Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) presents many billing challenges, as companies in the industry must manage service fees across many jurisdictions. If you’re in this industry, here’s how to address some of the most common billing challenges businesses face.
8 Tips for Seamless UCaaS Billing
1. Outsource Your Company’s Billing Processes
Don’t try to manage the complexities of billing in-house. Instead, outsource this obligation to a service provider that specializes in UCaaS billing. A specialized provider will know the nuances of billing in this industry, and they’ll handle the entire process efficiently.
You will surely appreciate the benefits of outsourcing billing (particularly if you’ve ever personally dealt with the related issues). Just as your UCaaS company helps clients save time and focus on their core competencies, hiring a billing provider will free your company up to better focus on what it does best.
2. Choose a Billing Provider Who Has Flexible Solutions
Your chosen billing service provider shouldn’t use a single solution for all of their clients. UCaaS billing is too complex to employ the same approach across all situations.
Instead, your chosen provider should offer flexible billing solutions tailored to your company’s unique products and requirements. The services should provide flexibility to address your current needs and scale as those needs change in the future.
3. Unify Billing Obligations in a Single Process
When you outsource billing obligations, everything related to billing should be included in a single process.
Managing different parts of the billing process through multiple applications or providers is a recipe for problems. It’s too easy for details to be miscommunicated or missed altogether, and the situation is time-consuming even when it does work right. Bundling all billing obligations together resolves these sorts of problems.
4. Select a Provider Whose Software Integrates
The need to bring all aspects of billing under one umbrella dictates that your billing service provider’s software should integrate with other provider’s applications. You can’t have a streamlined process if software applications don’t automatically communicate with each other, and that communication requires integration.
Your billing software integration needs will depend on your company’s particular situation. In general, look for software that’s compatible with customer relationship management (CRM), financial, ERP, payment, cloud, document, and accounting platforms.
Even if you don’t use all of these programs now (and most UCaaS companies do), you may need to in the future. Having a UCaaS provider whose software is compatible with all of these other programs will eliminate the need to transition to another UCaaS solution which requires both time and financial investment.
Choosing a provider that provides integration with tax generation platforms and compliance remittance solutions should be your top priority. In addition to avoiding crippling penalties and interest due to filing errors, integrating with a regulatory solutions provider will save your team a ton of time.
5. Automate Processes Wherever Possible
Every aspect of the billing process that can be automated should be. Today’s software can automate many different processes, increasing efficiency and reducing the risk of manual error, which can sometimes lead to costly mistakes. Particularly, when it comes to tax generation and compliance.
Staying current on top of regulatory changes is hard enough as it is, not to mention time-consuming.
That’s why automation tools for tax generation and compliance is so critical. Calculating taxes for communication services, applying tax codes to invoices, and creating accurate liability reports become much less burdensome when you have an automated process in place. Automation and integration with advanced taxation platforms is the best way to save time and avoid costly mistakes.
6. Have Knowledgeable UCaaS Tax Support
Your billing service provider should work closely with a tax firm that knows UCaaS tax law well.
An experienced tax firm will help determine your company’s federal, state, and local tax obligations and the firm can assess your current practices. They can recommend changes where appropriate, and the team can also explain any potential liabilities that your company might have to take on.
While you can choose a tax consulting firm yourself, going with one that works closely with your billing provider has the advantages noted above. The tax consulting firm can notify the billing provider what taxes and fees must be itemized on customers’ bills, and the billing provider can automatically make the necessary invoice changes. Moreover, this can happen on an ongoing basis as UCaaS tax law changes.
7. Keep Up To Date on UCaaS Tax Law Changes
As local and state governments evaluate the new UCaaS services that have developed, governments are making changes to their relevant tax laws.
For example, Florida recently expanded their communications service tax (CST) to include music and voice streaming services. The New York State Commission is currently reviewing the interstate recovery change with the Federal Communications Commission. These are just a couple of the many changes that have been made or are imminent in the industry.
Companies must stay current on what laws will be changing or have already changed. These updates can significantly alter a company’s obligation and liability. The tax consulting firm that’s hired ought to keep a company abreast of relevant changes and recommend billing adjustments that should be made.
8. Integrated UCaaS Billing and Tax Compliance Support & Automation
If your company needs better UCaaS billing and/or taxation support, contact the experts at OneBill. We offer a comprehensive billing solution that includes CDR processing, partner management, commission management, and much more.
We partner with FAStek Tax, an established telecom tax & compliance consulting firm. FAStek has a highly developed program for sales tax nexus determination, registrations, state certifications, remittance, and document management. Because of our partnership with FAStek, we’re extremely familiar with their processes and offer full integration with OneBill solutions.