Account hierarchy allows you to map organizational structure of your customers by line of business or geography or a chain of outlets. When you are selling to such customers who have multiple entities,
- your customers might have to provide the payment/billing information repetitively, even if purchasing is centralized
- your customers will need a consolidated summary of purchases
- you will need the ability to establish the relationship
- you will need a consolidated MRR from a customer who has multiple accounts
- This feature is available only on select plans. To know more, visit Chargebee's Plans and Pricing page.
- This feature can be enabled only on-demand, kindly contact Chargebee Support to enable this and to discuss your workflow in detail.
This diagram shows the organizational structure of a company with various sub-organizations, according to regions:
In Chargebee, you can establish the hierarchy and do the following:
- Define the parent and child nodes in the hierarchy
- Who can be invoiced for the subscription
- Who can pay for the subscription (delegate payment responsibility to another account)
Assign Invoicing and Payment Ownership: Based on your customers' business needs, you can set which customer entity should make the payment and which should receive the invoice.
Centralized Payments/ Billing: While making a purchase, the child accounts can access the parent accounts' payment method for the purchase and details need not be entered by different child accounts repetitively. Also, consolidated invoicing can be used in tandem with this feature to consolidate invoices across customer entities.
Consolidated Revenue Reporting: As a merchant when your customer organization units are linked, you can view the consolidated revenue reports
Override Invoicing/Payment for Individual Subscriptions: You can allow your customers to be linked to a parent/child but override the settings for a specific subscriptions. Read more.
This is a merchant level setting. Customers will not allowed to override the hierarchy/relationship directly.
In this example, Acme Inc is the parent account and it has child accounts as depicted in the hierarchy. Let's say Acme France plans to buy a subscription, you can assign who should be billed and who makes the payment:
Prerequisites for Adding a Relationship
A child account should meet the following criteria before being assigned to a parent account,
- No unpaid Net D invoices
- No unpaid invoices
- No invoices should be in dunning
- No open quotes
- No unbilled charges
- Subscriptions assigned with specific payment methods must be removed.
Establish Account Relationship
You can set up Account Hierarchy for new and existing customers:
Step 1: To enable Account Hierarchy, navigate to Settings > Configure Chargebee > Account Hierarchy and click Enable.
Step 2: Search for a customer and open the customer details page, in the Account Hierarchy section, click Add.
Step 3: Choose a parent account from the dropdown
Step 4: Select the Invoice and Payment Responsibilities.
Who do you want to invoice: Select who should be invoiced for the subscriptions of the customer. This customer will receive the invoice for the subscription. You must choose one from the following options: the same customer, parent, grandparent and so on.
Who pays the Invoice: Select who should make the payment for the subscriptions of the customer. The options available here depend on what's chosen in the previous setting:
- If the invoice owner selected is the same as the customer in question, then the payment owner can be: either the same customer or its parent or grandparent and so on.
- If the invoice owner selected is a parent or grandparent etc., then the payment owner can only be set to whoever is set as the invoice owner.
Step 5: Click the Add Parent button.
Account Relationship via API
Customers relationship can be managed via the following API v2:
Account Hierarchy is not supported via API v1.
Override Account Relationship
Once a parent-child relationship is established, and the responsibilities are set, all the subscriptions of the child will be linked to the parent. However, if there is a subscription of the child which has to be invoiced to and paid by the child account, the specific subscription can be overridden. This is useful in cases where subscriptions of certain products or services are not covered by the parent.
To override a subscription:
- Open the subscription
- Select the checkbox Override payment/invoicing relationship with parent account under the Account Hierarchy section.
While assigning the responsibility to the child account, Chargebee verifies the following at the subscription level:
- No quotes are open
- No invoices are unpaid
- No Net D Invoices are unpaid
- No unbilled charges
- No invoices in dunning
You can view the child accounts linked to a parent account as shown below.
You can also view the entire hierarchy by clicking the See full hierarchy:
- The child account cannot make a purchase using parent's payment method via Chargebee's Checkout.
- If the child is purchasing a subscription via Checkout, they will be required to provide their own payment details, resulting in an override (where the child account's payment method is used for the subscription).
- If the child attempts to change an existing subscription using Checkout, the payment method displayed will be that of the parent or child account, depending on who the payment owner was, at the time of creating the subscription.
The parent and child accounts can view the account relationship and subscription details in the Customer Self-serve portal.
A parent account user can do the following in the portal:
- View subscriptions of the child accounts (parent cannot edit the subscription for which it is not the subscription owner)
- View/edit payment methods linked to the subscriptions
- View invoices of child accounts, where the parent is the invoice/payment owner
A child account user can do the following in the portal:
- View/edit the subscriptions purchased
- View payment methods (child cannot edit payment details if the parent is the invoice/payment owner)
- View invoices of the subscriptions where the child is the payment/invoice owner (invoices cannot be accessed if the parent is the ‘payment owner and invoice owner')
- Child account cannot access invoices when consolidated invoicing is enabled. This is to avoid data privacy breach as the invoice sent to the parent account will contain details of other child accounts' subscriptions.
Invoices for new/renewal charges, one time charges and non recurring add-ons will be raised for the child account, parent account or grandparent account in the hierarchy:
- Billing address will be picked from the Invoice owner
- Shipping address as entered in the subscription will be considered
- Acme EU is the parent of Acme France (subscription owner).
- Payment responsibilities have been delegated to Acme EU
In this scenario, the billing address will be picked from Acme France (Invoice owner) and the shipping address entered in the subscription will be considered.
