Consolidated invoicing is a financial practice that simplifies the billing process by combining multiple individual invoices into a single, unified invoice for a client or customer.
Some industries or business models churn out numerous invoices per customer per period. This can overwhelm and frustrate the customer as well as slow down payment.
The NetSuite consolidated invoicing feature provides a facility to reduce the number of documents the customer needs to keep track of.
The primary purpose of consolidated invoicing is to enhance efficiency and improve the customer experience.
In this article we will look in detail at the NetSuite consolidated invoicing capabilities, why it can be useful and the issues it will resolve. I will also introduce an alternative solution from a third party to give you some options.
What is Consolidated Invoicing?
Consolidated Invoicing is the process of combining the data from several customer invoices on to one.
A consolidated invoice has no value itself but is a combination of values from smaller invoices already posted to the books.
The consolidated invoice is therefore not a posting transaction. It is simply a way of presenting the data and facilitating an easier, more streamlined settlement.
After receiving a consolidated invoice, the customer can then make a single payment which will be allocated across many separate balances.
|Want to improve the customer experience even more? Take a look at the NetSuite Customer Centre.
Why Would a Business Consolidate Invoices?
Consolidated invoicing meets a very specific need. Unless you really need it, it is not something you would set up in your system just incase.
This billing feature is common in certain industries, such as Telecommunications and Utilities, and non existent in others. I think you would know if this is something prevalent in your own line of work.
If your business is debating over implementing consolidated invoicing, here are some of the benefits.
Using consolidated invoicing, businesses can encourage payment of smaller, more easily forgotten invoices. It is common in industries that provide many low value bills that those of the lowest value get forgotten. By combining those amounts to make a larger, more impactful number, payment can be turned around in a much shorter timeframe.
Improved Customer Experience
The fewer the invoices, the happier the customer. Most customers do not want their mailbox clogged up with multiple invoices each month. Consolidated invoicing can drastically improve that experience.
Accounts receivable teams can spend their time chasing single, consolidated invoices rather than numerous individual ones. This feature will increase the efficiency of accounts receivable teams from both a dunning and payment allocation perspective.
Using consolidated invoicing you can view accounts receivable reports by groups of invoices rather than individuals. This will aid far simpler analysis and ability to provide insights on collections.
What is the NetSuite Consolidated Invoicing SuiteSolution?
The NetSuite consolidated invoicing add-on is a SuiteSolution that needs to be purchased directly from NetSuite. There is a cost to this add-on so if you are interested you will need to speak to your NetSuite Account Manager to obtain a quote.
The feature allows you to select any number of invoices for a given customer and combine them on to a single consolidated invoice. A PDF of that consolidated invoice can then be printed and sent to the customer.
The feature can be activated for all customers or just selected ones and various fields of the consolidated invoice can be defaulted.
Using the consolidated invoice, businesses can give a single due date for all amounts regardless of how long they have been open.
Overall there is very little set up for the NetSuite consolidated invoicing SuiteSolution. You will select a few preferences, review the PDF then get started.
Alternative Solutions to NetSuite Consolidated Invoices SuiteSolution
As always, there are other options available to you to meet this need.
The first option worth considering is a custom solution. If you have a team of in house developers, or a NetSuite partner you work closely with, you could look at recreating this functionality yourself. It shouldn’t be a mountain of work to produce at the simplest level.
If you don’t have any developers at your disposal and you don’t want to commission this, you could look at a prepackaged third party solution.
The most notable is Invoice Consolidation 2.0 from eMerge.
eMprove Invoice Consolidation 2.0 from eMerge Technologies
eMerge Technologies are NetSuite implementation consultants who also offer a number of add-on features. They have developed the eMprove Invoice Consolidation 2.0 to fill a few of the gaps they noticed in the SuiteSolution.
eMerge claim to provide a far more customized solution with greater automation, better management of payments and simpler set up.
I am not affiliated with eMerge Technologies at all so do check them out for yourself. Properly asses which route is best for you to go down based off the scope of your need, budget and ongoing support.
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