BILL.COM BLOG

Debunking the Myths of Payment Automation Optimization

Myths

Payment automation.

It’s a Myth vs. Reality showdown.

We know there are plenty of falsities when it comes to the complicated subject of payment automation. It’s not secure! It won’t benefit my business! But Bill.com is here to debunk those unfounded myths once and for all.

So doff your deerstalker hat and clamp down on your Calabash Pipe—we’re about to blow this case wide open.

But first – What is payment automation optimization?

Payment automation has made huge inroads with businesses. It digitizes payments, streamlines approval, and lets you pay and get paid quicker. With it, your paper checks transform into electronic, efficient, and audit-ready transactions powered by online payment methods including ACH transfers, EFTs, and credit cards.

For example, payment automation from Bill.com optimizes your payments process. No more wrangling paper invoices and checks from desk to desk—it migrates that process to a digital platform. Instead of typing, printing, and mailing invoices, it helps you generate them automatically and send them online to your customers. As a result, payment automation:

  • Guides invoices through the review process, delivering it to each authorized reviewer necessary. This includes alerting each reviewer that they have a bill to review, reminding them if they don’t review it in a timely manner, and allowing them to approve with a simple click or tap.
  • Enables digital payment for invoices via ACH transfers, EFTs, credit cards, PayPal and more.
  • Enforces the ever-important separation of duties.
  • Accepts online payments from customers and allows you to set up recurring payments as well.
  • Sends reminders to customers to pay open invoices.
  • Creates an audit trail of each activity, so you can see who was involved and what actions happened.

Consider payment automation the first step toward efficiency, accuracy, and security. Then, you optimize that process.

Now on to the case at hand! Payment Automation: Myth vs. Reality.

Myth: Payment automation means no control over the payment process.

In actuality, payment automation gives you more control over the payment process.

Think about paper checks. You control when you write and sign a check. You control when you stuff it in an envelope and drop it in the mail. But control evaporates the minute a check leaves your organization.

You entrust it to the postal service, but it can be lost in transit, dropped, or stolen. You trust that vendor gets the check to the right person after delivery. What if it’s left to rot on someone’s desk? What if your contact is no longer with the company? Complications such as these can lead to multiple phone calls, late payment fees, and strained relationships.

Remember: All a dishonest person needs to defraud your company is your bank accounting and routing number—information readily available on each check you send out.

Payment automation tightens your control of the payment process by:

  • Regulating who can participate in the review and who can access banking information
  • Having the ability to determine when you will pay
  • Accessing contracts and payment history via online document management
  • Utilizing an audit trail that shows you exactly what happens for each transaction
  • Reviewing and approving invoices from your mobile phone or tablet

Plus, payment automation deletes manual labor. You’re not pushing paper from desk to desk or scrambling to get a signature for a check. You’re not stuffing envelopes and licking stamps. The system handles the entire payment process online, based on your corporate guidelines and review processes.

Myth: Digital payments are more expensive than paper checks.

This is the cost of bank fees for paper checks vs. online payments. For 500 paper checks, bank fees can run around $380 a month. With electronic payments through Bill.com, that amount plummets to $70.

In addition, you don’t need a bevy of supplies when you pay online. Goodbye paper, check stock, envelopes, stamps, printers, and cartridges! That alone saves you about $150 a month.

Myth: Payment automation isn’t secure.

Bill.com safely moves more than $30 billion annually through a network of 2.5 million contacts. It provides bank-level compliance, data security, encryption, and fraud prevention. Payments are drawn from a Bill.com bank account so that your banking information is never exposed. Plus, payment automation from Bill.com enforces workflows so that only authorized individuals can access the review process and financial data.

Myth: Payment automation is too difficult to use.

Payment automation offers technology that is easy to use and understand. If you can use a mobile app or website, you can have Bill.com up and running in a matter of minutes. Bill.com also offers plenty of training resources to help with onboarding employees.

Myth: My customers won’t agree to automatic payments.

Automatic payments are commonplace these days. Ask your customers—you may be surprised by how many agree. You can even offer an incentive for them to sign up for autopay such as a small discount or reward. Having money land in your bank account every month on a designated day creates a robust cash flow.

Bonus Tips!

Optimize automated payments by scaling it as your organization evolves.

Undoubtedly, payment automation makes things more efficient. But it needs maintenance. Your business will change. You’ll hire more or scale back. You might offer more products or move into new industries. As a result, processes will evolve as well. Once a year or quarter, take 10 minutes to review your payment automation workflows and make tweaks as appropriate.

Integrate payment automation with other accounting solutions.

If you truly want to optimize payment automation, you’ll explore integrations. For example, Bill.com integrates with QuickBooks Online, Xero, Netsuite, Sage Intacct, Hubdoc, Expensify, Tallie and more. The integrations sync data automatically between systems, so you can dispense with double data entry between systems. It also ensures that you have the most up-to-date numbers possible.

Et viola! The case is solved. But don’t take our word for it—debunk these payment automation myths for yourself.

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Kate Wilson
Social Media Manager, Bill.com
Kate is in charge of all things social at Bill.com. When she's not writing every type of content imaginable, she's drinking strong coffee and debating the use of the Oxford comma with her coworkers.