For a company providing outsourced accounting services to clients located throughout the world, the value of doing business in the cloud is far-reaching. This explains why cloud-based Bill.com is central to Hernandez & Company’s practice.
Hernandez & Company has been serving individual and corporate clients around the globe since 1992. While the firm provides a comprehensive line of professional services, ranging from personal financial planning to multi-jurisdiction tax consulting, their specialty lies in providing international companies with anytime, anywhere access to all their accounting files and applications. “We provide international corporations operating in the United States with a fully staffed back office,” explains Armando Hernandez, the firm’s President. “We make sure their operations, from payroll to day-to-day transactions like AR and AP, run with- out any problems.”
Hernandez and his firm’s 25 employees are based in Coral Gables, Florida, and deliver their powerful outsourced accounting services through an integrated solution provided by Bill.com and Swizznet, which offers QuickBooks hosting and online accounting solutions. “We give our clients access to their financial information so they have total control over their payables,” adds Hernandez, “and that’s where Bill.com comes into play.”
Keeping Control, Around the Globe
The Bill.com/Swizznet solution is typically sold as part of a package to CFOs and Controllers who want to outsource their AP and AR. “First and foremost,” explains Hernandez, “Bill.com gives our clients control over their cash flow. They want to know ‘How much money is available to pay bills?’ ‘Who is paying the bills?’ With Bill.com, you know how much you have in the bank and know if the person paying the bills is authorized to do so.”
Hernandez & Company assigns an internal CFO to each account. “We’ll pay bills for them, but they’ll have access to Swizznet’s QuickBooks interface and Bill.com by logging into the website. It’s all integrated.” For example, the Hernandez & Company team will approve bills that a client will pay from Argentina. “Even though he isn’t in the U.S., he can still access resources here through the Bill.com cloud.”
“Most of our clients have three people using Bill.com,” Hernandez continues. “It’s simple. We teach receptionists, assistants, or other office staff how to get a bill ready and the Controller or CEO will pay the bill.” Hernandez points out that Bill.com’s ease of use is critical to its success with his company’s clients. “The key thing here is it can be used by people who have no knowledge of accounting,” he continues. “When people without this specialized skill can still use the system in a way that’s of value to the company, you get more people to use it!”
Bill.com enables Hernandez and his clients to streamline their entire bill-pay process, with user defined permissions keeping it easy to manage. “With Bill. com we can have segregation of duties, which we didn’t have before. We can assign someone to approve the bills that are then routed to another office for payment.” In addition, double payments and late fees are a thing of the past. “Before Bill.com, a client could pay the same invoice twice. Now Bill.com will give us a warning! We don’t worry about late fees because, with Bill.com’s automated reminders, we’re alerted when a payment needs to be made.”
Hernandez & Company not only saves money for their clients, they also save money internally on processing and have re-allocated more than 10 hours a month of staff time to service their clients’ needs.
Accessing Your Account Here, There, and Everywhere
Hernandez stresses that it’s very important that his clients have remote accessibility to their accounting system because, like many busy executives today, they’re conducting business on the road from their smart phones and tablets. ”They don’t have to be in the office,” says Hernandez, who also notes they’re visiting the Bill.com online Command and Control SystemTM for more than bill payments. “There’s no more waiting until the end of the month to review historical financial data. They know financials on a daily basis—how much they sold today, how much they have in the bank today. When a business owner is traveling, they can see day-to-day activities. They see employees paying bills, which they can approve on the road—they can take care of everything on the road. Many clients say they pay their bills in the airport while waiting for their plane!”
Hernandez points out that, besides paying bills, Bill.com is a great e-file cabinet. “All source docs are in the system,” he says. “Before Bill.com, when we needed to see a particular invoice from a vendor, we had to go back to our hard files and retrieve it from storage. Now the document is at our fingertips. The increased speed of document retrieval has allowed us to recapture our investment in Bill.com many times over!”
The Swizznet/Bill.com Connection—A Partnership that Clicks
Swizznet offers QuickBooks hosting and cloud computing solutions to accountants and small businesses who want to take advantage of seamless, streamlined technology to help them manage their accounting and bookkeeping functions. Bill.com is their partner in providing the payable and receivable applications.
“Swizznet provides online access to the full version of QuickBooks so accountants, like those at Hernandez & Company, and their clients can work in the same QuickBooks file at any time, as long as they have an Internet connection,” explains Kristin Callan, Swizznet’s Director of Client Services. Instead of using QuickBook’s accounts payable functionality, their clients in- stall the Swizznet dashboard and syn- chronize with Bill.com through an easy-to-install plug-in. “Bill.com extends our functionality by putting the whole accounting process into the cloud. We have a variety of different firms who customize Bill.com’s capabilities to fit the way they use them.”
In fact, Swizznet started using Bill.com because of the strong demand for it among its customers. “Customers like Armando Hernandez began asking for it,” related Callan. “When he discovered that Bill.com had a top-notch product and offered excellent customer support, he wanted it.”
“It’s a great tool,” Hernandez confirms. “Most of our clients are using QuickBooks, and Bill.com has the same easy-to-use approach. The price is right, it’s easy to setup, easy to train people on, and easy to use. You receive an invoice from a customer by email or fax, and a few mouse-clicks later the bill is ready for approval. If you have a question or a problem, help is never far away. Bill.com has everything a small business needs, including near instant access to all the information and documents relating to an account with just a few mouse-clicks—no matter where in the world you happen to be. That’s about as simple as it gets. Bill.com allows our clients to compete in ways they were never able to before.”