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Save Time on Your Bills & Receipts Processing

A recent survey conducted by VHMA (Veterinary Hospital Managers Association) showed that practices spend 60-90 minutes a week on accounts payables. That is 52-78 hours in a year! In today’s world, where staff shortages are a new norm and extreme amounts of patients are pouring in through the door, that is a lot of time. Are you using technology to your advantage, and most importantly, have you embraced business automation in your accounts payable process? Suppose your accounts payable are in paper format, and you are typing the bills in your accounting software manually. If that is thecase, you are in for a treat. Read on as your life is about to change. 

Hubdoc Introduction

I am not here to sell you the product as there are plenty of other apps to choose from. However, currently Hubdoc is our preferred app to use. Take this as an introduction to the idea. Other similar apps are Dext, bill.com, Plooto, etc. You can access Hubdoc on your computer or your phone via an app. What this fantastic software does is data extraction. Hubdoc extracts key information from your receipts and bills. No more data entry, no more filing cabinets, no more paper, and no more human errors! Hubdoc will extract the amount, dates, and vendor names. It also can memorize which account you would like the bill to be coded to in the future. All you need to do is snap a picture of the receipt or send a bill via email, and the app gets to work. The bill is automatically coded to your accounting platform, and its picture is attached! Did your ultrasound break, and you are trying to find the receipt through your filing cabinet? Check your online books: the receipt is there! Easy to find! Are you under audit, and the IRS is requesting receipts? No problem! All in one place, easy to sort through and find. 

One of the best ways to streamline your accounts payable processis to integrate a document processing application like Hubdoc and accounting software like Xero or QBO. In the following write-up, we’ll discuss various benefits that the integration between Hubdoc and Xero can offer and some of the problems that arise from time to time. 

What is Xero? Xero is a cloud-based accounting platform like QuickBooks Online. However, Xero is user-friendly and has many great features. 

      Integrating a document processing application and your accounting software is one of the ideal ways to streamline your accounting processes and increase your efficiencies. 

What does the process look like for end users with a bookkeeper who knows how Xero & Hubdoc integration works?

If you are the lucky end-user, there are two ways to use Hubdoc. 

Bills: When you open a new account with a vendor, provide them with the Hubdoc dedicated email address for the electronic bills. The app will automatically sync the bill to the accounting platform, or your bookkeeper will push the bill. 

Receipts: Snap a picture of your Starbucks receipt when you pick up the coffee for your team. Let the app work for you. 

HUBDOC PROS & CONS

Hubdoc PROS:Login: Right out of the gate, integrating Hubdoc with Xero simplifies your login procedures by eliminating the need to establish separate login details. While you can create distinct Hubdoc login credentials, you can also sign in with Xero. This option will either redirect you to the Xero login page if you are not logged in or directly sign you in to your Hubdoc account. Those of us with a lengthy list of login credentials and a variety of programs necessary just to start our day know how precious a simplified sign-in process can be – not to mention one less set of login credentials for our password storage application.

Data Extraction: The most valuable functions of Hubdoc are the ability to read uploaded documents and prefill information such as supplier names, invoice dates, due dates, invoice numbers, and totals. This function alone can save you a great deal of time processing Accounts Payable. And while it is not perfect, it tends to get it right a solid nine times out of ten.

Bill Pay Automation

Memorize & Autosync: With an established integration between Hubdoc and Xero, the coding can be saved for each supplier and even set to auto-sync, saving you even more time. Every time a document is uploaded to Hubdoc with a recognized supplier or customer with saved configurations, all you need to do is review the information and hit publish. If the vendor is checked to auto-sync, the document will be automatically posted to Xero, requiring no action whatsoever. 

Due Dates: Another time-saving configuration option in Hubdoc is supplier due dates. Some documents may not have exact due dates that software can pick up during processing, while other documents may not have due dates listed at all. For example, suppose you know your supplier’s payment terms. You can save time by setting them directly in Hubdoc. This setting allows you to set a due date for a supplier ‘X’ number of days after the bill date or after the end of the billing monthor the ‘X’ day of the current or following month.

Bill Pay Automation

File Cabinet Option: The Hubdoc/Xero integration can also be set to push all documents to Xero Files if you need document storage. This option can be found in Hubdoc by clicking the ‘add account’ button, selecting the ‘integrations’ tab, and checking the ‘push to Xero Files’ box within the existing Xero integration. Other integrations are available for storage. For example, Hubdoc integrates with Box. 

