Bill.com makes it easier for you to explain the benefits of automated bill payment technology to your customers.
Photo courtesy of Maksym Kaharlytskyi via Unsplash
The invention of the barcode and scanner did for supermarkets exactly what automated bill payment does for family offices and wealth management companies. How? ‘Or’ What?
On June 26, 1974, a packet of chewing gum had the distinction of being the first grocery item ever purchased and scanned at the checkout. Prior to this auspicious event, the process of getting food into store warehouses, on shelves, and paid for by customers was cluttered with all-paper record keeping, riddled with errors, and prone to all kinds of embezzlement. With an inventory system dating back to the 19th century, at the end of the day no one even knew how much of anything was being sold.
That all changed in the summer of 1974, when stores quickly began to embrace barcode and scanner, which automated every step of this process and in so doing reduced the risk of error and pilferage to almost non-existence. Not to mention that it made inventory and orders virtually automatic.
If this scenario sounds familiar to you, it’s because similar to home offices and wealth management companies that provide their clients with cloud-based automated bill payment software, such as the one provided by Bill.com, offer similar offersly transformer benefits for their wealthy families and by removing the slowness, vagueness and insecurity common to traditional back-office financial processes.
Imagine for your customers: no more keeping literal “books” on spreadsheets in filing cabinets, and no more issuing paper checks and expecting the US courier to deliver their payments (especially with the recent news from the UK). postal service slowing down deliveries). Instead, an automated bill payment system (like Bill.com) simplifies, digitizes, and fully automates the process. It also almost entirely reduces the risk of error, speeds up the entire bill payment process, and leaves few opportunities for those who might try something illegal. Finally, it does for the normally laborious audit process what the barcode did for store inventory.
This explains why a growing number of single family offices (SFO), multi-family offices (MFO) and wealth management companies (WMF) now offer automated bill payment as part of their management package for clients. . And since some 80 percent of businesses of all sizes still pay their bills with paper checks, this presents a huge opportunity for SFOs, MFOs and WMFs.
And the adoption of automated bill payment is on the rise. For example, Bill.com, at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, experienced year-over-year growth of 24% serving 121,200 customers. It is customers, including SFOs, MFOs, and WMFs, who have embraced the technology because they understand that paying bills is a key area of âârisk and wasted time for their HNW customers. They saw that automating bill payment removes the need to shuffle paper and allows HNW customers to stay on top of their bills from anywhere through a mobile app.
Many of these SFOs, MFOs and WMFs are happy to share how this technology has not only made their businesses more efficient and their customers happier, but it has also helped generate new business and increase customer âvisibilityâ. . And they’ll tell their stories in a follow-up post to this one.
But the main purpose of this space is just to explain what automated bill payment is and how it works., making it easier for you to explain the benefits of technology to your customers. Essentially, the process boils down to following the four manual steps of paying invoices (entering, approving, paying and synchronizing) and reconciling the books and simplifying them. Automating these four key steps essentially automates the workflow.
For starters, the technology offers automation upon receipt of an invoice. For example, with Bill.com, powerful features like Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) virtually eliminate data entry by automatically capturing required billing data as soon as invoices arrive in the inbox. The system starts the invoice creation process by extracting the required invoice data, such as vendor name, invoice number, invoice date, due date, and amount.
And to ensure accuracy, customers have the ability to review any invoice before submitting it. Leading solutions also automatically detect duplicate and incorrect invoices, alert those involved in the review chain, and reconcile invoices with a client’s accounting system and bank accounts. Approvals are set up in advance so the right people can approve when invoices are paid, and with the mobile app, they can approve on the go.
In addition to all of these benefits, offering this service shows that you want to proactively offer help in another aspect of your clients’ personal and financial lives. As Kevin Au, senior director of product marketing at Bill.com puts it:
âThe constraints placed on your high net worth clients can distract from important day-to-day tasks, such as managing invoices and reconciling accounts. This usually leads to sloppy invoices, inaccurate account records, and a host of other financial tracking issues. Offering a solution to these issues shows that you understand the importance of ensuring that your HNW customers are well taken care of at all levels.
Simply put, understanding and explaining how these technological advancements benefit your customers is good for business, your customers’ business certainly, but also yours.
As stated before, the purpose of this article was to get you up to speed and familiar with automated bill payment, so that you feel comfortable offering it to your customers. The companion article to this one, “The way you pay is who you are,” will appear soon on Worth.com and will offer real-life examples of how adoption of automated bill payment is not only improving. and measurably develop the business of SFO, MFO and WMF, but also how it can increase your appeal to a new generation of high net worth clients on the horizon.
And finally, a historical fact that you can freely share with your customers: write checks to pay bills and send them by mail from the United States …in the 18th century.