Cloud Accounting

Accounting Automation Bliss: Hubdoc + Bill.com

Written by Judie McCarthy

Accounting Automation As I find myself trying to write this article, one thing comes to mind—Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I’m sure that at this point many of you may be wondering if I’m even fit to be writing at all. Well, hear me out. What’s behind that thought is simple—in my mind, Bill.com + Hubdoc are a perfect combination, just like chocolate + peanut butter.

At the Sleeter Conference in 2014 I had the pleasure of stumbling across the Hubdoc booth, where I took the time to learn about what their solution had to offer and their vision for the future. That was my “aha” moment, realizing they had the missing link that I didn’t even know was missing. Immediately the wheels began to spin in my pretty little head and I had a vision of how I would like Hubdoc to work with Bill.com. Today I am thrilled to be writing about how that vision has become a reality.

Bill.com has been my chocolate since 2007 and now Hubdoc is my peanut butter. The newly released Hubdoc + Bill.com integration brings together two of my favorite cloud applications. With this super combination we are one step closer to a world of zero data entry.

Many of you already know what Bill.com can do for your business. Hubdoc is a relative newcomer in the accounting software arena. They recently had the honor of being added to the Bill.com App Center.

Billcom app center

Figure 1. Bill.com App Center

Hubdoc helps automate small business bookkeeping. It does this by gathering key financial documents in one place—automatically. What really makes Hubdoc different from everyone else is that they can automatically retrieve online statements and invoices from companies such as Verizon, Comcast, and most major Financial Institutions. Hubdoc has over 500 automated connections and they are adding more and more every week. Furthermore, Hubdoc extracts key data from your documents, getting them ready to publish to your accounting platforms.

All this gets even more valuable through the Hubdoc + Bill.com integration. By combining these products, it’s easy to create an automated workflow for all of your payables. A bill can travel from Verizon to Hubdoc to Bill.com and be routed to the default approver without you having to touch it. Accounting automation is finally within reach.

Bill.com + Hubdoc = Zero Data Entry on Bills

With the Bill.com + Hubdoc integration come three core benefits:

No More Chasing Down Client Bills

Advisors spend up to 35% of their time chasing their clients for documents. Hubdoc automatically pulls your online bills and statements into their secure hub. Never chase documents again.

You can also provide suppliers with your custom Hubdoc email address. They can send invoices directly to Hubdoc, saving you time and any administrative burden.

Data Management, Not Data Entry

Hubdoc extracts the key data from your bills (Amount, Vendor, Bill Date, Due Date, Invoice #). Hubdoc’s Vendor Rules control how bills are coded when pushed to Bill.com. This includes granular control over the Account, Vendor, Class, Department, and Location. These lists are pulled directly from your Bill.com account.

This automation will save you data entry time in Bill.com and help you move up the value chain.

End-to-End Automation for Bills

Hubdoc handles collection and management of your bills. Bill.com handles approval and payment, and syncs to your accounting.

Hubdoc + Bill.com Workflow

Now let’s talk about the ideal workflow. The goal is to have the first time you see the bill be around the approval process.

Change is hard for small business owners and their advisors. Often, the biggest obstacle to adopting new software is adjusting workflow. I thought it might be helpful to suggest a set of best workflow practices for Bill.com and Hubdoc.

  1. Hubdoc auto-fetches a bill or receives it via Hubdoc email address from you, your client, or one of their vendors.
  2. Hubdoc extracts the key data (Amount, Vendor, Bill Date, Due Date, Invoice #). The bill is now ready to publish to Bill.com.
  3. Create a Vendor Rule in Hubdoc to publish the bill to the correct Account, Vendor, Class, Department, and Location in Bill.com. Hit the “Publish” button (all future bills will be published to Bill.com automatically).
  4. The bill document image along with all the key data arrive in Bill.com as a processed bill ready for approval and/or payment.
  5. Bill.com syncs the bill to your accounting system (Xero, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, Intacct, Netsuite).

How it Works

Make sure you have a Hubdoc account and a Bill.com account.

  1. Connect your Hubdoc account to your Bill.com account.

You do this in the Destinations tab of Hubdoc. You can also connect Bill.com to Hubdoc by connecting to Hubdoc from the Bill.com App Center. Both methods work.

Hubdoc Destinations

Figure 2. Hubdoc Destination Tab

  1. Configure a Hubdoc Vendor to push to Bill.com

Hubdoc publishes to Bill.com by allowing you to build vendor rules. In the example below, the user has configured Comcast to publish a bill coded as follows to Bill.com:

  • Account: Telephone & Internet
  • Vendor: Comcast
  • Tracking Class: Not selected
  • Location: New York
  • Departments: Sales

The next time Hubdoc retrieves a Comcast bill, it will be published to Bill.com based on those coding rules.

Comcast Bills Rules

Figure 3. Configure Vendor Rules in Hubdoc

  1. Wait for the magic as bills start to flow into Bill.com.

Hubdoc automatically fetches the bill (from Comcast in this example), extracts key data such as bill date, due date, vendor, amount, and invoice number, and then publishes it to Bill.com by creating a Bill. This bypasses the Bill.com Inbox, creates the bill transaction that includes the document image, and routes it to the default approver or approval workflow for the last transaction for that vendor.


