As a billing system admin, you have to perform following configurations- for different accounts, generate bills on different days of the month (1st of the month for one account, 15th of the month for other accounts and so forth). For some accounts, the invoices should be generated in a pdf format and for some, in a word format. Few accounts want the bills to be generated every month and the rest every quarter. 

Each of these requirements apparently involves different configuration at account level- making this a tedious task. The best approach would be to group all these settings under one roof and apply them in one go. Billing Preferences does all this; it is a container which holds many key settings that are necessary to drive your Billing. You can feed in your choices for various fields in the Billing Preference and then associate Billing Preferences to an entire Org, Account or a Quote/Proposal or Quote/Proposal Line. You can use this functionality to define each customer's billing preference to suit their requirements and convenience.  

Billing Preferences drive the alignment of Billing Schedules. Later if you want to make any changes to the preference, you can update the Billing Preference through an asset-based order.

You can create several billing preferences for one customer and set each preference at a different level. The Billing Preference that you define, determines the 

  • Billing Date and Month,
  • Billing frequency,
  • Applicable Taxes, and
  • Method and format of Invoice delivery.

With this feature, you can select a preference for every new invoice that you generate for that customer. If you do not select a Billing Preference, a default preference is applied when you generate an invoice. You can generate an Invoice for an account even if the Billing Preference you select is inactive. You must activate only one Billing Preference at a time.

To create a Billing Preference

  1. Click Billing Preference > New.
  2. Enter values for the fields described in the following table.                                                                                                                                                                                                  
FieldDescription
Preference NameEnter a unique name for the Billing Preference you want to create. It is recommended that you keep an easily identifiable name.
Preference LevelSelect the level at which you want to apply this Billing Preference.
Billing day of the month

Day of the month when you want to bill your customer. For example, to set ‘10’ as the Billing Day, select 10th of the month from the picklist.

If you select End of the month, the Billing Day is set to the last day of each month as and when the schedule advances. For example, Billing Day of Month will be ‘31’ for March and ‘30’ for April.

Note: This field holds significance only if you set ‘Billing Cycle Start’ to ‘Billing Day of Month’.

Billing Cycle Start

Billing Cycle Start can be any day on which you want to bill customers. Billing Schedules are aligned on the basis of Billing Cycle Start. Billing Schedule for an asset takes the Expected Start Date mentioned on the Proposal Line and Order Line as the starting point for generating the schedules. To align rest of the duration, it looks up to the value provided in Billing Cycle Start. Please refer this example.

Select one of the following options:

  • Billing Day of Month - value specified in the Billing Day of Month field.
  • Ready for Billing Date - value from Ready for Billing Date field on the accepted Quote/Proposal.
  • Period Start Date - value from Expected start date field on Asset Line Item.
  • Order Date - value from Order Date field in the activated order.
  • Account Billing Day of Month - value from Billing Day of Month field on Accounts. Select this option, if you want to set a common billing day for all orders in an account.
Calendar Cycle StartSelect the month to align your customer's billing to a specific business calendar year.
To set calendar cycle start from an account, set Calendar Cycle Start to Account Calendar Cycle Start. Next, select a month from Calendar Cycle Start on the Account.
Tax Level

Select the object to which you want to apply taxes, from one of the following options:

  • Account
  • Product
Invoice Delivery MethodSelect the preference for Invoice Delivery from Email or Print.
Invoice Output format

Select the format from one of the following options:

  • PDF
  • DOC
  • DOCX
  • RTF
Allow Payment Term OverrideSelect this check box if you want to override the default Payment Term.
Allow Preference OverrideSelect this check box if you want to override this Billing Preference.
Do not Create InformationalSelect this option to suppress the creation of all Informational Billing Schedules. For Bundle products, if the Bundle Invoice Level is set to Bundle, Billing Schedules for Bundle Options will not be created.
Hide InformationalSelect this option to suppress the visibility of Bundle Option details on the Invoice. On selecting thischeck box, invoice line items will not be created for products with Informational Billing Schedules.
Is DefaultSelect this option to make this Billing Preference the default preference for thisorg.
Proration Period Treatment

To define how you want to distribute the billing amount proportionally between the first and last Billing Schedules, select from one of the following picklist options:

  • Separate Period - To create a separate Billing Schedule for the outstanding amount.
  • Ignore - To levy no charge for the Initial partial period.
  • Charge Full - To levy no charge for the last partial period.
  • Combine with First Period - To charge each partial period along with the next full period.
    To see the impact Proration has on Billing Schedules, please refer Proration.
ActiveSelect the check box to activate this Billing Preference.
Ready for Invoice Date OffsetEnter the number of days by which you want to offset the ready for invoice date. The number of days are added to the Ready for Invoice Date determined by the billing rule.
Usage Rating Price Field Override Enter the API name of the price field based on which you want to rate the usage.

    3. Click Save.

Associating Billing Preferences

One way of associating Billing Preferences to Accounts, Quote or Orders is by setting the Preference Level at the line level. You can also associate a Billing Preference to an Account or a Proposal header from the Billing Preference Lookup () field.

The lowest level billing preference will take precedence. Also making changes to a Billing Preference will only affect future orders. 

