Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 09:59

By Lisa Lang, Senior VP of Marketing, Bill.com

Bill.com

We’re celebrating “Labor Less Day” here on the cloud, because for the new generation of “No Check” CEOs, the cloud provides so many ways to get more accomplished with less labor and lower cost than ever before.

By replacing file cabinets full of paper documents and hard drives full of application programs with electronic documents and software services in the cloud, these business leaders have eliminated time-consuming, paper-based processes almost everywhere in their businesses. Join them, and you too can enjoy all the following advantages, all year around:

Labor-less at the office. “No Check” CEOs aren’t tied to their offices, but free to manage their companies from wherever they need to be, with instant, real-time access to their business and financial data from anywhere, 24 hours a day.

Labor-less bill payment. They simply scan, fax or email bills and associated documents to a cloud-based service, manage the approval process online, and make payments electronically, eliminating hassles and reducing overhead.

Labor-less receivables. “No Check” businesses rake in their receivables 2-3 times faster, thanks to e-invoicing, automatic reminders, and online customer payments deposited directly into their bank accounts.

Labor-less cash flow control. “No Check” CEOs and CFOs get precision control over cash flow, by projecting receivables, payables and balances up to three months out, revealing potential problems well in advance.

Labor-less fraud protection. Unlike checks, electronic payments can’t be stolen or modified. And unlike paper documents, electronic data can be protected with enterprise-level security systems.

Labor-less filing and storage. Some “No Check” businesses don’t even have file cabinets, because everything is digitized and stored online for secure access from anywhere, any time — eliminating the costs of saving and storing paper receipts, purchase orders, contracts, check stock or paper invoices.

Labor-less cost controls. Eliminating paper not only reduces processing costs for payables and receivables, digital access enables better cost controls through improved visibility. Getting rid of time-consuming paper-based processes also increases productivity for everyone.

Labor-less collaboration. Having everything at your fingertips means it’s easy to collaborate from wherever you may be — with customers, partners or co-workers back at the ranch. You’re able to make important decisions, finalize key contracts and work effectively with your team no matter where you are.

Ready to start celebrating “Labor Less Day” every first Monday in September from now on? It’s as simple as moving your business processes from the manual, paper-based world to the cloud, via services such as Bill.com.

Would you like to automate your time-consuming, paper-based manual processes by moving them to the cloud? Try Bill.com with no risk today or watch a short demo.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 13:54

PALO ALTO, Calif.— August 30, 2013 — Bill.com, the leader in integrated bill payment, invoicing and cash flow management solutions for businesses, today released a survey revealing the three barriers that are keeping the franchise industry from reaching its true potential.  Bill.com surveyed 460 owners and finance leaders of franchises to discover what were the top issues facing the franchise industry today. Respondents identified three major obstacles to growth:

  • managing and controlling costs;
  • accurately anticipating cash flow; and
  • suffering day-to-day distractions from long-term goals.

Read the entire release.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 13:50

Bill.com, the leader in integrated bill payment, invoicing and cash flow management solutions for businesses, today announced that its unique customizable entitlements are empowering banks to offer small businesses unprecedented security and control.  Businesses can finally define the roles and permissions that govern who has access to specific information and functions in their organizations, rather than simply assign roles within the confines of systems built with consumers rather than businesses in mind.

“This is a totally new way of looking at entitlements.  A bank can offer small business owners a way to delegate cash flow management functions at a more granular level,” said Donna Arce, Managing Director of the Business Internet Banking Program, Barlow Research. “Offering a wide range of entitlement capabilities not only provides for tighter levels of control, it empowers the customer to manage their finances in a way that works best for them and their business.”

Read the entire release.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 13:29

You may have noticed our recent posts on how you and your business can keep moving forward while employees, vendors and partners skip out of the office for a summer break. And then suddenly, we're here. It's Labor Day weekend, which means more than putting away your white pants and sending your kids back to school. It's a last chance for an escape before everyone jumps into the frenzy of fall.

We want to celebrate the awesome summer adventures you’ve had and how the power of automation and the cloud helped you enjoy them. So we put together a Facebook contest where you can show off how you breezed through the summer doldrums and stepped out of the office.

Bills on Vacation is a contest where you get to show us the fantastic locations you were when you checked in remotely and kept your business buzzing without stopping your vacation stride. Show us where you paid a bill or where you were when you wished you could have checked in on your business finances. You know the power of automation and the cloud - show us how and where you use it!

You don't have to be a Bill.com customer to enter. You don't need to be a professional photographer. Share your summer adventures with us and you could win one of our awesome prizes:

(1) Grand Prize: GoPro Hero 3

(4) $50 REI gift cards.

