This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
BILL (formerly bill.com) is a web-based billing and invoicing software for small businesses and accounting firms. It features accounts payable (A/P) automation to streamline your processing of accounts payable and speed up the settlement of vendor invoices. Users can also pay vendors within BILL to make the payment process easier and more convenient. Monthly plans start at $45 per user.
BILL Deciding Factors
Supported Business Types
Small businesses looking for an affordable A/P solution
No free trial
Accounting Software Integrations
Special A/P Features
Automatic bill capture from email
Optical character recognition
Batch processing of bills
BILL New Features for 2023
- Pay By Card: This new feature allows you to pay Vendor Direct vendors with a credit card whether they accept card payments or not. BILL processes the payment with your credit card provider and then sends the payment to your vendor via ACH ePayment, check, or Vendor Direct virtual card, depending on your vendor payment setup. You can use any U.S. credit or debit card.
- Bill balance: You can now set up a future-dated bill payment instead of having all payments processed on the next business day by default. You can pay vendors from the bill itself, the Bills page, or even without a bill. To pay without a bill, select Payments out from the left navigation menu bar, click on Pay a vendor, and provide the information required, such as the payment amount and the processing date.
Best for: Businesses that are looking for complete accounting software with A/P and A/R functions
Best for: Freelancers that are looking for QuickBooks alternatives with excellent customer service
Best for: New businesses looking for a free billing software
Cost: Starts at $60 per month
Cost: Starts at $17 per month
Cost: $0 platform fee
Still can’t decide between BILL or QuickBooks? Read our BILL vs QuickBooks comparison to learn more about their features, similarities, differences, and use cases.
BILL offers a billing and invoicing solution for businesses and accounting firms. Customers can choose invoicing solutions (A/R), billing solutions (A/P), or a combination of both. BILL also offers free basic A/R and A/P functions if you get either the Pay Bills or Get Paid plan. However, if you want advanced features like automatic sync with accounting software, getting one of the paid plans―Pay Bills, Get Paid, or both―is needed.
For Small Businesses
For Accounting Firms
The Accountant Partner Program of BILL is accessible to accounting professionals at $49 per month. The program includes:
- Automatic data capture for bills and invoices
- Bill routing to approvers
- Product training with the possibility of earning CPE credits
- Resell AP/AR services to clients
When sending or receiving payments via BILL, transaction fees will apply.
ePayment/ACH Processing Fee
$0.49 per transaction (send & receive)
Check Mailing by bill.com
$1.69 per check or invoice
Invoice Mailing by bill.com
$1.49 per invoice
Payment by Credit or Debit Card
2.9% of payment (applies to the payor)
Receiving Payments by Credit or Debit Card
Level 3 processing rates
International Wire Transfer (Local Currency)
$0 fee and competitive exchange rates
International Wire Transfer (USD)
$14.99 flat fee
Vendor Direct Virtual Card payment
$0 for vendors who accept Vendor Direct
Faster ACH Payments
$9.99 (same or next day)
Faster Check Payments
Looking for an affordable billing software? We recommend checking out Melio, a billing software that charges only transaction fees and has zero platform fees.
BILL is both an A/P and A/R solution for small businesses. Let’s go over BILL’s A/P and A/R features.
The dashboard of BILL is clean and organized. It’s easy to navigate from the Overview page. This kind of user experience is suitable for small business owners who perform billing and invoicing.
All approved bills will go to the Bills section. There, you’ll see a list of bills approved, including details like due dates, balance due, payment status, and payment amount.
Through bill.com, you pay vendors in various ways. You can perform e-payments, Vendor Direct for larger billers, international wire transfers across 130 currencies, and check payments. The Vendor Direct program is for billers that prefer credit card payments, and you can set it up without enrolling or paying additional fees.
In the upper right corner, you set the date to bulk pay bills. After you’ve set the date, the process date of all check bills will adjust automatically, based on the payment date. You can also partially pay bills by modifying the amount under the Payment Amount column. Once you’re set, click Review & Pay to proceed to the Remittance screen.
