Blog Billing software: make or buy? 4 considerations

You’ve got your product or service up and running and a solid base of customers. But as your company grows, so does the number of outgoing invoices. This is when you will need to automate your billing process, to get your invoices out – and paid – in time. It’s time to make the good old make or buy decision for your billing software.

Companies often tend to think a custom-made billing system fits their needs best. But does it really? Designing your own billing software can be a world of pain and complexity. Not to mention that you need to maintain it. Before you decide, make sure that you are aware of the consequences of custom-made billing software.

1.   Costs

Building your own custom-made billing solution entails much more than the development itself. While this development often poses a considerable one-off investment to start with, the following recurring cost aspects of a self-built solution are often overlooked:

  • Hosting and infrastructure costs to keep the application running. Especially if large volumes of data are being processed, this could result in significant costs.
  • Technical maintenance to ensure the application remains functional over time and meets security requirements.
  • Continuous development of new features and functionalities to ensure that the application remains relevant and can grow along with changing business requirements.
  • Bug fixing. Every application has bugs and over time, new bugs are introduced as the application and its supporting infrastructure change.

2.   Your own tool has its limits

A billing tool that works exactly the way you want is the most obvious reason to build it yourself. You don’t have to settle for a third-party system. However, it often turns out to be more difficult than initially thought.

You can build a system according to your specific requirements. But will you then build a system that is also able to deal with changing market-developments, deviating price agreements, etc.? Because of this, a custom-made billing system requires constant maintenance and expansions to not reach its limits.

3.   Band-Aid solutions for one of your most vital processes?

Even with the best intentions, in practice, the bug fixes and new wishes are achieved with Band-Aid solutions. In the long run, this results in a complicated web of solutions, of which only your developer knows the details of. This is quite a risk for one of your company’s most vital processes to maintain a solid, steady cash flow.

4.  Support for your internal customer

Like with every tool, users will have questions and run into problems that need to be fixed. Since we are talking about the billing process, these fixes are essential to keep your cash flow healthy. Questions and problems are usually handled by a support department. But since it is your own tool, these issues will also end up with your developers!

Once again, ask yourself if you are prepared to let your developers spend time on these kinds of things.

More than just costs and benefits

Take these make or buy considerations into account for your billing software. You will see that it is not only a consideration of costs and benefits but of resources and risk as well.

So, if your billing is not a crucial part of your core value proposition, get a proper billing platform. Allow yourself peace-of-mind with a sustainable and proven long-term solution. With support when you need it.

CloudBilling is such a tool. We provide you with a flexible and proven billing engine. With on-demand support and continuous development of new features and performances improvement.

 

Author: Guus Bots– Operations Manager

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