Getting started with Billingbooth

This guide will help you get started with Billingbooth, helping you set up your account so its ready for its first billing run.


We’ll cover:

  1. Adding customers
  2. Adding caller identification to customers
  3. Adding destinations
  4. Adding price adjustments
  5. Adding a bundle
  6. Uploading a CDR and processing calls
  7. Adding service charges
  8. Pre-billing run settings
  9. Performing a billing run



1. Adding Customers



Billingbooth is very much customer-centric. Charges and invoices are based around the customers you have set up in your account, and are the pivot point for matching call charges. To create a new customer, simply click on the Customers link in the left-hand navigation, then at the top right of the page, click on the New Customer button.


The fields should be more or less straightforward to fill in, fields worth mentioning:


Billing Type

Billed Directly - All invoices issued on any charges incurred by the customer will be created against the customer's billing address. In the case of invoice delivery, if the delivery type is email, the customer will directly receive invoices as attachments.

Parent Billing - If a customer is not set to be billed directly, a parent customer must be chosen as the billing entity of any charges incurred. Any charges applied against the customer's ledger will be invoiced to the parent customer, and the charges will appear within the parent customer's invoices, under a specific heading indicating which child company incurred the charges.


Call Tariff and Service Tariff

Dictates what tariff this customer will use for calls and what tariff this customer will use for products/services.


Schedule

By default, you will have a manual schedule set up in the Schedules section in the left-hand navigation. A manual schedule allows you to run your billing as and when you need, you can also set up automatic billing schedules. You can have multiple schedules, allowing you to bill. This field allows you to assign the customer to a specific schedule.



2. Adding caller identification to customers



Billingbooth will link calls from your CDR files to your customers via what is known as the CLI (Caller Line Identifier). To assign a CLI to a customer, select a customer from the Customers screen and then click the Caller Identification sub-menu item.


You’ll now be on a listing page for all the CLIs currently assigned to your customer, click the New CLI button at the top-right of the screen to enter a new CLI.


Alternatively, you can bulk upload CLIs by uploading a text file (.TXT) containing one CLI per newline. To do so, instead of clicking New CLI, click the Import From File button on the Caller Identification screen.



3. Adding destinations


Destinations in Billingbooth govern how much a destination costs you to cover, for most resellers, this price will be dictated by what your provider charges you.


You currently have two options of adding destinations available to you, listed below.


Option 1 - Creating a "catch all" destination



New to this version of Billingbooth, is the ability to use the pricing from the CDRs you upload themselves. To do this, you’ll want to set up a wildcard destination for your provider and it couldn’t be easier.


Simply head to Destinations in the left-hand navigation and then click Voice, Data & SMS from the drop-down menu items. Once on the Destinations screen, click the Auto Setup button at the top-right.


A modal will appear asking you to select the provider you wish to set up destinations for, if your provider isn’t featured in the list, please get in contact with us so we can get it added for you.


NOTE: Using this method will remove any pre-existing destinations you have set up for either the Voice, Data or SMS tabs for the selected provider.


When you’ve selected the provider you wish to use, click the Apply button to finish setting up the destinations.


You’ll now see a Call destination for your provider in the Voice tab, a Data destination for your provider in the Data tab and an SMS destination for your provider in the SMS tab. These destinations work by simply matching all charge codes for the respective data type by using the wildcard character * as the destination charge code. They are also set up to utilise options telling Billingbooth to use the pricing from the provider’s CDRs.


Option 2 - Setting up a destination manually



Two key reasons you may want to set up a destination manually, is to have something to target with a Price Adjustment or a Bundle, which are covered later in this guide.


Simply head to Destinations in the left-hand navigation and then click Voice, Data & SMS from the drop-down menu items. Once on the Destinations screen, click the Add Destination button at the top-right.


Fill the destination information out as required and when done, click the Charge Codes tab at the top-right.


On the Charge Codes screen, you’ll want to add either the provider’s charge code for the destination or (if the provider uses them instead) the dialling prefixes.


For this you will need to consult a full rate sheet from your provider, you may need to get in contact with them to acquire it. Be sure that it’s a full rate sheet rather than a sales sheet so it has the information you’re after.


