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How Do I Choose the Best Open Source Billing Software?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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Open source billing software is used by physical and online businesses to bill customers for services, and to charge annual or monthly rates for subscriptions. Many businesses use open source billing software for billing cycles, so the ability to use custom cycles with any associated cash amount will allow the business to make many different subscription packages. Being able to automatically generate invoices will keep the administrator from going through the lengthy process of creating an entirely new invoice, populating it with information, and then giving it to the customer. Printing and emailing invoice tools will allow the user to provide either an electronic or paper-based version of the invoice to the customer. Prepayment reminder tools will ensure that customers do not forget to pay on time.

Billing cycles, especially for business website owners, allow a business to charge a continual subscription fee to a customer. To make an effective subscription service, in which the customer has several different cycle choices, open source billing software should be able to create custom cycles, such as a monthly cycle, a semi-annual cycle and an annual cycle. The administrator also should be able to enter custom values for each cycle, because annual cycles tend to charge less per month than a monthly cycle.

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An invoice is not the hardest document to create, but it does take extra time when done manually. If the open source billing software is able to automatically generate an invoice, this will make it easier to serve the customer without having to write in all the information for an invoice. To correctly generate an invoice, there will usually be text fields for the administrator to fill out, but this will only take a few seconds as opposed to a few minutes.

After the invoice is created, the administrator still has to deliver the invoice to the customer. Depending on whether the business is a physical or online company, print or email delivery will be required. Some physical businesses email invoices to common customers and some online companies print and mail invoices to other businesses, so the best open source billing software should allow both delivery methods.

Most customers are good about paying their invoices during a billing cycle, but some customers might forget their obligations. To ensure customers do not forget, a prepayment reminder tool can help the business collect all the money it is owed. This tool sends out an email to customers, reminding them about their bill in a discreet manner.

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