If you are a small business owner who wants to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time on revenue-producing activities, bill payment automation apps are the tools that can make it happen. At Fleming & Associates, LLC, we are always learning about and testing new, practical tools for your small business. We have found several bill payment apps that can ensure accurate on-time payments and save time and effort.
Take a look at some statistics to see why you need a bill payment automation app for your business:
- It takes an average of one hour to process just five paper invoices.
- A recent report by Goldman Sachs estimates AP automation can drive 70-80% time savings for small- to medium-sized businesses.
- 27% of small business owners have difficulties creating and sending invoices.
- On average, paper invoices cost between $1.90 and $3.90, while electronic invoices cost just $1.30.
According to a recent report from Bloomberg, the Accounts Payable (AP) automation market is expected to grow from $1.9 billion in 2019 to $3.1 billion by 2024. It will progress at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.0% during that time. Don’t get left behind. Your competitors will not be continuing with the tedious and costly task of creating invoices manually, and neither should you. Bill pay automation apps will make your business operate more efficiently, and your clients will perceive you as a more professional business owner.
Let’s look at the top three bill pay automation apps we recommend to our clients.
Bill.com is a provider of cloud-based software that automates financial operations for more than 100,000 small-to-medium-sized businesses. This app simplifies bill paying and invoicing with smart AP and AR automation that syncs with multiple systems. You can also add new payment capabilities to your business with minimal effort. Bill.com offers a free trial to test whether this app is compatible with your business.
Some features that make Bill.com an excellent choice for small businesses:
- Gain more control by setting up custom approval tracking and alerts.
- Be audit-ready, with an automated log and timestamp of every interaction.
- Save on storage costs with unlimited document storage.
Four Easy Steps with Bill.com
Four Easy Steps with Bill.com
- Enter the payment information. You have multiple ways to do this, including letting vendors upload their own invoices.
- Approve the payment using customized approvers or approver groups that you create.
- Pay the amount owed. You have a variety of flexible payment options, including ACH, credit card, check, and wire transfer.
- Sync your payments. All your critical data can be auto-synced with your current accounting system.
You can test out Bill.com with a free trial here.
Like most automated bill payment apps, all your bill payments and invoices can be processed and tracked within the Melio app. What makes Melio unique is its pricing structure. There is no monthly subscription or charge for your business to pay by ACH or paper check. There is a 2.9% fee for credit card and debit card transactions. However, there is no charge for your business to receive payments by bank transfer, and credit card payments are also free. Similar to other platforms, the only fee you would pay affiliated with receiving payments is for instant transfers.
Melio also offers payment flexibility, so you can pay business bills with your credit card even in circumstances where cards aren't accepted. This feature can help with cash flow since it allows you to defer payments and hold onto your cash longer.
Here are the steps to get started with Melio:
- Create your own Melio account.
- Upload a bill or add an invoice.
- Make a payment through ACH, debit, or credit.
- Choose how the vendor gets paid: select either a bank transfer or a printed check.
You can get started with Melio at this link.
Billpay for QBO (QuickBooks Online)
QuickBooks Online is considered one of the best accounting software for small businesses. QBO offers affordable pricing, a wide range of full-service accounting features, and is used by seven million customers around the world. There is no monthly subscription or charge for your business to pay by ACH or paper check. However there is a charge of $0.99 per ACH transaction; $1.99 per check. The depth of available features, and the fact that it is so scalable for growing businesses, make QBO a popular choice with a large user base of small businesses.
What are some other key points of using QuickBooks Online Payments?
- Save time on data entry with all your bill pay and invoicing auto-synced with your current accounting system.
- International and Domestic payments through ACH or check.
- Track payment status.
- Full remittance information.
- Pay bills directly from your current QuickBooks account.
- Lower wire transfer fee compared to most banks.
Paper Checks Are a Thing of the Past
If you are still considering holding on to those paper checks, rest assured that the pros of switching to bill payment automation significantly outweigh the cons. Paper is quite fragile. It’s easy to tear, stain, and even misplace. If your entire bill payment automation system relies on paper, you might be putting yourself in a compromising position since backup options are very limited. Paper checks can also be easily stolen through the mail, and blank check stock can be used to write unauthorized checks. Switching to an automated bill paying app can alleviate all of these problems.
Saving Time, Money, and Energy is Just an App Away
Manually processing your bills is a time-consuming process and one that is also more prone to errors, such as paying a bill twice or writing down an incorrect amount. So, now is the time to start saving time, money, and energy with bill payment automation. Automated bill processing can make your accounting process so efficient and reliable that you can finally cross bill payments off your list of worries.
There is no charge to test out any of these apps, so why not get started right away?
Which of These Apps is Right For You?
If you already use QuickBooks, Melio and Bill.com both sync to QuickBooks Online. This feature allows you to utilize more than one of these effective bill pay automation tools. For small businesses that need an approver, we recommend bill.com. For those businesses that don't require a separate approver, we recommend Melio or Bill Pay for Quickbooks Online.
Imagine the end of this year with all your billing automated, all your transactions logged
and searchable, and your end-of-year accounting reports just a click away. If that seems exciting but a little daunting, we would be happy to help you get started.
At Fleming & Associates, LLC, we are passionate about helping you plan for profitability and believe automation is critical in making that happen. We want to ensure you receive the best resources and support to grow your small business. To learn more, please contact us online or email Bonnie Fleming at email@example.com.