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Consolidated Invoicing 

Overview 

The consolidated Invoices feature allows you to consolidate all the charges of a customer into a single invoice. This feature is useful if your business allows a single customer to have multiple subscriptions - you can raise a single invoice for all of your customer's subscription rather than send a bunch of individual invoices out.

It also suits businesses in which customers are entities rather than individuals. An entity, like a company for example, is treated as one customer from a subscription perspective but is comprised of many individuals/agents that interact with your product/service. In this case, Chargebee offers the hassle-free advantage of sending out a single invoice to the entity rather than multiple invoices to the individuals that comprise it.

Consolidate Charges for a Customer/Subscription 

Consolidated invoicing allows you to consolidate:

  • Renewal charges of multiple subscriptions renewing on the same date
  • All the charges that are pending against a subscription (if there have been changes made to the subscription throughout the term)

If you are choosing to consolidate charges, you can also choose when you would like the invoice for the charges to be raised. You can either add the unbilled charges to the invoice that will be generated at the next renewal of the subscription or you can raise an invoice for the charges immediately.

Enable Consolidated Invoicing 

To enable this feature, navigate to Settings > Site Info & Billing Rules > Consolidated Invoicing > Enable Consolidation.

Now you will find a set of options to configure the settings for Consolidated Invoicing.

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By default, Chargebee will group charges by:

  • Currency: Charges in a particular currency will be grouped together in a single invoice and separate invoices for different currencies. This means that if you have five charges in AUD and three charges in USD, Chargebee will consolidate charges by creating one invoice for the AUD charges and one for the USD charges.

  • Payment Method: Charges for a particular payment method will be grouped together in a single invoice. Separate invoices will be created for different payment methods. This means that if you have three charges to be collected via card and and one to be collected via direct debit, Chargebee will consolidate charges by creating one invoice for the card payments and one for the direct debit payments.

  • Whether Auto-Collection is configured: If you have enabled auto-collection for a customer or a subscription (so that payments are charged automatically using the payment method on file), Chargebee will group the applicable charges together for the customer/subscription so that a single invoice is created. This means if you have 3 subscriptions with Auto-Collection ON and 2 subscriptions with Auto-Collection off, Chargebee will consolidate the subscriptions with Auto-Collection ON and create an invoice for them and consolidate the subscriptions with Auto-Collection OFF and create a separate invoice for them.

Additionally, you can customize grouping charges by shipping address or purchase order number, as shown in the screenshot above. Chargebee offers the following options:

  • Separate invoices for each PO number: Chargebee does not consider PO number as a part of its default grouping. Choose this option if you would like charges to be grouped by purchase order number.

  • Single invoice irrespective of PO number: Choose this option if you would like Chargebee to ignore PO number when grouping charges for a consolidated invoice.

  • Separate invoices for each shipping address: Chargebee considers shipping address as a part of its default grouping if tax is configured for the site. Choose this option to keep this behavior intact.

  • Single invoices containing different shipping addresses: Choose this option if you would like Chargebee to ignore shipping address when grouping charges for a consolidated invoice.

Note

By default, charges for a particular shipping address will be grouped together in a single invoice. Separate invoices will be created for different shipping addresses. This means that if you have two charges against one shipping address and three against another, Chargebee will consolidate charges by creating one invoice for the two charges against the first shipping address and another for the three against the second.
This option is not available when tax configurations are enabled for the site.

  • Enable Consolidated Invoicing for all customers by default: Also known as ‘Site Default', let's you decide whether or not you want enable consolidated invoicing for all your customers by default.

Consolidated Invoicing at Customer Level 

Consolidated Invoicing settings allows you to enable the feature by default for all your customers. This can be overridden at the customer level, i.e., regardless of what the default site setting is, you can enable and disable Consolidated invoicing for individual customers.

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  • Use Site Defaults: In your Chargebee's site settings, you can define whether or not to consolidate the invoices. The customer's invoices will be consolidated based on the site settings.

  • Always Consolidate: All the invoices generated for the customer's subscriptions renewing on the same date will be consolidated, regardless of the site setting.

  • Never Consolidate: The customer will receive separate invoices for the subscriptions renewing on the same date without consolidation, regardless of the site setting.

