Entrepreneur's Resolution: Going Paperless

If you haven’t already come up with a New Year’s resolution for your business, you might want to think about the following: going paperless.

It will definitely save you time and money. But more importantly, you can focus more attention on getting customers.

Sounds good, right?  It certainly does.

So to get some insight on making a business paperless, I reached out to René Lacerte, who is the CEO and founder of Bill.com. Prior to this, he sold PayCycle to Intuit and then ran the firm’s bill presentment operation.

All this experience proved invaluable for building Bill.com. Keep in mind that the company recently raised $38 million from investors like Scale Venture Partners, Bank of America, American Express, Fifth Third Bank, CheckFree founder Pete Kight and Commerce Ventures.

“For a business owner,” said René, “a transaction is the tip of the iceberg. Below is all the process, such as contracts, the history of invoices and so on. This is where much of the paper comes from.”

And yes, Bill.com helps to solve the problem.  As should be no surprise, it is super easy to set up. First you integrate the service with your accounting package, such as Intuit’s QuickBooks or Xero. This will automatically include your vendors and other accounts. Then you connect Bill.com to your bank account, which streamlines the payments. All this should take less than an hour.

Now, whenever you have a transaction, you can scan it – say via a smartphone – and email the bill to a unique Bill.com address or a fax number. The system will create a full profile for each transaction — including access to the contracts — which then updates your accounting system. In other words, you will have no need for your filing cabinets!

Yet René thinks a business owner needs to consider something else — that is, the workflow. “The big mistake is to just pay your bills as they come. But to have a truly efficient system you need to think about the process and how you can better manage your transactions. Should you have bill reviews? Dual signatures? It does not take long to come up with a workflow but it will definitely improve your business.”

Tom Taulli (@ttaulli) operates MasterCFO, which helps early-stage companies with accounting, payroll and taxes.

Source: Forbes Business

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