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The Biggest Problem with Billing Automation is Data Quality - How to Fix It? [Get your free guide]

Posted by Mervi Vikki-Aaltonen
Feb 6, 2019 11:36:00 AM

When and Why to Automate Billing Process? 

We all know that process automation requires data. Service Billing Automation is also based on data.

For example customer data, service configuration data, pricing data, service status data and transaction data are all drivers for the right billing outcome.

Data quality is many times a question mark in organizations and a (bad) reason to postpone automation of the billing process.

Except for online sales, billing is often the last step in the customer process. Traditionally it was okay to fix billing semi-manually in a back office function. This often requires a lot of actions and manual labor. As a result, also revenue leakage and errors are common.

At the same time, marketing, sales and service delivery processes are running in world-class solutions. So, how can you improve the data quality so that also billing can run world-class?

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Data Quality is important for billing automation. How to Fix It?Why Is Data Quality So Important? Why Haven't Organizations Started Improving It?

Billing data is often collected from many sources (except in case of only simple subscription billing).

Manual consolidation and calculations are prone to mistakes. That leads to poor data accuracy and errors, which cause extra work when invoices need to be credited.

And it definitely means unhappy customers, too!

I find that the most common reason to postpone fixing data is lack of motivation. Challenge seems complex and time consuming. And there is no direct need for quality data as no true billing automation tool is implemented. Why invest in data quality improvement project, while the manual processing can still correct and complete all data?

Why Billing Automation Is More than Just Billing Automation?

When initiating billing automation, companies will also find strong motivation to correct and complete data issues in related processes. 

Billing automation gives understanding of what changes are required in different steps and functions to achieve better automation throughout the process of selling, delivering, billing, reporting and accounting of services.

At the end, not only billing is automated but the organizations' maturity in delivering services and agility in selling new services is elevated to a whole new level!

When Is the Time to Start Investing in Billing Automation? 

Time to start is at any of these points:

  • Customers need to verify your invoices and ask for corrections
  • You calculate how much service revenue leakage manual pricing and billing processes cost
  • Manual processes are too slow to support business growth 
  • Auditors demand transparency in billing and revenue recognition
  • You decide to transform your service business to a new level
  • Faster changes in business environment require agility in offering and pricing
  • Variable or usage-based service pricing requires automated billing
  • You start building your growth with a service ecosystem

Billing automation done right will go a long way in improving the service you deliver to customers.

That means more smiles on everyone’s faces and potential new revenue in your pocket. Isn’t that enough of a boost for motivation as well

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What You Need to Do to Get Started? DOWNLOAD The Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Easy Start of Billing Automation:


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Topics: Digital Services Economy, Billing automation, Billing data, Easy billing, Service billing

Mervi is the Lead Consultant of Service Digitalization in Good Sign. Mervi is developing the efficiency of service providing, subscribing and billing for our customers, and she is building up new service business opportunities for customers. Mervi is an enthusiastic and high-performing business professional with many years of prior experience of IT services and project management. Within her career earlier, she has been leading large transformational projects and service capability development within UPM-Kymmene, Rautaruukki and Fujitsu. She has also acted as a Deputy Chairman of the Board for IT Service Management Forum Finland and is still an active contributor in the itSMF community.


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Taija Engman

Taija´s blogs focus on topics where digitalization brings growth building on new business opportunities and customer value, as well as digitalization bringing savings that effect the bottom line.

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Petri writes about creating new opportunities and solving everyday problems through Service Digitalization. He also covers topics around new business models and recurring revenue.


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Hannele Peltonen 

Hannele focuses on advising and helping customers with the ongoing business digitalization and service transformation. Concrete customer benefits and customer experience and satisfaction are close to her heart. 

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Mervi Vikki-Aaltonen

Mervi’s blogs focus on topics of service management, billing & automation and digitalization. She is especially excited to explain the growing need of monetizing service management by digitalization.


Janne Kivilaakso

Janne writes about industrial Internet, business process automation and Business IT. Janne is enthusiastic about enabling new business models and improving efficiency via intelligent automation.





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