Third-party administrators (TPAs) know that after another month of working hard to serve your clients, the last thing you want is for a complicated billing and invoicing process to be hard, too. Creating a combined bill and invoice is a vital offering from TPAs because it streamlines multiple costs and services into a single document. Truly, it is an extension of the services that a TPA provides. One combined, consolidated invoice can include CDH administration fees, COBRA administration fees, enrollments and QEs, reimbursements, account contributions, and any other products and services you want to include. The fees can be complex, but as TPA you don’t want to send your clients 5 or 6 invoices each billing cycle. One single invoice simplifies payments and ensures the items that need to be billed and invoiced for can be easily managed.
But without automating this, TPAs often manage complex fee schedules in Excel, apply it to the active participant count or other activity in the benefits administration platform, and manually type it into Quickbooks – and hope that it’s correct. Without key integrations and automation, billing and invoicing can seriously bog down your workflow.
A manual process may become time-consuming and difficult to maintain the high accuracy and customization needed to serve your brokers best. Below, we’ve broken down how most TPAs provide consolidated billing and invoicing today, why current common methods may add unnecessary challenges, and what innovative solutions TPAs can embrace to develop a faster, more accurate workflow.
How do most TPAs provide a singular invoice to their employers and brokers today?
Many TPAs today manually build a consolidated bill and invoice, a time-consuming process that requires thorough attention to avoid errors. Taking data from their benefits administration platforms and homegrown systems, they use Excel or Access to compile the billing information manually. Many TPAs use accounting software like QuickBooks Online, Quickbooks Desktop, or Oracle Netsuite Cloud, but these programs don’t integrate with their benefits administration platform like Alegeus or WEX Health.
This means TPAs are left with two choices: get the data manually from Alegeus or WEX Health before running the calculations and putting them into Quickbooks, or simplifying their billing and not get paid for all their services. In the world of thin margins, we know that’s not a good approach. For example, TPAs may use a base billing fee for employees, then manually enter every adjustment needed to make their billing accurately reflect the unique circumstances and payment required from each individual employee like reimbursements, adjustments, COBRA fees, and more.
Disadvantages of a Manual Consolidated Billing Approach
Though manual consolidated billing and invoicing may be a common current practice, it’s neither the most efficient nor most effective. Manual billing requires a high amount of attention to ensure the consolidated bills and invoices you provide are error-free. This forces TPAs to devote a large portion of their time to the billing and invoicing process — up to 40 or more hours per month, in some cases. Time is valuable. Any moment spent manually executing tasks that could be done more efficiently and accurately with the right software is time TPAs are unable to spend winning new clients or delivering meaningful, valuable aid to their current clients.
The common current approach to generate a singular, consolidated bill can restrict TPAs from billing for every item they could, like replacement debit cards or other services in arrears. These details may be hard to keep track of or monitor adequately without a proper system in place. When items like this fall through the cracks, it weakens the service TPAs are able to provide their clients and erodes margins quickly. Providing a consolidated invoice for all services is of top importance for TPAs, and brokers often seek TPAs they can count on to provide exactly the unique information they need, which may differ from broker to broker. Manual entry without proper software and key integrations hinder a TPA’s ability to customize their offering to the needs of their client.
In order to win more referrals and business from brokers, TPAs must be prepared to efficiently deliver high-quality, white-glove service and custom invoices that include every detail the broker requests, and these invoices often need a different level of detail than the employer. This requires the right tool that can enable you to do the work quickly, accurately, and confidently.
The Automated Singular Bill and Invoice Solution: TPA Stream’s Employer Invoicing
TPA Stream’s Employer Invoicing platform eliminates the need for complicated, time-consuming manual creation of invoices and replaces the outdated process with an innovative, automated approach that minimizes your effort and maximizes the value you deliver to your employers and brokers. Key integrations within the platform allow you to seamlessly connect your benefits administration platform to your preferred accounting software, including the following:
These streamlined connections allow you to easily compile critical information from both platforms and ensure you easily have the data you need without unnecessary manual effort.
In mere minutes you can generate a comprehensive consolidated bill or invoice that includes every item you need to bill for, eliminating the risk of lost money with manual methods. This push-button tool generates bills and invoices that can be emailed or downloaded and printed for clients right when you need it.
Serve Your Clients with Better Employer Invoicing
Reducing the time you spend manually generating a consolidated bill or invoice saves you costs in time and labor, and the time you get back when you shift to an automated system allows you to dedicate your efforts to your clients instead, both new and existing.
When you’re in the Request for Proposal (RFP) phase, using Employer Invoicing will help you win more new clients because you’re able to offer a wide variety of desirable features within your consolidated invoicing solutions, including commission reports and NACHA payment files. You’ll be able to align your fees to the needs of your client,
you can easily consolidate invoices from disparate sources, enabling you to deliver a higher level of service in order to meet their unique needs. TPA Stream’s Employer Invoicing even allows for divisional billing for multiple locations and divisions within a client company.
For your existing clients and brokers, using Employer Invoicing enables the service you can provide and boosts their customer experience, encouraging them to happily remain your clients. Employer Invoicing allows you to bill for more services, from debit card replacements to run-out periods to employee additions, removals, and more. For brokers, you can be even more flexible and responsive to their requests without exerting any added effort on your part. The ease and efficiency with which you can customize your offerings to suit their precise needs will help you become the TPA of record for even more of their employer groups.
For Accurate and Effortless Consolidated Bill and Invoice Creation, Choose TPA Stream
Bottom line: consolidated billing and invoicing doesn’t have to be hard. With the right technology, you can transform your current practice into a high-speed, highly accurate process that enables you to better serve your brokers and clients without slow manual management.
For more accurate and efficient consolidated billing and invoicing that seamlessly connect your current platforms and streamline your process, contact our team today to learn more about TPA Stream’s Employer Invoicing or request a demo.