There are three subscription and amendment dates that serve as billing trigger dates, as well as a term start date and subscription start date.
Types of Dates
- The billing trigger dates, along with the bill cycle day (as described above), determine when your subscription starts billing.
- The term start date determines when a subscription term starts (or, if amending the subscription to renew it for a new term, when the new term starts).
- The subscription start date is a date determined by Zuora and is the term start date for the original subscription.
You do not need to specify a term start date when creating a subscription. If you do not specify a term start date, the subscription contract effective date is populated as the term start date. In this case, the Subscription start date, the term start date, and the subscription contract effective date are all set to the same date.
Billing Trigger Dates
Zuora allows you to set up to three billing trigger dates:
- Contract Effective Date: The date of the contract that governs the subscription. This date is required if you use only a single billing trigger date.
- Service Activation Date: The date on which the services or products within a subscription have been activated and access has been provided to the customer.
- Customer Acceptance Date: The date on which the services or products within a subscription has been accepted by the customer.
The required trigger dates can vary by product and are configurable from the Default Subscription Settings. If your company's default subscription settings have Require Customer Acceptance of Orders? or Require Service Activation? set to Yes, you must enter those dates to fully activate the subscription. If either of these options are marked No, the applicable date (customer acceptance or service activation) will be made to match the contract effective date.
The billing trigger dates, along with the customer account BCD and the rate plan charge’s billing day all determine when a charge is billed. Often the contract effective date or the date that triggers the subscription charges, such as the service activation date or customer acceptance date, lines up with the bill cycle day specified in the customer account. When the two dates align, your customer will be billed on the anniversary date of subscription activation. This is known as "anniversary billing."
The billing trigger dates are sequential. This has the following effects:
- If your company uses only a single billing trigger date, only the contract effective date is required to activate a subscription. Even if you only specify that a single date is used, the other two dates (the service activation and customer acceptance dates) are automatically defaulted to be the same as the contract effective date.
- If your company uses two billing trigger dates, you must specify both the contract effective date and the service activate date to activate the subscription. The third date that is not used (the customer acceptance date) is defaulted to the service activation date.
- If your company uses all three billing dates, you must enter a date for all three billing trigger dates. You can specify the same or different dates for each type.
You can specify the billing trigger dates when you are creating a subscription. The billing trigger dates that you set upon this time will impact the activation date of a subscription and then consequently determines the start date of a rate plan charge. Once the subscription is activated, if any amendment is made to the subscription so that the subscription is now on version 2 or later, you cannot update the billing trigger dates on the subscription. However, if the subscription is still on version 1, which means no amendment has been made yet, you can update the billing trigger dates on the subscription. The billing trigger dates that you update on subscription version 1 will impact the activation date of the subscription and then conditionally determines the start date of a rate plan charge if the rate plan charge is not billed yet.
When you make amendments, you will also be asked to specify the billing trigger dates, but only the billing trigger dates of product-level amendments have a real impact and determine the charge start date. These amendment types include:
- Add a product
- Update a product
- Remove a product
- Change a product
The billing trigger dates of the subscription-level amendments have no impact on the subscription, and each type of such amendment has its own effective date, including the Suspend Date, Resume Date, and Effective Date for a cancellation. These amendment types include:
- Terms and Conditions
- Owner Transfer
You can view the billing trigger dates of a subscription either from the Zuora UI and REST API:
- Zuora UI: On the subscription detail page. If the subscription has amendments, click the subscription version to view the billing trigger dates.
- REST API: Get subscriptions by account, Get subscriptions by key, and Get subscriptions by key and version.
For how to update billing trigger dates, see Update the trigger dates for a subscription and Update the trigger condition for a subscription rate plan charge.
Billing Trigger Dates on Order Action
If you are an Orders or Orders Harmonization customer, you create a subscription or make an amendment through order actions, and you will be asked to provide the billing trigger dates for an order action. The billing trigger dates on some types of order actions will impact the activation date of a subscription or determine the start date of a rate plan charge. The billing trigger dates on the other types of order actions do not actually have an impact. The following diagram describes the logic:
As in the diagram, the billing trigger dates on a Create subscription order action will impact the activation date of a subscription and then consequently determines the start date of a rate plan charge.
The billing trigger dates on the following order actions will determine the start date of a rate plan charge:
- Add a product
- Update a product
- Remove a product
- Change a product
The billing trigger dates on the following actions have no impact on the subscription or rate plan charge:
- Terms & Conditions
- Owner Transfer
Subscription Dates and Cancelation
The Contract Effective Date is the date that your customer provided as the notice of cancelation. You can also use the same date when populating the Customer Acceptance Date and Service Activation Date of your
amend() call to cancel a subscription.
When canceling a subscription, the Effective Date is the date that actually specifies when an
amend() to cancel a subscription should take effect.
For example, suppose that you want to cancel a subscription with a service period that ends on April 15, 2012 (2012-04-15). Use the Effective Date 2012-04-16 in the amend() call to cancel the subscription.
If you use an Effective Date of 2012-04-15, the service period of the invoice generated would have an end date of 2012-04-14.
After the subscription is canceled, the EffectiveDate of the Amendment object is overwritten with the ContractEffectiveDate. The reason for this behavior is that when creating a new subscription with an amend() call this is the desired effect. If you query the Amendment object after cancelling a subscription, the value of EffectiveDate may be different to the one you originally specified, and be different to what is shown as the cancelation date in the web UI. The cancelation date has been set correctly and can be confirmed by querying the TermEndDate of the amended subscription.
Invoice item adjustment and discount dates
Zuora uses these dates to determine the subscription service period. Invoice item adjustments and discounts use the same service periods as the invoice item they are offsetting. Cancellation fees caused by subscription cancellations have the service period defined by the cancellation date and the original service period end date of the cancelled item. Activation and usage fees have a one day service period.
The following table shows the type of invoice items that can show up on an invoice and the service start and service end dates that are associated with each invoice item type that is used to derive the revenue recognition schedule for that specific charge.
|Type of invoice item that can appear in an invoice||Service start date used to derive the recognition schedule||Service end date used to derive the recognition schedule|
|Recurring fees||Recurring start period||Recurring end period|
|Activation fees||Date the fee charged||Date the fee charged|
|Usage fees||Prior usage start period||Prior usage end period|
|Discounts||Recurring start period||Recurring end period|
|Invoice item adjustment||Same as item adjusted||Same as item adjusted|
|Cancellation fees||Cancellation date||Same as item cancelled|
Last Invoice Date
The last invoice date is the date until when charges have been processed.
The last invoice date is the same date as the process through date. If there are more than two charges on the subscription, the last invoice date is the same date as the latest process through date of all the charges within the subscription.
In the Zuora UI, you can find the process through date of a charge in the following steps:
- Navigate to Customers > Subscriptions in the left-hand navigation section.
- Click the name of the subscription to enter the detailed subscription view.
- At the bottom of the page in the Product & Charges section, select View by Key Statistics from the drop-down list. The History column is displayed in the table.
- Click the icon for a charge in the History column. The Process Through date of the charge is displayed in the Charge History of table.
In the Zuora SOAP API, you can get the process through date of a charge by querying the
ProcessedThroughDate field on the RatePlanCharge object.