The contest ends September 9th at midnight Pacific so don't delay in entering! Enter online.

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Friday, August 23, 2013 - 14:12

By René Lacerte, CEO and Founder, Bill.com

Rene Lacerte Bill.com

We are now, without a doubt, officially in the dog days of summer. It is that period when the days are sultry, fireflies dot the night sky…and a return to reality (otherwise known as the fall) is knocking at your door.

When I looked up the definition of dog days, I was interested to find that in addition to being defined as those hot months between July and September, it had a second definition as a time of stagnation.

If you think about it, August is the kind of month where things seem to move a bit slower. Traffic is lighter during commute hours. You have a 50/50 chance of getting an out-of-office vacation bounceback on any email you send. And forget about getting anyone to answer the phone. It does indeed feel sometimes like nobody is doing anything. Just think, much of Europe is taking a break right now.

But, if you observe closer, you’ll find more and more people working.  There are folks on the beach with their phones or mobile devices. You’ll see someone typing on her iPad for a moment at the corner café, before greeting her husband for lunch. You will see a dad at a baseball game taking a picture then clicking on something else for just a moment before rejoining the crowd.

What are all these folks doing? It’s simple: They are working. While slowing down and enjoying the green grass and blue sky, they are also taking advantage of the power of the cloud to keep their businesses humming, making business decisions and managing cash flow from wherever the summer has taken them.

I’m happy to report that I too have been able to take some time to enjoy with my family during these dog days. And I did so without worry because I knew that every invoice, every document, every piece of information I might need, was right there within reach on my mobile device. There were no frantic last days at the office, no late nights trying to make sure everything was wrapped up—because there was no need to wrap anything up. Business could keep humming along no matter where I was. And that peace of mind, that security that things were fine, made vacation sweeter than ever before.

And one more added bonus of being able to keep things moving at the office even when you are on the road: there is no horrible post-vacation entry back into work. The reality is that conducting business will never be a vacation. But, when you harness the power of the Cloud and make your data as mobile as you are, it can feel as easy as a summer breeze.

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Friday, August 16, 2013 - 14:10

This content originally appeared on the Advisor blog

Bill.com Vijay, Sandeep Pingpong ChampionsOn the evening of Wednesday, August 14th, Advisor presented its annual Summer Ping Pong Tournament at Runway in the Twitter Building. The event was generously co-sponsored by Xero, and featured more than 150 players and bystanders.

A total of 30 teams from 23 companies competed for fame and glory, with the knowledge that only one team would prevail. The stakes couldn’t have been higher with so much on the line — bragging rights, a gleaming trophy, and the opportunity to take home a ping pong table. This was a doubles tournament, so teams played matches in pairs using a single elimination format.

Early standouts among the competitors were teams from Ribbon, Tapfame, SET.tv, Back to the Roots, Rally.org, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Bill.com. These companies advanced early, with impressive wins in the first two rounds. As the night progressed, more and more teams were eliminated until only four were left fighting for glory: SVB, Bill.com, Tapfame, and SET.tv all advanced to the semi-finals.

With SVB and SET.tv coming up just shy of the championship game, the stage was set for the final showdown between Bill.com and Tapfame. In a hard-fought best of three series, Bill.com ultimately defeated Tapfame, as spectators screamed wildly in the background. The talented winners from Bill.com were Sandeep Pyapali and Vijay Raghuraman.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 10:35

By Mark Orttung, President and COO, Bill.com

bill.com

Today, we released the results of our most recent survey of the always-growing Bill.com accountant community. We were pleased to discover that 93 percent of the respondents already work remotely and there is a strong desire among respondents to go completely paperless. Indeed, 63 percent of respondents identified themselves as mostly paperless whereas almost 18 percent had already achieved a fully paperless environment.  This is a really exciting development in a profession once was chained to their desk, and a great validation of what Bill.com is trying to achieve.

I think industry guru Doug Sleeter said it best:

“This survey tells a very clear picture — working remotely is the new normal and people want the flexibility of managing payments in the cloud,” said Doug Sleeter, Founder and President, The Sleeter Group. “Going paperless is a key driver for all these systems. Combining paperless documents with cloud-based payment solutions not only saves time, but it also saves money, improves accuracy, and increases collaboration between accountants and their clients.”

The survey questioned Bill.com accountant customers from both large and small firms.  The desire to go paperless was given as the most important factor in an accounting firm’s decision to adopt Bill.com as its integrated bill payment solution. A close second was time savings. Firms also liked the ability to share responsibility with clients for the payment work flows. Respondents found that before going paperless they managed accounts payable and accounts receivable inefficiently, struggling with manual processes and paper checks. Today, respondents find that they save time and money every month by using Bill.com.

