A Bill Tracker Could Save Your Small Business

View all bills

If you run a small business, a bill tracker can save you from financial headaches, such as cash flow problems. Why track bills? If you are like many small biz owners, you are busy…perhaps too busy to monitor bills and bill payments. While you could use a spreadsheet to track bills – from aging payables to payments made – a spreadsheet is a lot of work for little payback. Sure, you’ll know how much you owe and have spent on expenses…but the work involved doesn’t result in metrics that can help you make decisions to improve problems related to expenses. A bill tracking spreadsheet is also not connected to an accounting system, typically.

What then, is a good method of tracking bills?

What Makes Good Bill Tracker?

A good bill tracker allows you to record a bill date and bill due date (as defined by payment terms), vendor name, bill line items, expense categories, bill sub total, sales taxes and the bill total. Most of these items, of course, are the typically found on a billing statement. A way of recording these quickly will save you time.  You should also be able to easily find past due bills, aging payables and payments you’ve made – by bill date, due date, vendor or status.

In Flare, when you record a bill, it contains all of the elements you see on a billing statement as you see below.

The following screenshots are from Flare accounting software for small business.

Record bills, assign taxes and categorize

Recording a bill in Flare takes seconds. Flare will remind when the bill is due and past due. You’ll also be able to see all bills and payments associated with this bill and vendor.

Once recorded, the bill becomes a payable. Flare’s financial dashboard shows you all of your aging payables and alerts you to past due bills.

Bill tracking from Flare's dashboard

Bill tracking from Flare’s dashboard. Flare displays bills and past due bills. Clicking these items will show more detail.

If you click “due to Vendors” (circled above), Flare will show you Aging Payables (shown below).

Aging Payables

Viewing aging payables on Flare’s dashboard.

Clicking an amount will take you to those aging payables (shown below).

A list of aging payables.

A list of aging payables. Clicking the “Bill” link will open the bill in edit mode.

 

If you click “Past due” on the dashboard, Flare will take you to a bill list filtered by past due bills (shown below). Once a bill payment is made, it is marked as “Paid”.

Past due bills

In Flare, it’s easy to view bills you’ve recorded and then filter (search) by “Status” parameters which includes “Paid”, “Open” and “Past Due”.

View all bills

By clicking ‘Purchases >Bills’ in Flare’s left menu, you’ll see a list of all bills that you can then filter or sort.

Because the Flare dashboard provides quick access to bill information, you don’t have to set your own bill reminders. It’s all done for you. This at-a-glance information seems very simple but is invaluable for staying on top of bills.

Bill Metrics

The bill tracker features shown above save time and help you stay current. Because information on bills and payments are recorded to the Flare database, we make the metrics available to you in a meaningful way. For example, when you view each vendor, you can see a graph of payments you’ve made to them (expenses). This visual aid helps you quickly discern expense patterns over the year and details about the vendor. You can even compare the current fiscal year’s monthly expenses by vendor with those of the past year.

Expenses by vendor

Vendor module shows expenses by vendor over time

Try Bill Tracking in Flare Online Accounting

Check out Flare’s bill tracking and bill and expense metrics when you sign up for a free 30-day trial of our small business accounting software. Flare is online software that runs in your browser. No downloads, no paid updates! You get an all-one-one accounting software made for small businesses, freelancers and accountants. Find out who uses Flare.

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