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The Back Office Tools Your Business Desperately Needs – And Why You Need Them

It’s pretty clear that we at Bill.com are serious about small businesses. They only account for 99.9% of all firms and 48% of private sector employees. Their influence is felt throughout the entire business world.

It’s also pretty clear that most businesses, regardless of success, struggle with critical back office tasks like bill pay, electronic payments, forecasting, invoicing and more. Yeah, it’s easy to ignore, you’re swamped running your business. But WARNING: Actively ignoring these key tasks can mean impending financial crisis for your business.

That’s why helpful automation tools exist. So companies not only conquer these back office duties, but add an extra level of insight and efficiency to their overall business. With the right tools you can:

  • Save 50% of the time typically spent on business bill payments by using ACH payments instead of paper checks
  • Adopt an accounting software from IntuitXeroNetSuite or Intacct that can supply more valuable and timely information on your company’s financial performance in real-time
  • Win a two-week all-inclusive vacation to the Himalayas, and a set of Ginsu knives! (This will not be provided, we are not proving this)

But we can provide you with insight. These are the most critical back-office tasks, and the tools that can help you simplify, automate, and save time.

Accounting Software

Handling the finances of a business is, at times, overwhelming for someone who isn’t well acquainted with its intricacies. The venture is much more complicated than personal finances since it involves payments, invoicing, taxes, labor, credit, collections and more.

Managing finances by hand and paper is out of the question in today’s fast-paced business environment. It’s time-consuming and will most often result in inaccuracies.

Instead, turn to reliable and proven accounting solutions such as Intuit QuickBooks Online, Xero, NetSuite, and Intacct. Each solution will connect with your bank accounts to download and categorize transactions, run reports, capture receipts and more. You can also benefit from valuable cloud-based features such as mobile access – meaning the information you need is always on hand.

AR Solution

How successful will a business be without receiving payments from its customers? Not very.

It seems like a no-brainer, yet many smaller businesses often forget to send client invoices in a timely, consistent manner and may lag behind on collection activities. The complications are doubled or tripled if a small business relies on paper invoices and checks. Paper makes the AR process more time-consuming and difficult to reconcile, which often leads to a cash flow crisis.

Business owners need a solution to support their accounts receivable efforts. This means technology that will quickly create and deliver invoices in an electronic format. It should provide multiple online payment options for customers such as ACH, credit cards, PayPal and automatically send payment reminders.

The bottom line is that you can usually get paid 2 to 3 times faster when you adopt an AR cloud-based solution that offers automation and the ability for customers to view and pay invoices online.

Cloud-Based AP Solution

Just as companies accept payments, they must also make payments to stay in business. Suppliers must be paid, as well as rent, utilities, expenses and more.

A business bill pay solution will help on multiple fronts.

First, it will be far faster to pay your bills. In a matter of clicks, you can accomplish what could take hours if paper invoices and check payments are involved.

How much time will you save with a cloud-based AP solution? Estimates show at least 50%.

Second, it ensures that your cash flow is accurate. You’re not waiting a week or a month to reconcile checks. Instead, as soon as payment is sent, it is reflected in your accounts.   

Document Management/Cloud Storage

The amount of information needed for a business can be staggering – contracts, invoices, correspondence, forms, registrations, bills and more. In the past, that information landed in filing cabinets at a set location (for example, physical offices). If you weren’t at the office, you couldn’t access it. Worse, an important document could be sitting on someone’s desk for days, weeks or months – making it virtually impossible to find.

Businesses these days run on electronic assets, which means that there must be a way to store, file and secure them online. A document management solution allows you to quickly sort, search, find, and share the documents you need. As an added (and great bonus) you can control who has access to each document or sets of documents for an enhanced level of security.

Integrations

No matter what solutions you adopt to create more efficient and effective back office processes, you must ensure that they integrate. If not, you will negate the time and effort you save with double data entry or other manual steps.

Most accounting solutions will easily integrate with cloud-based solutions that provide online business bill pay, AR, document management and more. With all solutions syncing with each other, you’ll cut out even more steps from back office processes and have a more accurate picture of your financial performance.

Financial crisis is no laughing matter, and you desperately need a back-office upgrade. Seriously, your business will thank you.

January 20, 2017
Becky Riffis
Strategic Partner Manager, Bill.com
Becky manages business relationships and market development activities with key partners including Intacct, Intuit, NetSuite, Xero, and many other companies. Prior to Bill.com, Becky worked at NetApp as a marketing event manager.