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Billing Software May 7, 2014

ChargeOver Recurring Billing Review

ChargeOver provides a PCI-compliant, web-based, recurring billing solution for services including accountants, security and alarms, developers, fitness centers, and rental agencies. It is a privately funded company located in Minneapolis, MN.

First impressions

ChargeOver has a very simple process for signing up for the Free 30-Day Trial that requires only your full name, email address, and for you to choose an account name / password.

Once logged in, the system has a fairly comprehensive Dashboard with an easy-to-understand interface. 

Navigation down the left side of the Dashboard provides categories, subcategories, and two quick links for signing up a new customer and invoicing a customer. There is also a convenient search box for finding customers or locations to which you may have forgotten how to navigate.

Pricing & Availability

Since ChargeOver is a web-based billing tool, it is available through any web browser. There are five different pricing plans available and a Free 30-day Trial with a sandbox (fully-functioning test area):

  • Mini - free up to $2,500 includes up to 5 recurring packages
  • Starter - $65/mo includes up to 50 recurring packages
  • Basic - $115/mo includes up to 150 recurring packages
  • Professional - $229/mo includes up to 500 recurring packages
  • Commercial - $549/mo includes up to 2,500 recurring packages

Custom solutions are available by Contacting ChargeOver if your business needs more than 2,500 recurring packages.

What it does well

The Dashboard is immediately seen upon login and displays some great statistics including amounts for invoiced in the current month, collected in the current month, collected last month, and the number of new customers. There is also a graph showing six months of income by month.

The Your Customers section displays a list of customers with contact and balance information in a list format. 

Each record is linked and an Action button allows for quick invoicing, payments, and customer updates.

The Recurring Packages section shows the customer, payment method, balance, and other applicable details. What I expected to see here was all of the recurring packages that were set up and available for purchase; not those that have already been purchased.

However, this view could be helpful as well by seeing which customers have purchased which package.

The Invoices & Payments section includes subcategories for Invoices, Payments, Refunds, and Credits. Each area shows a list of records applicable to that subcategory.

The Reporting section offers 10 different reports as well as the option to request a Custom Report. From Customer Balances to an Email Log to Sales Tax Detail to Customer Churn; there is a good variety of report options. Unfortunately, the only exportable reports are for Customer Balances, Open Balances, Failed Payments, and the Email Log. It would be nice to have the ability to export any report offered.

The Configuration section provides 18 subcategories including Admin Users and Roles, API & Web Hooks, Categories, Products, Email Templates, and Service Plans. 

Some notable configuration options include:

  • Dunning & Collections 

    There are a many configuration settings making this a great feature. Number of days after due date to begin dunning, reattempt failed payment count, and ability to cancel overdue packages automatically are a few of the options available.

  • Events 

    This is another feature that could be really useful. The Event can be based off of Customer, User, Invoice, Billing Package, or Transaction. You simply enter the event criteria to trigger the outcome using “if/then” types of statements. For example, I set up an email to be triggered to a specific address any time an invoice is greater than $50. The setup was very easy.

  • Payment Methods 

    There are many available payment methods and the setup process is very simple., Braintree, Cybersource, Stripe, and PayPal are just a few popular options offered. Once a method is chosen, the bottom of the screen displays the applicable configuration settings needed for that method.

  • QuickBooks 

    There are options to either connect with QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks for Windows which makes for a quick setup.

Most every section of the system worked as expected and displayed what I assumed it would. However, there were a few areas that I had a bit of trouble with. For example: when I tried to apply a "Credit" to a customer’s invoice, I received a coded error page (similar to a page crash) upon clicking the "Apply" button. Additionally, although I configured the "Tax and Discount" areas I did not see tax applied per my settings nor was I able to find a way to apply a discount. It is possible that the sandbox mode does not fully function as the live mode would; however, it would have been nice to fully review these features.

For your company’s developers, there is a documentation section for setting up an API, Web hooks, vanity Web hooks, and usage URLs. There is also a direct link to GitHub provided with further information for php, Java, Python, and C#.

What we would like to see in future updates

I was unable to locate either an Android or iOS application for ChargeOver. For administrators on-the-go, a mobile app would be a great update to see. Having the ability to send a quick invoice, set up a new customer or even a new user from a mobile device would be extremely handy.

Although most sections offered an Excel button at the top to export data, it would be helpful to be able to import data as well. For items such as customers or products it could be very time-consuming to enter details for each record one-by-one. For those businesses with a large, existing customer base or extensive product line it would be a wonderful feature – especially upon initial system setup.

The Verdict

All-in-all, ChargeOver is a nice, basic system for recurring billing as well as on-the-fly invoices. It has many useful features and provides a lot of  payment gateway options which makes it a versatile tool. It is secure, easy-to-understand, and the pricing plans are affordable. ChargeOver is an excellently simple recurring billing tool that is worth looking into (Tweet This); and with a 30-Day Free Trial and easy setup, it won't cost you much time to evaluate if it's right for your business. 

Check out ChargeOver in our Marketplace for more detailed information!

There is no interview associated with this review.

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