Unbilled Charges and Consolidated Invoicing 

When it comes to Consolidated Invoicing and Unbilled Charges at customer level, the ‘Invoice Now' option will generate a consolidated invoice based on the preferences. Checkout this page to know more about unbilled charges.

Renewals and Consolidated Invoicing 

For renewals, subscriptions that renew on the same date will be grouped together. However, subscriptions that are activating or starting on the same date as the renewal of other subscriptions, will have a separate invoice generated. To know more on how to align subscriptions that renew on the same date, checkout Chargebee's Calendar Billing  feature.

For subscriptions that renew on the same date but at different times of the day, the invoicing will be done after the last renewal goes through. All the renewal charges until then will be created as an unbilled charge and will reflect against the customer and subscription.

Dunning and Consolidated Invoicing 

Dunning is when you set up retrying attempts to communicate with the customer to collect an overdue payment. With consolidated invoicing you will be trying to bill the customer for multiple subscriptions with one invoice. If the dunning retries fail, based on your settings, all the subscriptions linked to the invoice will be canceled at once. To know more about dunning, checkout Chargebee's Dunning page.

Effects of Consolidated Invoicing 

  • Taxes applicable to the subscriptions/charges on the invoice: Tax for all the charges in the invoice will be calculated on the date on invoice, irrespective of when the charge is created. For example, if a one-off charge is created in the middle of the term and added to unbilled items, Chargebee will calculate the tax for the one-off charge as it applies on the date the invoice is created.
  • Custom Fields on the invoices: Any custom fields that apply to a particular subscription will appear at the line item level in a consolidated invoice (that contains multiple subscriptions/charges)
  • Dunning: The dunning rules you have configured for your site will apply to all the subscriptions on a particular invoice.
  • Next billing date: The most immediate next billing date among the charges/subscriptions in the invoice will be displayed against the Next billing at in the invoice.
  • Discounts or One-off coupons or coupons that apply to one subscription in a consolidated invoice that contains many subscriptions: One-off coupons will appear as line items in a consolidated invoice if they apply to only one subscription/charge in the invoice. If they apply to all the subscriptions/charges in the invoice, they will be appended to the bottom of the invoice as applying to all the line items.
Note

PO number and custom fields from the subscription will be filled in the line items only during invoice creation.

Here's a sample invoice for reference:

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Disabling Consolidated Invoicing 

You can disable consolidated invoicing for your Chargebee site by navigating to Settings > Site Info > Consolidated Invoice > Disable.

Disabling the feature will lead to the following:

  1. If the customer has multiple subscriptions, he will receive separate invoices for each of the subscriptions.
  2. Renewal charges will be not be grouped and the customer will receive separate invoice for each renewal.

Limitations 

  1. Currently, consolidated Invoices does not work when the following features are enabled:

    • Metered Billing
    • Refersion Integration

    If your need further help with these features, contact support@chargebee.com 

  2. Even if the invoices are consolidated to one, customer's will receive multiple renewal reminder email notifications.

  3. Currently Chargebee does not support subscription related merge-vars for consolidated invoices in the email notifications mentioned below:

    • Invoice Receipt
    • NetD Payment Due Reminder
    • Offline Payment Reminder (Offline Dunning Invoice)
    • Payment Succeeded
    • Payment Failed
    • Payment Initiated
    • Payment Refunded
    • Refund Initiated

FAQs 

How does consolidated invoicing affect my new sales report?

The new sales report is a report of the total value of new recurring invoices generated for a particular period in your Chargebee site. This report is usually calculated based on first
recurring invoices generated for subscriptions.

If you have enabled consolidated billing, Chargebee will calculate this report based on first recurring invoices generated for customers rather than subscriptions.

Example:

Let's say a customer subscribes for three new subscriptions Sub #1, Sub #2 and Subs #3 of value $10 each.

  • If consolidated invoicing is not enabled: Separate invoices are generated for each subscription. The value of each invoice is added to the new sales report as they are generated. The new sales report reads $30 in new recurring revenue.

  • If consolidated invoicing is enabled: Sub #1 and Sub #2 renew on the same date are grouped together in one invoice and Subs #3 is invoiced separately. The invoice for Sub #1 an Sub #2 is generated immediately, and the invoice for Sub #3 is generated a week later.

The value of invoice generated for Sub #1 and Sub #2 will be added to the new sales report when it is generated. The invoice generated for Sub #3 will not be included in the new sales report.

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