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Consolidated Invoicing 

Information

This feature is available only for select plans. To know more, visit Chargebee's Plans and Pricing page.

Introduction 

Many of your customers may have multiple subscriptions with your business. Normally in Chargebee, a separate invoice is generated for each subscription renewal. So when multiple subscriptions renew on the same day, the customer could end up receiving too many invoices on a single day from you. Consolidated invoicing in Chargebee helps by combining all the charges raised on any given day into a single invoice.

How Consolidation Works 

Consolidated Invoicing is locked in Chargebee by default. Contact support@chargebee.com  to unlock the feature. Then, enable it by going to Settings > Billing Rules > Consolidated Invoicing and clicking on ENABLE CONSOLIDATION.

Here's a sample of an invoice that consolidates charges for a customer:

Prerequisites for Consolidation

Once consolidated invoicing has been enabled, going forward, those subscription renewals and unbilled charges for a Customer, that meet ALL of the following conditions are consolidated into a single invoice:

  1. The charges for the Customer (subscription renewals and unbilled charges) are due to be invoiced on the same day.
  2. The charges have the same currency.
  3. The charges are from subscriptions that have the same auto-collection status.
  4. If auto-collection is on, then the subscriptions have exactly the same payment method.

Note:
(1) Charges for new subscription activations (including those activating after a trial period and those set to start at a future date) are always invoiced separately unless added to unbilled charges.

(2) If you wish to have all subscriptions renew on the same day of the month or week, then enable Calendar Billing.

Let's look at examples of subscriptions for the same customer and see how their invoices are consolidated.

Example 1

   Subscription A  Subscription B   Subscription C 
 Renewal Date  Today  Today  Today
 Renewal Charges  USD 30  USD 45  USD 240
 Auto-collection status  On  On  On
 Payment Method  VISA card ending 1118  VISA card ending 9998   VISA card ending 1118



Based on the rules mentioned before, the charges for subscriptions A and C are consolidated. A separate invoice is raised for subscription B. This is because although all three subscriptions have auto-collection on, B's payment method is different.

Example 2

   Subscription A  Subscription B   Subscription C   Subscription D
 Renewal Date  Today  Today  Today  Today
 Renewal Charges  AUD 100  AUD 170  USD 230  USD 120
 Auto-collection status  Off  Off  Off  Off



Here we see that subscriptions A and B are billed in AUD while C and D are billed in USD. This results in two invoices, one for each pair of subscriptions.

Additional Consolidation Rules

Apart from the prerequisites defined above. You also have the option of configuring some additional rules for consolidation.

To do so, select Settings > Billing Rules > Consolidated Invoicing and click Manage:

Note: These additional rules are subject to the prerequisites being met.

  1. For charges with different PO numbers:
    • Generate separate invoices for each PO number: If the charges have different PO numbers, they are not invoiced together and if they have the same PO number, they are consolidated.
    • Generate a single invoice: PO number is ignored for the purpose of invoice consolidation.
  2. For charges with different shipping addresses:
    • Generate separate invoices for each shipping address: If the charges have different shipping addresses, they are not invoiced together and if they have the same shipping address, they are consolidated.

    • Generate a single invoice: Ignore shipping address for the purpose of invoice consolidation.

      Note:
      (1) Two shipping addresses are considered the same when all their field values (including first and last name) are exactly the same letter-for-letter in a non-case-sensitive manner.

      (2) If taxes are enabled for the site (even if for other regions than the shipping addresses) then the first option (Generate separate invoices for each shipping address) is enforced even if the second option has been selected.

  3. Enable consolidated invoicing for all customers by default:
    • Yes: Invoice consolidation is turned on for all Customers by default.
    • No: Invoice consolidation is turned off for all Customers by default.

Enabling/Disabling Consolidation for Specific Customers

You can enable/disable consolidated invoicing for specific customers:

Via UI

To do this, go to the details page of the customer, click Change Customer Details, go to the Consolidated Invoicing drop-down and select one of the following:

  • Use Site Default: Assume the same setting as the one set for the site under step 3 in Additional Consolidation Rules.
  • Always Consolidate: Keep consolidated invoicing enabled for the Customer regardless of the site setting.
  • Never Consolidate: Keep consolidated invoicing disabled for the Customer regardless of the site setting.

On choosing any of the last two options, the details page for the Customer shows the current setting:

Via API
The above options for enabling/disabling consolidated invoicing for a Customer can be done via API:

Disable Consolidated Invoicing 

  • To disable the feature, go to Settings > Billing Rules > Consolidated Invoicing and click on Disable.
  • This disables invoice consolidation for your site completely.
  • On re-enabling the feature, the Customer-level settings are restored.

Unbilled Charges 

When you invoice unbilled charges for a Customer on-demand, then, subject to the consolidation rules, the charges — across different subscriptions — are consolidated into one or more invoices.

Subscription Renewals 

When multiple subscriptions renew on the same day and at different times, the invoice consolidation happens when it's time for the last renewal of the day. Until then, the other renewals for the day are added to unbilled charges.

Dunning 

If the dunning settings are set to cancel subscriptions on dunning failure, all the subscriptions on a consolidated invoice are cancelled on dunning failure.

Next Billing Date 

In a consolidated invoice, from among the next billing dates of all the recurring charges on it, the most immediately upcoming date is shown as the next billing date of the invoice.

Coupons 

If a coupon applies to all the charges on the invoice, it is appended at the bottom of the invoice. If it does not apply to all the charges, then it is applied and shown at the line-item level.

Other Impacts 

  • 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).
Note

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

Limitations 

  1. Currently, consolidated Invoices does not work when the Metered Billing is enabled in your Chargebee site. If your need further help, 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 

1. 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.

2. How does the change in time zone affect consolidated invoicing?

Consolidated invoicing will have multiple line items renewing at different instances in a day. Changing time zone also means that these line items should renew on the same day, despite the change in timezone. Chargebee takes care of the change in the backend.

Say a customer receives consolidated invoice for three subscriptions that renew at three different times of the day.

Line Item # Subscription Name Renewal Date Renewal Time
1. Subscription #1 1 Jan 2017 10.00 AM
2. Subscription #2 1 Jan 2017 3.00 PM
3. Subscription #3 1 Jan 2017 9.30 PM

If the merchant changes the timezone from UTC to IST. It means the renewal time and ergo the renewal date will change for some line items in the invoice.

Line Item # Subscription Name Renewal Date Renewal Time
1. Subscription #1 1 Jan 2017 3.30 PM
2. Subscription #2 1 Jan 2017 8.30 PM
3. Subscription #3 2 Jan 2017 3.00 AM

This shift will reflect in the current month's invoice. But the invoice amount will be the same. From the upcoming renewal on, the renewal day and time will fall back to the original.

Line Item # Subscription Name Renewal Date Renewal Time
1. Subscription #1 1 Feb 2017 10.00 AM
2. Subscription #2 1 Feb 2017 3.00 PM
3. Subscription #3 1 Feb 2017 9.30 PM
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