Monday, June 23, 2014 - 11:37

Geraldine Cruz, Senior Director, Product Marketing

Sending invoices and following up with customers are critical — though labor intensive — activities that B2B companies must do to get paid for their products and services. To boost the speed of payments, many small and midsize businesses have adopted “eInvoicing” solutions. Typically these solutions send invoices through email, reducing time-to-delivery and loss of mailed invoices. 

Yet these solutions simply convert paper invoices into digital format. They do not deliver invoice data in a format that eliminates the need to input the data manually into the customers’ payables and accounting systems. An optimal eInvoice solution would send customer-usable invoice data securely, with no data loss. Moreover, it would address other key sources of payment delays in the customers’ payables process. This blog post:

  1. Summarizes the key sources of customer payment delays not addressed by traditional eInvoice solutions
  2. Explains how Bill.com’s integrated eInvoice, eBilling, and ePayment solution provides an unmatched capability in addressing these payment delays to accelerate customer payments
  3. Highlights the benefits of the Bill.com eInvoice, eBilling, and ePayment solution for vendors and customers
  4. Provides additional sources to learn more about the Bill.com solution

Sources of Customer Payment Delays in the Traditional eInvoice Process

Some customers delay or miss payments to manage cash. Others simply forget to pay their bills. But even when a customer intends to pay all valid bills on time and in full, there are many sources of potential delays, which are depicted in Figure 1:

  • An eInvoice may languish in a person’s inbox or to-do list before it is entered into the customer’s accounting system as a bill to be paid.
  • Customers must transcribe data from the eInvoice into the accounting system.  
  • The invoice (or bill) may be routed to several individuals for review and approval. The process may be delayed, restarted, or terminated if someone in the approval queue misses or ignores the approval request, asks for further documentation, or denies approval.
  • Once the bill is approved for payment, the payment may not be issued until the next payment or check run. 
  • If the payment is made via a check mailed to the vendor, the payment can take days to reach the vendor. If the payment is lost in the mail, the eInvoice process must restart.
  • Once the vendor receives the payment (whether electronically or via check), the payment must be reconciled against the customer’s accounts and open invoices.
  • Finally, the payments are sent or delivered to the vendor’s bank, which moves funds into the vendor’s account if the customer’s bank account has sufficient funds.  

The Traditional eInvoice Process

Figure 1. The Traditional eInvoice Process 

Thus, the traditional eInvoice solution streamlines only one step of the overall invoice and payment process. It does nothing for the customer’s payable process and the vendor’s reconciliation process. 

The Bill.com Integrated eInvoice, eBill, and ePayment Process

In the ideal, fully-streamlined scenario:

  • The vendor’s eInvoice process is integrated with the customer’s bill approval and payment process.
  • All manual tasks from the vendor’s receivables process and the customer’s payables process are replaced with automation. This includes the delivery of invoice data that the customer can use immediately — without additional data entry.
  • Payments are made with electronic payments (ePayments), the fastest and most reliable payment method.
  • Payments are reconciled with the customer’s and the vendor’s accounting systems seamlessly.

This perspective guided Bill.com as we developed our integrated eInvoicing, eBilling, and ePayment solution (depicted in Figure 2).  

 

The Bill.com Integrated eInvoicing, eBilling & ePayment Solution

Figure 2. The Bill.com Integrated eInvoicing, eBilling, and ePayment Solution

When two businesses subscribe to Bill.com and are connected on our Business Payments Network, their payables and receivables processes are optimized individually, and with each other’s processes. 

A Bill.com eInvoice, eBilling, and ePayment process would involve the following four steps:

  • The vendor sends an eInvoice to its customer
  • Bill.com directs the eInvoice to the customer’s inbox, where it become an eBill 
  • The customer routes the eBill for approval in an automated process; when the eBill is approved, the customer issues an ePayment 
  • The ePayment goes to the vendor’s account, and the invoice is automatically closed

At the conclusion of this process, both the vendor and the customer reconcile the payments with their respective accounting systems with a one-click sync or through import/export. 

Benefits of the Bill.com Solution for Vendors and Customers

The Bill.com integrated eInvoice, eBilling, and ePayment solution surmounts the manual workflows internal to vendor and customer organizations. Most importantly, it reduces the friction between the business processes of the two parties to a transaction. 

