Updated: Jun 18
It’s no secret that accounts payable can be one of the biggest pain points in the corporate office. Not only is the A/P workflow fraught with opportunities for error, but getting bills paid is expensive relative to other business processes. A quick web search reveals that the complete manual processing of 1 invoice, from receipt to payment, can cost a whopping $10-22!
In an effort to lower this cost and improve efficiency, curious accountants and bookkeepers gather at forums and social media groups across the interwebs to chat about the options. So, if I have QuickBooks Online, do I need Bill.com? QuickBooks Online (QBO) offers bill pay apps that integrate with its platform, they argue. Are you sure we need both?
The answer is YES -- you need both. Here are some things explain why you should do it. 1. Approval Workflows & Controls Supported by Granular User Roles If you have approval policies in place at your company, these policies can be enforced during the data entry process. And you can automate this enforcement (or not – but really, why not??) through approval policies at Bill.com. Multiple approvals can be put in place as well if more than one person needs to sign off on a bill. And it’s all digital with a perpetual audit trail. Infinitely more efficient than actually putting a piece of paper on two different desks? This workflow is supported by a robust variety of user types available on the platform. Department heads or those with budget responsibility can be added to the system as just Approvers, while the Clerk user role is perfect for an A/P staffer who’s only handling data entry. You can even separate the data entry role from the person paying the bill. There’s simply no competition with QBO on these user permissions, approvals, and controls. 2. Seamless International ACH Payment Processing If your company pays vendors internationally, you know what a headache it can be. Once your international vendor invoice is approved, what do you usually do? Send a wire? What’s that cost you? $15, $20, maybe even $35 per wire? Or do you try to skirt the fees and pay with PayPal or some other app? And we won’t even talk about currency exchange rate losses… With Bill.com, you can now pay vendors internationally (over 70 countries) either in USD or in the local currency. You may even enter payables into the system in another currency. And the best part? The savings. There is no fee to make wire transfers in local currencies. (We couldn’t believe it either!) And international wires sent in USD are $9.99 per transaction.
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3. The Magical Intelligent Virtual Assistant What if the entire scope of work for the A/P clerk was simply data verification? It can be for Bill.com users. While you’re doing other higher-level tasks, Bill.com’s Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) goes to work on any invoice received. When logging in, your bills are halfway done or more. And they are accurate, to boot. The IVA scans the invoice and populates the bill entry fields. It is artificial intelligence at its finest – it extracts the data, lowers (if not outright eliminates) error, and even flags duplicate invoices for you. 4. Automated Data Entry & QBO Integration As you can see, Bill.com creates technology to leverage for your company. When an invoice is processed at Bill.com, the payable is automatically created in QBO. When that invoice is paid at Bill.com with a single click, a payment on that bill is automatically created in QBO. When the payment clears your bank, the QBO bank feed will offer you the Bill.com journal as a match. That’s right – 1 transaction at Bill.com = 3 automated transactions in QBO. Bill.com’s sync tool and G/L integration ensure that the only data entry that you have to do is on their platform, and the accounting simply takes care of itself. The seamless use of QBO and Bill.com together is more than just a time-saver and more than just a money-saver. It’s the creation of a robust, efficient, highly controlled, and cost-effective A/P department. In short: a CFO’s dream.