Re: [Emerald] Billing

Charles Tomala ( (no email) )
Fri, 14 May 1999 13:13:07 -0700

-----Original Message-----
From: Dale E. Reed Jr. <>
To: <>
Date: Friday, May 14, 1999 12:27 PM
Subject: Re: [Emerald] Billing

>"David V. Brenner" wrote:
>> I know there is probably no easy answer for this, but I am curious as to
>> you folks have moved from your other systems into Emerald where billing
>> concerned. At this juncture, we have some customers who are paid up for
>> year, while others are paid up for various numbers of months and some
>> accounts are in arrears. I don't know how this information could be
>> imported into Emerald in a way that would allow Emerald to begin
>> accurate invoices. So, when we decide to start relying on Emerald for
>> billing as well as authentication and informational purposes, what would
>> the best way to approach it? Are there fields whose content I should
>> globally? I Want to minimize the number of invoices that go out to those
>> who shouldn't be invoiced, but I don't know that we want to sort through
>> 1500+ records in our old system to do this.
>If you set the BilledThru date correctly when you import the users,
>then they will billed at the appropirate time. Emerald soley uses
>the BilledThru date to find out when a customer had been billed
>through and when they next need to be billed.
>For example, if an account is paid up through Sept 12, 99, just make
>sure that account's billed thru is 9/12/99 and they will be billed
>when the time comes, and will not get a bill until then.
>Dale E. Reed Jr. Emerald and RadiusNT
>IEA Software, Inc.

Actually there are some problems with entering customers in such a manner.
We have found that with over 2500 MBR's that have been entered that there
are times when Emerald will issue incorrect charges to customers, often
entering a pro-rated charge for service through the BilledThru date

In addition there is a billing problem when adding new services to existing
customers. To copy from an earlier message to Dale last week:

"For example: An invoice printed (last week) shows accounts expiring 5/7/99
and listing charges for service through 7/30/99 (an additional POP box).
Yet under 'New Charges' the same service is shown twice, once showing full
amount of $5 and then again with the pro-rated figure of $2.67. What is odd
is that both of these lines had the quantity printed as two and thus the
total amounted to $15.34 or more than three months of service for what is in
fact just under that. The listing of the pro-rated figure twice under
'Quantity' seems to be causing the problem."

We use Emerald for billing only at this point. We moved over to it from
using Quickbooks and then Peachtree. Both of those products proved unstable
for us when we reached a certain level. That was about 2000+ various
customers about 80-85% of whom were quarterly billing. Thus we have had to
moved our billing system twice in the last year.

For the conversion from each billing system to another (Quickbooks to
Peachtree; Peachtree to Emerald) I manually entered each customer when their
billing cycle came due. It was a three month process to put the bulk of our
quarterly customers into each new system. In general I would have to say
the conversion to Emerald has been more difficult as there are some serious
issues about how the services are added to existing customers and
inconsistent charges being added. We did not experience this during our
first conversion.

I like the Emerald product, but have some reservations in recommending it at
this point. As a billing system there is a lot to be desired. The
difficulties fixing customer charges after they are generated is tedious and

Charles Tomala
President - Olympia Networking Services
"Olympia's Premier Internet Service Provider"