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Tools to automate the process to charge, collect and renew subscription fees for a small consumer su

I am looking to get some idea about the best practice for the financial management of an internet company with recurring small subscription business. What tools are out there to automate the process to charge, collect and renew the costumer subscription fee? What is important to know?

Answers

Betty Kayton
Title: CFO
Company: Innovative CFO LLC
(CFO, Innovative CFO LLC) |

they have an inexpensive way to handle billing for recurring revenues, even if you offer multiple products and up/down grade among the various product levels.

Mark Stokes
Title: CFO
Company: Private
(CFO, Private) |

There is a group of companies that do this sort of thing. Google "subscription billing" or the like. Zuora is one that I have heard of before. You essentially integrate your customer management system with theirs (or use their system altogether) and their system manages the recurring billing transactions for you and shovels the data into your accounting system (ideally). You can either use their merchant banks or intergrate with your own (check with the provider to see what they offer).

The things to look for are the same as with any vendor you integrate with: who are their customers, how long have they been around, how easy/not will the integration be, what kind of reporting and controls do they have available and, if you are using them as a processor, what are their fees, etc. Your engineering dept will want to be in on the integration discussion.

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