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Define billing periods


Define billing periods

On the Define Billing Periods page, you can define your company's accepted billing periods and billing period start days. You can add and remove the billing periods and days that you use in your Zuora Business system.

Click your username at the top right and navigate to Billing > Define Billing Periods.

Customize Billing Periods

Use the Customize Billing Periods section to specify the billing periods your organization uses to charge for its services.

Use any or all of the following billing periods:

  • Month
  • Quarter
  • Semi-Annual
  • Annual
  • Eighteen Months
  • Two Years
  • Three Years
  • Five Years
  • Specific Months
  • Subscription Term

    If any charge in your subscription has the billing period set as Subscription Term, note the following: 

    • You must not change this subscription's term to evergreen. Otherwise, that charge on the subscription will be invalidated due to the term type being inconsistent with the evergreen concept. However, if you remove the charge that has its billing period set as Subscription Term, you can then perform the change. 
    • When you renew a subscription, the current subscription term is extended by creating a new term. A new charge segment is generated for the new term.
  • Week
  • Specific Weeks
  • Specific Days

    When specifying the billing period to a specific number of days:

    • Billing Day will be unavailable. ​​​​​
    • You can specify how the billing period of the charge will be aligned using the Billing Period Alignment field.
    • The following features are not supported: Prepaid with Drawdown, Rating Information Tool, Active Rating, and Rating details.

Customize Billing Day

Use the Customize Billing Day section to define the billing day that your organization uses to charge for service.

Select at least one of the following options:

  • Default from Customer Account
  • Specific Day of Month
  • Subscription Start Day
  • Charge Trigger Day
  • Specific Day of Week
  • Term Start Day
  • Term End Day

Note that Term Start Day and Term End Day are disabled by default. You need to reach out to Zuora Global Support to enable the two options.

Customize Billing Period Start Days

Use the Customize Billing Period Start Days section to define which days of the month or the week your billing periods can start. You can select the first of the month through the thirtieth of the month, end of the month (EOM), or Auto-Set.

To select the billing periods or billing period start days your company will use, click the Active box next to the applicable billing period or bill cycle start day.

The billing period start day is also called the billing cycle day (BCD). You can also define which day of a week your billing periods can start.

Auto-Set Option

Use the Auto-set option to allow the account billing cycle day (BCD) to be set to the same day as the triggering date of the first recurring charge on the account. This only applies to recurring charges, and not to one-time or usage charges.

If you use the Auto-set option, Zuora sets the BCD to the triggering date of the first recurring charge, and is not limited to the billing period start days that you have enabled. If you want your accounts to use auto-set, then you do not need to enable specific days of the month. Zuora recommends that you either enable the auto-set option or enable specific billing period start days.

If you are using the API, set the value of the BillCycleDay field to 0 to use auto-set.

This feature allows you to align the account BCD and triggering dates of all charges in the subscriptions to the same day. If you do not use this setting, you must change the account BCD manually when the triggering date of the first recurring charge is known.

The following limitations apply to the Auto-Set BCD feature:

  • If Zuora has automatically set the BCD for an account, if a new Subscription is created up with the Charge Trigger set to Align to Charge, changing the Charge Trigger Date will not change the Customer Account BCD.
  • Zuora will not allow you to create a Subscription if the Subscription contains only Usage charges that depend on the Account BCD (Default from Customer Account). In this case, Zuora will not be able to determine the BCD, since the BCD can only be auto-set for recurring charges.
  • Once Zuora has automatically set the BCD, you can edit the BCD and select another date value from the list of possible BCDs. However, you cannot set the customer account back to Auto-set BCD.

See the following table for examples:

Initial BCD Value New BCD Value Allowed?
Auto-set (blank) Auto-set (15th) Allowed
Auto-set (blank) 10th of the month

(specific value)

Auto-set (15th) Auto-set (blank) Not allowed
Auto-set (15th) 10th of the month

(specific value)

10th of month

(specific value)

Auto-set (blank) Allowed
10th of month

(specific value)

Auto-set (15th) Not allowed; you can only set this to Auto-set without a specific date value.

Customize List Price Base Options

The List Price Base determines whether the list price on a product rate plan charge is based on a month or on a billing period. Select the base options that you want to have available for rate plan charges. The selected options will appear in the pick list in the List Price Base field of rate plan charges.


  • Billing Period. For example, if your List Price is $1200, the charge for a 12-month billing period is $1200.
  • Month. For example, if your List Price is $100, the charge for a 12-month billing period is $1200.
  • Per Week. For example, if the list price is $100, the invoice for a 12-week period is $1200.
  • Year. For more information, see Annual List Price.
  • Specific Months. For more information, see Specific Months List Price.

See Recurring Charges for Different Initial and Renewal Periods for more information on using the Per Month option and Subscription Term set as the billing period.