Groups


Optionally, when you’ve created some destinations, you may want to group them together, for example, grouping a selection of mobile destinations into a Mobiles group which you can then target with a bundle.


To set a group up, simply click Destinations and then click Groups from the drop-down menu items. From there, click Add Group in the top-right and name your group.


When done, you’ll then be able to assign destinations to the group when creating a new destination or editing an existing one.



4. Adding price adjustments



With your destinations ready to go, now is the time to set the markup on your call charges, to do this head to the Price Adjustments section in the left-hand navigation menu and then click Add Price Adjustment.


From here, you’re able to configure the price adjustment however you like as well as what it applies to.



5. Adding a bundle (optional)


With your customers, destinations and price adjustments ready to go, you may find that you also need to add minute/data/SMS bundles to your customers. There’s two parts to this, first creating the bundle and then assigning the bundle.


Creating the bundle



Head to Bundles in the left-hand navigation menu and click New Bundle. During creation, all you can do is name the bundle so name it and click Create Bundle when you're done.


Now it will appear in the list of bundles so click its respective Edit button, you'll now find that there's some tabs at the top-left, select the Allowances tab.


Allowances are where you dictate the components of the bundle, you can have multiple allowances per bundle so you can build it up as you need.


At the bottom of the screen, assign all the bundle destinations to the bundle by clicking them in the Available field so they move over to the Included field, making sure to leave the wildcard destination in the Available field.


NOTE: If you only have your “catch all” destination(s) in the list, you’ll need to create destinations to target with the bundle. Head back to Step 2 Option 2, to see how to Add a destination manually.


Once you're done, click the Add Allowance button.



Assigning the bundle


With the bundle created, you can now go to the Customers section and click a customer you want to assign the bundle to, then click Bundles from that customer’s sub-menu followed by the Add Bundle button at the top-right of the screen.


The fields here are straightforward, you’re simply specifying which bundle to assign to the customer and how many of the bundles you wish to assign.


For Apply to specific CLI, if you want this bundle to apply only to specific CLIs, assign them using this list. If you assign nothing, the bundle will apply to all CLIs for this customer akin to selecting Entire Customer from the Scope drop-down.


NOTE: If you click the Assign All link beside the field label, it will assign all current CLIs for this customer, but if you add any new CLIs to your customer in the future, those will not be included to the bundle automatically.


Once done, click the Apply Bundle button to apply the bundle to the customer, it will now be in effect, so CDRs you process now will apply the bundle should the calls/customers meet the designated requirements.




6. Uploading and processing a CDR



With your customers, their CLIs, destinations and price adjustments now set up, you’re ready to upload a CDR file. At the time of writing, this is still a process you will need to do manually, so make sure you know where to retrieve your monthly CDRs from your provider.


To start, click CDR Files from the left-hand navigation and then click Upload New File from the drop-down menu items.


Select the provider the CDR is from and either drag the CDR file on top of the Upload CDR button or click the button and browse to the file on your computer. This will take you to the CDR Details screen for this CDR.


NOTE: If you ever navigate away from the CDR Details screen and want to get back, simply click CDR Files in the left-hand navigation and click Recent Files from the drop-down menu items. From the list, find the CDR you wish to look at and click its respective Details button.


On the CDR Details page, our two main focus points are the Records Matching Destinations and Records Matching Customers blocks. Ideally, you want both of the progress bars to be 100% so all your calls have been matched to a customer and a destination.


Should there be orphan (unmatched) records, you will see a Resolve button underneath the progress bar. Clicking this button will take you to a screen which will either give you a list of unmatched charge codes/dialling prefixes for destinations that haven’t been matched or CLIs for customers that haven’t been matched.


If you have assigned missing records or you have adjusted customers, destinations or pricing outside of the CDR Details screen, once you’re done, click the Re-Analyse button on the CDR Details screen. This will analyse your CDR file again, this time including the information you’ve added or amended.


Once all the charges have been matched and everything looks correct, you can click the Process button to assign the call charges to the respective customers as pending charges. We’ll talk about pending charges in more detail in the next section.


