Top 10 billing software requirements for SaaS businesses

Calista Reyes

SaaS companies have established that recurring revenue is key to growth. But as  SaaS business scales, billing gets more complex.

The right billing software should handle subscriptions, automate invoicing, support global expansion, and provide customer insights. So you need to ask yourself an important question:

Is your current system up to the challenge?

Before making the call, let’s review the 10 billing software requirements you should look for in a billing management platform. 

We’ll cover:

  • Customization options
  • Automated billing and invoicing
  • Scalability 
  • Integration capabilities
  • Compliance and security
  • Customer self-service portals
  • Reporting and analytics capabilities
  • Flexibility in payment options
  • Customer support 

#1 Customization options 

In the fast-paced world of SaaS, where business models can change on a dime, your billing software needs to be able to adapt. 

Forget a one-size-fits-all approach. You need a billing system that grows with you and can handle your pricing strategy.

Look for a solution with these customization features:

  • Flexible pricing models: The ability to easily set up and experiment with different pricing models — like volume discounts or usage-based pricing — is key. This keeps your billing in sync with your evolving product and market.
  • Simple price changes: Your billing platform should allow for easy price adjustments and management of different plan versions. Finance, product, and operations teams should be able to make changes without requiring technical expertise.
  • Control over legacy pricing: Your chosen solution should make managing legacy pricing and plan versions easy, allowing you to smoothly migrate customers to updated plans. Your billing platform shouldn't lock you into rigid pricing structures.

With the right customizable billing software, you can transform your billing system from a background necessity into a powerful tool for growth.

Orb does all this and more.

#2 Automated billing and invoicing

Manual billing is a time-consuming process that drains resources and increases the risk of errors. A strong billing software solution automates this entire process, saving you valuable time and guaranteeing accuracy across invoices.

Here's how automation can transform your billing:

  • Effortless invoicing: Automated systems allow you to create invoices with granular levels of detail that align with your customer’s usage patterns and your billing models. Invoices are generated accurately and consistently, reflecting the services provided.
  • Reliable billing schedules: Set up automated schedules for invoice generation and dispatch. Customers always know when to expect payments, improving cash flow and simplifying financial forecasting.
  • Minimize errors: Automating the process from usage tracking to invoice creation helps eliminate human error. This means each invoice is precise, consistent, and reflects the correct usage, reducing the chance of billing disputes.

#3 Accurate usage tracking

For SaaS businesses, especially those with usage-based pricing, precise usage tracking is the cornerstone of accurate billing. However, the importance of this capability extends far beyond just getting the invoices right.

Here's why:

  • Fair and transparent billing: Customers expect to pay for what they use. Accurate usage tracking ensures invoices reflect actual consumption, building trust and reducing billing disputes.
  • Data-driven pricing: Detailed usage data helps you understand how customers interact with your product. This allows you to refine your pricing models, potentially identifying new revenue streams or optimizing existing ones.
  • Product improvement insights: Usage tracking isn't just about billing. It reveals which features are most popular, how customers navigate your product, and where they might encounter bottlenecks. This data is invaluable for guiding product development and improving the user experience.
  • Churn prevention: By tracking usage patterns, you can identify customers who might be disengaging. Low usage could be a sign of potential churn, allowing for proactive outreach and support to retain them.
  • Better customer relationships: Accurate usage data allows you to have more informed conversations with customers. You can discuss their specific needs, offer tailored recommendations, and demonstrate the value they're getting from your product.

Orb tracks your customers' usage within your SaaS product with ease. This includes everything from feature utilization to data consumption. This accurate tracking allows Orb to automatically generate invoices tailored to each customer's specific usage, ensuring fair and transparent billing. 

Additionally, this data can provide valuable insights into customer behavior, informing future product updates.

#4 Scalability

A billing solution that can't scale alongside your business creates serious roadblocks. Look for a platform built for growth, eliminating concerns about bottlenecks, crashes, or slowdowns as your customer base expands.

Here's why scalability matters:

  • Handles high volume: Choose a billing system whose architecture can manage surges in transactions, customers, and data without breaking a sweat. This ensures your billing process keeps pace with your growth.
  • Prioritizes speed: Even during peak usage, your billing should be fast and reliable. A system optimized for performance prevents delays that frustrate customers.
  • Designed for the long term: Your billing solution needs to be future-proof. Look for a platform with a robust infrastructure that can easily scale alongside your business, eliminating the need for disruptive migrations later on.
  • Supports global expansion: Scalability isn't just about handling more customers. It's also about accommodating international growth, with the ability to handle multiple currencies, tax regulations, and payment gateways.

