Friday, March 7, 2014 - 10:45

Geraldine Cruz, Senior Director, Product Marketing

Intuit® QuickBooks® Online (QBO) is a popular tool for managing small and midsize businesses. Like many accounting systems, QBO records and tracks payments, but does not physically “move money” from one bank account to another. After all, money movement is a highly regulated business activity ― one that falls outside the core capabilities of accounting software.

So just like users of other accounting systems, QBO users must print and mail checks themselves, send electronic payment (ACH) files to their banks, or use some other service outside of QBO to initiate and complete the payments. Bill.com™ fills this critical gap by integrating seamlessly with QBO and offering a full-service payment solution.

Figure 1. Seamless integration between Quickbooks Online and Bill.com extends the accounts payable process. 

 

QBO customers can pay anyone, anytime with paper checks or ACH. Bill.com prints and mails checks, eliminates payment fraud, and offers other payment capabilities designed for businesses. All payments and transactions are synced to QuickBooks, which remains the “the record of truth” for the business.

Bill.com capabilities unmatched by any other payment solution provider include:

  • Supports both checks and ACH: Bill.com provides the flexibilty to use one solution for both checks and ACH.
  • Automates the payment process: You can pay bills without printing and mailing checks, or uploading ACH files to your banks’ systems — we do all of that for you.
  • Fully supports payments until they are delivered to recipients: You can leverage our customer support to mitigate payment issues, including voided payments, reissued payments, and credits.
  • Eliminates payment fraud: Bill.com eliminates payment fraud in two ways. First, your bank account information is never printed on checks. Second, vendors do not have to provide bank account information to customers in order to accept electronic payments, in contrast with other ACH payment services.
  • Provides full remittance information: When a user makes a payment via Bill.com, the vendor will receive an email notification, remittance number, the invoice numbers paid, and the process date. If the payment is via ACH, we also include the date the payment will be delivered to the vendor’s bank. Payments made via check will include full remittance information, the business’ contact information, any vendors credits that were applied, and an image of the first page of the bill (if only one bill is being paid). If multiple bills are paid with one check, we include a table referencing each bill, by invoice number, on the check stub.
  • Boosts vendor acceptance of ACH: The processing costs of ACH are much lower than those for checks. Yet vendors often resist ACH because of limited remittance information and security concerns from sharing bank account information with customers. Bill.com resolves both issues, spurring vendor adoption.
  • Fulfills business payment needs: In addition to full remittance information, Bill.com offers businesses of any size the payment capabilities traditionally available only to enterprise applications. Bill.com imposes no payment limits and does not require personal guarantees.
  • Provides a built-in payment approval workflow solution: Bill.com routes payment requests automatically to designated reviewers to approve. This reduces the need for a requestor to spend time chasing down approvals and can expedite turnaround time for payments.
  • Delivers a full payment audit trail: The Bill.com payment audit trail furnishes evidence of the integrity of your payment-oriented financial statements and the establishment of internal controls.

Implementation and Sync

Implementation of Bill.com, including the first sync between the application and QBO, is often accomplished within an hour. After the first sync, integration between the two applications is done in seconds, and can be set up to run automatically every 24 hours. Many customers can complete the implementation and sync themselves, but all customers have access to Bill.com Customer Support to ensure that all everyone can use the integrated applications effectively. Contact us for more information about how Bill.com can expand the power of QuickBooks Online for your business.

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Friday, February 14, 2014 - 12:20

Geraldine Cruz, Senior Director, Product Marketing

Efficiency. Productivity. Cost savings. Those are the typical benefits attributed to payment approval workflow (PAW) solutions, and they are compelling. But other reasons justify investment in a solution that routes payment requests automatically to designated reviewers to approve; and that captures the audit trail between receipt of the invoice and the ultimate payment. Consider the following benefits:

    1. REDUCE PAYMENT ERRORS: How do you ensure your business is paying only the amount it is obligated to pay against an invoice? How can you ascertain that your business has not already paid the invoice in the past? If your business is like many typical organizations without a PAW solution, your checks and payments are overseen by a set of approvers through the manual hand-off of payment documentation. But without an integrated view of product or service received and invoice, they may not catch invoices that have already been paid, and they may not reject paying the full price to a vendor that did not fully deliver a service or product. 

