Bill.com Delivers SMB Cash Flow Forecasting

By Pedro Hernandez | Posted June 27, 2012

Money in, money out. Sounds simple, but the reality of keeping the finances on the level can turn into an exhaustingly manual balancing act for the small business owner.

Not anymore, says Bill.com's founder and CEO, René Lacerte. Today, the company launched the latest component of its Cash Flow Command and Control System, an interactive cash flow visualization capability.

Bill.com came about because the software market's approach to accounts receivable and payables kept falling short, says Lacerte. "I realized that consumer applications don't come close to meeting the needs of a business," he tells Small Business Computing.

So Bill.com was born, a cloud-based service that uses the cloud to bridge the divide between paper-based billing systems and accounting software. Before Bill.com, Lacerte co-founded PayCycle in 1999, an online payroll service that was acquired ten years later by Intuit.


Today, a Bill.com account grants a business owner, financial officer or an entire accounting department, access to an all-encompassing accounts payable and receivables toolset. The service has mechanisms for invoicing, reminders, payment approvals and annotations. These are a few among several features that all work together to give a user up-to-the-minute updates on a payment's or invoice's progress without double data entry.

Security matters, too. The platform supports "super users" along with accounts with varying degrees of access and permissions.

Track and Control Cash Flow

With the newly-launched interactive visualization tool, bookkeepers can visually forecast their company's financial fitness into the foreseeable future. And all without ever having to fire up Excel and spending hours re-entering data to run "what if" scenarios.

Bill.com visually presents cash inflows and outflows using a simple timeline. Acting as a self-service dashboard of sorts, the chart self-adjusts when a user changes parameters like a bill payment date or amount.

First and foremost, this is a planning tool. You can, for instance, use it to witness the impact to the company's reserves if an invoice looks like it's going to be paid a little late. The business can then opt to hold a bill until reserves recover enough to keep the books safely in the black.

There's no danger of triggering an avalanche of payments or spamming clients with invoices by turning one too many virtual dials. The system only makes the changes official via the traditional approvals processes.

Lisa Lang, Bill.com's senior vice president of marketing, says that the motivation behind offering Cash Flow Command and Control boils down to "providing our customers with a real-time tool that allows them to control their bottom line."

What's more, Bill.com's platform doesn't require businesses to ditch their previous accounting systems and investments, assures Darren Linscott, who not only serves as vice president of products for the company, but is also an accountant. Bill.com "integrates with the postal system, integrates with banking systems and accounting systems" like QuickBooks, says Linscott.

Bill.com's Cash Flow Command and Control forecasting features go live today.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

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