NOTE: You cannot Re-Analyse a processed CDR file, so ensure values are to your liking.



7. Adding service charges


Aside from call charges, Billingbooth also gives you the ability to assign service charges to your customers.


There are two ways of accomplishing this, adding service charges manually or uploading a service file from your provider. It’s worth noting that the service file method is only available to Business tier accounts and above.


However, both methods benefit from the use of Products, so we’ll briefly take a look at how they can help you with your service charges.


Products


In Billingbooth terms, a product is essentially a template for a service charge. They’re often used when you charge multiple customers for the same service or product in order to save you time filling out the same information repeatedly.


To create one, head to Products in the left-hand navigation and then click New Product. For information about some of the fields:


Reference

Your unique identifier for the product, it cannot contain spaces.


Category

Optional. There’s limited logic behind this, but essentially, products that have matching categories will be listed together under that category in the invoice.


Charge Type

All Charges and Products can have either a Single or Recurring charge type. This defines whether any ledger entries applied against a customer will be treated as a one-off, or whether they will be applied on a regular interval in conjunction with the Frequency property.


Frequency (if Recurring is the selected value of Charge Type)

How often your customer is charged for this product or service.


Custom Tax Rate

If your customer uses a custom tax rate, enter it here.


Cost of Sale (per quantity)

This cost to you for providing this product or service to your customers, this will be multiplied by the quantity of the product when you assign the charge.



Tariff Amounts

To add a new tariff to the product, first click the Add New Tariff button. This will create a new row within the Tariffs table, where you can select an existing tariff to use within the Tariff drop-down list and enter the amount the product costs into the Amount field.


Once you are happy with the values you have entered, you can use the Save or Cancel links to right of the fields to either allocate the tariff and amount to the product or cancel the process respectively.


Products: Service Files


If you plan to upload service files to handle your service charges, you’ll need to click the Service Files tab at the top-right of the screen and set a few additional options:


Service Code

The name of the product/service within the service file. You can use the * asterisk character as a wildcard, for example, a Service Code of Seat * would match Seat 200, Seat 201, Seat 202 etc. in your service file.


Use service file charge description

By checking this, Billingbooth will use the product description provided by the service file.


Services with zero cost create zero amount charges

By checking this, any service file charges with a cost of zero will not use the associated tariff amounts and apply a charge of zero to the customer.


Display associated CLI in charge

Display the service charge's respective CLI against the charge.

Always skip processing charge
Check this if you wish to match a charge to a product but you don't want to pass the charge onto the customer. For example, some providers offer non-chargeable numbers as part of seat rentals, which would appear on a service file but you wouldn't charge the customer for.

If the sell price is zero, skip processing charge
By checking this, if the sell price of the charge is 0, Billingbooth will skip processing this charge and assigning it to a customer. This option can be used in conjunction with the Services with zero cost create zero amount charges field.

Allow Credits/Refunds
Checking this means if the charge value is ever negative, it will create a negative charge against the customer which will reduce the invoice's total amount by the service charge cost when billed.



Manually adding service charges



Whether you have or haven’t created products beforehand, you’re able to create manual service charges against your customers. Simply head to Customers, click on the customer you wish to add a charge to and then click Charges from their customer sub-menu.


You’ll notice that there are three tabs at the top of the screen: Pending, Active Charges and History.


A Pending charge is a charge that is ready to be billed by Billingbooth. An Active Charge is a method of automatically generating pending charges as and when you need.


That leaves the History tab, which essentially lists all the historical charges for this customer.


To create a new single or recurring charge, click the New Charge button at the top-right of the screen. For some guidance with some of the fields:


Reference

Your unique identifier for the product, it cannot contain spaces.


Amount (per quantity)

This cost to your customer for this product or service, this will be multiplied by the value of the Quantity field when you assign the charge.


Category

Optional. There’s limited logic behind this, but essentially, products that have matching categories will be listed together under that category in the invoice.


Charge Type

All Charges and Products can have either a Single or Recurring charge type. This defines whether any ledger entries applied against a customer will be treated as a one-off, or whether they will be applied on a regular interval in conjunction with the Frequency property.