A fully automated PAW that provides supporting documentation for payments will alleviate these errors. When an invoice is entered into the system, it is automatically routed to designated approvers, initiating the capture of data for the payment audit trail. These approvers evaluate accompanying documentation, review comments from other approvers, request additional information to append to the payment request, and decide if this is a legitimate payment to make. Approvers can reject, approve, or approve a partial payment based on the full history and documentation supporting an invoice. 

2.  REDUCE PAYMENT FRAUD: The typical payment process is fraught with vulnerabilities to fraud. A PAW solution helps a business identify questionable payments, and the audit trail provides visibility into the actions and decisions of the participants in the approval and payment process. Payment requests that fall outside of established business rules — such as payments exceeding set limits — are flagged and treated as exceptions, making it difficult to avoid extra scrutiny. Without a doubt, fraud could happen in other steps in the in the payment process, but a PAW solution ensures that payments have undergone the appropriate level of review defined by the business. 

3.  SECURE YOUR DOCUMENTS AND RETRIEVE THEM WHEN NEEDED: Because approval requests and the associated documents are automatically routed to the individuals assigned to review a payment request, they are not left languishing on someone’s desk for passers-by to read. Nor are there instances where sensitive documents and email threads are forwarded inadvertently to individuals who do not need to be or should not be able to gain access to those documents. And when those supporting documents and approvals are needed — as in a business review or an audit —  your staff can quickly find them and answer the relevant questions. 

4.  PREPARE FOR AUDITS MORE EASILY: Your business may be subject to audits to  evaluate its compliance with regulations, ensure the integrity of financial statements, and the furnish evidence of the establishment of internal controls. The payment audit trial of a PAW solution can facilitate fulfillment of these requirements with its ability to track the history of a transaction. If or when your business is audited to demonstrate compliance with the requirements, the audit trail can furnish that you have established a system of evaluating and authorizing transactions. 

5.  CONTROL PAYMENT TIMING MORE EFFECTIVELY: With a PAW solution, you can control the timing of payments to address your business need. If you would like to expedite payments to enjoy pre-payment discounts, the automated routing process promotes speed. Visibility in the approval process can help identify and alert approvers that have not responded to an approval request, thereby accelerating turnaround time. Conversely, if you would like to optimize cash reserves by delaying payments, you can include approvers who assess the best time to issue payments. 

And to the extent that the PAW solution supports mobile devices, the supporting documents can be accessed anywhere, at any time. Approval decisions can be made quickly — without the requirements of being in the office to review paperwork or having one person retrieve and scan and email all the documents to approvers. 

NEXT STEPS

A solution to automate and streamline your payment approval workflows has more benefits than simply efficiency. An upcoming white paper published by Bill.com will highlight additional benefits and discuss features that you should consider in evaluating solutions to fit your business needs.

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Friday, January 24, 2014 - 10:10

By Geraldine Cruz, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Bill.com

Nearly $10 per check. That is what market researchers estimate to be the cost of issuing paper checks. Contrast that with the roughly $1 per transaction for electronic payments (ACH). On the surface, that difference should catapult the migration from all paper checks to ACH to the top of your business priorities. But before you do, consider three critical questions:

  1. Do these numbers reflect the costs for your business accurately?
  2. What this your true return on investment (ROI) from moving to ACH?
  3. ACH may result in the loss of remittance information. What solutions can provide the value of ACH and the remittance information available in paper checks? 

This post will delineate all the costs of operating in-house payments. Even if your business only runs some of these tasks in-house, you can use the list as a basis for quantifying your costs.  Future posts will address the ROI of moving to ACH and resolving the loss of remittance information. 

Labor Costs

Labor costs comprise the largest expense incurred from in-house payment operations. Consider all of the steps involved in a fully manual process — from check approvals to handling payment exceptions.

Click here to enlarge the image: 

 

Some factors will mitigate the steps and the associated costs. An accounting or financial system that automates approval workflows will eliminate many of the pre-check-run activities.

But other factors will exacerbate the process. For example, more approvers and more complex approval rules complicate the process. More scheduled check runs per week result in repeats of these steps. And one-off or unscheduled check runs impose further time drain on staff time.

To calculate the labor costs for your business, use the figure as a framework for identifying:

  • What are all the steps involved in your in-house process?
  • Who is involved in performing the tasks?
  • What amount of time do these individuals spend in performing these activities? 
  • What are the fully-loaded compensation costs of these staff members?

