I like to share tools with you that have made my life easier and this one in particular, HubDoc, has been a game-changer.
You probably have bank statements, credit card bills, monthly bills from Comcast & Verizon, and transaction statements from Stripe or Paypal that are still sitting on their website waiting for you to download. You rarely remember to log in to the website, much less have an organized way of archiving them once you retrieve them. So, what is a busy owner supposed to do?
HubDoc for Bill & Statement Retrieval
Set up all of the accounts you access via the web in HubDoc. It uses your username and password for each website to retrieve statements and bills automatically.
The program is read-only, so it has no ability to change or enter data into the sites. (You can allow a third party, such as your accountant, to access your statements through HubDoc.)
Once downloaded, the statements are archived in file folders by account. The documents are retained until you delete them, so you have a full archive of all your statements and bills.
The first time you access your bank or credit card account, HubDoc automatically pulls the last 12 months of statements. For bills (or statements) that you can’t retrieve online, you can either email them to your HubDoc email address, upload them from within HubDoc, or upload them from the HubDoc mobile app by taking a picture.
HubDoc for Integrations
HubDoc not only performs retrieval and storage, it integrates with several accounting packages, including Quickbooks Online, Xero, and Bill.com. You create rules for each vendor and as it retrieves bills you can allow it to automatically sync to your accounting system.
HubDoc Creates a Paperless Workflow
You truly can create a paperless and mostly-automated workflow for your bills using HubDoc and your accounting systems. Here is the workflow I would use in a high-volume AP environment:
- Use Hubdoc as the retrieval mechanism for all vendor bills. HubDoc can recognize and pre-fill the vendor, invoice date, and amount. You can also set rules to configure each type of bill for the appropriate system and have it sync automatically.
- After HubDoc syncs the bill to Bill.com, the bills can be approved and paid.
- Finally, the bill (and payment) will be synced to Quickbooks Online and the cycle is complete.
If you are currently a Bill.com user, you may argue that Step 1 with HubDoc doesn’t add any value, since Bill.com is also able to receive bills via email.
However, Bill.com won’t automatically retrieve bills from web portals like HubDoc can. And at Hubdoc’s reasonable cost, it doesn’t hurt anything to add it to the workflow to take advantage of its automated retrieval.
If you do add HubDoc, I would recommend making it the primary repository instead of Bill.com, so you don’t have bills coming in both places. (And by the way, the bill image syncs to Bill.com as well. And it bypasses the Inbox since it already knows how to process it.)
Tip: HubDoc costs $20 per company for an unlimited number of users. If this tools saves someone in your business one hour a month, it has already paid for itself.
If you are on a more advanced accounting system such as Dynamics or NetSuite, you can still use HubDoc as your bill repository instead storing them in the Inbox of the “AP@companyname.com” mailbox. This would not eliminate the data entry into your accounting system, but it would give you a nice, organized repository for AP bills and statements.
And another note on your AP@companyname.com mailbox. Use automatic forwarding to forward the bills to whatever system you want to use (HubDoc, Bill.com, etc.) instead of updating your vendors every time you change systems. Yeah, I know, why didn’t I tell you that a year ago.
What’s Not to Love About HubDoc?
At times you will find that a connection stops working and needs to be updated with the answer to a security question. And occasionally, HubDoc will say it is having trouble connecting and it is hard to distinguish if it is a credentials (password) problem or a problem with the vendor website. Usually waiting a day or two before trying again solves the issue.
When a bank or vendor website is updated, HubDoc’s robot may not be able to retrieve documents until their tech team makes changes to the connection. The good news is it doesn’t take long for HubDoc to retrain the robot.
And finally, I have had a bank shut down online access to a client’s bank account because it suspected suspicious activity. Interestingly, they only shut down one of the two accounts that HubDoc was accessing at their bank. It took a few days, but after having the bank’s security department look at the offending IP address and comparing it to HubDoc’s, they removed the lock. And HubDoc was very helpful during the process.
In Conclusion: Use HubDoc!
Make your life and paperless workflow easier with HubDoc. $20 a month is less than one business lunch, so you don’t have much to lose. And quite a bit to gain.
Biz Hippo will be glad to help you create a paperless and efficient workflow for your Accounts Payable. And if you are a monthly accounting customer with Biz Hippo, we provide a HubDoc account at no charge. You’re welcome.
Caroline Devoy founded Biz Hippo to provide outsourced accounting services to small- and medium-sized founder-run businesses. She has over 30 years of accounting experience in small businesses and for 10 years ran her own internet retail company. She writes on topics of interest to small business owners.