Business Efficiency & Process Optimization Consultant 
Bill Management Tips Reconsidering On-Time Bill Payments

Bill management is tracking bills, yes, I know most people hate paying bills.  We love to see money coming in but hate to see it go out.  I have learned to change my mindset about bills.  I am thankful I have the funds to pay my vendors.  We support each other during the cycle of business we must exchange money not just collect.  I also seek out quality products, so I appreciate making the payments to use those services or equipment.  

Auto payment processing -recurring payment is bill management.

We live in a world where auto-draft or auto-charge is the primary way to pay bills, outside of writing checks. Or digital transactions are required by some businesses /vendors now.  The payment date is set and automatically (the system processes) the payment after a one-time setup.  Normally, when we pay annually, we receive a discount.  However, many select monthly because they are operating month to month and that’s alright.  I also suggest monthly payments when testing out the software. 

Consider if your software is a good fit.

Sometimes the software may not be a good fit and it takes longer than the free trial to assess the software, so pay monthly.  If the software is not a good fit, it will be easier to cancel without having to go through the refund process.  What’s the best way to keep up with your bills?  When you receive your vendor invoice, if it doesn’t automatically come out of your account, you will need to plan to process payment or process it right away.  Many people prefer 30-45 payments or what is called payment on account (not a common process for new or small business owners.).

Software for bill payments.

I recommend using your accounting software to remember these bill payments.  Although they are auto-draft you can set up post-dated invoices for them to appear on your calendar feature so you can see what is coming up.  If you want the payment to be posted automatically in the bank in the software add it as a recurring bill.  The bill will be auto-created and posted to your bank account inside your software.  You will match your auto bill to the bill (invoice) that you receive from your vendor to this bill as an attachment.  You will still have to go match the payment to the downloaded transactions.  

I like this feature because it helps me catch charging errors and I have seen some companies increase pricing without notice.  So, I can question what is happening to stay on top of the nickel and dimming process.  Businesses slowly charge additional small amounts of time.  Or fraud as no one notices there are sudden charges on their account that they did not purchase.  

What is the difference between a bill and an invoice?

When is an invoice a bill?  An invoice is a bill when you receive the invoice from your supplier or vendor.  Just as your invoice to your clients is a bill to them.  Your bill will say invoice but if you must pay the invoice, it’s a bill to you so you enter this in the billing section.  Using Zoho Books you can email your bills to yourself and add them directly inside the software or you can upload them.  If you pay for the auto-scan feature Zoho Books will pull the information from the invoice in most cases.  Although I recommend software, please note nothing is perfect but it can help make the workload more efficient and proficient.  

Bill Management Steps:

  1. Review the bill (invoice) from your vendor.  Is the amount correct?  If not, reach out to your vendor for questions.  Bills that are not auto debited allow for time to discuss your bill.  If the bill is auto drafted with an unexpected amount still reach out to your vendor.  Often the vendor will offer a refund If I stress If your bill is incorrect.
  2. Review the bill for future increases.  When we invoice clients, we need to give the client notice of an upcoming increase.  As the client this time when you receive your bill your vendor is supposed to give you a notice of the increase.  Prepare your budget for the increase or assess how often you use the service or product to determine if it’s worth the increase.  
  3. Add the bill to your calendar or if you use software add the bill to the bill section in your accounting software.  Set up reoccurring bills in your software for the auto draft.  

Learn more about my accounting and business process, software recommendations, and more.  

Related Blog:

Reviewing "Automation" for Bill Management and a Calendar Demo

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