Just before the end of 2010 a new module has been added to the Exact Online offering: Exact Online Subscriptions. The module is meant for companies that offer goods or services based on a contract (subscription) that is both invoiced and renewed periodically. Because of the integration with the invoicing functions, the Subscription module can only be used together with the Invoice module of Exact Online.
The module of course allows you to create and maintain subscriptions, but before you can do that you need to setup some master data. The most important data you need to setup are the subscription types. Subscription types define the renewal policy, the length of the subscription period and the invoicing frequency for the subscriptions. You can then use the subscription types when creating a subscription, by selecting a type all the conditions for the subscription are set. After creating the subscriptions for your customers, you can generate invoices based on the subscription data. If it is part of your procedure you can print a subscription confirmation for customers with a new subscription, however this is not a mandatory step in the subscription process.
As mentioned above a subscription is normally valid for a certain period of time. After this time the subscription is either renewed or stopped by the customer. In the Exact Online there are three ways to handle the renewal of subscriptions
- No renewal: With this option the subscription will be active for the defined subscription period, after this period the subscription is always stopped and cannot be renewed. This option can be used for trial subscriptions.
- Automatic renewal: With this option the subscription is always renewed automatically at the end of the subscription period. The subscription is only stopped when the customer cancels the subscription. You can cancel subscriptions when maintaining the subscription.
- Manual renewal: With this option the subscription will by default be stopped at the end of the subscription period, unless the subscription is renewed by a manual action. The subscription solution has a function to manually renew subscriptions.
How each subscription is renewed can be defined in the subscription type master data. Because you can define multiple subscription types, it is possible to have different renewal options for you subscriptions.
In future blog posts we will explain some more features of the Subscription module and also share some useful tips. Now that this module is generally available I am very interested in your opinion of it. Is this a module that can help you in doing your business or are you missing functionality? Please let me know in the comments.