#5 Integration with other systems

Connecting your billing software with other critical business tools, like CRMs, ERPs, and accounting systems, is essential for a smooth workflow. Here's why integrations are so important:

  • Centralized data: Integrating your billing system with your CRM ensures consistency across sales and support teams. Everyone has access to the same accurate customer data, including subscription status, payment history, and contact information.
  • Automated processes: Integrations enable automatic updates across systems. For example, when a customer upgrades their subscription, this change can be reflected instantly in your accounting tools.
  • Improved accuracy and time-savings: Automating data flow drastically reduces manual tasks, which is both time-saving and reduces the potential for human error. This means less time spent on data reconciliation and more accurate financial reporting.
  • Better insights: Connecting your billing platform with data warehouses or analytics tools lets you analyze metrics like churn risk analysis by identifying billing patterns and revenue forecasting based on historical billing trends. 

#6 Compliance and security

This point is non-negotiable — any billing software you use needs to comply with all relevant data and financial regulations to maintain trust and legality. Your customers’ sensitive payment information must be properly secured, especially if you operate globally.

Here’s why choosing a billing solution that prioritizes compliance and security is critical:

  • Data security: It is essential to keep customer payment information safe. Simple steps like encrypting data, conducting security checks, controlling access, and monitoring potential threats help protect important information and prevent data leaks.
  • Financial rules: It's important to follow financial laws like the GLBA and SOX in the US. These regulations manage how customer data is collected, used, and stored. Also, sticking to standards such as PCI DSS keeps payment information secure.
  • Customer trust: With data breaches becoming more common, showing your platform is secure and follows the rules gives you an advantage. It tells your customers you're serious about protecting their data, which helps build a lasting, trust-based relationship.

#7 Customer self-service portal

This one is pretty clear cut: Allowing customers to manage their accounts directly within their usage billing software enhances the user experience. 

It lets them easily view their billing history, update payment methods, and handle other account-related tasks. This autonomy makes using your SaaS an intuitive process for them and simplifies your operations by reducing the need for routine support queries.

Orb puts your customers in control with a self-service portal, where they can manage accounts and view detailed billing history. 

This reduces the workload on your support team and gives customers transparency into their charges. Orb's portal even offers personalized recommendations, promoting upgrades and boosting how often customers engage with your services.

#8 Reporting and analytics

For SaaS companies, data is king. That’s why understanding the story your data tells is crucial.

Access to comprehensive financial reports and analytics lights the path to informed decision-making, highlighting areas for improvement and opportunities for expansion. In other words, analytics transform raw data into actionable insights.

Let’s take a look at how Orb handles reporting and analytics: 

  • Revenue insights at your fingertips: Orb's advanced analytics give you a clear view of your revenue streams. Track everything from subscription renewals to recurring revenue patterns, helping you pinpoint trends and forecast future earnings with precision.
  • Deep dive into customer behavior: Understand your customer's journey with detailed reports. Orb helps you segment users based on behavior, purchase history, and usage patterns, offering targeted insights to refine your marketing and sales strategies.
  • Visual data storytelling: Orb's interactive dashboards and charts make data analysis insightful and engaging. Customize reports to monitor the metrics that matter most to your business and schedule regular updates to stay informed without the manual hassle.

#9 Flexible payment options

One of the main billing system requirements is that it should support a variety of payment methods and currencies to meet the needs of customers around the world. As a SaaS business, you likely have an international customer base with different payment preferences. 

Additionally, accepting diverse payment methods isn't just about convenience — it's a strategic move to tap into emerging markets and reduce churn. In regions where credit card use isn’t prevalent, offering localized payment options can help you unlock new customer segments.

In essence, offering flexible payment options is about meeting your customers where they are — financially speaking — and providing a clear and streamlined path for them to engage with your SaaS product.  

#10 Reliable customer support

Dependable customer support from your billing software provider is critical for swiftly addressing issues. Delays or disruptions in your billing system can affect your service and bottom line.

Having responsive support such as Orb’s means issues are quickly resolved, keeping your business operations running smoothly and minimizing the impact on your customers. 

Here’s how Orb is committed to unparalleled support:

  • Exclusive line of support: Orb provides you with white-glove customer services by offering direct communication through a shared Slack channel and experts help you during your implementation process so you can get started right away.
  • Expert problem solvers: With a deep knowledge of subscription billing challenges, Orb’s support staff are more than just troubleshooters. They don’t just help with quick fixes, but they also offer preventive advice to keep your billing system on track.
  • Clear documentation: Offering reliable customer support goes beyond just emergencies. Orb’s extensive documentation helps customers self-assess and solve potential issues without ever elevating a ticket. It’s about trusting in user autonomy too.

Ready to solve all your billing problems?

By now you should have a pretty clear idea of the main billing software requirements for your SaaS business. 

Throughout this list, we’ve made a compelling case for Orb as the done-for-you billing platform that can help with your SaaS product’s billing issues.

Now it’s time to make a decision. 

If you’re still on the fence about Orb, try it out for yourself and find out why more and more SaaS companies are choosing us to solve billing for them.

April 22, 2024
Best Practices

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