Key benefits for vendors include:

  • Improvement to liquidity and cash management
  • Reduced staff time and operating cost in managing the receivables process
  • Ease in reconciling payments against customer invoices and accounts
  • Benefits for both parties to a transaction make it easier for vendors to influence their customers to adopt ePayments, and vice versa 

Key benefits for customers include:

  • Increased ability to take advantage of early payment discounts
  • Elimination of manual transcription of invoice data 
  • Reduced staff, operating, and capital costs in the payables process 
  • Reduced payment processing costs with the use of ePayments as a replacement to checks, credit cards, and other payment methods

With our solution, both vendors and customers alike benefit from greater collaboration and stronger relationships with their business partners. 

To Learn More

To learn more about our solution:

Watch a demonstration of the Bill.com eInvoicing, eBilling, and ePayment process. 

Sign up for a risk-free trial (ideally with your customer or vendor). Our account representatives and customer support representatives will show you how to optimize use of our solution.

Categories:
Friday, May 23, 2014 - 09:48

 

By Ellen Gomes, Manager- Social Media, Bill.com

SMB business owners know that when they accept payment online with a credit card, they’re always charged a transaction fee for credit card processing.  This fee is usually 2.9% of the total cost of the product sold plus $0.30 a transaction.

If a business invoices a customer for products or services that cost $1,000, the transaction fee is $29.30.  This can quickly increase as products and services become more expensive.  If the invoice is for $10,000, that transaction fee balloons to $290.30.  Can you reduce this fee?  

Avoid Credit Card Processing Fees

Yes, there are cheaper options for B2B businesses.  Bill.com has level 3 online credit card transaction rates, the lowest possible fees.  This offers most businesses a cheaper way to receive money from credit card payments.  Businesses have saved thousands of dollars in merchant fees by taking advantage of our level 3 online credit card transaction rates.   Businesses can even accept credit card payments online through their own branded portal using Bill.com  Can you get even more savings?

Yes.  If you move from credit card transactions to Automated Clearing House (ACH) ePayment, you can do much better.   ACH is based on a flat fee, instead of a percentage.  It is much cheaper than a credit card, especially for larger amounts.  In addition to the hard cost savings of lower transaction fees,  Bill.com can also reduce accounting labor costs by making the process of accepting money through ACH as efficient as possible.  By making ACH easy, we’re finding that businesses are moving more and more of their transactions to ACH over time.

When do you send out invoices by postal mail?  When do you send out electronic invoices and when do you choose to accept online payment by credit card?

Your decision will affect profits.  It comes down to a balance of scale and labor costs.  An analysis of the process of how an SMB receives money could improve profits for your business.

Before setting up an online credit card option to accept payment for your company, it’s good to do a profit forecast model and assess how the system will affect your overall company profitability.  Small changes to transaction fees can add up to significant savings, especially for larger transactions.  Accounting labor costs can also be reduced by using Bill.com to streamline workflows. 

If you have any questions or would like advice, please contact us at entrepreneur@bill.com

Categories:
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.  

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Friday, March 29, 2013 - 11:20

By Lisa Lang, SVP Marketing

 

Gen-Y

They’re texting now instead of sending email. SnapChatting instead of tweeting or posting on Facebook. Some of them have never owned a CD or DVD. Many have never addressed an envelope or written a check – and never will. And by the way, there are 76 million of them in the U.S. alone, with $200 billion in spending power. What does all this mean for your business? 

Demographers call them the Millennials, or Generation-Y (as in “y r u still writing checks?”). Planet-wide, there are about a billion of them. The oldest of them turned 30 just last year. Soon they’ll be running everything. 

They’re wired 24/7 (wirelessly, of course). And one of their greatest impacts on business of all kinds is their continuing, unstoppable shift away from paper-based, manual processes, to the most recent digital technology.

“Remember how impatient you felt the last time you were forced to wait in line while someone ahead of you took forever writing a check?” asked one young finance manager recently. “That’s how we feel when you bog us down at the office with paperwork or send us a form we can’t fill out online.”

No wonder the Federal Reserve Bank reports that check use is steadily declining. Over the last decade, the average daily volume of commercial checks fell from 67.0 million in 2000 to just 26.4 million in 2012 – a drop of 60.5%.

Of course, Generation-Y is just one reason for the rapid demise of the check in favor of electronic payments. Business owners of all ages benefit from an automated cash flow system that allows the business to pay and get paid electronically – all from a mobile device.