Materials, Supplies, and Postage

To run in-house payment operations, businesses incur expenses for depreciation on magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) printers and envelope stuffing and sealing machines; postage; and supplies, including highly secure check stock, MICR toner, and envelopes. 

Bank Fees

Businesses pay bank fees for issuing checks. These costs may be included as separate line items in their bank statements, or may be bundled with other charges. Businesses will also pay incremental charges for fraud protection, such as positive pay, check reconciliation services, and retrieval of transaction history and check images. All of these costs should be considered in calculating the total cost of printing checks. 

Your Homework for this Week

A quantitative decision to move to ACH or to stay with paper checks requires a full assessment of the costs of all options. Some costs are overt, such as supplies and postage; other costs are not as obvious, such as the costs to investigate and reconcile payment exceptions. Use this post as a guide to begin to quantify the full costs of your operations. =

If you would like a tool to capture the costs of your payment operations, Bill.com has developed a calculator, in spreadsheet format, that captures the costs discussed in this blog. The calculator can be used to determine ROI of moving from checks to ACH payments. Contact us for a copy. 

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Monday, June 17, 2013 - 09:10

By René Lacerte, Founder and CEO, BIll.com

In the olden days, learning a second language was a sign of sophistication. Then, as our world became smaller and companies became more global, being multilingual became a business advantage. But, more and more leaders are realizing that there is one language that it is especially critical to be fluent in if your business is to have a competitive edge. It isn’t Spanish or even Mandarin. It is cash flow.

Bill.com Cash Flow

Being fluent in cash flow means that you know what state your finances are in at any time from any place. It means that you can predict and control your cash flow with a precision never before possible. Your finances are always updated automatically and you can even project your receivables, payables and balances out for three months. This means that you are finally able to manage your cash flow rather than having it manage you. With the ability to see potential problems ahead, to make real-time adjustments as needed (no Excel spreadsheet required) and to execute no matter where you are by scheduling your transactions in advance, you are finally free to focus on the most important thing: growing your business. And this isn’t possible if your finances aren’t automated. Cash flow fluency is simply unattainable in a manual world.

The reason is simple: a spreadsheet can never come alive the way a Cloud application can. Being in the manual world is like having a pocket dictionary as your only tool. You might be able to piece words together, but they don’t add up to an understandable phrase let alone sentence. In the manual world, you are drowning in bills, paper work, slow approvals and archaic processes. It is impossible to look ahead because you are always stuck inputting what happened in the past.

The good news is that, unlike learning a new language, becoming fluent in cash flow is as easy as downloading a cloud app. And just as Shakespeare exponentially expanded the English language, cloud computing has take the language of cash flow to new levels, bringing data to life and enabling new insights never before possible.

So, come join us in the automated world. Not only will being fluent in cash flow liberate you from mundane tasks and let you finally see your finances clearly, it will also let you see the forest instead of the trees, freeing you to make good, big decisions rather than worrying about chasing down invoice approvals.

Believe me, the language of cash flow will be music to your ears.

Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 18:01

By René Lacerte, Founder and CEO

San Francisco Business Times Tech & Innovation Award

Here at Bill.com, momentum and awards continue to build. In the past few months we have been honored by industry pundits, organizations and publications with some amazing awards.  Today, I am pleased to add another award to our trophy case: We have been named a winner in the Best Business Application or Service category of the 2013 San Francisco Business Times Tech & Innovation Awards.

This award is especially meaningful to us because it isn’t easy to get recognized as the best of the best in a backyard packed with talented minds, amazing companies and innovative products. Silicon Valley is bursting at the seams with great ideas and cool new companies. We are proud to be one of them.  We are proud to be on to something revolutionary.  It is especially nice to hear that other people feel that way too.

We aren’t about flashiness at Bill.com. We are about a straightforward, practical solution to an age-old problem. By harnessing the power of the cloud, we are able to help business leaders better manage their finances, letting them free their minds to dream bigger and build better things.

We appreciate the recognition and are excited for all that is to come. And we thank you, our customers, because without your input and your enthusiasm we wouldn’t have been able to create something worthy of this award.

Thanks again—and here’s to you!

