How I Learned Cloud Bookkeeping: Automated Payment Processing with Hubdoc & Bill.com
Building and implementing a cloud accounting tech stack for your practice can seem daunting. With so many apps to choose from, and new technologies to learn, you might not know where to start.
Hubdoc’s Sr. Product Marketing Manager and interim bookkeeper, Geoffrey Gualano, has been on a mission to learn how to leverage cloud accounting technologies like Hubdoc, Fujitsu ScanSnap, Xero, Expensify, and Bill.com to increase bookkeeping efficiency at his company. He’s been documenting his experience to provide inspiration for practices that are thinking about making the shift.
We chatted with Geoffrey to discuss how he uses Hubdoc and Bill.com to achieve automated payment processing.
Follow the links below to catch up on Geoffrey’s bookkeeping journey!
Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 3 - Effortless Reconciliation with Hubdoc and Xero
Q: You’re learning how to use cloud accounting technologies and learning how to be a bookkeeper. What has that experience been like?
I’ll start off by saying that bookkeeping is hard—much harder than I thought it would be! I’ve taken hours of online courses, received support from an outsourced bookkeeper and accounting firm, and yet I still have much to learn. I don’t feel like I have a solid grasp on the nuances, tax implications, and “tricks of the trade.” That knowledge will take me years of experience to acquire.
With that said, learning how to leverage cloud accounting technology was quite simple. I can’t imagine a world without it! I realize that my context is different than most since I don’t have first hand experience with the “old way” of doing things (i.e., collecting paper documents, etc.).
Even though I can’t compare past and present, I now know how cloud savvy firms are scaling so rapidly. The automation capabilities of cloud accounting technology help practices save time, increase efficiencies, and maximize growth opportunities.
Q: Speaking of cloud accounting and automation, can you talk to us about your tech stack?
Our tech stack is unique—it changes every few months to test our integrations with other cloud accounting technologies (and to keep our finger on the pulse of the market.)
Today, we use:
- Hubdoc and Fujistu ScanSnap for automated document collection
- Xero for AP and AR reconciliation (I’m only in charge of AP reconciliation)
- Expensify for expense management and reporting
- Bill.com for automated payment processing (US transactions)
Q: How do you leverage Hubdoc and Bill.com for automated payment processing?
We use Hubdoc to automatically fetch bank statements, bills, receipts, and invoices from financial institutions, utilities, telecom providers, and online vendors. Hubdoc automatically fetches a bill that is to be paid, extracts the key data (vendor name, date, total amount, invoice number), and posts it to Bill.com as an accurately coded draft bill with the source document attached.
Once in Bill.com, the bill is put through an automated approval workflow (defined by us when we set up the account). Approval workflows are completely customizable, which is great because every business is different. Once the bill is approved, we can make an ACH payment using our bank account—which connects to Bill.com—or by sending a check through Bill.com.
Bill.com will send a record of the transaction to Xero, which is auto-matched to the appropriate transaction on the bank feed for one-click reconciliation.
Although Bill.com provides great automated invoicing services, it’s a feature that we have yet to use.
As mentioned previously, I was born into the world of cloud accounting, so I’m unfamiliar with the old way of doing things. That being said, I have heard that this workflow makes the process of paying bills up to 50% faster.
Q: How did you learn how to use Hubdoc and Bill.com?
Hubdoc and Bill.com offer free online certification courses for accountants and bookkeepers. If you want to test the products before bringing on your clients, Hubdoc offers a free VIP account for accounting and bookkeeping firms, and Bill.com offers a risk-free trial. Although the certification courses are great, nothing beats practice!
See Hubdoc’s cloud bookkeeping workflow in action!