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What is transactional billing?

13 May 2004

What transactional billing is
Fundamentally transactional billing means that one is charged only for each transaction performed. This means that whether or not users use the software they no longer pay a fixed monthly rental. When Bonds and Transfers are not being captured, no fee is charged. So underperforming staff and personnel on leave no longer contribute to unprofitable overheads.


In your own words


"I also think it is about time the public are brought up to speed with the time, effort
and work that goes
into being a conveyancer.
"

Sarah

In: Misconceptions about conveyancers



It is allowed
Transactional billing has been used for a number of years in Canada and now, following a ruling by the Law Society of South Africa, it is a reality in South Africa as well. This is largely due to the fact that, with transactional billing, conveyancers are able to account for every bond and transfer captured on behalf of clients. Such costs and the reasonable handling fee may then be passed on to the client in addition to the transaction cost.

Transactional billings' benefits
The advantages and benefits to conveyancing professionals are clear:
  • Transaction charges can be disbursed to the end-client, so the use of the software is effectively free of charge for attorneys.
  • Firms may add a small administrative fee for this service, thereby increasing their recovery from clients.
  • Billing covers the use of all GhostWare applications at no additional charge. So users enjoy the benefits of having an electronic diary/process management system in addition to the generation of accurate conveyancing documents.
  • It applies to any number of workstations, including those of temporary staff, junior conveyancing secretaries, etc.
  • The firm pays only for transactions completed, so idle workstations no longer constitute a costly overhead.
  • Overall, it's more equitable and transparent for all concerned.
  • Most importantly, small conveyancers who previously could not afford the software because they did few property transfers and bond applications, now have this avenue open to them.
How does transactional billing differ from the monthly rental option?
Radically, for conveyancers. First, conveyancers do not pay for the software but their clients, who do, enjoy its direct benefits and greater savings.

Secondly, whereas with monthly rentals firms pay for the use of the software per workstation in advance, with transactional billing users are billed only for Bonds and Transfers actually captured during the past month. This is in line with other "system" disbursements such as bank electronic instruction charges, and the charge levied by the Deeds Office for a title deed copy.

Interestingly, while transactional billing might seem to us now to be at the vanguard of billing methods, it is still a long way from the implementation of the practice of "Utility computing". Here, instead of paying for a licence to use software on a per server or per user basis, the customer will pay by the hour, day or month, depending on the computing resources used - sort of computing on tap.

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