How to select subscription billing software for your business?

A subscription billing platform is at the heart of many businesses regardless of how small or established the company might be. Without a robust billing system in place payments, invoicing, recurring transactions, churn data, reports, and more would become an extremely cumbersome and manual process. The problem is, with so many variants of subscription billing software on the market today, how do you know which to choose? That’s where we come in.

We’ve put this guide together to help you understand some of the things to look for in your next billing solution.

How to find the ideal subscription billing Platform?

Good software is not what makes a fantastic subscription billing platform. If you have a product or service offering that already delivers a positive impact to the growth of your business, service level benefits are as important (if not more) as the indicators we see at the feature level.

Let’s take a deeper dive into product capabilities versus service capabilities.

Subscription billing platform product capabilities

As soon as a client moves to your checkout page, there will be a constant change in the customer lifecycle stage from thereon out. There are evident changes in a customer’s ever-evolving preferences such as pausing, downgrading, or upgrading their subscription. Your business preferences, such as product trials, freemium offerings, discount coupons, and more, bring another level of change to customer behavior.

To keep on top of these changes your subscription billing platform should be future-proof.

You should ask yourself these questions when choosing a platform:

  • Is there support for everyday business and recurring operations including manual overrides, refunds, write-offs, with straightforward filtering, or searching for invoices and customer accounts?
  • Will it handle pricing-based subscription plans, varying contract lengths, and has the option of plugins or add-ons?
  • Can you offer promotions and manage trials for a customized duration?
  • Is it easy to cancel a subscription or reactivate one?
  • Is customer self-service integration available?
  • Could you customize email templates?
  • Are language segmentation and localization available in the email module?
  • Is it straightforward/possible to track new sign-ups, upgrades, and downgrades obtained through email campaigns?

Subscription billing platform service capabilities

Product features aside; you should select a provider that can take action outside of the software. It is especially important for subscription billing software to consider how sensitive your data might be.

Ask yourself these questions when considering the service indicators:

  • Are bespoke consultations available during your partnership, such as a customer success team?
  • Is there support in place throughout the onboarding process?
  • Suppose you switch billing solutions, will they assist with transferring sensitive data to your new provider?

Have you considered the accounting and taxes?

A recurring billing system is in place to sync the data acquired from an accounting system, which can include things like discounts, plans, coupons, add-ons, credit notes, and potentially unforeseen charges that need to be corrected. Your billing platform should automatically calculate tax based on where your customers are located, whether that’s EU VAT, US Sales tax, or something else.

For revenue recognition and deferred revenue reporting to be above board, IFRS and GAAP compliance is crucial. Here are a few questions you might ask when deciding on a recurring billing platform:

  • Can billing data be synced between your designating accounts software?
  • Can taxes be managed based on locale or where you are registered?
  • Are sales taxes handled automatically along with verification and calculation?

You should also consider the following features:

  • An automatic payment reconciliation option
  • Deferred accounting for revenue
  • Automatic tax management for EU VAT etc.
  • Xero, Quickbooks subscription accounting integration
  • Automated revenue recognition

We hope you’ve found our subscription billing platform guide useful. Please leave us a comment below if you gained something from our guide, or if you have a query and we’ll get back to you.

Buddy Karimi

Buddy is a business journalist with a focus on technology and innovation. With over 10 years of experience reporting on the latest business trends, Buddy has a reputation for being a well-informed, in-depth and analytical journalist. He has a keen understanding of the intersection between technology and business, and is able to explain the impact of emerging technologies on various industries. Buddy has interviewed some of the most influential leaders in the tech industry and has covered major tech events such as CES and SXSW. He is also a regular contributor to business publications and has won several awards for his work.