Rene Lacerte of Bill.com

You can read our press release here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013 - 21:09

Paperless 2013

Bill.com Offers Free Webinar on How to Liberate Yourself and Your Business from Paper in Less Than Seven Days. Webinar Demonstrates How You Can Focus on Strategic and Personal Priorities Instead of Minutiae By Clearing Your Desk of Paper

Bill.com announced that it will offer a free webinar on how to set you and your business paper-free in less than seven days, on Wednesday, May 22, at 1:00 p.m. PT. Registration is available now at http://cashflow.bill.com/PaperFree052213.html?medium=pr.

Eliminating papers liberates you from time-consuming processes that drain your brain and keep you stuck at your desk, giving you more time and energy to focus on strategic and personal priorities. The webinar will feature Barry Yarkoni, CEO of Vinomis Laboratories, which is growing rapidly and has been managed by paper-free offices on both coasts from day one, as well as Joel Andren, Executive Director of Paperless 2013, the paper-free initiative backed by more than 30 innovative tech companies including Bill.com.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 08:25

Bill.com's Fast-Growing Business Payments Network is Converting More Than 40% of Customer Payments to ACH

Bill.com is the Only Company Helping SMBs Change Their Check Payments to ACH By Automating the End-to-End Cash Flow Management Process

PALO ALTO, Calif.— April 25, 2013 — Bill.com, the leader in integrated bill payment, invoicing and cash flow management solutions for businesses, today announced that it is converting more than 40 percent of customers payments from check to ACH, meaning Bill.com is the only company making ACH—commonly known as ePayments—adoption a reality for small to medium sized businesses (SMBs). Bill.com is achieving this feat by going beyond single ACH transactions and automating the end-to-end cash flow management process, connecting people, documents, payments and accounting systems.

Today, more than 80% of transactions between U.S. small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) involve paper invoices, paper checks, or manual reconciliation, resulting in costly inefficiencies and errors.  Bill.com is turning this paradigm on its ear. Bill.com is the first platform to digitize the whole process, integrating electronic payments seamlessly with accounting software and digital documents.  

Read More

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 21:56

DeepSky

Webinar Features Results from an Exclusive New Survey of CEOs and Finance Leaders
Now Using Mobile Devices For Financial Transactions

PALO ALTO, CALIF.— March 21, 2013 — Bill.com, the leader in integrated bill payment, invoicing and cash flow management solutions for businesses, today announced that it will discuss why CEOs and CFOs are increasingly running their cloud-based businesses via their tablets and smart phones in a free webinar, “Top Seven Reasons to Be a ‘Remote Control’ CEO,” on Monday, March 25th, at 1 p.m. PT. Registration is available now at http://cashflow.bill.com/MobileSurveyResults_032513.html.  

The webinar will feature Michael Hsu, CEO of DeepSky, which offers outsourced accounting services for entrepreneurs in the services industries. Hsu himself has built his entire business around his virtual, paperless team of accountants. He has never written a paper check for his business. Hsu and other “No Check” CEOs represent a new generation of leaders who are using game-changing technology to replace time-consuming paper processes with fast, efficient cloud-based systems everywhere in their businesses. These “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.

Moderated by Bill.com Founder and CEO René Lacerte, the webinar will explore:

  • results from an exclusive new survey of 336 CEOs and finance leaders now using mobile devices for financial transactions;
  • how to “lose the paper” and make huge productivity gains;
  • why the rapid shift to remote control keeps accelerating;
  • how to dramatically reduce overhead and operating costs;
  • how pioneering “Remote Control” CEOs and finance leaders plan to use mobile in the future; and
  • what happens to businesses that don’t make the shift.

“As more and more businesses move to the ‘No Check’ CEO paradigm, having the ability to effectively manage all aspects of cash flow from anywhere at any time will be increasingly important,” said René Lacerte, Bill.com Founder and CEO. “Bill.com was created to make this movement a reality, and we look forward to helping finance leaders unchain themselves from their desks through this informative webinar.”

Bill.com delivers a complete web-based financial solution for businesses and accountants that provides the tools, information, and collaboration required to better manage their financial tasks and optimize cash flow. Bill.com's game-changing technology allows users to access online bill payments, e-invoicing, document management, and automated workflow through one easy system. In addition to seamlessly integrating with businesses' existing accounting software programs, Bill.com provides financial leaders with a comprehensive view of their cash forecast - making it the only solution that connects a user's banks, bookkeeping, and business. 

