COVID-19 has been the biggest driver of technological change the world has ever seen, fast tracking a number of trends including:
A rapid shift to remote working – Many businesses have had to work with external consultants to help them manage the transition to a remote workforce.
Increased usage of voice and data services – To collaborate remotely, more people than ever are utilising video conferencing technology or phones. In addition to this, more people are staying at home watching streaming tv or playing games.
More dependence upon IT systems - Remote workers and companies that are learning to adapt to the ‘COVID-normal’ are seeking innovative automated and integrated solutions to improve efficiency, cut costs and allow them to grow.
The IT&C industry, and in particular Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Telecommunications Service Providers (Telcos and ISPs) have benefited immensely from this.
Managed Service Providers (MSPs)
MSPs tend to have a very trusted relationship with their clients acting as outsourced IT departments for many businesses. When the pandemic struck, they were instrumental in getting businesses up and running remotely and suggesting software and solutions that could be used to both help improve collaboration and save costs through automation. Many MSPs are now taking on more usage and volume-based services requiring them to have more robust systems than just a spreadsheet and their accounting system.
Telecommunications Providers (Telcos and ISPs)
Telcos and ISPs sell high volumes of voice services (e.g. Mobile Phone, VoIP) and data services (e.g. Internet plans). While business data use is down in many cases, residential voice and data use have skyrocketed, fuelled by Zoom calls, streaming TV and the need to stay connected to friends and loved ones. This increased volume of activity is forcing Telcos and ISPs to focus on systemising and automating their processes for remote activity including online signup, provisioning and billing.
How can your accounting or bookkeeping practise efficiently work with Telcos and MSPs?
To work with these businesses, you need to first understand more about how they operate.
- They tend to have large customer bases
- The products and services sold by them can get quite complex
- They often operate on a subscription model with variable charges based upon usage
- Telcos, in particular, operate on slim margins and strive for operational efficiency wherever they can find it.
- Integrated solutions are attractive for scale
These are more stable and financially secure businesses during the pandemic. As their accountant or bookkeeper, you can add value by helping them to wisely manage growth, reduce volatility in their cash flow, streamline their billing operations and find new areas for growth and expansion.
You’ll want to do this while continuing to use your preferred accounting and ERP software (e.g. Xero) and not having to change the way your business operates. This isn’t the easiest proposition – it can be complicated to manage large customer bases from within Xero, it is almost impossible to accurately charge for usage-based products without resorting to manual calculations, generating large volumes of variable invoices and subsequently processing high volumes of variable payments is very time-consuming. For this reason, many practices steer clear of working with the IT&C industry because the administrative overheads caused by working with them are just too high.
Emersion automatically process large volumes of variable invoices and payments
Many accounting practices already work with MSPs and Telcos, but find it hard to manage their billing.
Regardless of if you are already working with these companies, or want to start working with them in the future, Emersion is the easiest way to effortlessly handle their billing operations, while continuing to be able to manage your accounting operations from within Xero.
We integrate to over 100 vendors, carriers and payment providers in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, and can automate the entire subscription billing process.
Emersion is a Xero partner app and synchronises account, payment, invoice and transaction details to Xero. No more generating invoices manually, at the end of the payment period Invoices are automatically generated, dispatched and paid. This doesn’t just save time, it also means you can easily work with clients with large customer bases.
We integrate to local banks, which often charge lower fees than more commonly used payment providers with Xero integrations (e.g. Stripe and Paypal). This is particularly useful for clients with large numbers of B2C customers - the switch could save them thousands of dollars every year
Additionally, by integrating to local vendors and carriers, we are able to automate the calculation of usage and pro-rata charges. This ensures that your clients are always billing their customers for the full amount, improving service profitability.
If you have existing Telco and MSP clients, and want to help them become more efficient, or are looking to open up more market opportunities for your practice then Emersion can help you to crack the IT&C code.