Microsoft Billing is disabled – export the customer data before it disappears forever

Microsoft has decided to end the Invoicing app in Office 365 in 2020. If you act quickly, you can save your customer data and import it into your replacement application.

Image: AndreyPopov, Getty Images / iStockphoto

Although issuing invoices is a fundamental part of the daily activities of every company, many startups and small businesses do not plan it as they should. Following customers and how much they owe for products and services must be a priority, not a side issue.

Digitization and cloud computing have provided new billing options to businesses, especially small businesses and freelancers. With cloud-based applications, for example, companies can invoice and receive payments using only their smartphones. Microsoft added such a billing app to the Office 365 productivity suite in 2017. But apparently that application has not aroused the interest of the user and is planned for retirement in early 2020.

SEE: Microsoft Ignite 2019: Azure Arc, HoloLens 2, Edge, Quantum and Teams (TechRepublic Premium)

Export Microsoft Billing customer data before they are gone

Microsoft announced in early November 2019 (Figure A) that the Billing app, which was part of the Office 365 Business Premium edition, will be discontinued on February 8, 2020 and removed from the productivity suite. If users want to save invoices and customer data from the application before they are lost, they will have to download manually.

Figure A

Figure A

The retirement of the Microsoft Billing app is a bit surprising, as the company put a lot of time and effort into promoting the Office 365 Business Center in 2017. This feature, housed in Office 365, would be a one-stop shop for much needed small business activities such as email marketing, service lists, website development and billing. Microsoft seems to have done its utmost to emphasize those functions now.

To start the export process for Microsoft invoices, log on to Office365 with an account with administrator rights, and then click the Export link in the warning message at the top of the screen (Figure A). After an additional warning for the app’s impending retirement, click the Export button to go to the screen that appears in Figure B, where the system asks for an e-mail address.

Figure B

Figure B

Click OK after you have entered the correct e-mail address. When the export of an Excel .CSV file is complete, click OK again and close the export function.

As you can see in Figure C, the .CSV file is a simple database that is formatted in a comma separated table with the usual relevant information: customer number, name, email address, physical address, etc.

Figure C

Figure C

In theory, customer and invoice information saved in this way can be uploaded or imported into a new invoice application.

Potential new billing applications

There are dozens of replacement billing applications, and which one your small business chooses is likely to be determined by how many functions you want your service to perform.
The most obvious choice is probably QuickBooks, which contains not only a billing module, but just about all the other accounting tools that a small company could ask for. The cheapest QuickBooks edition is called Simple Start, with a monthly subscription price of $ 25.
A popular cloud-based solution is FreshBooks, which also includes a billing module, along with a complete accounting system. The Lite edition of FreshBooks costs $ 15 per month.
Another complete cloud-based accounting solution is Wave. In particular, this service has a different approach to pricing. Wave services, including billing, can be used free of charge. However, the company does charge a fee each time you use the service to collect or make an electronic payment, or when you use the payroll services.

If you are looking for a stand-alone billing app, consider Zoho Invoicing. The basic level of the application can be used free of charge for up to five customers. If you invoice more than five customers, you go to the next level, which costs $ 9 a month.

Whichever alternative service you choose to replace Microsoft Billing, you must be able to import the .CSV file with your downloaded customer data using the application’s built-in tools.

Weekly newsletter from Microsoft

Be Microsoft’s insider for your business with the help of these Windows and Office tutorials and the analyzes of our experts on Microsoft business products.
Delivered on Monday and Wednesday

Register today

Also see

Follow AsumeTech on

More From Category

More Stories Today

Leave a Reply