As someone who helped develop BillingCenter from the ground up and since then, has been involved with over 30+ BillingCenter implementations, I get asked this question all the time – “What are the biggest challenges you’ve experienced during BillingCenter implementations and how have you overcome those hurdles”?

My response is always this – Billing is core to your business, it touches your customers and agents. Can you afford it to get it wrong?  However small an implementation may seem, it’s critical to get it right to ensure that your customers get billed correctly and pay the amounts owed to you, so that your revenue stream is not impacted. Plus, your agents expect that their commission to be paid to them on time for their book or else they won’t sell your policies.

Here are the top ten things to keep in mind for a successful billing implementation:

  1. BillingCenter is a financial system with a double entry T-Accounting system under its hood. Make sure you spend time understanding how various transactions work in BillingCenter, so that you can understand and explain to your customers how invoicing and accounting tie together.

  2. Billing relies heavily on integrations for its data. Ensure that you have a good integration infrastructure in place and develop reconciliation reports for each integration. No matter what anybody tells you, only the systems can tell you the true story. Software is only as good as the data that goes into the system.  Nothing is worse than a Billing system that is not in synch with the Policy system or General ledger.

  3. Avoid big bang data migration, it’s always harder than you think. The delinquency and financial data migration transactions are hard to migrate due to lack of data in the legacy system. The best approach for data migration is conversion on renewal. If that doesn’t work, and you must migrate, consider open balance data migration.

  4. General ledger is the hardest and the most critical integration. Develop a mapping and aggregation sheet to map the GL transactions to BillingCenter. Reconcile daily to find discrepancies timely.

  5. Plan appropriately and test invoices for all transaction types, especially reinstatements to ensure the invoice schedule was restored to original state before cancellation.

  6. Commission statements are critical to your agents. Follow a rigorous cycle of commission testing with all transaction types to keep your agents happy.

  7. Design your delinquency workflows so that it can handle equity based cancellation process and at the same time respect the state mandated days for the cancellation period to keep your company in compliance as well as track and collect any uncollected earned premium.

  8. Don’t bring on coverage level costs into BillingCenter. Keep the costs at the PolicyPeriod level and your bills and transactions will be manageable.

  9. Manage jurisdiction variability using extension tables instead of defining large number of payment plans.  A large number of payment plans can be a nightmare to manage and every change in the fees will result in a new payment plan

  10. Most importantly, adopt out of the box processes to keep the configuration to minimum and don’t forget reports.  This will help your upgrade path in the future and ensure you can deliver data in a useful format.

If you are reading this blog after your BillingCenter solution has been implemented or if you are having challenges with your implementation, please feel free to contact me below and we’ll be happy be of assistance.

Sid Wadhwa – Cynosure BillingCenter Evangelist at swadhwa@cynosureinc.com.

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Posted by Sid Wadhwa

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