Accounting vs. Billing Software

Accounting versus Billing Software for Telcos

A comparison of telecom invoicing systems: accounting versus billing software, and what's best for telcos.

In today's competitive telecom market, sending timely invoices, collecting payments, and tracking your company's financial health are critical to success.

What's the best way to get invoices out to your customers so you get paid?  The most common invoicing systems are either financial accounting packages or automated billing platforms.

While telecoms can use both a billing platform and an accounting system to track financial transactions and manage the financial records of their business, they have different primary functions.

A billing platform like TimelyBill focuses on generating and sending invoices to customers. An accounting system is used to manage the financial aspects of a business.

Here is a quick comparison of the features and limitations of each.

Using Accounting Software to Produce Telecom Invoices

Accounting software enables businesses to track financial transactions (payments, adjustments, etc.) for balance sheets, P&L, and tax liability. Most accounting systems allow companies to create manual invoices and handle the needs of the typical business.

Accounting systems can typically track the following:
    • Accounting functions
    • General ledger management
    • Accounts receivable
    • Expenses
    • Revenue recognition
    Invoices produced using accounting software apps typically incorporate line items, the amount(s) being charged, taxes, and the total amount due.

    Accounting software is meant to "account for" and track finance-related data. However, it tends to struggle with managing subscribers and recurring payments. Especially true when there is a need to charge usage-related fees or telecom taxation.  A telecom billing platform becomes necessary as the volume of these needs grows.

    Using Billing Software to Generate Telecom Invoices

    A billing system automates the manual work required to create recurring invoices (view example). It allows service providers to create and send invoices to customers in an efficient, repeatable manner. Billing software can also help manage complex telco billing processes like subscriptions for usage-based services.

    Billing systems can typically track the following:
    • Subscriptions
    • Custom pricing
    • Service usage
    • Provisioning
    • Proration
    • Discounts
    • Payments
    • Telecom taxes

    Invoices generated from billing software applications typically incorporate product/service descriptions, fees, payments, adjustments, variable usage details, and taxes.

    Billing software does not handle tasks such as accounting, payroll, bank tracking, reconciliation, or expense management. Billing software is purposely built to automate and standardize your invoice generation presentation and distribution.

    Knock Out the Competition using the Accounting-Billing 1-2 Punch!

    A blend of these two programs seems to make the most sense for the telco providers we serve. Allow each system to do what they do best. Then, connect them via a data push from billing into your upstream accounting system. This can be accomplished via our REST API configurator or scheduled database exports.

    We're happy to jump on a call to discuss how TimelyBill can help streamline your accounting and billing processes. To stay in the ring, call sales at (954) 889-6699.

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