About Bill.com
Bill.com is a cash flow command and control system that manages accounts payable and receivable for businesses of all sizes. Offering online bill pay, custom invoicing services, unlimited document storage, collaboration tools, and mobile access, Bill.com's services easily sync to users' accounting software programs and online bank accounts to better control company financials. Bill.com guards against errors and employs enterprise-class fraud protections that current methods cannot match. More than 100,000 users are now getting paid and paying millions of bills, worth billions of dollars, using Bill.com. Financial institutions can now offer these benefits to their business customers by integrating Bill.com with their banking platform. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 11:02

Back by Popular Demand, Webinar Replay Helps Franchise Owners Use the Cloud

to Transform Their Operations, Make More Money

FiveGuysLogo2PALO ALTO, CALIF.— Dec. 19, 2012 — Bill.com, the leader in integrated bill payment, invoicing and cash management solutions for businesses, today announced that it will offer franchise owners five steps to grow their franchises by five times in a replay of a free webinar on Thursday, December 20, at 11 a.m. PT. Registration is available now at http://cashflow.bill.com/5Steps_122012.html.

This webinar will discuss how cloud computing can help franchise owners use breakthrough cloud technology to transform their operations and make more money. The webinar will feature Peter Biro, multi-unit owner of Five Guys Burgers and Fries and former owner of Naked Pizza stores, who will explain how he uses automated systems to grow businesses without adding any overhead while saving tens of thousands of dollars annually.

Packed with actionable data and useful insights, the webinar will cover how to:

  • grow franchise operations;
  • keep overhead under control;
  • reduce paperwork to the bare minimum; and
  • create a cash flow management process that scales.

“Given their geographically dispersed locations, franchises are often victim to unnecessary overhead and paperwork confusion,” said René Lacerte, founder and CEO of Bill.com. “We look forward to sharing some ideas on how deploying a cloud-based solution can not only simplify but improve franchises’ business.”

Bill.com delivers a complete web-based financial solution for businesses and accountants that provides the tools, information, and collaboration required to better manage their financial tasks and optimize cash flow. Bill.com's game-changing technology digitizes a historically paper-based and time-consuming process, allowing users to access online bill payments, e-invoicing, document management, and automated workflow through one easy system. In addition to seamlessly integrating with businesses' existing accounting software programs, Bill.com provides financial leaders with a comprehensive view of their cash forecast - making it the only solution that connects a user's banks, bookkeeping, and business.

 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - 08:50

CEO_inside_6Last week was a big week at Bill.com. We have made many great technological advancements in this past year, but our next-generation application platform is perhaps one of our biggest leaps forward. For the first time, we are moving beyond accounting software by offering open APIs that enable developers to natively integrate applications ranging from expense management solution to complete CRM systems with our platform. This is great news for our customers because it means that they can finally have a complete view of all the business processes at work in their companies, empowering them to make decisions quickly and accurately based on real-time data.

It is also great news for the developer community because this is a chance for them to serve an entirely new customer base.  OneSaas has already used our open APIs successfully to build the new Xero integration, for example, and they have much more in store. And it is easy to get started and join the community. Developers just need to visit http://developer.bill.com to download a free kit that will help them easily write to the Bill.com platform using JSON, the easiest, most lightweight data model available.

Alex Williams from TechCrunch wrote about our new platform last week and his article, “Bill.com Opens The Data Behind the Business Transaction With A New Application Powered By Open APIs,” is worth a read because I think he makes clear exactly what we are trying to do with this platform—bring our users more information so they can access data and make transactions in real-time while bringing developers a whole new audience. 

There is one passage from Alex’s article that is especially reflective of what we are trying to achieve:

“Bill.com is a modern data workflow company that is building pipes to filter the great pools of data that, until recently, have largely been cemented in spreadsheets, invoices, etc….Some compare data to oil and the pipes that are used to turn it into any imaginable kind of product that can be produced in a data factory. That’s how I view Bill.com and the ecosystem it is helping to develop.”

We look forward to building our ecosystem with th e developer community. Together we can free data, empower customers, and bring the financial community to the forefront of technological advancements. 

René Lacerte, Founder and CEO, Bill.com

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