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About the author

Judie McCarthy

Judie McCarthy is the founder and owner of ThinkLeader Consulting, where she helps accounting professionals embrace and implement cloud technologies that streamline their operations and increase productivity. A longtime member of the QuickBooks ProAdvisor program, she is certified in both QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online. Judie is the former Director of Accountant Relations for Bill.com, where she served as the lead subject matter expert for their Expert and Guru Certification training courses, making her one of the foremost experts on Bill.com. In addition, she is the Author of Grow Your Accounting Practice Using Bill.com: Improve How Your Clients Pay, Get Paid, and Manage Their Money, published by the Sleeter Group (available here). You can connect with Judie on LinkedIn and Twitter.

16 Comments

  • Hi Judy. We met at Scaling New Heights in New Orleans. Great article! I found the information very helpful. Hubdoc also caught my attention at SNH, but I have had a difficult time digesting how to implement this new application in client processes. Your article was extremely helpful! Thank you so much.

  • I think you assumed too much here for someone coming across this article.

    You don’t explain at all the need to go to bill.com from hubdoc first rather than straight to xero, or why to even use hubdoc at all if you already have bill.com. Sounds on the face of it as though they do very similar things but no way to know from this article why one would use both.

    Can you fill all that in?

    • Hi Tony,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my article and post your thoughts.

      In a nutshell here is a simplified explanation that I hope will help.

      • Hubdoc automatically retrieves the bills and statements from vendors and populates all the required fields for bill entry then send to Bill.com.
      • Bill.com is used for managing the approval workflow and sending payments to vendor via ACH or Bill.com will mail a check on your behalf. This information is then synced to your acounting system.
      • Xero is your GL accounting system that is used for managing all your financial data. The information is synced in from Bill.com, eliminating the need for duplicate data entry. This keeps your financial reports accurate and up to date.

      To summarize differences between these 3 applications:

      • Hubdoc is a document retrieval and storage solution.
      • Bill.com does not automatically retrieve documents and is not a full GL package.
      • Xero does not have document retreival like Hubdoc or a robust approval system and the ability to pay bills via ach like Bill.com does.

      To learn more about the power of Bill.com check out some of my other great articles, https://www.sleeter.com/blog/author/judie-mccarthy/

      • Perfect. Well put. I really appreciate the fact that I can delete a document in HUBDOC, like really trash it, never to see it again. Or just file it, in the appropriate folder as back up for a bill without publishing it to Bill com or QBO. As a filing cabinets Hubdoc is tops. And as you said, it drives bill (image of all pages) with all data entered to Bill com for payment. This way all the transactiononal info and docs are all together from the bill to the canceled check or whatever way the bill was paid.

        Judie you are the best when it come to explaining this stuff. I never miss a word of everything you write on the subject, even if I know it. Thanks.

  • As Tony pointed out, it is confusing with the overlapping apps. Here’s how I think of it – in one simple question:

    Do you need to pay the bill by check or EFT? If yes, send it from Hubdoc to Bill.com (and from there to accounting)

    If not: Already paid the bill (eg it is a receipt)? Skip Bill.com. Send it from Hubdoc direct to accounting (if you have QBO, etc. that integrates).

    (Exception: Some may be already using Bill.com for storage of all documents, even if paid….need to decide if you’re gonna let Hubdoc take over that function.)

  • I am trying to do what Wayne is saying so I directly published into QBO as payments when I received a bill that was already paid via HubDoc (from my Staff). I thought this would work then I wouldn’t have to go through the Bill.com process to show it was paid outside of Bill.com.

    When I logged in yesterday all the bills I published only to QBO were now duplicated in Bill.com. Any thoughts on this? I made sure all my vendors that went to bill.com didn’t have the sync option setup.

    Thanks!

  • My favorite feature of Hubdoc is the way it captures the image of the Bill, and once published to my QBO it attaches a copy of the image to the transaction inside of QBO. I’ve read through the article and all the posts and my only question left now is …. Does the image of the Bill still get attached to the transaction in QBO if it passes through Bill.com first?

    • Thank you for your comment. At the current time, Bill.com does not pass any document image to Hubdoc or any other connected applications. I encourage you to submit a feature request to Bill.com; they do take customer requests into consideration when building out features. We store all our payables docs in Bill.com, think of it as just a separate digital filing cabinet or drawer for just bills. Or you can run everything through Hubdoc (sync with QBO & BIll.com) and make it your central filing system for all bills, statements, and receipts.

  • Hi Judie,
    Thanks, great post. Document management software saves tons of time for every business owner. Few month ago I started to use another great solution that allows to automatically collect, find and transfer incoming invoices to other bookkeeping services (getmyinvoices.com). It takes that whole mess away and keeps finance happy with me!

  • The Europeans are coming?!

    GetMyInvoices is a different angle not necessarily better when compared to HUBDOC. Personally HUBDOC is a winner and getting better all the time. They just have to keep keeping on. I just love that the receptionist no longer just opens mail. She my HUBDOC bot-keeper. Their integration with Bill com is instant—so my admin people can keep trucking with AP. I don’t know, it’s hard to beat the HUBDOC Bill com integration. My 2 cents. 🙂

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