In the remittance screen, you’ll have the chance to review payment details like mailing address and email address. You can also add notes in the memo up to 80 characters. When you enter something in the memo field, the same will appear in the memo line of the check. Once bills have been submitted for payment, all transactions will transfer to the Payments Out screen.
You can still manage payments in the Payments Out screen. If payments have been processed but not yet deposited, you can click Void under the Actions column to cancel the payment. However, if payments are still scheduled or pending approval, you can cancel them by clicking Cancel Payment.
bill.com has a mobile app that you can use to capture receipts and approve bills on the go. With it, users can process bills from vendors, and approvers can review submitted bills. Approvers can swipe right to approve bills and swipe left to reject them.
bill.com’s invoicing and basic A/R features are free in the A/P subscription. However, the free invoicing in the A/P subscription excludes unlimited data storage for invoices, automatic sync with accounting software, and recurring invoices. If you need these features, you should get the Get Paid and Pay Bills plan.
The platform has decent invoicing features, such as the ability to choose from different templates and upload your logo to reflect your brand. You can also customize the invoice fields based on your unique needs.
You can track the status of the invoice from within the bill.com app. However, if the customer doesn’t have a bill.com account, there’s no way of tracking the invoice electronically. You can instead reach out to the payor to ask about the status. If the customer processes your invoice through bill.com but didn’t pay using bill.com, the invoice status will be marked as Paid Outside of bill.com. You need to manually record payment to close the invoice.
When you receive a bill from a vendor, bill.com captures important information like the due date, invoice number, invoice date, and amount due from the PDF or scanned vendor invoice automatically. In the image below, you’ll see some fields completed for you automatically.
bill.com has an outstanding optical character recognition (OCR) feature powered by its artificial intelligence (AI). It only takes a maximum of 30 seconds for bill.com to read a PDF document and capture essential information.
In this section, we look into the special A/P features that focus on A/P automation, an important feature that makes it easy to manage and pay bills.
Receiving bills and sending invoices via email can be a problem without proper segregation of documents. On bill.com, you’ll be provided with a specific email address where you can send invoices to customers and receive bills from vendors. In the image below, you’ll see the email address where all bills and invoices are forwarded. Once forwarded, you’ll get a notification in the bill.com inbox.
- Forwarding address: Your vendors can email their invoices to this forwarding address from bill.com. Instead of giving them a traditional email address and manually exporting vendor invoices, this address automatically fetches all invoices and brings them to the platform. You can also customize the forwarding address to insert your company name.
- Inbox: Vendor invoices or files sent to the forwarding address will appear in this inbox. bill.com extracts useful information like vendor name, due date, and amount due for a quick reference automatically. If you click an item, the full invoice will appear on the right.
Once you receive a bill, bill.com’s Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) will capture key billing information like vendor name, vendor’s invoice number, due date, and amount due. However, the A/P clerk can still fill in other fields like purchase order (PO) number or payment terms.
You can also manage other kinds of documents on the platform. IVA can read handwritten invoices and capture important information like vendor name and amount due. bill.com can also detect duplicate invoices by checking the invoice numbers and then linking out to the original invoice.
In case of multiple bills in one PDF file, bill.com will split them into three files automatically whenever the system detects different vendor names. With the unlimited storage feature, you can also bring in other document types, like W-9s, contracts, and agreements. Moreover, you can assign documents to vendors for easier access.
For example, you can attach a W-9 to a vendor while it’s being stored in a particular folder. In this way, you can access all W-9 forms easily in the W-9 folder or access a specific W-9 by going to the vendor profile.
bill.com learns from your past transactions. Whenever you receive a bill from a vendor, the system codifies the bill automatically by suggesting accounts affected by the transaction. In our image below, bill.com suggested that the bill from Snyder Uniform Supply be chargeable to specific expense accounts.
bill.com also automates the assignment of approvers through Bill Approval Policies. If you think that you need to manually assign approvers per invoice, you can let bill.com do the majority of the work for you through Bill Approval Policies.
