Best Payment Software for Billing & Invoicing at a Coworking Space
This article covers the most sensitive and down-to-earth part of running a successful coworking business, assuming that you are striving to be profitable. I am talking about invoicing and billing as well as the best payment software to automate it.
The main idea of the blog post is to show you how to create a well-performing billing and invoicing mechanism to free yourself from unnecessary complications.
Ideally, you should provide your members with the possibility of self-service so that they could view, download and manage their payments.
Automating everything including billing and invoicing to boost coworking space efficiency is one of the coworking trends to follow. Let's discuss a couple of practical ways to do it.
You can establish a point of sales station right at the reception of your coworking space. The gadget doesn't matter here, it can be a desktop computer, a tablet or some mobile device. Its purpose is to enable community managers to capture charges and manage accounts easily.
Enabling payments via a POS terminal is a way to keep invoices accurate while offering flexibility to coworking space residents. I mean you can input discounts and ad-hoc charges while collecting payments for workspace and services. It's utterly important to get the invoicing correct right from the start to avoid bill runs, billing queries fixes and revenue losses in the future.
Speaking about the point of sale, it is a good alternative to the outdated methods of payment processing — a notepad, an excel spreadsheet, a voice memo on your mobile device, etc. Everything that requires input information more than once does not fit.
Some of the POS station benefits include:
- No need for manual data input which keeps you safe from human errors.
- Staff (including new and temporary workers) are ready to work with it almost immediately (with minimal training.)
- You can integrate POS with coworking space management platform, which will make the whole invoicing routine a piece of cake.
To enjoy the advantages of an accurate online system your coworking space needs to have a fully-fledged online presence. So, launch a nice, user-friendly website enabling members not only to overview your services but actually purchase them via your website or your coworking space management software.
The main benefit of running an online coworking resource with activated payment system is easy members' access not only to the comprehensive info about your workspace, its perks and amenities, membership plans and pricing but also in a revenue increase for you, plus you capture accurate data and get rid of human errors.
So, what you need to do is give members and prospective customers access to an online marketplace offering your services. There, they will select a membership plan they like or a service they need and buy it sealing the deal with e-signature and billing details. Be consistent and bundle your services into membership plans, packages or tiers that translate seamlessly to your billing system.
Don't overwhelm your community manager busy with other significant tasks with setting up the accounts from a sign-up sheet or credit card authorization form. Start using an automated payment system for absolute accuracy.
The online payment platform cuts down your bill run and makes it smooth. When the system is introduced, you just invoice for monthly memberships or meeting room bookings and avoid credit notes that annoy members with adjustments and aggravate UX (user experience).
To understand how helpful the automation of billing and invoicing is for running your coworking space remember how many hours you spend fixing the account should an error occur.
Payment software that integrates each step of the coworking space cycle and automates data capture and invoices generating saves you from busy work.
There are lots of online payment services out there. Some of them are used worldwide, some are popular in specific countries.
Exclusively for Ukrainian coworking space operators and their members we built the integration of our application with WayForPay payment service.
As I have already mentioned above, the integration of your coworking management app and payment system saves you a lot of time and effort through automating a bunch of routines associated with billing and invoicing.
Though, not every coworking space management platform allows you and your members to use best-of-breed payment software you already love. All-inclusive systems are often not flexible enough to demonstrate the individual approach and build integration with some local payment system for their customers operating in a specific country.
Stripe is a reliable software platform for processing your coworking payments online. Headquartered in San Francisco, Stripe has 14 global offices. It powers millions of businesses in 100+ countries and across nearly every industry.
You can use Stripe to send invoices, manage subscriptions and reduce payment declines with Stripe's recovery tools.
Enable Stripe to instantly acquire debit or credit cards right inside the app. Turn on 'Card' payment method for:
- Meeting room booking page.
- Invoice payment page.
Stripe payments work in-app without redirecting or requiring to install another app. To enable the integration, have your API keys ready: https://dashboard.stripe.com/apikeys
Recurly is a subscription management platform founded in 2009 with headquarters in San Francisco, California, and the United States.
Here are some points the tool can help you with:
- Increase revenue with a range of plans and sophisticated subscriber acquisition tools.
- Deliver a world of payment options and seamless checkout experiences.
- Collect revenue faster with a variety of billing options and streamlined accounting.
- Connect Recurly seamlessly to CRM, accounting and coworking space management tools.
- Transform billing information to a competitive advantage with in-depth analytics.
- Reduce churn and increase revenue with sophisticated, automated technology.
- Trust your member data to world-class security and compliance standards.
