both monthly and annual frequencies. These settings are automatically applied to new customers when they are created. The settings can then be over written on any individual customer.
Billing periods act as containers for subscriptions and control when subscriptions are recharged and new invoices posted. Customers can have multiple billing periods running in parallel.
You can set Billing Day properties for both monthly and annual frequencies. These settings allow you to control how you want the Fusebill system to set the Billing day of customers.
- Set From Customer Activation – use this setting to have customers bill on a cycle from the day they are activated (e.g. if a customer is activated on January 2 the billing day will be on the second day of the month).
- Set From Subscription Activation – use this setting to have customer bill on a cycle from the day their first subscription is activated (if a customer is activated on January 2 but their first subscription is activated on January 5 then the billing day will be the fifth day of the month). For an annual, the subscription billing date will be the month and day of the first activation (e.g. January 5).
- Specify a Date – for monthly frequencies you can specify a billing day (use this setting to have all customers billing date set to the first day of the month) For annual frequencies you can specify a specific day of the year (have all customers bill on November 1 or have customers set to be distributed on a specific day for the current month they are created in (i.e. all customers created in June would have a billing day of June 1 and all customers created in July would have a billing day of July 1.
There are several choices for how to group invoices, which are set independently for monthly and annual frequencies. The combination of this setting and the Billing Day setting above will influence how Fusebill configures the billing periods for each of the customers and subscriptions in the system.
- On One Invoice - All subscriptions for this frequency will always be grouped onto a single invoice to the customer. Note that with this setting, any subscription that is activated mid-way through the billing period will be pro-rated according to whatever rules have been set for pro-ration on the Plan in the catalog and/or overridden at the customer level.
- One Invoice Per Subscription - Each subscription that is activated will go on a separate invoice, and will have a completely separate billing period. For example, a subscription activated on January 2 will generate a single invoice for a full month's (or year's) service, till February 2 (or January 2 of the following year). A new subscription on the same customer that is purchased on January 15 will be billed a full month from Jan 15 to Feb 15 (or Jan 15 to Jan 15 for an annual).
- One Invoice Per Day - Using this setting, if a customer signs up for multiple subscriptions of the same frequency on the same day, they will all be grouped on a single invoice; if the customer comes back later and buys one or more new subscriptions, they will, in turn, have their own invoice for a full period. A couple of things to keep in mind when using this setting:
- It is recommended to use this setting only with the "Subscription Activation" Billing Setting; Customer Activation and Specify a Date will always "trump" the "One Invoice Per Day" setting.
- Note that subscriptions that are not of the same frequency - e.g. a monthly and an annual - will not group onto a single invoice regardless of this setting. Only subscriptions of the same frequency are grouped together.
- Subscriptions which are created in Draft mode, or Provisioned, will remain on an "open" billing period until the day they are activated. On that date, with this setting, if there are any other subscriptions being activated that day then they will be grouped together, otherwise, the new subscription will be activated with its own billing period.
- Projected invoices for subscriptions will group together on a single day, but will not show as grouped with other active subscriptions. This will be resolved when the invoices are posted.
- Ask Me Each Time - When processing invoices through the Fusebill Admin UI, you will always be prompted to decide whether to put a new subscription on an existing billing period/invoice (pro-rating as required) or to create a new billing period/invoice.