Accounting Software Expectation 2 Automated Bill Payment Management
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I tested Zoho’s bill’s calendar for accounts payable management. We can add auto reoccurring expenses and bills. I like this feature.
Here’s what the calendar looks like in Zoho, and we can set up reports to email you your bills due report.
I chose a spreadsheet format, but PDF is available as well:
Auto debit or auto draft payments for bills and expenses will not auto match your bills unless you use Forte. I recently went through a test with Forte and they failed. So, for me paying my bills online and adding in the auto debit is faster and cheaper but you can let me know what you think.
If I click on one of the days with a dollar amount, I receive a pop up with each bill that I can click on the bill and open the actual bill. So, from there I open my bank account to see what posted or what is posting for the day, and I receive my autopayments.
When I pay a bill that requires me to go to my vendor’s website after I pay and save my payment or get the email, I save to a folder go to the bill and process payment in Zoho. I attach my receipt for the bill there.
The accounts payable person would handle this process if the business owner does not handle. This feature is for managing bills due (including auto payments and drafts) planning spending,
But daily purchases will not show your daily expenses and the bookkeeper will help track your receipts to create those expense entries.
Your receipts for bills are separate. Please add those to the bill payment screen as this will not auto populate from the bank download. Also adding the transaction via the bank will cause duplicate entries for the reports.
Problems with Forte
- Forte works but it is slower, and they charge higher fees to pay your bills online. I had to fight them over PCI compliance because I had to either fill out a form that I do not understand or pay them $7.99 a month for a form that needs be filed once a year. If you do not use their service and if you do not understand the PCI compliance process Forte will charge $29.99 a month plus tax for non-compliance fees. I have not seen PCI compliance fees since merchant accounts first rolled out, but Forte is still processing this way to get more money.
- I had the close the accounts’ receivable part because I do not want to use Forte for client payment. I had to argue with Forte and the customer service needs much improvement.
- Setting up the Accounts Payable part proved to be difficult so if we do use them once you setup an account, they cannot change the account within the same bank, but they can change banks. I have never seen anything like that before.
- No billing statement until the next month. So, Forte will send me a statement, but I cannot plan for expenses. Personally, I do not like that feature. Forte also does not seem to understand they are working with Zoho Books for Accounts Payable. So, I am waiting to see the fees.
- The slow payments mean you need to send bill payments at least 5-7 days in advance. Since I have free online bill payments or payments with lower fees but this means the payment will not auto update the bill. I must add the payment to the bill in Zoho and that is fine with me because this is a good way to save unnecessary spending although I have to manage my entries. This process is not bookkeeping it is business accounting process management.
Using Forte to pay bills may work for you but I believe you should determine if you have better ways of making vendor payments. Paying online and thinking the payment will match your bill or not entering bills at all is not the solution. Accounting software and profitable business strategies come from accurate and detailed accounting reports. Bill management is often over looked and it showes in the bank account with additional bank fees.