Switching Over from Billing Settings Configuration to Billing Profiles in SAP Subscription Billing
With the release of the new Billing Profile feature, you can use billing profiles to define certain billing settings for subscriptions. This enables you to control billing more flexibly.
Billing profiles initially include settings for the billing delay and adjustment period. These settings were previously defined in the Billing Settings configuration and valid for all subscriptions. With billing profiles, the settings are determined for groups of subscriptions from the billing profile assigned to the rate plan of the subscription’s product. The billing profile can also be assigned directly in the subscription.
In this blog we’ll look at the differences between the old and new concepts. We’ll also run through how to switch over to billing profiles.
Bear in mind that the Billing Settings configuration will be retired one year after the Billing Profile feature was released in May 2022. If you were already using SAP Subscription Billing at the time of the release, you need to switch over to using billing profiles within the year, whenever it suits you best. If you only used the default Billing Settings configuration before, you still need to do the switchover, but it only takes a few moments.
If you’re new to SAP Subscription Billing after billing profiles were introduced, you won’t see the old configuration and you can start using the profiles right away. You can read an introduction to billing profiles in this blog but can skip all the migration steps.
Billing Settings Configuration
In the Business Configuration app under “Billing Settings”, you can make settings that control the billing process for all bills:
In case you’re not familiar with these settings, here’s a quick summary:
This delay allows time for any outstanding or updated usage data for a billing period to be transferred into the system and processed for that period.
For recurring charges billed in advance, you can specify that adjustments to charges must be billed within a certain time frame. These adjustments can result from changes to the subscription, changes to prices, or the creation of backdated subscriptions. By specifying a suitable adjustment period, you can ensure that adjustments to charges are billed closer to the time when the adjustment occurs.
Billing profiles enable billing settings to be determined for groups of subscriptions with the same product. Initially, the adjustment period and the billing delay are available as profile settings.
You set up billing profiles in Business Configuration and apply them by assigning them to rate plan templates. The profiles are then passed on via the rate plans of products to subscriptions and are considered in the billing process. The relevant billing profile for a subscription is determined from the rate plan of the main product.
Alternatively, you can assign a billing profile directly in a subscription. You can also change the billing profile assignment of a subscription (for this you require the relevant authorization).
Configuring Billing Profiles
You define billing profiles in the Business Configuration app under Billing Profiles.
The default settings for the billing delay and adjustment period are the same as in the Billing Settings configuration: The billing delay is 2 days and the adjustment period matches the billing cycle.
You can define when each profile is valid from, therefore you can define new settings and have them apply from a certain date. The new settings are valid starting with the next full billing period after they become effective.
The profile that you mark as the default profile is prefilled in new rate plan templates, but a different profile can also be selected in a template.
In the SAP Help Portal documentation for SAP Subscription Billing, you can find some examples of how billing profiles can be set up.
Differences between Billing Settings configurations and billing profiles
- Existing Billing Settings configurations are transferred to an initial billing profile.
- You can define further billing profiles, each representing a different setting.
- The billing profile is assigned to a rate plan template, inherited by a rate plan, and determined for new subscriptions from the main product.
- You can update the billing profile in the subscription.
- The adjustment period is now a time-dependent setting. You can schedule a change for all subscriptions with the same profile simply by adding a new entry with the relevant validity start date in the Billing Profile configuration.
- You can now define a billing delay of zero days.
- Bills are split by billing period. A billing period is equal to one billing cycle, or multiple billing cycles in case of multiple recurring charges that are billed together.
- Newly defined settings only apply from the next billing period.
What’s no longer possible after switching to billing profiles?
- Charges that belong to a billing period can’t use different settings. For example, adjustment bills for a yearly billing cycle must use the same settings.
- In Business Configuration there’s no current settings indication for billing profiles. The validity of the settings depends on either the start date of the current billing period (for charges resulting from backdated changes to subscriptions or rate plans) or the start date of the billing period (for charges in current or future periods).
How to switch over
Ready to start using billing profiles ? These are the transition steps that you need to follow, first in your test tenant then in your productive tenant:
- In your test tenant, open the Business Configuration app and go to “Billing Settings”. Start the migration of the billing settings to billing profiles by clicking on the link in the message at the top of the screen.
- Confirm the warning that appears.
- Check the _Initial billing profile to see the migrated billing settings.
If you hadn’t defined any billing settings before, the _Initial profile contains the default settings.
- (optional) Create additional billing profiles.
- Do a spot check on existing open bills. They shouldn’t be impacted by the previous steps.
- Create a new subscription. Check the assigned billing profile in the Subscriptions app on the “Billing” tab.
- Check the bill for the new subscription in the Bills app. On the “General Info” tab, you should find information on the billing profile and its settings.
In addition, the billing period should be displayed in the header.If you see the billing period and billing profile in a bill, you can be sure that the new logic has been applied. Bills that were generated before you migrate to billing profiles will not immediately contain information about the billing period and billing profile. The transition for these bills will take place in the next billing period.
- Once you’ve checked that the switchover works as expected, you can repeat the steps above in your productive tenant.
Once you’ve switched over to using billing profiles you can no longer change the “Billing Settings” configuration. You simply add new billing profiles if you need to adjust your changes.
If you need more information about billing profiles and their settings, take a look in the billing documentation on the SAP Help Portal. The in-app help will also provide you with more information when you’re working with the apps.
Stay tuned and take care!
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