Companies that convert to paperless, cloud-based systems such as Bill.com experience streamlined internal processes and substantial cost savings. Management gets mobile access to documents and data from anywhere at any time, enabling more immediate insight into business performance and better decision making. Executives gain more time to focus on strategic priorities.

And going digital isn’t just for payments. While you’re at it, why not digitize all your documents from now on, and store them in the cloud? Eliminate the time spent filing paper (and the time spent searching for misfiled paper) with one-click access from wherever you need to be. Employ the space now taken up by filing cabinets more usefully. Employ your employees more productively. More and more companies are updating their processes in all these ways now.

For all these reasons, going paperless would be a smart decision in any case. But now there’s an added incentive: As more and more of these mobile, digitally active young people become your customers, vendors and peers, their world view is becoming the dominant paradigm. It’s just good business to fit in. 

Friday, March 29, 2013 - 11:12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   By Christina Del Villar, Senior Director Marketing

 

Patti Randall, CFO, CourseSmart

CourseSmart, LLC is doing very well today – even though CFO Patti Randall’s dog loves eating books. “When we first launched in 2007, we were a bit concerned,” she says. However, her dog’s strange appetite was the least of the founders’ worries back then.

The iPhone was brand new, Twitter was only a year old, and no one yet foresaw how established processes and revenue models in virtually every business were about to be slammed by the rapidly oncoming shift away from paper-based, manual processes to the new digital and mobile technologies.

For many traditional publishers, the impact has been devastating, but for CourseSmart the shift has meant a rapid rise to the top. Now the world’s largest provider of digital course materials for college students, CourseSmart offers nearly 40,000 titles from more than 50 publishers, selling over 90% of the top-selling textbooks – at up to 60% off the paper version prices.

“Our real concern back then was that adoption might be slow,” says Randall. “We thought it might take longer for students’ behavior to change. But as it turns out, eTextbooks are the fastest growing part of the textbook industry, growing at five times the rate of print textbooks. College students today work, think and operate in a digital world. They even read their textbooks on their smartphones.”

Despite the company’s vision to transition textbooks from print to pixels, ironically, CourseSmart’s own offices were awash in cash flow management paperwork at first, until Bill.com came to the rescue. 

"Bill.com has done for us what we do for our customers – eliminated the paper."  Patti Randall, CFO of CourseSmart

 “I used to dread coming in on the days when a two-inch thick blue folder would be waiting on my desk, full of checks to sign.  I had to go through each one, make sure the back-up was there and match the check, sign the checks, and then, because we were small, I’d pass the folder on to our CEO, who also had to go through and sign them all.

“It probably took me eight to 12 hours a month, and that’s just for my own time. Now that we do it all online, it’s down to a half-hour per week, if that.

“Bill.com has done for us what we do for our customers – eliminated the paper. No shuffling paperwork or making copies, no printing out emails, no filing, no filing cabinets. We have only two printers for 40 people, and we don’t have a copier at all. 

“The mobile aspect is exciting because of our travel schedules. We like to pay our bills on time, and that used to be challenging if the CEO or a department head was out of the office. Now we can do everything from our smartphones.

“But what stands out the most for me is the time savings. I’ve had time to put in a whole new budgeting package, more time to work on strategic issues, talent acquisition, and all of the high-level decisions that keep us competitive in a rapidly-changing marketplace. In a fast-growing company like CourseSmart, there are so many opportunities to change entire industries and “put a dent in the Universe,” as Steve Jobs said – but that’s only possible if you create efficiencies, and increase productivity – so you have more time for the big ideas.”  As for her book-loving pet, Randall laughs, “That’s just one more reason CourseSmart is the ideal solution.”

Interested in going paperless? We’re presenting a free webinar on the topic with Patti Randall as the featured speaker, April 17th. Click here to sign-up.

Categories:
Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 19:43

By René Lacerte, Founder & CEO

2013 PYMNTS.com Innovator Awards

These are exciting times at Bill.com. Our solution continues to be embraced at a record pace. In fact, I have the pleasure of telling you today that Bill.com is the fastest growing business payments network in the nation, enabling more than 175,000 businesses to pay and get paid. Bill.com manages more than five million bills per year, worth $10 billion-plus, by combining payments, workflow, document management, and integrating accounting solutions in a way never before done.

