This post is the tenth in a series of questions you as a publisher should ask when interviewing software service providers. (View the ninth question here.) The questions will help you find out if a product is the right fit for you business and if it is really going to do what it claims: help you save time and sell more advertisements.

 

How does your system handle invoicing?

Now it’s time to get the billing team involved. Whether you create and send invoices out by publication and issue date, company, or another criterion, will you be able to create invoices by your company’s process? Will you have the ability to design and edit multiple templates depending what you want the customer to see?

 

After invoices are produced, how will the system make sure an invoice will be sent to the correct contact? Whether he or she is the advertiser, agency or parent company, these relationships need to be synched, so the system can correctly send out new invoices. Will the system be able to send an invoice the way your clients want and expect it? Will they be happy to receive an email version, or do they want a paper copy? Do you need to attach a tear sheet or other documentation? Look for a system that has the ability to please all of your customers.

 

Invoices are out to your customers, but changes needed to be made. What flexibility will you have to make adjustments as needed? Any special billing request made by the customer and added to the order should be accessible to the billing team, so billing can make necessary modifications. If an order is cancelled or a partial refund needs to be made, how many steps does it take and where are the adjustments are tracked? Will you refund the amount directly to the customer, or give them credit for future purchases? How you can split invoices into installments? Can the system efficiently bill pre-payments? How do you use credit memos and special invoices and how will the system track it? There are a lot of scenarios you need to see and have confidence they will add up in the end.

 

All invoices are sent and modifications are made. Will the reporting available be able to successfully monitor all outstanding invoices? Does the system have the ability track any collection efforts? Will you be able to add the required finance charges to past do invoices? When and how will reminders be sent to clients of past due invoices? Look for a system that helps keep your team and clients on top of financial obligations by automatically sending reminders of due dates and past due notifications.

 

Make sure to have a knowledgeable member of the accounting team investigate the product to make sure all the numbers match up in the new system as they would in your current system. If you plan to continue using another accounting program, check to see how integration would work and any additional costs.

 

Next: How do you handle training and support?

 

POSTED BY Tom Bellen, to contact click here.

 

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