Fight the Fury of Paying Contractors
A bevy of contractor invoices just landed on your desk. Wait—bevy is too lenient a word. It’s a landslide. A paper torrent of epic proportions.
You love your contractors. After all, their talent allows you to build, market, staff, and run your business. Turning to contractors for talent is a cost-efficient and valuable business strategy, without the complications of managing them as direct employees.
But the stream of invoices and payments associated with them? It can sap your will to live.
- The freelancer who works on a recurring basis for 40 hours a week on coding requires the same amount of effort to pay as the contractor who completed a one-off project.
- The contractors may all work within different areas of the company. This ups the ante considerably when paying invoices. Most likely, each one will need a different review process based on who they are working with and what the amount is.
- Each contractor has different schedules or terms of payments. One may want recurring, flat rate payments. Others get paid per project or based on a changing number of hours. Knowing the agreed upon terms and keeping the contracts and documentation related to each contractor on-hand is mandatory. You don’t want to hunt for each piece you need.
- Paper checks are headaches in terms of printing, signing, mailing, and reconciling. The sheer number of invoices and the process for creating and sending checks can make a limited staff think they’ve been transported to Dante's inferno.
- Plus, this constant question: “Have you mailed my check yet?” This sentence x however many contractors you have = lost time and productivity.
If you’re here, you’re probably well aware of these complications. So let’s talk solutions.
1. Scrap the paper
Take the paper out of the process.
Insist that contractors submit their invoices electronically. With Bill.com, they can submit it online or via your company’s dedicated Bill.com email address. The digital invoice lands in your account and is ready for the next step.
2. Automate workflows
Do you cry a little bit when you think of walking an invoice around for review? Now, you have a digital assistant to handle that drudgery for you. (Because you’re worth it!)
The invoice hits Bill.com. Bill.com then evaluates it against company guidelines. In this case, the invoice is over $5,000 and involves manufacturing. That means it has to hit persons A, B, and C (as in CEO). Bill.com will automatically begin the process by alerting person A that an invoice is ready to review. After A reviews it, Bill.com takes it forward to person B. It continues like this until it has completed the review process. It even nudges reviewers if they’re slow to respond. All this and you don’t even have have to leave your desk.
The automated workflows provide an additional security benefit. All users within Bill.com have permissions-based access. Most likely, persons A and B don’t need—and shouldn’t have—access to the banking accounts or general ledger. They still participate in the review, but you can define their roles (and access) appropriately.
3. Make it easy to access documents
Person B took a look at the above invoice but has a question regarding the amount. He can note that electronically on the invoice in Bill.com for all reviewers/approvers to see. He can also (if authorized) access the contract and past payments associated with this contractor to answer his question.
Bill.com stores all financial documents in the cloud, so you can log in, grab the information you need, and finish. No scavenger hunt is necessary.
4. Track approvals
Each step of the way, Bill.com records the process—each reviewer, each note, the date, the time—all of it. Why is this important? You don’t have to hunt for answers. A login to Bill.com gives you the complete history and persons involved with transactions. It’s crystal clear and useful—especially if questions pop up further down the road. Bonus Points: The trail is totally audit-ready. All the guesswork is eliminated.
5. Pay digitally
Ever been behind that one person who has to pay by check? It’s annoying.
And the process takes even longer for businesses. You know how time-consuming it can be for your company to send out paper checks. I have news for you: Your contractors probably don’t like to receive them either.
Do everyone a favor and move to digital payments from Bill.com. Online payments such as ACH transfers, EFTs, and more make it vastly easier to pay your contractors. One click and the payment is scheduled or sent. The contractor receives payment in their own bank account. No one is saddled with long hours to print and mail checks, run to the bank, wait for a postal worker to deliver it, and wait for it to clear.
Less time spent for your business with greater security and tracking. Plus, timely payments to your contractors. It's a win-win.
6. Gain unparalleled transparency into contractor payments
Remember that whole “Where’s my check?” thing? With Bill.com, you can sign in from your mobile device, quickly see the status of a payment, and answer immediately. You don’t have to dig through files or check stubs or track anyone down. It’s all laid out, it’s simple to get to, and pretty much instantaneous.
Congratulations. You are now the most supremely organized, automated, and digitized payments expert in the world. Begone ridiculous hours! Begone inefficiencies! And hello free time.
Feel like conquering the art of efficient payments for contractors?