The Vital Role of Billing: Keeping the Cash Flow in Check

Within any organization, there are a wide array of roles that are vital to its overall success and growth. But there is likely no role more important than those who handle the company’s finances — particularly billing — as no company can survive if it is not getting paid. 

Billing helps companies and businesses manage their inventory, order fulfillment, and accounts receivable. As such, it is crucial that those in billing roles have a finger on the pulse of an organization’s cash flow and are fastidious about accuracy. 

The importance of billing goes beyond invoicing, however. Angelica Tan, Senior Director of the Accounts Receivable Division at Cyberbacker, knows well that a deep understanding of accounting procedures and customer service approaches is necessary for a successful billing process.

Keeping the cash flowing 

At its roots, billing is vital because it keeps cash flowing through a business. If the cash stops flowing, so too do the business’s operations. Billing staff ensures that the goods and services that the company provides — the very foundation of any business — are being paid for in full and on time, meaning they must put processes into place that best serve the company’s needs. 

“We devised and implemented efficient and streamlined billing strategies to ensure accurate and timely invoicing, payment processing, and revenue collection,” explains Tan about her process at Cyberbacker. She emphasizes that it’s important for leaders in billing departments to have a comprehensive understanding of regulations, compliance requirements, and industry best practices.

When, who, and what 

Still, the role of billing isn’t just to send invoices and collect payments — what they do touches the work of other departments as well, such as marketing and logistics. Through financial bookkeeping, the billing department has a bird’s eye view of when goods or services are sold, who is buying them, and what they’re buying. This gives the company a full view of what may be their most popular items or services, who their target market may be, or which of their products or services may not be resonating with customers. 

As the billing department tracks payments and invoices, they are able to obtain the full story of their organization’s current success. “The accounts receivable team is essential within a company,” says Tan, “They are the blood of the company, so to speak, so it’s vital that you collect payments on time. Without those funds, we can’t pay our staff and cannot sustain the company.” 

With the full records of the ins and outs of cash flow within a company, a data view can begin to emerge. The marketing team can use this data view to target the right customers, the development team can use it to influence ideas on new products or services, and the C-suite can use it to get a comprehensive view of the overall health of the company.

Accuracy matters 

Ask any billing manager what the most important aspect of their work is, and they will probably say accuracy. An absence of accuracy can cause upheaval in the company’s customer service, and even within the company if the billing department fails to make it a focus. 

Lack of accuracy can lead to extra expenses, employee turnover, and customers leaving in droves. Tan is one billing professional that prides herself on her analytical skills and dedication to accuracy. 

“You have to be able to identify revenue leakage, streamline workflows, and implement effective controls to optimize cash flow, enhance operational efficiency, reduce errors, and improve customer satisfaction,” Tan explains. All of this comes back to being a stickler for accuracy — in numbers, in data, and in invoicing. 

The value of a talented billing team

A talented, accurate billing team’s ability to save a company cannot be overstated. When a company has a team that is fastidious about time registry, invoice accuracy, and setting realistic expectations for both the company and customers, it can count on a steadier cash flow and better customer response. 

There is indeed great value to be had in a talented billing team, but for Tan, integrity is the most important part of the process. “Integrity in this business is vital,” she says. “We want to make sure we do well by our clients.” 

Beyond the day-to-day actions of invoicing and receiving payment, the billing team remains the backbone of their companies. Their work can mean the difference between company success or failure, and their efforts often keep companies providing goods and services for generations.