Cutting Costs and Saving Time: The Strategic Impact of Billing Automation on Operations

Automation is often associated with growth because it promotes greater efficiency and enables employees to maximize their time. However, the benefits of automation extend well beyond efficiency gains. When it comes to billing and financial operations, automation becomes a transformative force, breathing life into innovation, strategic thinking, and scalable practices.

The insights gleaned from BILL’s 2023 Accounting Firm Automation Opportunity report, reflecting the perspectives of over 1,000 accounting professionals, highlight the profound impact of automation in accounting. A resounding 89% of accounting professionals emphasize that automation in financial operations enhances efficiency and significantly contributes to making their firms more profitable. For those specializing in client advisory services (CAS), a notable 85% of survey participants assert that automation plays a crucial role in improving the quality of data and elevating overall client service standards. Furthermore, a substantial 57% agree that financial operations automation is instrumental in attracting top-tier talent, positioning automated firms as sought-after workplaces in a competitive job market.

Beyond these statistics, the narrative surrounding automation has shifted from its classic industrial roots to an exploration of its role in daily operations. The once-subtle features in common software applications now enable businesses to reimagine their billing processes, exceeding the limitations of manual procedures. The ongoing conversation revolves around the acknowledgment that automation is not just a transformative wave but a tidal force reshaping workplaces and economies.

As businesses actively embrace automation in all sides of their operations, the question isn’t whether automation will transform these processes; it’s about understanding the extent to which automation becomes the driving force behind unparalleled efficiency, strategic growth, and an elevated customer experience.

Automating billing processes is not just a technological upgrade, but a crucial strategic move. It forms the foundation for organizations that aim to not only reduce expenses and save time but also position themselves strategically for long-term success in a rapidly changing business environment.

Cut Cost, Increase Profitability

Many businesses still rely on manual “swivel chair” operations for their end-to-end billing and revenue management process. This involves configuring a product catalog, sending a quotation, translating that data to contract terms, and generating an order, invoice, and revenue recognition. Unfortunately, this process can be prone to human error, and sometimes businesses use disparate systems to complete these tasks.

However, incorporating an automated billing system can revolutionize this traditional approach and yield significant benefits. Based on the analysis of a mid-market SaaS business generating $5 million annually, an automated billing system could save around $22,813 every month. This saving could easily stretch to $50,000 or more. For every dollar spent on the automated system, you’d be looking at an average return on investment (ROI) of between $45 and $100, but potentially even more.

The implementation of a billing system with advanced automation capabilities greatly reduces the need for human intervention. When data automatically flows between each stage of the billing process, this eliminates duplication, discrepancies, and errors. This not only enhances operational efficiency but also results in reduced operational costs and improved accuracy. The cost savings realized through automation directly contribute to increased profitability for businesses, making it a strategic investment with a high potential for returns.

Optimize the Billing Experience for Customers Too

Many customers experience frustration when their bills are late or contain errors. According to HealthPay24, 41% of patients believe there may be errors on their bills. The concern is that if a patient perceives an error, they may choose not to pay, especially if the process to appeal and rectify the error is unclear. This highlights the need for a billing system that minimizes inaccuracies, instilling confidence in customers and encouraging timely payments.

Additionally, a study conducted by PayNearMe’s consumer research initiative found that nearly 1 in 5 adults surveyed (19%) paid bills late due to the complicated nature of the online bill pay process, leading to frustration and incomplete payments. To address this, it’s essential for billers to create a frictionless payment experience. Many consumers prefer the ability to pay their bills via a mobile device to enhance convenience and reduce the likelihood of payment delays.

Recognizing these challenges, automated billing software, such as OneBill, becomes a valuable solution. It not only saves companies money but also addresses customer frustrations by offering flexibility in billing. The software allows companies to adapt and offer multiple plans, add-ons, and coupons seamlessly. This enhanced efficiency attracts more customers who appreciate the simplicity and variety in offerings. By digitizing the billing system, businesses eliminate inaccurate billing, boosting customer confidence and increasing timely payments. Therefore, embracing automation becomes a win-win for both companies and their customer base, addressing the identified challenges while enhancing the overall billing experience.

Round-the-Clock Operation 

The advantages of automated billing systems extend beyond internal efficiency—they also translate into a positive experience for your customers. One significant time-saving aspect is the elimination of waiting time.

Automated billing systems operate around the clock, unconstrained by standard business hours. Unlike human counterparts, these systems don’t need breaks and are not bound by fixed working hours. This continuous operation means that billing processes are not subject to staff availability. Whether it’s the early morning or late at night, customers can engage with your billing system without having to wait for the next business day.

The ability to provide uninterrupted service is a game-changer. Customers no longer need to wait for manual processes or adhere to specific business hours. The result is a streamlined and efficient billing experience that aligns with the modern pace of business. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also gives your business a competitive edge in today’s competitive business market.

Save Time, Gain Efficiency 

We often hear that time is money, but come to think of it – time is a precious commodity that might be even more valuable than money itself. 

Businesses adopting automated billing have experienced remarkable gains in efficiency, with up to a 90% reduction in operational hours spent on billing . This translates to numerous extra hours each month that can be redirected toward addressing clients’ needs, analyzing data to identify new revenue growth opportunities,  fostering creativity, or focusing on the bigger picture. Automation eliminates the risk of forgetting invoices or dealing with billing mistakes, preventing revenue leakage and ensuring a smoother financial process.

The Ultimate Time-Saving Tool

Automated billing not only saves costs and increases profitability for companies but also plays a crucial role in saving valuable time. Invoicing customers can be a time-consuming process when done manually, involving the tedious task of looking up each customer, determining their subscription plan, and billing accordingly. Additionally, the complexity of such tasks escalates when customers request changes to their plans, requiring manual tracking of every new add-on, product removal, and customer update. This manual intervention not only consumes time but also increases the risk of errors and inconsistencies in billing processes.

On the other hand, a recurring billing platform introduces significant time efficiencies. Tasks such as sending out invoices and collecting payments on a recurring basis are automated, allowing your billing team to “set it and forget it.” This automation can result in substantial time savings, freeing up your team from routine tasks and enabling them to focus on more strategic aspects of billing management.

Moreover, the implementation of a self-serve portal further enhances time efficiency by giving customers the freedom to manage their preferences, view invoices, and make payments. This not only empowers customers but also reduces the workload on your team, as they are no longer burdened with manual customer updates.

Christopher Turli, Operations Manager at VoiceNEXT, highlights the time-saving benefits of billing automation. He emphasizes how integration with numerous third-party services consolidates billing operations into one easy-to-use platform. Specifically, OneBill has proven to be a game-changer for VoiceNEXT, cutting their billing tasks and time consumption in half. This real-world example demonstrates how automated billing solutions can significantly optimize operational efficiency, allowing companies to achieve more in less time.

Seize the Future of Automation – Are You In?

Operational time and efficiency are a precious commodity directly tied to growth and revenue. Manual billing processes can cost businesses millions of dollars annually due to errors, inefficient resource allocation, and delayed collections. Automated billing software like OneBill reduces processing time to days instead of weeks, ensuring a quicker return on investment (ROI). This efficiency allows businesses to redirect resources to strategic areas, fostering overall growth and improved effectiveness.

Partnering with OneBill is not just a cost-cutting measure; it’s an investment in operational efficiency that pays dividends by saving money and facilitating revenue growth. From efficient fund allocation to comprehensive automation and the time-sensitive nature of businesses, billing automation works as a key driver for financial success. 

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