The 3 secrets of better subscription billing

Published on: July 15, 2020

As Partner Economics put it in their recent study, “recurring revenue is the best antidote in this economic turmoil”. And even before recent events accelerated the trend, subscription billing models have long been on the increase. With the advent of Office 365, Dynamics 365, Microsoft Azure and Windows 10, Microsoft Partners have naturally followed the tech giant into the cloud as it adopts the as-a-service paradigm. Now its flagship productivity suite, CRM and ERP solutions, cloud storage and even its operating system are all provided and paid for via subscription.

Although some partners have now gotten to grips with providing Microsoft-as-a-service, many are still struggling with adapting their processes to accommodate subscription billing. As a Microsoft Gold Certified ISV with two decades of experience creating solutions for ERP customers, we want to share our insights into how to achieve better subscription billing – and how our Subscription Billing Suite solution enables you to do so.

Let’s get started.

1. Keep it all in D365 Business Central – don’t add more systems

The more systems involved in your subscription billing processes, the more complex it becomes and the more possible points of failure there are. For many, this means manually entering data into their ERP from other sources, which may include spreadsheets or third-party applications. This can be laborious, repetitive, and time-consuming work – highly prone to human error which then needs to be corrected later, wasting more time, or can even lead to a loss of revenue.

Conversely, the fewer systems involved in your subscription billing management, the less time and effort needed to bridge the gaps between them, and a lower chance of failures or errors. Binary Stream’s Subscription Billing Suite (SBS) integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and allows you to easily make monthly adjustments to factors like your customers’ user counts, invoice intervals, and discounts you’re providing them. No more manual management, no more wasted time and errors.

2. Achieve better visibility of revenue streams

The ability to measure your revenue streams is key to mastering subscription billing. That means you need to achieve as much visibility into these streams as possible, have a clear understanding of each customer’s usage, and be able to forecast revenue for future months easily. This is why it’s crucial to have a subscription billing management solution that unifies all your data across all the systems involved and make it easily accessible to those that need it.

Subscription Billing Suite breaks down your data silos by bringing everything together in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. SBS presents everything you need in easy-to-access reports, so you can gain complete financial clarity and forecast revenue accurately. You can see which revenue streams are performing well, which aren’t, and what changes need to be made. Without this kind of insight, it’s much more difficult to ensure your recurring revenue pricing models are optimized and working as hard as possible for your business. But with this insight, you’re able to make the informed decisions for your business needs.

 3. Make IFRS and ASC compliance easy

Having to devote time and attention to ensuring regulatory compliance is necessary for all businesses, and organizations that deal with recurring revenue have their own set of rules to grapple with. Since subscription billing involves entering into contracts with customers, compliance with standards such as IFRS 15 and ASC 606 is a necessary part of your accounting processes. These standards deal with how your revenue streams from these contractual arrangements are recognized and accounted for.

However, ensuring compliance often requires a considerable investment of time and expertise – especially if your move to a subscription billing model was relatively recent and your business is still getting to grips with it. Slow compliance-related processes can be a serious drain on your business, and if they’re repetitive and manual, human errors may occur which can leave you at risk of breaching compliance. So, how do you make sure you stay on the right side of the regulations without being bogged down?

Subscription Billing Suite features built-in capabilities to allocate revenue and expenses in accordance with IFRS 15 and ASC 606. As we said in the first tip, every addition to your system is one more place where things can go wrong, so instead of having to manually enter and manipulate data in an additional application, your main system should provide consistent, reliable, and effortless revenue recognition and allocation for your complex pricing models while also being easy to audit.

Subscription Billing Suite enables better subscription billing

Out-of-the-box platforms provide the basics for managing recurring revenue, but there are still many ways they can be enhanced. Our solution extends functionality to provide consistent and reliable invoicing for a wide range of pricing models and offer added control and visibility as well as facilitating compliance.

Binary Stream Subscription Billing Suite was developed to enhance Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central in this way and streamline your handling of even the most complex billing scenarios. We want to make it easy for Microsoft Partners to manage subscriptions, recurring revenue, and billing for user licenses.

Test-drive Subscription Billing Suite yourself with a free trial – just get in touch. Or, if you’d like more insights from the team at Binary Stream, watch our latest webinar on optimizing recurring revenue.


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