Accounts payable (A/P) is one of those things that is a necessary evil in business.  When SolutionWorx was smaller A/P was not hard or complex.  I was aware of just about every charge and the biggest problem was not losing the paper invoice to be paid.  Flash forward a few years, and now there are multiple people that need to approve different types of invoices and the process needs to be more methodical.

A couple of years ago as a part of outsourcing our bookkeeping, we were turned on to bill.com.  Founded in 2006, bill.com automates accounts payable as well as other daily financial tasks.  Their goal is to help businesses manage their cash flow.

The thing that made this a very useful tool for us was the way that it digitizes invoices.  We have removed the paper from the process, and bill.com does this in a way that is quick, simple and secure.  Once an invoice is put in our bill.com inbox (via email, fax, or direct scan) it can be assigned, routed for approval and ultimately paid all electronically.

One of the problems with many tools like this is that they create “silos of chaos.”  The A/P is a separate system that requires manual action to keep it in line with the accounting system – and if you want to look at AP you have to go to a separate system.  That is not the case with blll.com as it integrates with QuickBooks and other accounting systems.  For SolutionWorx, this means that any item that is in the system for payment is also shown as an AP item in Quickbooks.   Overall financial management can still occur within Quickbooks.

The approval process is very efficient.  When an invoice is presented for payment, all necessary information is visible too – a copy on the invoice and all backup, the accounts, vendors due date, etc.  In addition, there are reference links to bring up the last five invoices and other helpful information that, in the past would require me to stop and ask questions rather than just approve the invoice.

Many times when you start using a product you find unexpected benefits as well.  SolutionWorx moved to an employee mileage reimbursement system for travel, creating a lot of paperwork and approvals.  We couldn’t have done this without bill.com – but an unexpected feature is that employees can setup a free bill.com vendor account and get those reimbursement payments direct deposited into their bank accounts!  Bill.com has also branched out into invoicing and A/R, as well as more sophisticated cash flow management.

At less than $50 a month, Bill.com is very inexpensive for the value and productivity it provides to SolutionWorx.  It’s pretty easy to get started – just go to bill.com and sign-up.  If we can help or share some of our experiences, we would be happy to help you gain the productivity that we have with this tool