Putting an End to Late and Inaccurate Invoices with SAP Business ByDesign

By: Andrew Howell | Consulting Manager, Illumiti

What happens when a great project is followed up by late or inaccurate invoices? Even if the client is happy with the engagement, error-ridden billing creates a poor customer experience and results in a negative final impression. If your business has experienced challenges with billing your customers accurately, on time, or without considerable internal headaches, SAP Business ByDesign can help.

Business ByDesign is a cloud-based ERP system specifically designed for the needs of growing mid-market businesses. When we approach our clients with the idea that an integrated ERP can help alleviate billing and invoicing issues, they can respond with disbelief. Why would an ERP be a better solution than a specialized finance or accounting program? After all, wouldn’t something more targeted deliver better results?

In fact, the opposite can be true. By using an integrated suite like Business ByDesign, companies can bill customers faster and more accurately, with improved internal efficiency, and achieve better alignment with customer needs.

Improved Accuracy and Efficiency

When a company uses disparate systems and tools across the business—say, for the sales team, MS Project for project management, and ACCPAC for accounting—there is no easy way to get data from one system to the next. This means time-consuming manual processes are often required to get necessary information from other departments to your finance team for billing purposes. As a result, this process not only creates multiple points where delays can occur, but also increases the risk of human error.

With Business ByDesign, departments across the business have access to and use different modules of the same integrated system. What this means for billing is that project information gets passed to finance automatically—and the real actions, hours or milestones occurring in any engagement are what gets invoiced to the customer, on time and on schedule. The finance team has accurate line-of-sight to what’s happening in real time, what can be billed, and when—without needing to chase down the project manager, request more information, or manually input data. What’s happening on the ground is exactly what gets billed.

Not only is this a better experience for your finance and project teams, it also has a noticeable impact on overhead costs. By reducing time-consuming manual invoicing processes, and eliminating the need for reconciliation between separate financial and billing systems, the result is a faster, more efficient and cost-effective end-to-end process.

Better alignment with customer needs

Different customers have different needs, and flexibility is key to creating customer satisfaction. That’s why Business ByDesign supports a wide variety of billing arrangements, including Time and Materials, Fixed Price, and Milestone-based invoicing. The system also has the ability to handle other options, such as down payments and unique payment scheduling.

This adaptability makes it easy for you to offer a variety of billing methods, allowing your business to work around customers’ needs and giving your sales team additional options to help close deals. At the same time, these options are integrated into the system, meaning that providing this flexibility does not result in an increased burden of time or effort for your finance team.

SAP Business ByDesign is a powerful tool that can create efficiencies across your business, from sales through to finance. Not only will using Business ByDesign reduce operational costs and improve your billing process, it will also lead to better engagements and more satisfied customers.