- Build great experiences for your members with their API, documentation, and resources.
Chargebee is a subscription management platform that lets you to:
- Scale subscriptions with flexible pricing and billing logic, and user lifecycle visibility.
- Automate billing with customizable invoices, payment schedules, and billing calendars.
- Simplify bookkeeping, global taxes, revenue recognition, and one-click reconciliation.
- Boost revenue with multiple payment methods, gateways, slick checkout, and smart recovery.
- Go beyond stats with RevenueStory, spot leakages, and engage with abandoned carts.
QuickBooks is accounting software for small and medium-size coworking businesses. You don't need to be an accounting expert, QuickBooks makes it easy to keep everything organized in one place.
QuickBooks enables you to import transactions from your bank, third-party apps, and more. The app will auto-update it all. No more manual data entry.
You will enjoy powerful invoicing with custom reminders, tracking, and direct deposit puts less time between you and your money.
Btw, expenses are sorted into tax categories, which makes you prepared for tax time.
Everybody knows PayPal, it's an American company operating a worldwide online payment system that supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods like checks and money orders.
- With PayPal, you get your money fast. When the order is complete, the money usually shows up in your PayPal account within minutes.
- PayPal is always free for your customers to make a purchase. They don't even need a PayPal account and can pay you in up to 25 currencies.
- PayPal is pre-integrated with top e-commerce platforms. If you already accept credit cards online, you can add it as an alternative way to pay.
Zoho invoice is invoicing software that lets you send professional invoices, automate payment reminders, and accept card payments online fast.
- The technology provides you with fully customizable templates that can be modified the way wish to be inline with brand identity. It gives you complete freedom over the look and feel of your invoices, estimates, and sales orders.
- Zoho invoice allows automating tedious recurring tasks, from invoicing workflows to payment reminders.
- With Zoho Invoice you can communicate with your clients in real time: make deals, discuss prices, and negotiate terms and conditions all on the client portal.
- Zoho Invoice seamlessly integrates with numerous apps such G Suite, Stripe, PayPal, ZohoCRM (which in its turn is integrated with andcards.)
Speaking about payment systems for coworking spaces I can't help mentioning meeting room booking credits. They replace virtual currency at a coworking space.
1 credit equals 1-hour meeting room booking.
Meeting room booking credits enable a coworking space to decide what conversion rate they have. It's super flexible. I would say that credits are more like prepaid account. Coworking space can sell credits to members and save on payment system fees because they fully control the credit issuance.
Besides, instead of just giving hours to members for free, you can give them booking credits (as a reward, once a month, when they sign up, when they continue the subscription, as an additional argument to seal the deal.) Members can use available credits whenever they wish.
Members can have an individual, as well as team shared credit balances. You can add a touch of gamification and select a custom emoji symbol for your credits: ⭐️, 💎, 💰.
Introduce meeting room credit system in your coworking space and observe how it will help you address the following issues:
- Abandoned bookings.
- Missed monetization opportunities.
Author's note: In addition to own virtual currency, your workspace can offer Charge Card payment method for teams the essence of which is "use first — pay after." I am sure your residents will love the cool intuitive interface of the solution, which is surprisingly informative as well.
I advise you to integrate the billing system with your coworking software to feel the difference and massive impact on the way you levy charges.
Just think about how credible you look for your members if they not only pay for the products they consume via coworking app on their smartphone but see the charges and rates flow in real-time. And you even don't need to export usage data from another system and import it into a separate billing system. I bet your members will be likely to expand the bandwidth as there is no risk of being overcharged.
Here is a simple example for you. Everybody uses Google Calendar. It's a great resource, however, if it doesn’t integrate with your billing systems you are going to miss out on capturing booking charges, which will cause revenue leakage.
With the accounting system linked to coworking space management software community managers have access to real-time bank feed, they have full visibility of members' financial information without special permissions to your accounting system.
This is important as you protect the privacy, security, and integrity of your accounting data along with private information entrusted to you by members. It's safe to delegate billing and invoicing tasks to employees.
Choosing innovative billing software will simplify your and your accountant's lives.
The system will calculate deferred income automatically, which means there is no need to use spreadsheets and formulas. This saves not only time but the money that you don't pay to an accountant for the same task. The payment platform can coordinate advance payments for rents and services at the coworking premises and run the billing automatically.
Summing up everything said above, we can conclude that software integration is the key. By integrating your coworking space management and billing systems you will optimize the billing and invoicing for services your center renders to members. This automation will save you money, resources and time you usually spend on tiresome administrative tasks. Isn't it better to concentrate your efforts on members and the community?
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