Episode 378 | Billing Systems Suck, Here’s How to Make Yours Suck Less

Show Notes

In this episode of Startups For The Rest Of Us, Rob and Mike talk about billing systems. Some of the topics covered include monthly vs. annual, credit cards upfront/or not, dunning, and paid vs free trials.

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One Response to “Episode 378 | Billing Systems Suck, Here’s How to Make Yours Suck Less”

  1. Hi guys. I am a long-time listener. I would like to share some of my comments (and mistakes), for the benefit of your listeners on the topic of billing systems.

    a) we had a small number of paying customers, but already reconciling bank statements to Stripe and to QuickBooks was becoming a major pain
    b) in summer 2017 we installed WooCommerce on our WordPress marketing site (not in our product), and allowed customers to buy licenses there. That wasn’t awful, but we then wanted to send the data to Quickbooks, so we used a WP plugin from OneSaaS. It worked, doing what it was supposed to do, namely: present the pricing tiers, charge a credit card via Stripe, send the record to Quickbooks. Fine for a while.
    c) In late autumn 2017 we were spending time getting customers upgraded, extended, getting linked together and then removing such links. Merely charging the card and QB data wasn’t enough… we needed a way to manage our properly subscriptions (add, modify, associate, delete, etc).
    d) We could have built it ourselves, but I decided “not to re-invent a wheel that has been invented many times before”, and so explored options with Chargebee, Recurly, Chargify and others. We settled on Fusebill.
    e) Fusebill is inexpensive at $99US/month, and support/onboarding was quite good. I would recommend them. And now customers buy in the APP, not at the marketing website.
    f) Note however that the story doesn’t end by saying use Fusebill. They provide 30+ integration points into our SaaS app, as it must to handle all the new, returning, changing, upgrading, address-changing etc that has to be done IN OUR APP. We had to write the logic IN OUR APP about how to handle all these cases, so that the correct information is passed to Fusebill. That took WAY WAY longer than I could have guessed. Not Fusebill’s fault… my fault for underestimating how complex our own logic needed to be.
    f) Fusebill still saves me time. Their interface sends the reminders, the dunning, the statements, the invoices, taxes, the QuickBooks and Stripe integrations, not to mention SECURITY. All very good.
    g) But wow, I will say it again, my fault for underestimating how complex our own logic needed to be to connect to Fusebill or any tool of the kind. Be warned!