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Why Choose Automated vs. Manual Billing in Finance Management

Why Choose Automated vs. Manual Billing in Finance Management

We’ll come right out and say it. Manual billing is a thing of the past. 

Sure, there may exist the breed of finance person that believes their way of doing things manually is the only way to ensure their billing protocol is implemented the right way, citing that “computers and automation can’t be trusted to do it correctly”, but that’s simply not the case.

In this guide, we’re going to walk through the many ways you can benefit from migrating from a manual billing process over to an automated one. Throughout, we’ll give you tips and pointers as to how to make the most of billing automation software as we compare automated vs. manual billing methods. 

The Nuances of B2B Billing Compared to B2C Billing

Technological advancements and competitive pressures are making the B2B market more complex than ever. It’s constantly tugged and pulled around with new and different pricing models, contracts, and the need for flexibility in handling mixed revenue streams.

Companies are launching new products and services faster than ever and are exploring more creative business models and commercial terms. From subscription models to usage-based pricing, finance teams are constantly juggling to provide accurate billing while fostering growth. 

Manual billing, with its reliance on spreadsheets and ad-hoc solutions, often leads to "Revenue Spaghetti" - a tangled mess of data prone to errors and inefficiencies. Revenue Spaghetti happens when businesses have an overwhelming number of SKUs, complex pricing models and different contract types. Changing market conditions and competitive pressures make pricing schemes a real challenge to work with. 

To counteract this, usage pricing is usually adopted across the market, with 85% of the market adopting hybrid pricing (especially growing mid-market companies). 

For CFOs and finance executives at B2B mid-market tech companies, the decision to adopt an automated billing system like Received is a step toward future-proofing their financial operations.

The glaring issue at the heart of it all is that subscription management was built for B2C use cases, not B2B. That’s why tools like Received exist: to help B2B entities streamline their billing process with automation and encourage them to move away from unreliable, short-term-consistency manual approaches to finance management. 

Tip: Tackle billing complexity head-on by mapping out your revenue streams and identifying key pain points that automation can solve.

Enter Automated Billing Systems

Automated billing systems are the next stage of how companies manage their financial operations. 

These systems, including billing automation software and automated recurring billing platforms, streamline the entire billing process from contract to cash. When you automate tasks that were traditionally handled manually, you can quickly eliminate human errors, reduce operational costs, and focus on strategic growth initiatives.

How Automated Billing Is Faster and Cleaner Than The Old Way

Automated enterprise billing software like Received offers comprehensive B2B billing and revenue management solutions designed specifically for the complexities of B2B finance. 

With manual billing, businesses grapple with slow processes and a high propensity for errors due to labor-intensive paperwork and often manual data entry. This method is rife with issues, likely leading to significantly delayed cash flow, all prone to inaccuracies, leading to potential strains on customer relationships. 

The manual approach also lacks the agility needed for real-time financial insights, which is crucial for strategic decision-making and poses serious scalability issues as businesses grow. 

In our case here at Received, revenue streams into a central hub; Received enables finance teams to manage cash flow and revenue more effectively, unlocking new growth opportunities. 

Key offerings include:

  • Sales-Led Enterprise Contracts: Tailor complex multi-year contracts with various products and pricing models, automating billing and invoice generation.
  • Self-Serve Subscriptions: Automate billing for self-serve customers, from sign-up to cash, supporting hybrid pricing models and recurring payments.
  • Partner Billing: Manage referral and reseller billing, automate partner fees, and gain insights into partner performance.
  • Automated Invoice Configuration: Define your own invoice formats and select which data and line items are shown. All the Invoice and revenue data are synced with your accounting system.

Received is built from the ground up to streamline billing processes and address the broader challenges of revenue recognition, payment reconciliation, and data integration. 

And the best part is that we’re constantly improving the platform to include more and more robust functionality, giving our users new ways to optimize their financial workflow each month.

Last Thoughts on Automated vs. Manual Billing

While it’s admirable that anyone can handle billing processes manually, they don’t have to, and they would be better off doing so with the aid of automation.

The reality is that great finance talent comes and goes, but well-designed, reliable billing software will always remain constant, meaning that you don’t have to worry that someone is mishandling the books (deliberately or otherwise), and you can trust that the process is being fulfilled consistently, in the same way, forever. 

If you're ready to revolutionize your billing processes and propel your business forward, explore how Received can transform your finance operations. Discover more about our platform and take the first step towards operational excellence and strategic growth.

If you have any questions about automated billing that we didn’t cover here, please connect with a member of our team, and we’ll happily answer any outstanding questions you may have!

If you’d like to try Received, we invite you to chat with one of our experts, who can show you around the platform.