Frequency (if Recurring is the selected value of Charge Type)

How often your customer is charged for this product or service.


Starts At

Optional. The date to start the charge from, if left blank, the value will be the date you create the charge. For monthly charges, you will generally want the Starts At date to be the 1st of a month so that the charge ends at the end of the month etc..


First charge amount starts from

Optional. This is for pro-rata fees, but it allows you to set when your customer started using the product or service. For more information, see our pro-rata article.



Show charge period in invoices

Will display the date range of when the charge was applicable under the charge name on the invoice.


Custom Tax Rate

If your customer uses a custom tax rate, enter it here.

Custom product cost
If you've selected a product, the Cost of Sale field will feature the cost of sale set on the product you've selected. If you wish to change this, check this box to make Cost of Sale amendable.


Cost of Sale (per quantity)

The cost to you for providing this product or service to your customers, this will be multiplied by the quantity of the product when you assign the charge.



When you create the charge, if the Starts At date has already been reached, the charge may already appear in the Pending tab. If it’s a single charge it will be waiting in the Active Charge tab for the Starts At date to occur.


Otherwise, for recurring charges, you will see the charge in Active Charges and it will fire not only when your Starts At date is met, but also when the frequency conditions are met thereafter. 


For example, a monthly recurring Active Charge will generate a new Pending charge one month after the first Starts At date and every month thereafter.



8. Pre-billing run settings


We’re almost ready to go with a billing run, before we do, you’ll likely want to set up information on the invoice itself as well as upload your company logo.


Company Information



Information about your company can be found by going to Settings in the left-hand navigation and then clicking Organisation from the drop-down menu items.


It is on this initial screen you can amend your company name, add your company registration number or upload your company logo.


You also have additional Contact and Tax tabs at the top-right of the screen, where you can enter your company’s contact information and its global tax percentage (used throughout Billingbooth and defaulted to 20%) along with your company’s tax reference number.



Additional Invoice Information



Next up, still in the Settings section, click Invoice Template from the drop-down menu.


On this initial screen, you can set a variety of information regarding payment terms and conditions.


For things such as the Payment Instructions and Terms & Conditions, consider these the “global” fields. If you have customers which require bespoke instructions or terms & conditions, you’re able to go to Customers in the left-hand navigation, click the respective customer in the list and then click Edit Details in their customer sub-menu. From here you’re able to set Custom Payment Instructions and Custom Terms & Conditions which will override the global fields found in the Invoice Template section.


At the top-right you have the Layout tab which will allow you to change the theme colour of the invoice or, if your account is on Business tier or above, switch between our pre-made invoice templates and select which font to use.



9. Performing a billing run



The quick and easy way of starting a billing run is to click Quick Actions at the top-left and selecting Start Billing Run.


The billing run is broken down into three steps:


Step 1 - What to bill


Generally, you can skip right over this step, the Date Range is mainly for catching up with billing. Leaving it blank will simply bill all pending charges assigned to your customers, which is often the current set of charges you wish to bill month to month.


Step 2 - Preview charges


This step allows you to see the charges you’re about to bill your customers with, use this step to make sure everything looks okay, if it doesn’t you’re able to go back and adjust things. If everything looks good, continue on to Step 3.


Step 3 - Options


Last step, before you perform the billing run, a few options to set.


The Minimum Invoice Amount is an amount that the invoice total needs to reach in order for the invoice to be issued, otherwise the pending charges will roll over to the next month.


By checking Suppress emailing out invoices, Billingbooth will not send out invoices to your customers, even if their delivery settings are set to Email. It will still generate the invoices, it just won’t automatically send them out.


When you’re happy, click the Ready to go button to start the billing run.




To see your generated invoices, you can head to Invoices or you can see customer specific invoices by heading to Customers, selecting the customer whose invoices you’d like to see and then selecting Invoices from their customer sub-menu.


From these screens you’re able to send or export invoices in bulk or singularly.






And you're done!


Now that you’ve gone through a billing run, you’re up to speed with what Billingbooth can do. If you need further advice on other features or more information on features we’ve covered in this guide, check out our other knowledge-base articles.


Updated on 2018-09-13 10:28:56 +0100

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