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Accounting Education Series: Automated Bill Payment and Invoicing

setup automated billing workflowsAs the leading provider of virtual accounting and bookkeeping services, we spend a great deal of time considering how technology can be implemented to make accounting processes more efficient. In fact, we're not embarassed to admit that sometimes we even dream about it. Seriously--who doesn't envision a world where accounts receivable and accounts payable are streamlined through seamless approval workflows and automated systems?

Ok, so maybe that isn't number one on everyone's holiday wishlist this year--but it tops ours and as such, we love to pass on the best of what we find to our friends and clients in the hopes that they too will be able to enjoy the nirvana that is automated AR and AP! So for those of you interested in Bill.com (a personal favorite of ours!), here are some basic tips to get your started:

How to Set Up Bill Payment and Invoicing in Bill.com

Bill.com is a cloud-based bill payment and invoicing service that helps businesses cut down on the amount of accounting paperwork they receive in the process of sending and receiving payments. Since this service combines bill payment and invoicing, it’s a convenient set up to run all of your finances through the application. It takes a bit of time to set up, but once everything is in the system it streamlines your workflow and helps you to stay on top of payments and your overall business cash flow. Once you have your customers, contractors, and vendors set up in Bill.com, you can start creating bill pay and invoices.

Setting Up Bill Payment in Bill.com

The basic bill payment function is located in the Payables tab. All of the bills that you have entered into the Bill.com system are displayed here, along with the customers, clients, or vendors that they’re associated with. Select any bills from the unpaid bill section you wish to pay, then enter the amount that you are paying and what day you want to process it. Select the appropriate payment account from the drop down list underneath the Unpaid Bills section and click “Pay” to process the payments.

To set up a different lead time on bills, choose the “Settings” menu and click Overview. The settings page lets you control many aspects of your Bill.com account. Select “Payables” and “Preferences” to get to the recurring menu. Enter a lead time on the Payables settings so you have a standard time for paying the vendor bills. Click “Save.”

Setting Up Invoices in Bill.com

Invoices are handled through the Receivables tab in Bill.com. Choose the “Invoices” option and click “New” to create a new customer invoice. The invoice asks for several pieces of data, such as the invoice number, the specific customer, how much lead time is expected on the payment, when the payment is due, messages to send to the customer, and the items that the invoice is for. Select how you want to send the invoice so it’s delivered in the most appropriate fashion. Click “Save.”

How to Set up Recurring Bills and Invoices in Bill.com

Your time is valuable as a small business owner. Manually sending out bills and invoices that are the same amount every month is a time consuming process that takes you away from tasks better suited to your expertise. Instead of manually handling regularly recurring bills and invoices, consider using a service such as Bill.com to handle it automatically. This frees up your time to handle business tasks that can’t be automated, as well as helping you stay on top of all of your payments.

Setting up Recurring Bills

Open the Payables tab to access your bill information. Go into the “Manage Recurring” section of Payables. Choose “New” to create a bill. The primary field to fill out on this page is the bill schedule. Enter the established due date and choose the vendor it’s associated with. The recurring frequency is set based on your payment terms for a particular vendor. If the recurring bill is generating at an incorrect time, change the payment terms under the vendor’s account.

Choose the billing frequency and click “No End Date” if this is a bill that continues to go on without a set term. If you don’t have a vendor entered into the system for the recurring bill, you can create one directly from this page. Enter in a description of the bill, the total amount of the bill, and any line items associated with the bill. Use the approvers drop down field if a particular person, such as your accounting department head, needs to approve the bill before it goes out. Click “Save” to save your changes.

Recurring Invoices Setup

Go to the “Receivables” section on Bill.com. Select “Recurring Invoices” to access the section you need. Choose “New” to start creating the recurring invoice. Fill out the relevant fields on the invoice, such as the due date, when the invoice gets generated, the customer information, the invoicing frequency, how soon payment is due after the invoice is sent, whether there’s an end date to invoice generation, and what the invoice is for. Bill.com also includes a field for a message to the customer, as well as specifying the method that the invoice is sent. Save your changes, and you’re ready to move on to the tasks that really matter.

Not sure how to get started or simply prefer to have it all handled by a bookkeeping service? Our experts can help get you on the path to automated bill payment perfection. Schedule a free consultation today!

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