The power of being paperless is truly making a difference for accountants, as they and their clients join our “No Check” CEO movement. “No Check” CEOs are a cadre of business and financial leaders using game-changing technology to replace time-consuming paper processes with fast, efficient cloud-based systems everywhere in their businesses. The accountants, their staff and their clients can pay bills, send invoices and reminders, handle approvals, manage documents, and manage cash flow from anywhere at any time. And they’re not only eliminating checks – they’re eliminating paper wherever they can — throughout their organizations — resulting in great savings in time and money. More information on Bill.com's solution for accountants.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 08:01

Bill.com and AIAS

Bill.com, the leader in integrated bill payment, invoicing and cash flow management solutions for businesses, today announced that it will offer a free webinar for nonprofits’ financial leaders, “Skeptical About Going Paperless? Ask Me Anything” on Thursday, August 22nd, at 10 a.m. PT. Registration is currently available at cashflow.bill.com/PaperlessNPO082213.html.

Read more.

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Friday, August 9, 2013 - 14:41

By Mark Orttung, President and COO

Bill.com authentication

Last week, Bill.com announced another milestone in our commitment to banks. We are now empowering them to bring security to small and medium business customers via the smartest, least invasive authentication method on the market today. We recognize there is nothing more important for both banks and small businesses than powerful security and tight, clearly defined financial controls. And we are committed to helping banks earn the trust of SMBs by enabling them to serve these businesses in ways never before possible.

Our two-step method is unique because it fits seamlessly into the business process of SMBs.  Like everything we do at Bill.com, we started with the business process in mind. SMB payables and receivables processes span a wide range of activities including contracts, invoices or bills, collaboration around whether to pay an invoice, secure payments, detailed remittance information, and integration to the accounting software.  Bill.com’s security is the only approach which takes this whole process into consideration and intelligently monitors activities at every step along the way.  When an activity doesn’t make sense in the process, the user is prompted for additional verification. This is making it easier than ever for banks to better serve their small business customers and for small businesses to finally be able to embrace online banking with full confidence.

As with all of our bank-ready solutions, we offer the solution in two ways.  The first allows a bank to get to market quickly with world-class security.  If a bank wants to deploy quickly, they can leverage Bill.com’s approach to multi-factor authentication, which requires no development effort for the bank and makes life simple for the SMB.  The user only needs to have a mobile or land line phone and the authentication can be used.  The second allows the bank to seamlessly integrate this approach with their existing multi-factor infrastructure.  With the Bill.com Banking Platform, the bank can integrate directly to their existing multi-factor authentication infrastructure.  This allows the bank to continue to deliver its branded solution with a common infrastructure for its clients.

With Bill.com, banks can offer small businesses one more reason to trust all of their business needs to their bank. And stay tuned because we have many more features specifically designed with banks in mind that will be announced in the coming months.
 

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Friday, August 2, 2013 - 10:00

The following is an excerpt from SIIA's Deciphering Finance, a publication cataloging finance strategies and best practices. The goal of the book is to provide solid guidance to help finance executives understand how these new technology trends can benefit finance departments by tapping into the minds of SIIA member executives. Originally posted July 22, 2013.

By René Lacerte, CEO and Founder

Image of Rene Lacerte Bill.com

In today’s high-pressure economic climate, CFOs and other financial managers are aggressively searching for ways to save money, maximize efficiency, and drive growth. Increasingly, cloud- based financial tools are emerging as a solution that can help them accomplish their daily tasks more efficiently while improving their cash flow management and visibility.

Yet, while most CFOs are aware that other departments are moving to cloud-based solutions, early adopters are just becoming aware that tools exist for the finance department according to a survey we recently completed of more than 350 CFOs. As a result, many CFOs remain stuck in the past, continuing to rely on paper-based processes and Excel spreadsheets to do their work.

While CFOs in general were familiar with the cloud, most were not yet aware that new products were emerging in this space, created specifically to serve their needs. As a result, paper- based manual processes and static spreadsheets remain the standard tools for many financial executives, and managing cash flow continues to be an imprecise, time-consuming task. When asked what system they currently use to predict future cash flow, 72.9% of respondents said they still use their old Excel spreadsheets, 8.5% use an ERP system, and 8.3% said they just do the calculations in their head. The remaining 10.3% said they don’t use any tools at all.

CFOs’ frustration with this status quo was clearly expressed in our survey. When asked to name the top three challenges faced by CFOs today, respondents cited the inability to forecast results (51.1%) and manage cash flow (47.4%) as their most pressing concerns. These numbers indicate that financial executives could greatly benefit from tools that provide real-time visibility into the amount of money they’re paying out and taking in, at any given moment.

