What is Bill.com? – Bill.com is a cloud-based financial solution that helps manage your payables (APs) and receivables (ARs). Our firm has been using it for the past few years and has consistently found it to be an asset to our clients. Read on for an insider’s list of pros and cons (with a few tips scattered along the way)! We’ve split this article into two parts—the first is regarding Bill.com in general while the second will delve into more specifics, especially regarding the APs and ARs.
Cloud – Bill.com is on the cloud so all the information you put into it is available to you, in real-time, from any Internet-connected device at any time. This means you have access to Bill.com features such as checking your cash flow status, approving new invoices from your vendors, or sending out an invoice to a client from almost anywhere, whether it be from home or while waiting in line at the dry cleaner’s.
Security- Having access to your financial data from anywhere can lead to concerns about security. These are some of the steps Bill.com takes to protect your data:
- Bill.com uses bank-level security, firewalls, and encryption on any sensitive or personal data
- All of the data you upload are stored on redundant servers; the backups are then moved to another secure data facility to protect against physical threats (such as fire, flood, or other natural disasters).
- All funds paid through Bill.com are FDIC-ensured.
- Regular SOC 1, Type 2 Audits of their processes. This means that they are audited based on a set of industry-controlled criteria regarding, among others, security, integrity of their transaction processing, and confidentiality. To find out more, please see the SSAE-16 website.
- Insider’s note! Bill.com regularly does a surprise two-level authentication check– when you log in, Bill.com will call the phone number on file with a code to enter in so they can verify your identity.
Custom roles – In addition to the security Bill.com employs, you also have the ability to restrict who gets access to what data. Bill.com comes standard with five roles (clerk, approver, payer, accountant, and administrator), but you can also create custom roles that fit the workflows your company employs.
Insider’s note! Role customization is great when, for instance, the CFO wants access to all aspects of the APs and ARs but should not have access to the process of syncing data or paying bills for internal control purposes.
Easy audits- We’ve gotten rave reviews from auditors we’ve worked with about Bill.com! The best part is that it has something called the audit trail—this tracks changes to all bills and invoices, who made the change, and at what time. It also tracks all supporting documentation, approvals and payments so the auditors can have everything in one place.
Insider’s note!Giving auditors’ access is as easy as creating a custom view-only role – saving you a lot of time pulling checks and supports for them.
Sync with accounting programs – Bill.com syncs with a number of accounting programs including Intacct, QuickBooks Online and Desktop, NetSuite, and Xero. This means that all transactions entered in Bill.com will be entered automatically in these accounting applications. The syncs also allow you to share information such as vendors, customers, programs, and your chart of accounts without any manual entry. The syncs occur every day (as scheduled by you) or whenever you want via a manual sync so your accounting programs are always up to date.
Organization and Document Retention– with Bill.com, you can access information in a number of ways. For example, you can click on a vendor name and see the contact information but also a list (with links) of bills and credit memos and payments for that vendor. You can also associate documents such as a W-9 or a contract with a vendor, so pertinent information is easily found in one place. No need to pay extra for cloud storage! Bill.com lets you upload an unlimited number of documents to your account.
Customer service has highs and lows – Those of us who are more used to traditional customer service methods like calling in and waiting in a queue will be disappointed. There is no number for you to call customer service though you can request a phone call and receive one within 4 hours. The most immediate form of help comes in the chat function which is customary for most millennials but out of the comfort zone for others. Finally, customer service is not available 24/7.
Reporting capability- Bill.com allows you to run reports such as bills paid, open ARs, Aging reports, and transaction reports, but it still has a ways to go with reporting options. For example, you cannot separate the bills paid by bank account.
That’s my take on the pros and cons on some of the general aspects of Bill.com. Stay tuned for part 2— a more in-depth pro-and-con analysis!
Lana Kang earned a Bill.com guru certification and is currently the project coordinator at Lumix CPAs and Advisors. She supervises the digital media assistant, focuses on integrations between cloud-based accounting platforms, and oversees marketing efforts. When she isn’t reading, Lana volunteers at a local animal rescue organization and tries new cuisines. Find her on LinkedIn or follow Lumix on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.