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Account Hierarchy 

As a merchant you might have multiple customers belonging to the same organization. The subscription of these customers could either be maintained by them individually or by the organization.

Account hierarchy allows you to create an organizational structure of your customers by their line of business or geography or a chain of outlets. It allows you to establish a parent-child relationship among your customers in Chargebee.

Let us say you serve 'ACME', a company that has multiple branches across Europe and The USA. Each of these work locations can be your customer. With Account Hierarchy, the payment or the invoice can either be delegated to the subscription owner or paid and maintained by ACME as an organization. You can create upto five levels of Hierarchy (Grand Parent, Parent, Child).

Example: Acme is the parent account whose children are Acme USA and Acme Europe. Acme Europe is the parent of ACME France and Acme Germany.

If Acme France plans to buy a subscription, then the following combinations are possible:

Who should be invoiced

Who pays

Acme France Acme France
Acme France Acme EU
Acme France Acme
Acme EU Acme EU
Acme Acme
Note

Feature overview 

Assign Invoicing and Payment Ownership: Based on your customers' business needs, you can set relationships between customer from an organization and assign payment and invoicing responsibilities.
Centralized Payments/Billing: While making a purchase, the child accounts can access the parent accounts' payment method directly without enteing any payment information. 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: In general, you can allow your customers to be linked as a parent/child yet override the settings for specific subscriptions.

Warning

This is a merchant level setting. Customers will not allowed to override the hierarchy/relationship directly.

Prerequisites 

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.
  • If the child account has overridden the payment method for a specific subscription, it will have to be removed.

Setting up Account Hierarchy 

To enable Account Hierarchy, navigate to Settings > Configure Chargebee > Account Hierarchy and click Enable.

Chargebee offers two modes using which you can configure the responsibilities of the parent and child account - Basic Mode and Advanced Mode. Before you understand the possible combinations that you can set for a parent and child using the Basic or Advanced Mode, it is important that you know degree of control granted for each access.

Types of Access 

Full Access 

When Full access is granted to a parent account, they can view and edit subscriptions of child accounts from the Self-Serve Portal. They can also view and download child's invoices, and receive subscription, payment, and invoice related emails of child accounts. All the settings will be enabled. When full access is granted to the child account they can download their invoices from the self serve portal and receive their subscription related emails.

Parent Account Access:

Setting

Available Options

Can view and edit child subscriptions in the Self-Serve Portal Yes
Can view and download the invoices of child subscriptions in the Self-Serve Portal Yes
Choose the child-subscription emails they can receive Subscription, Payment, Invoice

Child Account Access:

Setting

Available Options

Can view and edit child subscriptions in the Self-Serve Portal Yes
Can view and download the invoices of child subscriptions in the Self-Serve Portal Yes
Choose the child-subscription emails they can receive Subscription, Payment, Invoice

Limited Access 

Parent accounts can view and edit subscriptions of child accounts from the Self-Serve Portal. They can also view and download child subscription invoices, and receive subscription, payment, and invoice emails of child accounts. Listed below are the settings and available options.

Parent account access:

Setting

Available Options

Can view and edit child subscriptions in the Self-Serve Portal Yes, No, View Only
Can view and download the invoices of child subscriptions in the Self-Serve Portal Yes, No, View Only
Choose the child-subscription emails they can receive Subscription, Payment, Invoice, None

Child Account Access:

Setting

Available Options

Can view and edit child subscriptions in the Self-Serve Portal Yes, View Only
Can view and download the invoices of child subscriptions in the Self-Serve Portal Yes, No, View Only
Choose the child-subscription emails they can receive Subscription, Payment, Invoice, None

No Access 

Parent accounts cannot access subscriptions of child accounts from the Self-Serve Portal. All the settings will be disabled.

Basic Mode 

Basic mode is designed to easily configure the access control for the parent and child accounts. All the parent and child accounts in the hierarchy will behave based on the pattern set here.

Parent

Child

Full access, Limited access Full access, Limited access
Limited access Full access, Limited access
No access Full access

Advanced Mode 

In advanced mode, you can customize the access for parent and child accounts based on who the payment owner is.

Override at customer level: Enable this option if you wish to override the default settings for a specific customer.

You can override the actual setting while establishing a parent - child relationship or using the Edit option in the Account Hierarchy section of the Customer Details page.

Establishing relationship between Customers 

In this section, we are going to learn about linking a parent to a child account. Watch the below video to learn about establishing relationships.

