Billing the base on the meter group(s) of a service contract allows for you to allocate the base amount between multiple meter groups and therefore meter types (B/W versus Color), and base distribution GL codes. However, there are some issues that can occur when billing the base on the meter groups that are explained in this post, as well as how to fix them.
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The meter groups on service contracts have the ability to bill the base on them. This is advantageous as you can divide the base amount up appropriately between the meter groups to match how it may have been signed on your customer's contract. Having a base amount on each meter group allows for reporting on revenue by meter type such as B/W and Color and it also allows for you to allocate the revenue to specific GL accounts within the base distribution code of each meter group.
When billing a base invoice on the meter groups, the system recognizes that each meter group is billing a specified number of allowances for that meter group. Each time you bill a base invoice on the contract, the system begins to accrue the overage's allowance amount for that meter group in the billed covered copies section of the meter group.
Example to Illustrate:
You bill a monthly base and quarterly overage
When you bill a monthly base, the billed covered copies balance will reflect 1/3 of the full allowance listed in the meter group. In other words, if the meter group has 15,000 covered copies in a quarter, then each time you bill a monthly base within that overage cycle the billed covered copies will accrue 5,000.
How the contract looks before any base in the current overage cycle bills, showing zero billed covered copies
The first monthly base is billed in the quarterly overage cycle and the meter group now shows 1/3 of the billed covered copies have accrued
The second monthly base is billed in the quarterly overage cycle and the meter group now shows 2/3 of the billed covered copies have accrued
The third monthly base is billed in the quarterly overage cycle and the meter group now shows 3/3 of the billed covered copies have accrued
The quarterly overage bills and the meter group now shows zero billed covered copies and the process starts again
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Best Practice Steps
Best Practice Steps - start to finish
Allowance amount is either zero, or a wrong amount when you go to bill the overage:
It is very important that you bill your invoices in chronological order of the billing periods, otherwise you may experience issues with the billed covered copies balance not reflecting properly. If you bill out of order, the system believes that the contract is either under or overbilled and will try to correct itself by either increasing or decreasing the allowance by what is needed to ensure client was only billed for the total allowance amount listed on each meter group on client's next overage bill.
See example below for how a monthly base and quarterly overage contract would need to bill.
1) Base period of 7/1-7/31
2) Base period of 8/1-8/31
3) Base period of 9/1-9/30
4) Overage period of 7/1-9/30
5) Base period of 10/1-10/31
If you bill out of order, the contract has not properly accrued the billed covered copies within the overage period and that can reflect on your overage billing as either zero allowance or an allowance amount that is partial to the full overage cycle amount.
How to check if this has occurred:
1) View the meter groups of the contract. Are the billed covered copies balance in each meter group showing accurate amounts for where the billing cycles currently stand? Refer to the Overview section above on how the billed covered copies balance should reflect within each stage of the overage billing cycle.
2) View the base schedules within the meter groups, are they showing the proper covered copies and amounts for each base period to come in the future? This should look like the same amounts each month, except for any scheduled increases.
Below is an example of a base billing schedule that shows same amount each month except for the scheduled annual increase which is normal
Below is an example of a base billing schedule that does not show same amounts each month which is not normal
3) View the non-voided contract invoices for this contract and sort by invoice number to bring newest number to the top. Review through the billing to verify if billing periods have billed in proper order since the beginning of the contract. In the example below, you can see that the 10/1/23-10/31/23 base was billed prior to the 7/1/23-9/30/23 overage which is out of order.
How to fix if this occurred:
If the out of order billing was fairly recent - void and reset (in order of how it billed) all invoices back to the errored billing. Then, rebill in correct order. Note that if you are rebilling an overage period that the amount may change if the covered copies on the invoice were incorrect due to this issue and not found prior. To void and reset an invoice, be in the Contract Invoices screen and right-click on the invoice to be voided and select Void and Reset. This is very important that you select void and reset and not just void as resetting opens the period back up to be rebilled whereas void voids the period and you typically cannot rebill it.
If the out of order billing was not recent and you aren't comfortable with voiding back that far - renew/revise the contract and adjust the billed covered copies within each meter group to reflect the accurate amount prior to billing. See below for steps on completing this.
Open the contract that is to be renew/revised and click the Renew/Revise button at the bottom middle of the contract record
Renew/Revise Options box will appear and you will select the second option to revise the contract by expiring this contract early and creating a new revised contract and maintaining current billing cycles
This will create a new contract that mirror the existing one. Next, go into the Meter Groups tab and open each meter group to update the billed covered copies. Ensure you add the correct billed covered copies into each meter group that correspond to the example above in the overview section.
As a reminder of the example: when you bill a monthly base, the billed covered copies balance will reflect 1/3 of the full allowance listed in the meter group. In other words, if the meter group has 15,000 covered copies in a quarter, then each time you bill a monthly base within that overage cycle the billed covered copies will accrue 5,000. So, when updating billed covered copies, you need to have the billed covered copies amount reflect what should be there based on where the base billing stands in relation to the current overage period.
Note that if the pencil next to the billed covered copies is not available, then the contract cannot be edited in this way which can sometimes occur. If that does occur, you must re-create the contract from scratch and adjust the billed covered copies that way as the pencil is always available on brand new contracts.
Ensure all other areas of the contract looks appropriate for the billing to continue where the existing contract left off.
Lastly, terminate the existing contract as it will no longer be used and the new one will be used in its place. See below for the areas to update in order to terminate. We recommend creating a termination code to be used for Renew/Revise situations for reporting and history tracking purposes.
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Other Helpful Info
Other Helpful Info
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None at this time.
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