Why every MSP needs an invoice and billing solution

Posted:
05/10/2022
| By:
April Taylor

Managed service providers (MSPs) offer a range of services, which quickly complicates everything when it comes to billing. The typical MSP invoice can include many line items from hardware and software licenses to serial numbers and technicians' hours.  

Without an MSP billing system in place, employees face a frustrating scramble to assemble all these pieces. When billing is manual, chances of human error are high, leading to incorrect bills, duplicated bills, and general inefficiency—a combination that slows down your business and affects customer satisfaction.  

Unfortunately, those aren't the only negative impacts of manual cloud vendor billing. When you focus on dealing with this complexity, you lose visibility into stalled cash flow and leaking profits. 

4 ways manual billing systems hurt your cash flow  

There are four main ways that manual billing could be hurting your business.Over time, these inefficiencies make business growth more difficult and prevent MSP employees from focusing on work that matters

  1. Manual processes + complex invoices = time down the drain 
  2. High operational labor costs with no pay-off 
  3. Billing disputes that tarnish your reputation 
  4. Missed chances that bleed profits 

A cloud-based managed services invoice and billing system is a must-have to automate billing and make employees' lives easier, delight clients with excellent and timely service, and grow their businesses. Let's look at four ways that automation can streamline your billing process and help you create a healthier bottom line.

4 ways that an automated MSP billing system can benefit your business

1. Send bills faster

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

Managed services invoice and billing software can 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 and automates the invoice-building process.  

2. Make bills look more professional

MSP billing software adds a professional look and feel to invoices. Most options have templates designed to look official, organized, and professional with clearly defined services and a place for your company logo.  

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

3. Ensure bills are comprehensive

It's time to send an invoice, and your technicians are scrambling to assemble a comprehensive list of everything that happened 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. Your team is frustrated with the process, and the client is frustrated by receiving two invoices. 

Does this sound familiar to you? 

MSP billing software integrates across all your organization's tools and functions, reducing human error and other mistakes. This happens because: 

  • Technician timesheets and purchase orders are connected to the system 
  • Service level agreements (SLAs) are clearly tracked 
  • Recurring items auto-populate and get reconciled each month based on changes implemented in the customer environment 
  • SKUs and license counts are accurate, helping you retain the trust that you have established with that customer 

With more accurate billing, your team deals with fewer billing disputes, which leads to more money in your pocket.  

4. Save your employees time—and make them happier

All the activities above—including tracking down timesheets, finding serial numbers, and double-checking orders—drain time, motivation, and energy. With manual billing, technicians spend their workdays sifting through documents rather than focusing on interesting challenges and solving client issues, and your business development team spends 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, billing reconciliation with vendors, 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. But billing doesn't need to be a significant drain on employees' time or morale.  

Without an MSP billing solution that simplifies and automates the process, MSPs can spend time painfully assembling an invoice across multiple workstreams, services, and teams. With a billing tool such as 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. 

How ConnectWise Manage billing reconciliation can help 

ConnectWise Manage billing reconciliation helps you eliminate hours from your billing process each month, reduce manual invoice errors, and maintain trust with your customer. 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. 

This all-in-one solution includes these benefits: 

  • Integrates with all ConnectWise marketplace products 
    Use reconciliation with all of the products in the ConnectWise marketplace, including Microsoft Office 365, Azure, and various Cisco solutions. Eliminate hours of auditing by importing details from over 15 vendors and 245 products sold into a single location of bill reconciliation.  
  • Streamline usage-based cloud vendor billing 
    Save costly hours and errors by automatically reconciling spreadsheets from any vendor or distributor and importing the needed SKU, quantities, cost, and billings onto your customer agreements and invoices. 
  • Flag month-to-month price fluctuations 
    Deliver more accurate invoices through automatically reconciled cost differences. Leverage visibility into price fluctuations to negotiate vendor pricing and address pricing strategies such as margin, markups, or discounts to keep your bottom line healthy. 
  • Prorate bills based on monthly usage 
    Build customer trust by accurately calculating prorated costs and updating agreements that reflect monthly customer usage. 

 
Try ConnectWise Manage billing reconciliation to automate and simplify cloud vendor billing. Request a demo today >>