  1. Open the customer details page and search for the customer for whom you'd like to establish a relationship.

  2. Click the Add link under Account Hierarchy section.

  3. Choose a parent account from the dropdown.

  4. Select the invoice and payment responsibilities. You need to select which customer should make the payment and who should receive the invoice.

Who do you want to invoice: Select who should be invoiced for the subscriptions of the customer. You can choose the same customer, the immediate parent, or any other parent account (parent, grandparent and so on) in the linked hierarchy. The customer you select here will receive the invoice for the subscription.

Who pays the Invoice: Select who should make the payment for the subscriptions purchased by the child accounts. If the subscription is invoiced to a parent, you can delegate the payment responsibility to the same parent account in the hierarchy.

The default access that you have set for the parent and child while enabling Account Hierarchy will be copied for each relationship that you establish. There may be instances where you'd wish to override the settings for a particular customer, in such cases you can do so, if you have enabled the ‘Allow override at customer level' option in the settings page.

Account Relationship via API 

Customers relationship can be managed via the following API v2:

Note

Account Hierarchy is not supported via API V1.

Invoices 

Invoices for new/renewal charges, one time charges and non recurring add-ons can be raised to the child account, parent account or grandparent account in the hierarchy. Here the

  • Billing address will be picked from the Invoice owner.
  • Shipping address as entered in the subscription will be considered.
  • Taxes will be calculated based on the billing and shipping address in the Invoice.

Example 1:

  • Acme Europe is the parent of Acme France (subscription owner).
  • Payment responsibilities have been delegated to Acme Europe

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.

Example 2:

  • Acme Europe as the parent of Acme France (subscription owner).
  • Payment and invoicing responsibilities have been delegated to ACME Europe.

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.

Invoice Consolidation 

  • If Acme USA is the parent of Acme New York and Acme Arizona, each having 2 subscriptions each, then Acme USA will receive 4 invoices in total.
  • Invoices can be consolidated at parent level only but is subject to invoice consolidation prerequisites.
  • You can set up Calendar Billing to make sure all the subscriptions renew on the same date.

Metered Billing 

Draft invoices will be raised for the invoice owner. You can add charges and close the invoices as processed in the current behaviour.

Checkout 

  • 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 the self serve portal, 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.

Payments 

Once the payment relationship is established between the accounts, all the payments will be processed using the payment details of the customer who is assigned as the payment owner.

  • If the child account is making a purchase and the parent is the payment owner, then the parent's payment method will only be used. In case of payment failures, the parent's backup method will be used. Even if the child has a payment method, it will not be charged in case of payment failures.
  • If the parent changes a payment method, then that method will reflect for the child account as well.
  • If the parent account is responsible for payment but does not have a payment method associated with it, then the payment for that invoice will fail.
  • The parent account can override payment method at a subscription level and choose a different payment methods for specific subscriptions.
  • Auto-collection property and Net D settings of the invoicing owner will be considered.

Credit Notes and 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). Refunds will be credited to the original payment method used while making the purchase.

Unbilled Charges 

All unbilled charges will be raised to the Invoice Owner in the subscription. When the unbilled charges are invoiced, the corresponding payment owner will be charged.

Reporting 

Metrics for Account Hierarchy are consolidated, at the highest node in the hierarchy.

Note

Reporting for an intermediate parent, such as "Acme USA" in this example, is not supported.

Example: if the MRR of

  • Acme New York is $100
  • Acme Arizona is $50
  • Acme Germany is $100
  • Acme France is $ 50

Then, MRR of Acme will be reported as $300.

The following 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

Email Notifications 

The emails that the customers receive will have details about who pays for the subscription and who is invoiced. Emails will be sent based on the settings configured in the Email Notifications.

  • Emails sent to the parent account will have a note stating, "You are receiving this email because you're paying for the 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 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 and the child is the invoice owner, the subscription activated email will not contain payment method details or invoice and renewal details. The child can only see subscription information in the email. The parent can view all details related to the child subscription.

Changing a Parent-Child Relationship 

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 delete a relationship if the child account 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.

Limitations 

  • Account Hierarchy is not supported if Xero integration is enabled.
  • 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. Individual customers and child accounts who only have a reporting relationship with the parent account can continue to send Gift Subscriptions.
  • If you have enabled location validation (for Europe customers), subscription creation/renewals will fail as the address on the invoice and the card won't match.
  • If a parent account is detected as fraud using Stripe Radar, you will have the option to cancel the 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.
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