Accurate billing requires good provisioning
Accurate billing requires good provisioning
Billing is a problem in most Managed Service Providers, it is critically important, yet often is a challenging, error prone, stressful and time consuming part of the business. Billing problems are the proverbial handbrake on growth.
Regardless of your technical capability or service, Billing errors can cause:
- Withheld payments – resulting in impact on cashflow.
- Internal friction between billing and engineering teams – impacting morale and culture.
- Wasted account management time – impacting upsell and growth opportunities.
- Underbilled services – resulting in reduced growth and profitability
- Customer dissatisfaction, trust and reputational damage – risking relationships and referral opportunities.
The simple cause of billing errors is the source of data used for billing. Every change made is an opportunity for a billing problem.
The administrative functions of adding, moving and changing users are the core area of change. In the majority of systems, this is a manual administrative process detached from billing.
Billing accuracy requires an engineer to manually record the change, a secondary administrative resource to check tickets and adjust contracts, or a scheduled process which collates data from the system.
There are great systems which help automate billing tasks; creating invoices, managing customer records and contracts, pricing and any other aspect of billing. These are essential, but are unable to stop billing inaccuracies caused by humans needing to handle moves adds and changes for customers.
Good provisioning systems leads to accurate MSP billing, simply put – solid, dependable and audited processes for adding and removing services from users.
How does Atria help with billing
Atria at it’s heart is a provisioning system, when Atria has responsibility for creating and deleting services, you can look to start eliminating the root cause of billing errors.
Grant anyone the ability to make changes without messing up billing
Through Atria, provisioning tasks can be handled by your service desk staff, escalation engineers, account managers, billing teams and end-customers. Nobody needs to be aware of the specifics of billing, Atria tracks the changes and can tell you at any point in time, what is provisioned to each of your customers.
Productise your services
By utilising the Atria service model, or by building your own custom services you instantly gain the billing benefits of the Atria platform. Any integration will work, customers can manage their own services and you can make it easy for your staff to do the right thing.
Atria has support for Product SKUs which you can use as a key to locate and connect with your CRM and billing systems.
Add Rules to stop recurring problems
Atria billing rules allow you to disable billing based on rules, each rule has a start and end date. This means that you can use this to ensure
- New customers are only billed after an agreed go-live date
- Leaving customers are not billed after they have departed
- Specific test or demonstration customers are excluded from your production data
- Rules based on naming conventions can exclude test or admin only users
Customised Billing Periods
We understand that end of month billing processes can take time, Atria allows you to configure when your end of month occurs and adjusts your billing periods to suit. So for example, if you have resellers you can close your billing period on the 25th of the month, giving you time to review and finalise invoices for them to be delivered by end of month.
Indirect Channel Billing
Atria’s tiered support for reseller channels is a unique feature used by many MSPs to offer their services through partners. Through one off configuration it is possible for MSPs to bill on behalf of their resellers, or aggregate and bill the reseller for their customers. Atria can supply the structure and data you need to make your reseller business succeed without being killed by billing process.
It’s about data
When you have one system managing users and services you get a lot of data. Data that can be put to work for you.
Atria will store historical records of your billing data, as this is user level data this can provide a critical data source for vendor license auditing or other forms of compliance auditing. Company and user name change history is maintained within this data. The last snapshot of each month stores the current state for customer and user names.
Solve billing disputes
Billing disputes related to recurring services can become expensive when not identified. Atria allows your customers to analyse their user base and understand what is being consumed. Identifying who made a change helps customers to resolve their own billing issues and avoids any finger pointing.
Integration/Export of billing data
Atria stores billing data at user level, this is aggregated to customer level, multiple API endpoints allow different views of this data to be extracted.
The REST based API is secured by a simple bearer token – API access can be granted through the Atria UI. Multiple tokens can be generated per user. Tokens can be deleted to stop access.
Export to Excel
Data can be exported directly from the Atria UI into an excel formatted file.
Access data directly from PowerQuery and Power BI
Both Excel Powerquery and Power BI are able to add Atria as a data source – this allows easy extraction and analysis of data from the Atria system.
Use the API to integrate with your PSA or billing system, we have code examples available and can assist in any integration work.
Find out more
Atria supports Multi-tenancy, Active Directory Management, Office 365 and more. Learn more about how we can help your business automate your IT helpdesk.