You can set logical arguments and criteria when creating policies. In this way, bill.com can assign approvers for you automatically if the transaction matches the criteria. You can also create multiple approval policies to help reduce the data entry time in every transaction.
- Approval Workflows: After the approver is assigned automatically, they will see the billing on a dedicated page for approvers only. In the approver’s dashboard, they’ll see the invoice number, vendor, account affected, due date, invoice date, and billed amount. On the far right of the screen, they can immediately approve the bill by simply clicking Approve.
The approver can also batch approve or manually approve bills one by one. They can click the item to view all the details about the transaction. In the image below, we can see all the details pertaining to the transaction including the actual vendor invoice. On the approver’s end, invoice details are view-only. They cannot edit it to correct mistakes or change the information.
If the approver finds a problem, they can return it to the submitter for revision. When denying or rejecting bills and vendor credits, the approver must select a reason for rejection. These reasons include:
- Duplicate bill
- Data entry error
- Incorrect approver
- Other (The approver must specify)
Once the approver is satisfied with the bill or the bill has been rerouted to another person, the approver can approve the bill. After clicking Approve, bill.com will generate a timestamp and generate a virtual signature after approval. Once done, the bill cannot be edited or deleted to preserve the integrity of accounting records.
bill.com has an auditor access feature that gives your company’s auditor easy access to documents without going through you. Just like the approver’s page, the auditors will have a special login page where they can pull up any invoice or record from your account.
When changes are made to transactions, every change will appear in the audit trail. You can view the audit trail per transaction.
The audit trail shows who edited the transaction, when it was edited, what field was affected, and what changes occurred. Having an audit trail helps in improving your business’ internal control and prevents employees from performing fraudulent acts.
Users can access live support from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time, Monday to Friday. For immediate support, users may check the Help Center to search for answers. BILL doesn’t have phone numbers where customers can call for support directly. As an alternative to the live chat and Help Center, users can fill up the query form. BILL’s limited support channels is the reason why its ease of use score is not very high.
However, its A/P function is outstanding. It can help you organize your billings and process payments from within the app. The user interface is also neat and easy to use even for small business owners. However, we dislike the limitations of BILL’s A/R functions. You can only maximize its features if your customers are also using BILL. Otherwise, it’ll be hard to track invoice status and determine if payment has been sent.
BILL User Reviews
Users who left positive reviews of BILL mentioned that the program is an excellent way to pay vendors and get paid. One user noted that BILL helps him easily send invoices to his consulting clients and get paid through ACH bank transfers. Another user likes that adding new customers is simple and that those customers don’t need to set up anything. Meanwhile, those who left negative reviews wished that there was an option to talk to a customer support agent over the phone.
Here’s how BILL is rated by several review websites:
- Featured Customers: 4.7 out of 5 stars based on ~3,200 reviews
- GetApp: 4.2 out of 5 stars based on ~450 reviews
- G2.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars based on ~430 reviews
BILL integrates with popular accounting software and ERP solutions.
- Oracle NetSuite
- Sage Intacct
- Microsoft Dynamics
- Earth Class Mail
- Thomson Reuters
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is BILL used for?
Businesses use BILL to streamline their A/P and A/R processes. It offers different ways to pay bills and accept payments from your customers.
Is it free to send and accept money in BILL?
No, BILL charges a monthly fee per user plus small transaction fees. For electronic payments, BILL charges $0.49 per transaction.
Is there a fee for using BILL?
BILL charges a monthly fee per user plus small transaction fees.
What plan should I get if I want to integrate BILL with accounting software?
You should get the Team or Corporate plan for accounting software integration. BILL won’t charge an additional fee for integration, but make sure that you have existing subscriptions with your chosen accounting software.
BILL offers a convenient two-in-one solution for billing and invoicing. Its A/P automation and A/P workflow make billing simpler with less data entry and easier with approvers on standby. BILL’s invoicing side has limitations if your customers aren’t using BILL. You can’t fully utilize the invoice tracking features for customers processing invoices outside BILL. Overall, BILL’s A/P functions are outstanding but we can’t recommend it for A/R.