How do I use batches to optimize my billing and payments?
Zuora allows you to group your customers into billing batches (from Batch1 to Batch50 or by name). Billing batches are specified on the customer account under the Billing and Payment Info section. All customer accounts default to Batch1 when accounts are created unless you indicate a different billing batch upon creation. Billing batches can be updated at any time to a different batch number, but only one billing batch can be assigned to a customer account at a time. This article discusses how billing batches can be used to both organize your customer accounts and optimize your billing and payment operations.
Creating custom batches for your billing and payment processing can be extremely helpful, convenient, and often times necessary.
Types of batches
Different batches can be created for different account types. You can have multiple ways to categorize your customer accounts and then create a batch for each type of accounts.
- Group your customers by vertical (for example: B2B, B2C)
- Group by region (for example: EMEA, Americas)
- Group by business unit (for example: Emerging, Enterprise, SMB, Strategic)
See Customize Batch Names for more information about naming and organizing your batches.
Non-Billing or no revenue accounts
Accounts that are not billing or have no revenue can be grouped into a batch that is never processed in a billing or payment run. These accounts may include:
- Canceled Accounts: Assign a certain batch to canceled customer accounts which does not get processed in bill runs or payment runs.
- Free Trial Accounts: We recommend that you handle endless free trials outside of Zuora since they are not generating any revenue for your company. However, if you have free trial accounts, you can group them together in a batch that does not get processed in bill runs or payment runs.
- Test Accounts: Testing should be done primarily in your API Sandbox tenant to ensure your testing data does not skew your production data when you run your reports. If your company has created some test accounts in your production tenant, we advise you to put these test accounts in their own billing batch to ensure they do not get picked up in billing and payment runs along with real customer accounts.
You may want to group all related customers into their own batch (for example, companies with subsidiaries or partner accounts), so you may perform a bill run or payment run for the whole organization.
You can batch customers by their payment method (credit card customers vs direct debit customers vs ACH customers).
Batches help you optimize billing & payment operations
Billing batches allow you to invoice and process payments for a group of customers together. For example, you may want to schedule a bill run for your B2B customers every first of the month, while performing daily bill runs to invoice your B2C customers.
Batching by payment method allows you to be flexible around the invoice target dates for direct debit customers, as an example. Some customers paying by direct debit need to be invoiced early because the invoice serves as advanced notification that payment will be collected on specified date (Invoice Due Date). Such advanced notification may be required as part of mandate regulations. Batching by payment method is also helpful if you want to track payments for credit card customers vs ACH customers in separate payment runs since ACH payments have a longer settlement period. Processing payments for ACH customers separately makes it easier to reconcile ACH payments.
When executing a bill run or payment run, you can choose the batch of customers you want to execute the bill run or payment run for. If you have a large number of customer accounts, dividing them up in batches allows you to more quickly process individual batches rather than waiting for a very large batch to complete.
How to use billing batches
- Create your customer account.
- In the Billing and Payment Term section of the account detail page, specify a billing batch for this account by selecting a specific batch number from Batch1 to Batch50 or name for the Billing Batch field.
- To create a bill run for a specific batch, go to Billing > Bill Runs and click New Bill Run to proceed with one of the following:
- To process all customers in a bill run, select All Batches.
- To process only the customers in a specific batch, select the desired batch for the Specific Batch(es) option.
- To create a payment run for a specific batch, go to Payments > Payment Runs and click New Payment Run.
- To process all customers in a payment run, select All Customer Accounts.
- To process only the customers in a specific batch, select the desired batch for the Customers in Batch option.
We also recommend reviewing the articles How Do I segment Customers? and Customize Batch Names.