So there’s a lot of info about how to setup A2Billing, import rates etc, but not really much on how to manage it thereafter.
This is what I’ve found through much trial and much more error, about what things mean and how they work. Pre-pay billing is where A2Billing is aimed, but what about post-pay billing, which is also an option?
Lets start with a simple example: we have a customer on a post-paid account and a billing date of the 1st of the month. We are not applying VAT with A2B at this stage, and really the customer isn’t self-billing, we are invoicing them separately and keeping track of things outside of A2B at the moment.
At this point the customer’s balance is 0 – they haven’t made any calls
We will reference 2 sections of A2Billing at each stage: ‘CB’ meaning Customer Balance as shown in Customers > Add/Search screen. This is what is used to allow calls or not, depending on your CB and credit limit. The second reference is ‘CBs’ which is Customers Balances found under Billing > Customers Balances. There are 4 fields relevant today: Credit, Invoice, Payment, To Pay.
It is important to understand what these fields represent, and how they will change through your billing cycles.
Credit = sum of outstanding invoices + unbilled usage; A2Billing call this your total liability
Invoice = total invoiced, ever
Payment = total paid, ever
To Pay = sum of Outstanding invoices
You’ll also want to know that;
A Refill = changes CB
A Payment = pays for stuff on account, and changes ‘payments’ on CBs
From now on these will be noted as Credit = x, Invoice = x, Payment = x, To Pay = x at each stage.
At this stage, Credit=0, Invoice=0, Payment=0, To Pay=0.
During the month customer makes £10 worth of calls. On the first of the month A2B will create an invoice. This can be seen under Invoices > Invoices with a title of ‘BILLING’.
Now Credit=10, Invoice=10, Payment=0, To Pay=10
You would normally then expect the customer to continue making calls, before paying their invoice.
Now Credit=10+unbilled usage, Invoice=10, Payment=0, To Pay=10
So when the customer pays, here is the procedure:
In Customers > Add/Search click ‘manage payment’ next to the customer.
In the payment screen, enter how much they paid etc and DONT create a refill.
Creating a refill here would decrease the CB, but knock-out the CBs numbers; the invoice would show as unpaid etc
Go to Invoices > Invoices and click on ‘manage payments’ against the invoice they have now paid
Add the payment to the invoice, and change the status to ‘Paid’
At this stage Credit = unbilled usage, Invoice=10, Payment=10, To Pay=0 BUT the CB still shows as -(10+unbilled usage)
Go to Billing > Refills > Add Refill
Refill the account by the amount paid, but do not create an invoice.
NOW CB=0 or -unbilled usage
Assuming your invoicing, payments and refills are up to date you should have:
Credit should = CB
Invoice should = Payment
To Pay should = 0
Using this method you can use the Customer Balances (CBs) screen to show who owes you what, both ‘invoiced but not paid’ (the To Pay column) and ‘total liability’ (the ‘Credit’ column).
I guess this would also be more useful if you add subscriptions to the service, because then your invoices will not just be for monthly call usage.