Billing Schedules

If the Expected Start Date on Quote/Proposal is ‘1/20/2016’ and Billing Cycle Start is set to Billing Day of the Month (10th of the month), the Billing Schedules will be:

Period Start DatePeriod End Date
1/20/20162/09/2016
2/10/20163/09/2016
3/10/20164/09/2016

And so on.
You have the flexibility to choose Billing Day from other objects such as Account, Quote/Proposal, and Order. Please see the other values for Billing Cycle Start in the above table.

Note

To generate Billing Schedules, you must provide Expected Start Date and Expected End Date on the Quote/Proposal page.

Let us take a look at how Billing Schedules are aligned for 3 different products based on the Billing Rule and Bill Cycle Start Date.

Example 1

List Price of the product Ace is $100.

Product NameStart DateEnd DateBilling RuleBilling FrequencyBill Cycle Start DateProration Period TreatmentBilling Day of the month
Ace1/1/201612/31/2016ArrearsMonthlyBilling Day of the monthSeparate Period1st of the month

For Billing Rule set to ArrearsReady for Invoice Date is a day after the Period End Date. Billing Schedules for Ace will be,

Period Start DatePeriod End DateReady for Invoice DateAmount
1/1/20161/31/20162/1/2016$100

2/1/2016

2/29/2016

3/1/2016

$100

3/1/2016

3/31/2016

4/1/2016 and so on

$100

If you set Ready For Invoice Date Offset as 10, Ready for Invoice Date will be,

Period Start DatePeriod End DateReady for Invoice DateAmount
1/1/20161/31/20162/11/2016$100

2/1/2016

2/29/2016

3/11/2016

$100

3/1/2016

3/31/2016

4/11/2016 and so on

$100

Example 2

List Price of the product DigiX is $200.

Product NameStart DateEnd DateBilling RuleBilling FrequencyBill Cycle Start DateProration Period TreatmentBilling Day of the month
DigiX1/15/20161/14/2017AdvanceMonthlyReady for Billing DateSeparate Period

For Billing Rule set to AdvanceReady for Invoice Date is the Period Start Date for a schedule. Billing Schedules for DigiX if Ready for Billing Date is 1/9/2016,

Period Start DatePeriod End DateReady for Invoice DateAmount

1/15/2016

2/8/2016

1/15/2016

$160

2/9/2016

3/8/2016

2/9/2016

$200

3/9/2016

4/8/2016 and so on.

3/9/2016

$200

Example 3

List Price of the product MyShot is $300. 

Product NameStart DateEnd DateBilling RuleBilling FrequencyBill Cycle Start DateProration Period TreatmentBilling Day of the month
MyShot1/1/201612/31/2016Bill on Ready for Billing DateMonthlyOrder DateSeparate Period

For Billing Rule set to Bill on Ready for Billing Date, Ready for Invoice Date takes the value of Ready for Billing Date on the Quote/Proposal for all schedules. Billing Schedules for MyShot, if the Order Date is 1/15/2015,

Period Start DatePeriod End DateReady for Invoice DateAmount

1/1/2016

1/14/2016

2/1/2016

$145.162

1/15/2016

2/14/2016

2/1/2016

$300

2/15/2016

3/14/2016 and so on.

2/1/2016

$300

To see the impact Proration has on Billing Schedules, please refer Proration.

Impact of Calendar Cycle Start on Billing Schedules

Calendar Cycle Start is used to align the Billing Schedules to a defined calendar month. For example, Billing Frequency is Quarterly and Calendar Cycle Start is None.

Product NameStart DateEnd DateBilling RuleBilling FrequencyBill Cycle Start DateProration Period TreatmentBilling Day of the monthCalendar Cycle Start
Ace4/1/201612/31/2016ArrearsQuarterly Billing Day of the monthSeparate Period1st of the monthNone

The Billing Cyle start is 4/1/2016, so the Billing Schedules will align on the Start Day and first Quarter will be 4/1 to 7/31.

Period Start DatePeriod End DateReady for Invoice DateAmount

4/1/2016

7/31/2016

8/1/2016

$300

8/1/2016

11/31/2016

12/1/2016

$300

12/1/2016

12/31/2016

1/1/2017

$100

If Calendar Cyle Start is set to June 

Product NameStart DateEnd DateBilling RuleBilling FrequencyBill Cycle Start DateProration Period TreatmentBilling Day of the monthCalendar Cycle Start
Ace4/1/201612/31/2016ArrearsQuarterly Billing Day of the monthSeparate Period1st of the monthJune

The Billing Schedule for the first period will be 4/16 to 5/31. After this, quarters will align with 6/1 (June) and hence the period will be 6/1 to 8/31.

Period Start DatePeriod End DateReady for Invoice DateAmount

4/1/2016

5/31/2016

8/1/2016

$100

6/1/2016

8/31/2016

2/1/2016

$300

9/1/2016

11/31/2016 and so on.

2/1/2016

$300

Note

Billing Schedule alignment based on Calendar Cycle Start is applicable only for Products with Billing Frequency set to Quarterly, Half-yearly, and Yearly.