I firmly believe that the reason the Bill.com Business Payments Network is growing so rapidly is because companies recognize the need for a more efficient and effective way of not just making business transactions but encouraging business collaboration. By bringing together people, systems and documents, we are redefining what business payments networks are. It is no longer enough to use a credit card—to do business today you need to build a community where more happens than just one-off transactions. Businesses need to collaborate any time, anywhere. This is what the Bill.com Business Payments Network is all about.

And it’s gratifying, as always, to get industry validation that what we are doing is making a big difference. To that end, I am thrilled to let you know that Bill.com was recognized as the Best Innovation via ACH at the 2013 PYMNTS.com Innovation Awards last week, which were held as part of the Innovation Project conference at Harvard University.

Ironically, the emcee of the event was none other than B.J. Novak of “The Office”. It was great to meet such a talented and funny guy, but  the irony of the moment can’t be understated. What’s funnier than Bill.com, the vanquisher of unnecessary documents, getting an award from a staff member of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company!

Thanks to all of you for helping us achieve this important milestone and industry recognition. We’ll keep you posted as our network grows and our innovations continue.

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. 

Friday, March 1, 2013 - 14:08

no check ceo|bill.comBy Lisa Lang, SVP Marketing

Did you know there’s a whole new generation of CEOs and CFOs who run paperless businesses and insist on electronic payments instead of paper checks? They have no patience for time-consuming, paper-based processes that drag down everyone’s productivity. They’ve been endowed by game-changing cloud-based technology with certain inalienable rights, such as:

  • Freedom from their desks. “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.
  • Freedom from bill-payment hassles. They simply scan, fax or email bills and associated documents to a cloud-based service, manage the approval process online, and make payments electronically.
  • Freedom from receivables worries. “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.
  • Freedom from cash flow uncertainty. “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.
  • Freedom from check fraud. Unlike checks, electronic payments can’t be intercepted or modified. And unlike paper documents, electronic data can be protected with enterprise-level security systems.
  • Freedom from paperwork. Some “No Check” businesses don’t even have file cabinets, because everything is digitized and stored online for secure access from anywhere, any time – so no need to save and store paper receipts, purchase orders, contracts, check stock or paper invoices.
  • Freedom to reduce operating costs. 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.

Ready to become a “No Check” CEO? It’s as simple as moving your business processes from the manual, paper-based world to the cloud, via services such as Bill.com.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 14:14

Bill.com and Expensify Announce Product Integration; Allows Users to Easily Streamline Expense Reports  

Integration Shows Momentum for the Bill.com Application Platform Which Has Open APIs For Developers

PALO ALTO, CALIF. — Jan. 22, 2013 — Bill.com, the leader in integrated bill payment, invoicing and cash management solutions for businesses, today announced integration with Expensify, the leading expense management provider, to provide users with an easy, efficient way to manage expense reports. The announcement illustrates the strength of the recently announced Bill.com application platform by adding popular software, beyond accounting, that customers have been asking for.

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. Expensify allows users to easily manage their expenses by importing expenses and receipts from credit cards and mobile phones. With the new integration, employees can now submit a PDF version of their expense report in Expensify directly to their Bill.com account.

“By integrating with Bill.com, we bring together the best names in bill payment and expense reports to provide customers with an easy, painless way to submit expense reports, while increasing accuracy and speeding up the process,” said David Barrett, CEO, Expensify.

With Bill.com’s new platform, developers can directly integrate applications ranging from expense management solutions to CRM systems, in addition to accounting systems.  The platform offers a complete set of open APIs allowing developers to deeply integrate and provide businesses complete workflows across their systems. As part of the platform, Bill.com offers the first sync management framework that provides developers both best practices and a toolset for dealing with systems integration and sync. This framework allows for every integration to function similarly, so businesses can fully leverage multiple integrations at the same time and in the same manner.

"We're excited about offering this integration with Expensify and our new platform," said René Lacerte, founder and CEO of Bill.com. "One of the key benefits of Bill.com is managing the process of paying bills and getting paid, and now that process extends to expense reports. This is exactly the kind of capabilities our customers are asking for and what our platform enables."

About Expensify

Expensify does "expense reports that don't suck!" by importing expenses and receipts from credit cards and mobile phones, submitting expense reports through email, and reimbursing everything online with PayPal and direct deposit. Expensify's unique design suits everybody from individuals tracking their personal finances to companies with a thousand employees, and everywhere in between. Expensify is free for individuals and small businesses, with premium upgrades available for receipt scanning and shared expense policies.  For more information, check out https://www.expensify.com

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