Multiple Accounts, Classes: Hubdoc allows you to assign the billing item(s) to various accounts. This multiple accounts function comes in handy for breaking down your MWI bills and separating items on invoices to vaccine cost, pharmacy cost, etc. You can also use this function to separate non-taxable and taxable amounts. For those using classes in Xero, you can assign the class here. Why would you use classes? For example, you might have a mobile practice, and one day you work in Idaho and the next day in Utah. This allows you to separate the cost between the two states. Another example is if you have multiple locations or multiple profit centers. 

Multiple Destinations: When integrated with accounting software, ‘Destinations’ appear below the ‘Transaction Details’ that allow for the configuration of the document when it is synced with the software. The Xero integration will enable you to configure several settings for creating a transaction in the accounting software based on the document in Hubdoc. Using the ‘publish as’ dropdown allows you to create a bill (‘purchase’), enter receipt (‘spend money’), A/R invoice, or credit note transaction in Xero based on the document. The ‘status’ dropdown offers three options for purchases (bills) and credit notes: draft, awaiting approval and awaiting payment. These three options sync to the three categories of open invoices of the same name in the Bills section of Xero and would be used in the same manner. Because A/R invoices and spend money transactions do not process through the Bills section of Xero, the ‘status’ dropdown is not available for these publishing options. The ‘contact’ dropdown is available for all publishing options. It allows you to indicate the supplier or customer to whom the document should be assigned when synced with Xero. Hubdoc will create a new contact in Xero if the supplier is brand new. When you process the document as a ‘spend money’, you can select which bank account in Xero the transaction will be ‘spent from’ in the ‘bank account’ dropdown. If you are unsure which card you use, simply push the document as a bill instead. The ‘credit note type’ dropdown allows you to choose between a payable and a receivable credit. 

Hubdoc CONS:

Despite a lengthy list of benefits, all software and integrations are bound to have a few problems and pinch points. Unfortunately, a few of those problems have arisen in the form of glitches that Hubdoc will hopefully repair in the future. 

Slow to Load: One of these annoyances is that the ‘contact’ dropdown in the Xero destination configuration section can be slow to load and only worsens with time. The more time you spend in Hubdoc processing documents, the slower the loading of this dropdown gets to the point that it can freeze your whole browser. One quick fix is periodically refreshing your browser to freshen up and shorten the contact load time. Another option is to configure the contact’s name in settings under the supplier. 

Drug Supplies Invoices: Automation is simple when the bill is repeated, and everything is the same; for example, phone bill, internet, utilities, cremation services, and many more. But when it comes to Patterson, MWI, and like invoice, the system cannot read line by line and identify the correct account codes from AAHA Chart of Accounts. Make sure you have a bookkeeper with veterinary knowledge to process those manually. Multiple codes are allowed. 

Document Size: One limitation within Hubdoc and its integration with Xero is document size: Hubdoc cannot attach a document greater than 3MB to a Xero transaction. The solution that Hubdoc has created to this problem is to include a link in the Xero transaction description to the document in Hubdoc. Another solution is to print the document as a PDF and re-upload it to Hubdoc or bypass Hubdoc and drop it directly in the Xero transaction. This problem is commonly associated with documents uploaded to Hubdoc as a photograph or scan, which are much larger than PDF documents. Printing the image as a PDF should reduce the size, allowing Hubdoc to attach it to the associated transaction in Xero.

Unable to Correct: Another limitation that can sometimes be frustrating is the ability to change the transaction type via the ‘publish as’ dropdown after a document has already been published to Xero. Once a document has been pushed to Xero, the ‘re-publish’ button shows up. You can update the transaction initially published in Xero with new information without duplicating the transactions. However, you can’t re-publish a document that was pushed as ‘approved purchase’, and if the initial transaction created in Xero is deleted, voided, edited, reconciled, or paid. For example, if a document were erroneously published as a ‘spend money’ transaction rather than a purchase/invoice (or vice versa), it would be ideal to simply re-publish the transaction with the correction. Unfortunately, the integration between Hubdoc and Xero cannot accommodate edits to that extent. Instead, you must remove the transaction from Xero, re-upload the document to Hubdoc and publish a new transaction. 

Due Dates Limitations: Finally, a consistent failure in the capabilities of Hubdoc’s document processing software is the ability to distinguish between Net – and Net –th. More specifically, Hubdoc does not recognize that while Net 10 means the due date is 10 days after the invoice date, Net 10th means the due date is the 10th day of the following month. While this lack of differentiation can be an annoyance, it can be easily remedied by utilizing the previously mentioned due date setting for affected suppliers. Digitization and automation are essential in streamlining your accounts payable process. Utilizing the integration between Hubdoc and Xero saves time by allowing document processing software to extract the necessary basic information from business documents. Like most software and integrations, there are bound to be a few imperfections, but integrating these two applications will add significant value to your process. And the time savings can be substantial. Want to learn more or need help perfecting your process? JF Bell Group can help! 

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