By: Jackie Schmid on June 30th, 2020
How Does It Work for GreatAmerica to Bill My Managed Services?
When GreatAmerica began working with Managed Service Providers in 2010, we had a lot to learn. We had loads of experience with copier dealers and telecommunications companies, but MSPs were different in that hardware is often secondary to the services they provide. The bundling capabilities GreatAmerica built to support office technology companies who wanted us to bill and collect the cost per copy proved to be relevant and useful for the MSP industry.As we grew our knowledge and customer base of MSPs, we offered to bill the Managed Services on behalf of our customers, with some impactful benefits to the MSP. But how does it work?
What is Managed Services Billing?
Also referred to as pass-through billing, bundling, single invoice solution, or Managed Services billing, this is a staple to many of our customers. We pay you upfront for the project or equipment, then include your Managed Services on our invoice to your customer. Each month, once your customer pays the invoice, we pass-through the services portion to you.
The Process for GreatAmerica to Bill and Collect Managed Services
1. We pay you upfront for the project.
As part of any finance agreement, GreatAmerica will pay you the agreed amount for the project or equipment. This is typically the start of the agreement. If you want to know what happens prior to this, check out this article.
2. We send your customer their monthly invoice.
The invoice includes a monthly payment as part of the finance agreement, as well as your monthly services fees.
3. Your customer pays.
Your customer sends their full payment, including the services fees, by check or ACH to GreatAmerica.
4. We send you the services portion.
Once we receive your customer’s payment, we deposit the services portion in your bank account and the finance agreement portion to GreatAmerica.
Invoicing Options for Managed Services Billing
If you choose to have GreatAmerica bill for your Managed Services, we help you determine which of the following options work best for you and your client based on a number of factors. The first option presents the customer a single payment for both the Managed Services and the monthly equipment payment. Your customer receives an invoice with a single dollar amount. The other option is for GreatAmerica to bill your Managed Services on our invoice, but as a separate line item. Both are easy and convenient for you and your customers.
Tools to Simplify Managed Services Billing
We understand that allowing GreatAmerica to bill your Managed Services can add some complexities, given the variability of service-based billing. There are tools we’ve developed to simplify and streamline the process and enable you to make adjustments each month, reconcile your accounts, and check on delinquencies.
ConnectWise Manage Variable Billing Integration
The first way is an integration into ConnectWise Manage. You would adjust the billing amount within ConnectWise, and the integration lets GreatAmerica know the changed amount.
Using our info-zone.com customer portal, we can also grant you the ability to go into each customer’s pass-through account and update it to the new amount.
Reconciliation of Payments
Since we are billing, collecting, and remitting your service payments on your behalf, it does create some complexities in reconciling your accounts. You could, for example, receive several customers’ Managed Services payments from GreatAmerica in the same week. While we send a backup file so you know whose accounts to apply them to, we have additional free tools built to help you post these transactions accurately.
Reconciliation can be time-consuming, tedious work. To help save you time, we’ve built an integration using ConnectBooster and QuickBooks that allows you to automatically post cash and reconcile the payments you receive from GreatAmerica to the appropriate customers and contracts. If you are already using ConnectBooster and QuickBooks, it is free to use the integration.
Using the info-zone.com tool, you can find the backup for each deposit we send you, and use the reconciliation report to manually post cash and reconcile payments.
Delinquency or Non Payment Status
What happens when a customer is late paying their invoice? Your services payment is delayed, too. To ensure you have as much information as possible - and can take action if needed - you can use another integration with ConnectWise Manage.
ConnectWise Manage Delinquent Payment Integration
Once a customer’s payment to GreatAmerica is late, we can create a ticket on your service board notifying you of the delinquent status. This gives you the ability to follow any policies you have in place on delivering on your services if they haven’t paid.
Frequently Asked Questions on Managed Services Billing
Does GreatAmerica Fund My Managed Services Upfront?
Since your Managed Services are yet to be performed, they aren’t typically included in the upfront funding. We will generally pay you upfront for labor or professional services performed as part of the implementation of a project or equipment installation.
What Does Managed Services Billing Cost?
The service for GreatAmerica to bill and collect your Managed Services is free! Since we are already incurring costs to manage and print an invoice, and then any collect efforts needed on our part, we are able, willing, and happy to include your services on that invoice for no additional fees during the standard term of the agreement.
When and How Often Will GreatAmerica Send Pass-Through?
We send you the pass-through dollars as often as you like. The soonest we can process your portion is the day after we have received and identified the money from the end user. Many of our technology provider customers choose to have the payments sent in batches either weekly or biweekly.
The Trusted Managed Services Billing Provider
Pass-through billing is often a consideration for any type of equipment provider when they are selecting a finance company. We understand how important your services payments are for the success of your company. We’ve worked with technology companies – just like you – to develop the tools, systems, and processes that led us to bill and collect well over a quarter of a billion dollars of our customers’ services during our last fiscal year. Let us know how we can help you!
Jackie Schmid is the Director of Strategic Marketing of the Unified Communications & IT Group at GreatAmerica Financial Services located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Jackie is responsible for building brand awareness and gaining strategic relationships through creative marketing. Prior to joining GreatAmerica, Jackie worked in the TV News industry as a producer and executive producer at the local CBS and FOX stations where she helped shape the programs delivered to the market. Jackie’s finance career began in 2011 when she joined GreatAmerica to support the sales team serving the Office Equipment space.