If there’s one trend that’s common among every industry today, it’s that the market is more crowded and customer expectations are higher than ever. As technology enables lighting-speed innovation, companies are finding new opportunities and new competition in equal measure, and it’s becoming more and more critical for these companies to identify and act on emerging trends.

All this is to say, now more than ever, businesses need consistent access to the relevant, accurate usage and billing data that can help spot trends and guide the decisions that will keep them at the top of their markets. “Standard” reporting times are no longer fast enough, and companies need access to real-time data in order to succeed.

What Is Real-Time Billing Data?

Real-time billing data is data that’s collected with each transaction and each step of the quote-to-cash process and accessible to the finance and accounting team immediately upon collection. For example, how have your services been used so far this month? What costs have your customers incurred? Or for prepaid services, how many have refilled their stored value?

When the finance team and other decision makers can see this data at a glance — rather than waiting for monthly summaries or quarterly reviews to become available — they can quickly spot trends in how their products are performing and how customers are engaging with their services. This enables more accurate forecasting and faster responses to customer and market changes.

How Does Real-Time Billing Data Boost Business?

There are plenty of advantages (for both the business and its customers) of this access to real-time, relevant data. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Stronger forecasting: With all these up-to-date insights at their fingertips, businesses can more effectively track their progress, revise their revenue forecasting, and adjust their strategies as needed, setting themselves up to achieve goals and drive revenue in the short and long term.
  • Granular performance insight: The immediacy of real-time performance data empowers companies to dig deeper into not only what is happening, but why. What are the internal or external factors contributing to changes in usage or sales, and how can we pivot to keep things moving in the right direction?
  • Instant customer access: We’ve already talked about how real-time data gives the internal team instant access to analytics and insights, but this is a big advantage for customers, as well, who can check up on their orders, usage rates, and upcoming or paid invoices at any given moment. This minimizes surprises and enables customers to more effectively manage their accounts.
  • Higher billing accuracy: The transparency of real-time data enables the finance team to catch and correct any errors before they snowball into issues with invoicing or revenue reporting. The result: fewer billing disputes and more satisfied customers.
  • Enhanced fraud detection: In the same vein, this heightened attention to accuracy means any irregularities caused by fraud or other security threats can be identified —and stopped —much more quickly than they otherwise might be.

How Can Companies Get Access to Real-Time Data?

The first step is to ditch outdated billing systems that require manual intervention, slow the flow of information, and yield less-than-reliable results. It’s simply too costly to maintain these legacy systems. And we’re not just referring to the direct costs (in time and money) of keeping them running — we’re talking about the opportunity cost, as well. MGI Research reported that 44% of companies see their legacy systems as a barrier to growth and nearly 1/3 recognize that billing issues are impacting their financial results.

In other words, all the time spent waiting for insights, unwinding mistakes, and manually moving workflows forward comes at the expense of quality customer experience, new growth opportunities, and the ability to stay ahead of trends.

Companies that want to capture the advantages and agility that come from access to real-time billing data are embracing systems that enable automation and integration.

Automation eliminates the need for manual intervention on just about every aspect of revenue operations, including mediation, invoicing, collection, and reporting, for starters. The resources (both financial and human) that are no longer dedicated to mundane billing tasks can be reinvested into the business initiatives that really drive growth.

The integration aspect is key to ensuring all the systems and processes that underpin your business and affect billing — CRMs, ERPs, and others — play well together, eliminating data gaps and redundancies and operating as one, seamless system.

Billing platforms that offer both automation and integration give companies access to the real-time data they need to remain agile enough to respond quickly to changes in the market and in consumer preferences, ultimately empowering them to maintain — and grow — their market share, build revenue, and turn one-time buyers into lifelong customers and evangelists.

The Gotransverse platform is built to offer both automation and integration, giving users consistent access to real-time data, crystal clear transparency, and the ability to monetize anything that can be measured. To learn whether Gotransverse is the right billing partner for your organization, we invite you to take a virtual tour of the Gotransverse platform today. Then, when you’re ready, request a demo to speak directly with one of our experts.