Billing mistakes are inevitable in the business world. An estimated 30% to 40% of all medical bills contain errors, according to University of Minnesota industry research. But that doesn’t mean businesses should simply throw up their hands and give up. Modern billing systems are designed to help businesses catch billing mistakes when they slip through, as well as simplify and streamline error-prone billing and payment workflows that lead to mistakes. Unfortunately, billing systems and payment processors aren’t all created equal. Even if a business invests in Salesforce Billing—the gold standard for managing billing-related functions—Salesforce Billing interacts and integrates with other systems, including a third-party payment processor. It’s at this juncture that businesses will start noticing the disparities among different payment processing systems.
Because payment processors pre-date Salesforce Billing, many businesses have already configured their payment processor to manage many key billing-related functions—even though they could be relying on Salesforce Billing instead. The fundamental shortcoming of many older, legacy payment processors is that they aren’t designed with the powerful tools and modern features that businesses need to authoritatively and seamlessly manage all billing and payment functions. Let’s explore four reasons why every business should let Salesforce Billing—not a payment processor—take care of billing management:
Payment workflows need to be easy to configure
Many bills that modern businesses generate are complex. They often involve recurring payments that are based on subscriptions and that follow specific payment schedules. Automatic discounts and/or credits also are often part of the mix. To process these payments reliably and accurately, businesses must design a set of payment rules and decision trees—and then codify these specifications in either their payment processor or in Salesforce Billing. The difference between a payment processor and Salesforce Billing is stark in this regard: Many payment processors simply are cumbersome to configure and customize. By contrast, Salesforce offers highly visual, intuitive tools for easily updating and managing workflows of all kinds. Thus, businesses are much better off using Salesforce Billing—not their payment processor—to configure and update all payment processing-related workflows. Salesforce’s workflow visualization tools not only save time and money but also ensure quality and consistency across the board.
Businesses need widespread access to payment records
Businesses routinely need to access payment records to answer customer questions, facilitate order fulfillment, and verify that customers have been charged correctly for their orders. Businesses have two options for where to store these records: Salesforce or their payment processor. Payment processors, however, are not the best place to store payment records. Businesses are much better off integrating their payment processor with Salesforce Billing, and sending payment records from their payment processor to Salesforce. The advantage of choosing Salesforce over a payment processor for managing and housing payment records is that the records are much easier to access in Salesforce. Furthermore, because Salesforce already stores all other relevant records related to sales transactions, it just makes sense for Salesforce to serve as a single, central source of truth for all sales transaction data, including payment records.
Error handling is more streamlined
Every business inevitably encounters payment processing mistakes that need to be manually fixed. For example, mistakes commonly result when businesses offer pricing adjustments (either surcharges or credits) and then incorrectly apply these adjustments at the time that the payment is actually processed. When these mistakes happen, someone must investigate—and often, someone must retrieve data from the payment processor as part of their investigation into the discrepancy. Unfortunately, many payment processors simply aren’t particularly user-friendly for non-users to readily retrieve data from, which slows down and complicates the resolution of these investigations. However, businesses don’t need to—and shouldn’t—be directly accessing records in their payment processor at all. When a payment processor is integrated with Salesforce Billing, all relevant payment records flow automatically into Salesforce. Thus, employees can retrieve all data they need from Salesforce to get to the bottom of payment processing errors; employees also can use Salesforce to correct and update relevant payment-processing information. The bottom line is that error handling becomes more streamlined—precisely because employees don’t need to directly access their payment processor.
Businesses need to ensure compliance with accounting standards
Many payment transactions involve complex back-end financial reporting, especially for recurring revenue transactions. This reporting must be done in full compliance with accounting standards. While businesses may be able to use their payment processor to manage their financial-reporting obligations, that doesn’t mean they should. On the contrary, Salesforce Billing is designed from the ground up to support full compliance with all accounting standards and to complete all financial reporting activities per these standards.
Payment processors have an important but limited role to play in sales transactions. When a business is considering whether to let Salesforce vs. its payment processor handle different aspects of payment and billing processes, the default answer is to let Salesforce take over. Salesforce Billing is designed to make payment processing workflows easy to configure, promote widespread access to payment records, fix payment processing errors rapidly and seamlessly, and ensure a business is compliant with all financial reporting standards.
Simplus excels at helping businesses learn how to take advantage of the key benefits of Salesforce Billing—so they don’t need to rely on third-party systems like a payment processor to provide these benefits. To learn how Simplus helped a digital technology provider get the most out of its Salesforce products, please check out this Simplus case study on the Limelight Networks company.
If you’re looking for expert help transitioning the management of billing functions from your payment processor to Salesforce Billing, please reach out to the implementation experts at Simplus. We look forward to helping you maximize the value of your investment in Salesforce Billing.