The survey, taken in August 2012, includes responses from CFOs and financial executives in a wide range of industries. It is one of the first to provide insight into how CFOs are thinking about cloud-based financial systems, whether they plan to implement the systems, and what they see as the advantages and disadvantages of online tools for managing tasks like accounts payable, accounts receivable, and cash flow.

Early adopters reap results, reaffirm that cash is king

Early adopters who have switched to cloud-based financial systems told Bill.com they have greatly improved both their accounts receivable and accounts payable processes. Saving money and time are significant motivating factors for companies that are considering a cloud-based system. 65.2% of survey respondents said saving dollars and hours would lead them to the cloud.

Indeed, knowing when customers will pay is the number one problem faced by finance departments on a daily basis, according to the Bill.com study. Almost 59% of respondents cited it
as a top concern. Other high-level concerns, survey respondents said, are difficulty estimating cash flow (55.7%) and slow action by those employees who are tasked with approving invoices to be paid (46.3%).

This last number comes as no surprise, given the inefficient workflows and approval processes that hobble most organizations. Financial executives have long complained about paper-based invoices and expense reports that take weeks or months to be approved because people put them aside, forget about them, or file them under a pile of other papers. As a result, bills get paid too late and cash flow forecasts grow ever more unpredictable.

The cloud can alleviate many of these problems, say CFOs who have adopted online invoicing and billing systems. For instance, online finance services enable them to better track bills and monitor the approval process. That’s because these payables tools eliminate the inefficiencies of manual processing. Instead, invoices to be paid are automatically routed to the right person for approval and prioritized for attention.

On the receivables side, finance professionals who use cloud-based tools said on average they get paid faster than they did using traditional paper systems. In addition, when asked how much it costs their Accounts Receivable organization to process and send an invoice, 38.7% of respondents said under $5 and 32.2% said $5 to $10.

In fact, the majority of respondents are likely underestimating the cost because they’re not fully factoring in the price of labor, materials, and other inputs. According to industry standards, the average cost of processing and sending an invoice is actually over $22.

However, by using the cloud, companies could reduce the cost of sending invoices, while collecting receivables
2 to 3 times faster. In terms of hard numbers, a small company sending an average of 100 invoices a month would cut their expenses from $2200 to $750 per month by using the cloud, according to separate research we conducted.

Similarly, financial executives are discovering that by putting their AP process in the cloud they can cut the work by more than half and slash the cost by 50% to over 70%, a saving that amounts to tens of thousands of dollars for many organizations. In fact, a company with an average of 100 bills a month that uses a cloud-based system can reduce costs from $3800 to $309 a month, according to industry research.

Financial executives who have adopted online systems also value the ability
to approve bills remotely, wherever they happen to be. One CFO noted that a cloud-based system unchained him from the office and allowed him to approve an important invoice from his mobile phone, while watching his child compete in a local swim meet.

Another priority that was uncovered
in the survey is that CFOs are looking to implement systems that can help their business grow. Some 43% of respondents said scalability was one of the factors that would influence them to adopt cloud-based services. Only 24.8% said scalability was not a factor, while 32.2% said they were unsure.

Another incentive for moving to the cloud is the chance to reduce the
flow of paper bills and transition to a paperless work environment. The vast majority of survey respondents (85.5%) said reducing paper was either very important or somewhat important to them. Only 14.5% said it was not important at all.

Cloud opens new horizons

There is nothing more important to CFOs than control—control over cash flow, payables, and receivables. At a moment’s notice, they need to know what the business is doing and where it’s going. They need intelligent financial systems that can accurately predict what will happen and when—systems that give them deeper insight to their cash flow and help them discern looming shortages before they happen.

In fact, when asked the one piece
of advice they’d offer as an industry expert, 31.9% of survey respondents recommended implementing business controls, while 26.8% said automating to avoid human error.

As cloud-based financial tools gain wider attention, CFOs will increasingly turn to these solutions to achieve better control, efficiency, and ROI.
For early adopters, deploying cloud-based tools will result in a significant advantage in an increasingly competitive marketplace, which will be driven by more pioneering cloud-based solutions as the cloud business payment space matures.

At Bill.com we run every aspect of our business on the Cloud, from managing our cash flow to managing our 401K program. The clarity and power that the Cloud can bring to CFOs is unprecedented and worth a thorough examination by any organization. And the time to move is now since CFOs who are transitioning to the Cloud are experiencing a first-mover advantage that can be rare in our line of work.

For more information about the latest in financial technology trends, mark your calendars for Deciphering Finance 2013,  on Dec. 4 2013.

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