Billing definitions overview

How and when you bill orders is controlled by

What exactly is a billing series? It is a schedule that tells QuickFill what bills you want to send and when you want to send them.

The diagram below shows you what a typical billing series looks like.

Each billing series contains one to eight billing "efforts," or mailings. For each effort, you specify which package—that is, inserts, envelopes, and so forth—you'll use for the bill, what messages you want printed on it, and how many days should elapse before QuickFill generates the next bill. You can also specify for each billing effort whether the bill should go to the bill-to address or the ship-to address.

 

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You can define as many different billing series as you want. You can also use one billing series for several different publications as long as you're careful about publication-specific messages. (Billing series aren't inherently specific to one publication.) You can, of course, design a series for a specific publication by specifying certain text for the messages.

You can define any number of billing series. How does QuickFill decide which series to use to bill a specific order?

What bills are produced for

QuickFill bills orders, not subscriptions (click here for an explanation of subscriptions and orders in the "Overview of lookup" section). For example, say you accept an unpaid renewal of a subscription that still has an amount due on the previous order. You now have a subscription with two orders (the old order and the renewal order), both with amounts due. QuickFill bills only one order at a time, beginning with the first order that has an amount due. It bills the second order only when the first order has been paid for or written off.

Timing of the first bill for new orders

The timing of your first bill is governed by two factors:

For subsequent bills, your entry in the billing series definition tab tells QuickFill how many days you want to elapse between bills.

Timing of the first bill for renewal orders

Generally, QuickFill produces the first bill for a renewal order the first time you run the 'Billing' update after you enter the renewal.  The exceptions are if you have specified a date in the 'Earliest date' field on the offers definition screen or, if you have selected the 'Delay the billing of renewal orders until after their first issue has been served' field on the publication definition billing tab..

Suspending orders for nonpayment

When you define the billing series, you also specify the number of bills you want to send before QuickFill suspends a subscription for nonpayment. When QuickFill generates the effort you specify—and presumably, you've sent this bill to the customer—QuickFill automatically suspends the subscription. QuickFill will then no longer generate issue labels for that subscription until you record that you've received payment. Of course, QuickFill continues to generate bills for the subscription—and you continue sending them. When you've sent all the efforts you've defined in the billing series—and still haven't received payment—QuickFill cancels the subscription and writes off the amount due.

Cancel bills

You can send one more bill after QuickFill cancels a subscription for nonpayment. This "cancel bill" is for an amount equal to the value of the issues that you've already sent the customer. You choose whether or not to send a cancel bill on the publication definition billing tab (click here for details on the cancel bill field in the publication definition).

Reassigning orders to different billing series

You can reassign a group of orders to a different billing series from the one to which it was assigned originally by using 'Change series' on the 'Updates' menu. This feature helps you test which billing series is most effective (see change billing series for details). You also can assign individual orders to a different billing series at the time the order is entered or by using the 'Adjust order' transaction.

Default billing series

After you create a new publication, you should go back into the publication's definition and review the billing series that the publication uses for normal orders. (You specify the billing series on the Billing tab of the publication definition screen.) By clicking on the billing series field and selecting "Change billing series," you can look at the definition of the series. If the series doesn't do exactly what you want it to, you can change it on the spot.

Be careful, though, if other publications also use this series. The current definition of the series may contain messages specific to a particular publication. In this case, escape from the 'Billing series' screen by pressing Esc, right click and select "New billing series" to create a new billing series. Or you can escape from the publication definition and select 'Billing' under 'Definitions' on the main menu. Then select 'Series' under 'Billing' to replicate and modify an existing series. If you do create a new series (either from scratch or by using 'Replicate'), remember to go back to the publication definition billing tab and link your publication to the new series.

The Billing menu

When you select 'Billing' under 'Definitions' on the main menu, you'll see a submenu with three items: 'Series', 'Packages' and 'Messages'.

The packages and messages you define here are part of the billing series. The best way to create a new billing series is to select 'Series', then click on "Replicate" to "clone" an already-defined billing series complete with packages and messages.

Now, when you're in the 'Billing series' definition screen, you can right click and select "Pick…" to select from a list of predefined packages or messages, "New…" to create new packages or messages, "Change…" to change the packages or messages now in the package and message fields, or "Clear" to remove the packages or messages currently in the field. Remember, if you change the packages or messages, it will affect all other series that use those same packages and messages. Click here for details on defining billing series.

An alternative way to create a billing series is to first select 'Packages' and then 'Messages' under 'Billing' to define the packages and messages. Then you can select 'Series' to create a series using the packages and messages you've just defined.

 

See Also