Why every MSP needs an invoice and billing solution

Posted:
04/26/2021
| By:
Brian Troy

Managed service providers (MSPs) offer a range of services, which makes it all too easy for things to get complicated when it comes to billing. From hardware and software licences to serial numbers to technicians’ hours, the typical MSP invoice can include a variety of line items. 

Without a great MSP billing system in place, employees face a frustrating scramble to assemble all these pieces. And chances are they’ll miss something, leading to incorrect bills, duplicated bills, and general inefficiency—all of which slows down your business and doesn’t look professional to clients. All of the sudden, you’re trapped in what we call the silos of chaos

Over time, these inefficiencies make business growth more difficult and prevent MSP employees from focusing on work that matters. A cloud-based managed services invoice and billing system is a must-have for MSPs that want to make employees’ lives easier, delight clients with excellent and timely service, and grow their businesses. 

Let’s take a look at four ways that an MSP billing system can benefit your business.

Send bills faster

Assembling an invoice can take a surprisingly long time, even if it’s for a longstanding client. From gathering a comprehensive list of all services rendered, to calculating the cost of technician time, to filling out each line of the invoice, it’s not hard to spend hours generating and sending out invoices. Some MSPs are even still compiling quotes by hand in Excel.

Great managed services invoice and billing software dissolve all of that chaos in a snap. 

With templates, auto-populating fields, and integrations across remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools, professional service automation (PSA) solutions, and other core business applications, an MSP billing system simplifies the invoice-building process. For example, our ConnectWise Manage solution integrates with client vendors such as Microsoft Office 365, Azure, and various Cisco solutions, monitoring and pulling information into a single bill. And with recurring, automated billing, you can ensure the bills always get out the door on time—so you’re one step closer to getting paid. 

Make bills look more professional

Speaking of templates, MSP billing software adds a professional look and feel to all bills. From your company’s logo, to clearly defined services, and more, these invoices are designed to look official, organized, and professional.

Good MSP billing software also allows you to send invoices—ideally in the cloud—directly to clients with the click of a button. This is a far cry from a handmade Excel file attached to an email. Plus, you can set up auto-reminders as due dates come up, helping your MSP get paid faster.

Ensure bills are comprehensive

It’s time to send an invoice. Your technicians scramble to assemble a comprehensive list of everything that happened in the last month. After painstakingly putting together the invoice and sending it to the client, someone discovers that a technician’s hours were off, or a hardware purchase or software license was overlooked. Back to the drawing board. Your team just wasted time, and the client is frustrated that they now have two invoices in their hands.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Because good MSP billing software integrates across your organization’s different tools and functions, mistakes are much harder to make. Technician timesheets and purchase orders are connected into the system. Service level agreements (SLAs) are clearly tracked. Recurring items auto-populate. SKUs and license counts are accurate. The opportunity for manual human error is much lower, ensuring that you present fewer mistakes to your clients.

Fewer billing disputes lead to more money in your pocket. In fact, a Forrester Total Economic Impact™ study of the ConnectWise Platform found that by reducing arguments over bills, our platform improved the productivity of finance teams by 25 percent and led to an average saving of $238,798 over three years.

Save your employees time - and make them happier

All the activities above—from tracking down timesheets to finding serial numbers to double-checking orders—drain technicians’ time, motivation, and energy. With manual billing, technicians spend their workdays sifting through documents rather than focusing on interesting technology challenges and solving client issues. And your business development people spend time cobbling together invoices, rather than winning new business or creating proposals.

An MSP billing solution takes an immense burden off employees. With templates, automation, integrations with core service solutions, cloud-based billing, and automatic reminders, employees (and leadership) get precious time back to focus on what matters most.

Billing and invoicing: The basis of growth

Every business needs to get paid to keep the lights on, compensate employees, and scale up. But billing should never become a major drain on employees’ time or morale. 

Without a great MSP billing solution, MSPs can spend time painfully assembling an invoice across multiple workstreams, services, and teams. By implementing a billing tool like ConnectWise Manage, MSPs can adhere to billing best practices, reduce billing headaches, bill more efficiently and with fewer areas, and ultimately make employees' jobs easier.