What happens in Subscription Analytics when I switch billing systems?

Switching billing systems is a common business practice. Many of our customers have done it, and we’ve even done it ourselves. In this article, we outline what happens in Subscription Analytics during a billing system switch, how it impacts your data, and the steps to fix any imperfections in your metrics.

Here’s what we cover in this article:

Before you begin

For ChartMogul accounts created before May 21, 2024, add an automation to merge duplicate customer records. For ChartMogul accounts created on or after May 21, 2024, ChartMogul automatically merges duplicate customers. Learn more.

What happens in ChartMogul during a billing system switch

The exact configuration of settings in your billing system or data settings may impact your data and metrics differently.

When you add your new billing system as a source and import subscription data, you’ll notice the following changes in ChartMogul:

  • Duplicate customer records — For ChartMogul accounts created before May 21, 2024, ChartMogul imports customers from two billing systems and reports them in two sources — creating duplicate customer records (even when customers have the same email address or external ID). For ChartMogul accounts created on or after May 21, 2024, ChartMogul automatically merges customers. Learn more.
  • Multiple sources — It’s recommended to keep your old billing system as a source to retain customer invoice and subscription history. For example, let’s say you have a customer who started a subscription in September 2019 in Stripe and your business migrates to Chargebee in June 2022. The customer will be reported as New Business from Chargebee in June 2022 and if the Stripe source is deleted, their subscription history will be lost.
  • Inflated MRR and subscriber metrics — ChartMogul creates a large number of New Business and Churn movements when a new source is added.

Understanding the data

To visualize how a billing system switch impacts your metrics in ChartMogul, let’s look at the MRR chart and customer list.

MRR Chart

  1. Navigate to Monthly Recurring Revenue.
  2. Click Add Filter.
  3. Select Source > is one of > select your old billing system > click Add.
  4. Click New Segment and repeat step 3, selecting your new billing system.

Your chart will show a decrease in MRR from your old billing system, and an increase in MRR from your new billing system.
Screenshot of the Monthly Recurring Revenue segmented by billing system. At the time when the billing systems were switched, the graph shows a decrease in MRR from the old billing system and an increase in MRR from the new billing system.

Customer List

  1. Navigate to Customers.
  2. Click the Customer column header to sort the list by name to easily view duplicate customer records.
    Screenshot of a customer list sorted by the Customer column.
  3. Click Edit Columns and select Source Name:
    Screenshot of the Edit Columns drop-down with the Source Name option selected.
  4. Now, you can clearly see which source each customer is from and their current subscription status.
    Screenshot of the same customer list with the Source Name column displayed.

Cleaning your metrics

To have your customer and subscription metrics reported accurately in ChartMogul, merge duplicate customers and connect their subscriptions.

Merge duplicate customers

Merging customers is permanent and cannot be undone.

Follow the steps below to merge customers manually through the ChartMogul interface. Customers can also be merged with the API or using automation.

Merge duplicate customers so all of their subscriptions, attributes, and transactions are in the same record.

Let’s look at Cindy as an example. Cindy now has a record from the original source and the new source. She also contributes to churn events and new business events on the charts.

The following happens when merging customer records:

  • The merged customer will have the UUID, email address, and location of the customer that they are being merged into.
  • Both customers’ external IDs, tags, opportunities, tasks, emails, call logs, and notes will be preserved.
  • Subscriptions, MRR movements, and transactions will be collated and ordered by date.
  • If the same custom field exists on the customer record that you are merging into, the field value of the target customer will be preserved, and the one from the source customer will be lost.

This is Cindy’s original record:

Screenshot of the header of Cindy LaPiage’s customer record in the original billing system with net payments of 80 dollars and ‘Cancelled’ customer status.

This is Cindy’s new record:

Screenshot of the header of Cindy LaPiage’s customer record in the new billing system with net payments of 30 dollars, ‘2 months ago’ under ‘Subscriber since’, and ‘Active’ customer status.

Cindy has more data in the second record, so we’ll merge the first record into the second record.

  1. Navigate to the record with less data or older data that should be updated.
  2. Click Merge.
  3. Choose the customer you want to merge into. ChartMogul provides suggestions based on email or external ID. If you don’t find a match, you can also search.
  4. Select the customer and click Next.
    Screenshot of the Merge Customers dialog with customers from two different billing systems selected under ‘Customer to merge’ and ‘Customer to merge into’. The Next button is highlighted.
  5. Check the details and then click Confirm and Merge.

We now have one record for Cindy, will all of her details including:

  • The external IDs from the old and new sources.
  • A merged-customer tag.
  • The Subscriber since date from her first subscription.
  • A record of her net payments.

Screenshot of the header of Cindy LaPiage’s merged customer record with net payments of 110 dollars, ‘9 months ago’ under ‘Subscriber since’, and ‘Active’ customer status.

Screenshot of the customer record’s Tags section showing two billing systems in the Sources row.

Screenshot of the customer record’s Tags section showing a tag named ‘merged-customer’.

The record contains her entire subscription and transaction history from both records:

Screenshot of the Monthly Recurring Revenue chart and Subscriptions table showing two subscriptions: one active from the new billing system, and one canceled from the original billing system.

Connecting Subscriptions

When the old and new customer records have been merged, the customer will still have two subscriptions, one churn movement, and one reactivation movement.

With everything in one record, use the data editing tools to connect the two subscriptions and remove the false churn and reactivation movements.

You can only connect a canceled subscription to an active subscription and subscriptions paid for in the same currency. Make sure that all of the subscriptions are canceled in the old source to proceed.

  1. In the customer record, scroll down to Monthly Recurring Revenue and click Connect Subscriptions.
    Screenshot of the Monthly Recurring Revenue chart showing two subscriptions. The Connect Subscriptions link is highlighted.
  2. Click both subscription lines.
    Screenshot of the Monthly Recurring Revenue chart with both subscription lines selected.
  3. Click Connect.
    Screenshot of the Monthly Recurring Revenue chart with only one connected subscription.

With the subscriptions connected, the false churn and reactivation events have been removed.

Before connecting subscriptions, Cindy has two subscriptions: one Active and one Cancelled. Her MRR movements are reported as a New Business movement from the original billing system, an Expansion movement from the new billing system, and a Churn movement from the original billing system.

Screenshot of the Subscriptions section showing one subscription from the original billing system and one subscription from the new billing system. The MRR Movements table below contains information about purchasing and canceling a plan in the original billing system and about adding a second plan in the new billing system.

After connecting subscriptions, Cindy has one subscription and one MRR movement.

Screenshot of the Subscriptions section showing one merged subscription in the new billing system. The MRR Movements table below only contains information about purchasing one plan.

Connecting subscriptions can be done in app or programmatically with the API. Learn more about connecting subscriptions programmatically.

Please contact support if you need further assistance.

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