Don’t Venmo your vendor

Don’t Venmo your vendor

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It’s not just a millennial buzzword. It’s THE way to pay in the 21st century. Splitting the bill with Jane from that fast, casual eatery? Paying back Rogelio for the great Netflix binge of 2017? It’s cool, you’ll Venmo them.

Venmo is literally an action verb—which shows just how culturally significant it is. It’s easy, it’s simple, it allows you to send a bevy of semi-inappropriate emojis with your payment.

So, what’s the problem? Why can’t I Venmo my vendor?

It’s simple, with business bill payments, the stakes are too high. For starters, you have numerous payment options like paper check, credit card, ACH or EFT transfer, and more. Plus, with reviewers, payers, and vendors, you have way more people involved than just you and your pal, Todd. And most importantly, you have money, that isn’t yours, to contend with.

The true scope of business payments

With Venmo, you send an ACH payment from your bank to another person’s bank. You own the oversight entirely because it’s your money and your bank account.

Business payments require more fail safes because more people and more money are involved. Again, the stakes are higher. Not paying bills means late fees and discontinuation of important services and products that fuel your company’s success. You jeopardize vendor relationships and you halt your company’s growth.

Apps like Venmo are great for shuffling money between friends or mild acquaintances, but for businesses? They’re just not robust enough.

What do business bill payment systems need?

Number 1—they must be digital. A paper, check-based system requires too much time and effort.

But that’s just the beginning. With a business bill payment system...

You need permissions-based access.

Should every employee have access to your banking information? No.

Your business bill payment system must allow you to define a user’s access to a system without giving everyone the opportunity to move or take money. One person may need only to review an invoice, while it makes sense that your accounting professional should be able to do so much more.

You need automation and workflows.

These two elements go hand in hand. You define the workflows for bill payment review. For example, any bill that enters the system that is below $50 can be approved by these two employees. Or any bill from this particular vendor must include these three employees. The workflows are easy to set up and protect the company by:

  • Ensuring only the essential individuals access the bill and its related materials
  • Protecting the integrity of the review process (no omissions, etc.)
  • Creating an automatic record of the bill, its approval, any notes and who paid it (also known as an audit trail)

This is where accounts payable automation comes in. Once a workflow is established, an incoming bill is automatically evaluated and sent for approval in accordance with company guidelines. No more walking a bill from desk to desk or hunting for its progress. The system prompts each person to review the bill electronically. It even sends out automated notices to those that are behind.

You need mobile access.

Obviously, one of Venmo’s strong points is that it’s mobile. A business bill payment option that isn’t mobile is not a solution. How does it benefit your organization if the CEO can’t approve a bill for payment while she’s on the road? Or if your accounting firm can’t authorize payment from their office in another zip code?

You need BILL.

BILL offers all of this and more. It lets you pay and get paid easily. It consolidates the clunky, laborious task of reviewing and paying business bills into a streamlined, automated, and secure process.

And it’s just as easy as Venmo.

The information provided on this page does not, and is not intended to constitute legal or financial advice and is for general informational purposes only. The content is provided "as-is"; no representations are made that the content is error free.