- Acme EU as the parent of Acme France (subscription owner).
- Payment and invoicing responsibilities have been delegated to ACME EU.
In this scenario, the billing address will be that of Acme EU (Invoice owner) and the shipping address entered in the subscription will be considered.
- Normally, if Acme US is the parent of Acme New York and Acme San Francisco, each having 2 subscriptions, then Acme US will receive 4 invoices in total.
- Invoices can be consolidated at parent level only but subject to invoice consolidation prerequisites.
- You can set up calendar billing to make sure all the subscriptions renew on the same date.
- Taxes will be calculated based on the billing and shipping address in the Invoice.
Once the payment relationship is established between the accounts, all the payments will be processed using the payment details of the Paying parent owner.
- If the child account has payment details provided, the child account's payment method will not be charged in case there is a payment failure using the parent accounts' payment method. Additionally, parent account's backup payment details will however continue to be used when required.
- If the parent changes a payment method, the child account will get access to the new payment method as well.
- If the parent account is responsible for payment but it does not have a payment method associated, the payment for the invoice will fail
- The parent account can override payment method at a subscription level and choose a different payment method for a specific subscription.
- Auto-collection property of the invoicing owner will be considered.
- Net D settings of the invoicing owner will be considered.
Credit Notes & Refunds
Credit Notes will be issued in the name of the Invoice Owner. Any unused credit will be adjusted towards the upcoming renewal (of that subscription).
The credits can be refunded if required. Refunds will be credited using the payment method attached during the original payment to the paying account (parent/child).
All unbilled charges will be raised for the invoice owner in the subscription. When the unbilled charges are invoiced, the corresponding payment owner will be charged.
Metrics for hierarchical accounts are consolidated, at the highest node in the hierarchy.
Reporting for an intermediate parent, such as "Acme US" in this example, is not supported.
In this example, MRR of Acme Inc will be calculated as follows, let's assume,
- MRR of Acme NY is $100
- MRR of Acme SF is $50
- MRR of Acme Germany is $100
- MRR of Acme France is $ 50
Then, MRR of Acme Inc will be reported as $300.
List of metrics will be reported at the highest node in the hierarchy:
- MRR: Monthly Recurring Revenue
- Net MRR Growth: Shows if an account MRR has expanded or not
- Total Billing: Sum of all invoices raised during the period
- Receivables: Total outstanding dues
- Active Accounts: Number of active accounts, with at least one active subscription, during the period
- Upgraded Accounts: Number of accounts that got upgraded during the period
- Downgraded Accounts: Number of accounts that got downgraded during the period
- New Accounts: Number of new accounts added during the period
Draft invoices will be raised for the invoice owner. You can add charges and close the invoices as processed in the current behaviour.
The emails that the customers receive will have details about who pays for the subscription and who is invoiced.
- Subscription lifecycle emails will be sent to the subscription owner (subscription creation, activation, renewal, cancelation etc.)
- Payment and invoice related emails will be sent to the payment owner (invoices, payment success/failure, recovery etc.)
- Invoice related emails will be sent the invoice owner only when the invoice owner and payment owner are different account (invoice receipt email)
- Emails sent to the parent account will have a note stating, "You are receiving this email because you're paying for the customer's subscriptions and charges". This note is not customizable.
- Invoices associated with subscription changes, renewals, and activation will be attached in the payment succeeded email and sent to payment owner if payment owner is different from subscription owner.
- The child will not have access to payment and/or invoice details in the email sent if the parent is the ‘payment owner and invoice owner' or just the payment owner.
The details displayed in email - including smart cards and mail merge fields are based on invoicing and payment responsibilities. For example,
- if the parent is the payment owner
- the child is the invoice owner,
- the subscription activated email will not contain payment method details or invoice and renewal details.
- the child can see subscription information as it is the subscription owner.
- The parent will have access to all details related to the child subscription
You can delete the relationship between accounts. However, changing a parent or child is not possible directly, you will have to delete an existing relationship and create a new one.
To delete relationship, you can click the Delete icon next to the parent account's name in the Customer page.
You cannot unlink a child account from a parent account if it has:
- Open Quotes
- Unpaid Invoices
- Unbilled Charges
- Net D Invoices
- Invoices in dunning
Disable Account Hierarchy
You can disable Account Hierarchy after deleting all parent-child relationships in your Chargebee site. To disable, navigate to Settings > Configure Chargebee > Account Hierarchy and click Disable.
- Account Hierarchy is not supported if Xero integration is enabled
- The child account cannot consume parent's payment method using Chargebee Checkout.
- You cannot send quotes to child accounts for which the payment or invoicing responsibilities have been transferred to a parent account. You can send quotes to individual customers and customers who only have a reporting relationship with the parent account.
- Child accounts who have transferred payment/invoicing responsibilities to a parent account will not be able to send gift subscriptions linked to a parent account. Individual customers and child accounts who only have a reporting relationship with the parent account can continue to send Gift Subscriptions
- If Location validation is enabled for your EU customers, since the address on the invoice and the card won't match, the subscriptions will fail during creation or renewals.
- Via Stripe Radar, if a parent account is detected as fraud, you will have an option to cancel parent's subscriptions. Subscriptions of the child accounts will have to be deleted manually.
- Customer information will not be accurate when parent and child accounts are different, hence the orders will also reflect inaccurate billing and shipping information. It is recommended to migrate to latest version of Orders to use Account Hierarchy.