accountants integrating bill.com + Xero to automate accounts payable

Automate Accounts Payable With Bill.com + Xero

Ready to simplify monotonous billing for your business accounting? Lucky you, this is the new financial frontier where you can automate accounts payable. With Bill.com your manual processing is a thing of the past.

In this article:

  • What is accounts payable?
  • Accounts payable fintech solutions
  • Why automate accounts payable with Bill.com?
  • 7 quick steps to integrate Bill.com + Xero

What Is Accounts Payable?

Accounts payable is everything a business owes in the short-term. Even more, it is an organized ledger that tracks all immediate expenses for reporting and tax purposes. Accounts payable manages current liabilities by identifying supplier costs, processing bills and expenses, meeting due dates, recording shipping fees and tax charges, and reconciling damages and credits.

Benefits of Strong Accounts Payable Processing

Having solid accounts payable (AP) processing holds great potential. Paying bills on time, in full, creates good credit history with vendors. Building a supplier support system leads to speedy inventory fulfillment, and potential billing discounts. A high functioning accounts payable can unlock savings and reduce overall business costs.

What Can Go Wrong In Accounts Payable (AP)?

Human error and outdated manual processing holds accounts payable back. People by nature have lapses in judgment, biases, and are only able to work a certain amount of time. According to the Aberdeen Group, industry stats show 8 out of 10 invoices have at least 1 exception. It is near impossible for an accountant to manually perfect processing and data entry, especially when hundreds of checks are involved.

An accountant working in an accounts payable fintech databank, erasing 0's and 1's

Accounts Payable Fintech Solutions

Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are improving accounting measurably. They are annexing repetitious computing in cloud-based accounting software. Accounts payable fintech is enhancing bill processing, expense, and invoice tracking for bookkeepers and accountants so they can concentrate on tasks that require more analysis and critical thinking. 

Benefits of automating accounts payable for your business:

  • Saves time by minimizing errors
  • Increases opportunity for cost savings
  • Provides a centralized accounts payable function 
  • Aggregates large amounts of data for financial statements and taxes

Why Automate Accounts Payable With Bill.com?

Founded in 2006, it is longstanding accounts payable fintech that saves time and energy on bookkeeping procedures. Take it from an accountant, Bill.com is a great platform. Features like image capture and auto bill entry, minimize labor in our month-end closing

You can leverage Bill.com to automate accounts payable with these innovations: 

Centralized Accounts Payable Function

Signing on with Bill.com means having a centralized accounts payable function. Your entire AP department runs through a secure cloud-based site, where everything flows into one main hub. You can automate all billing into Bill.com and manage payments with a clearly defined chain of command. 

Internal workflow happens like this:

  1. You receive a bill in your Bill.com email.
  2. A clerk or an accountant checks the bill against an invoice in your accounting software and prepares the bill.
  3. A higher-level accountant approves the bill.
  4. You or approval-only members receive a notification to pay a bill.
  5. The bill is paid through a connected bank account.

Bill.com Auto Bill Entry
Bill.com auto bill entry happens thanks to “IVA.” This in-house virtual assistant bot reads your paper or digital invoices and transfers data to Bill.com. You barely have to lift a finger because she cuts down manual input and scans for errors like duplicate bills. With repeated use IVA gets better, learning your vendor and expense accounts, and taking cues from historical accounting data. 

ACH Transfers

By connecting a bank account and electing auto pay you never miss a due date. Bill.com offers easy ACH transfers, where vendors can privately input their banking information to receive direct payments. Since it is a wire transfer, there are no transfer fees. This is conducive for companies doing business globally to cut costs. Plus Bill.com has payment tracking to quickly resolve transfer disputes.

How To Integrate Bill.com + Xero

One of the best features of Bill.com is its integration capabilities with popular accounting software like Xero. By syncing the two you reduce double data entry of bills in your accounting system. This is a quick step-by-step to integrate Bill.com + Xero:

Bill.com + Xero Initial Setup

To integrate, first you need to have your Xero accounting system up and running. Do these 3 things before syncing Bill.com:

  • Sign up for a Xero plan that supports your billing and invoicing demand. Keep in mind the Early plan only permits 5 bills per month. 
  • Have a clear chart of accounts that follows the accounts on your balance sheet. Usually, the Xero chart of accounts is sufficient for most companies starting out. 
  • Connect your bank account and make sure to enter an accurate bank balance. All of your accounting will be based on this balance so it needs to be correct from the start.

Next, you need to have an account with Bill.com. At sign up walk-through and enter your business info, set up a custom email to receive/send invoices, and add your vendors and customers.

7 Quick Steps To Integrate Bill.com + Xero

Follow these steps to integrate your Bill.com accounts payable to Xero:

  1. In Bill.com select settings
  2. Select Sync and setup Xero
  3. Login into your Xero account and the two accounts will be connected.
  4. Go back to the Sync Center in Bill.com and select Sync Preferences to program settings for the way Bill.com + Xero talk to each other.
  5. In preferences, set accounts for unallocated expenses and income (uncategorized one-off events), clearing accounts (where invoices wait to be reconciled), bank accounts, and fund transferring accounts. Note: Typically, any invoices you enter into Bill.com will be assigned to your designated expense accounts. Since you already have your Xero chart of accounts prepared, each time you enter a new vendor/client you can assign a corresponding expense account. 
  6. In preferences, set an account as a Master in Case of Conflict to override in case of an error.  Sometimes you will need to make corrections to your entries, the master is where you are inputting the most changes that you want saved.
  7. CAUTION! By default, all billing and invoicing will sync two ways between Xero and Bill.com. In preferences, if you check “sync only approved bills from…” this is a one-way selection that CANNOT be undone.
A character showing how to pay a bill with Bill.com accounts payable

How To Pay A Bill With Bill.com

Voila! You are integrated. Now for a little Bill.com accounts payable magic. Here is how you process a bill:

    1. Receive a bill into your inbox either directly into the Bill.com inbox, drag and drop from the computer, or snapshot of the bill within the bill.com phone app
    2. Open the bill to be invoiced and IVA automatically reads the bill and inputs data. If it is a purchase order, it will be synced from Xero and IVA will link it to the invoice.  
    3. Pay the bill in 2 ways:
      • You can elect to have your bank process the payment. They will take the money out of a connected account, cut a check, and send it to the vendor. This option could be subject to bank fees.
      • You can invite the vendor to accept an ACH e-payment. They will securely input their info into Bill.com then you approve a direct payment to their account.

Bill.com Accounts Payable

Using Bill.com is the most efficient way to automate accounts payable. This platform organizes your AP processing and saves your business time. It is important to note, this is not 100% automated, you will still need a body to monitor this technology for accuracy. Still, by integrating Bill.com into your accounting system you instantly modernize your business and open the door for growth.

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