In this article, we'll answer some frequently asked questions (FAQ) that we've been asked by financial professionals from around the world.
What is Billy?
Is my data secure?
Does Billy have customer support?
Is Billy double-entry?
Is Billy cash or accrual?
Can I use Billy for cash accounting?
Can Billy help me do tax returns?
Can Billy help me do a bank reconciliation?
Can Billy handle different fiscal years?
Can Billy help with sales tax returns?
How does pricing work?
Billy is cloud-based accounting software, meaning you don't have to download, install or configure anything. It lives online and is accessible from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
Billy uses state of the art 256-bit SSL encryption and has everything backed up to data centers in the United States. We have multiple backup copies in case anything ever goes wrong.
Providing excellent customer support is a cornerstone of our service offering. We offer live in-app chat to all of our users. Our current hours are between 9AM and 5PM PST.
We're happy to help with account setup, general questions, or anything else. This is available both for you and your clients.
Billy has a fully-featured general ledger that enables a true double-entry accounting engine. Credits always equal debits for every transaction, so you don't need to worry about lost or missing transactions.
Billy features everything you'd expect from a double-entry accounting solution, including a journal, chart of accounts, general ledger and customizable opening balances.
Billy is an accrual-based accounting system. This means that revenues and costs are displayed on the income statement when they are earned or incurred respectively.
For example, if an invoice has a date of December 21st, 2016, but was paid in January, 2017, the revenue associated with the invoice would show up on the 2016 income statement, not the 2017 income statement.
Accrual accounting is most effective for assessing the real-time performance of the business. It helps to demonstrate what has been earned and more closely links costs and their associated benefits to the business. With that said, it does require a diligent assessment of cashflow on a regular basis.
You certainly can. By ensuring that the document dates are the same as payment dates, all of your documents will reflect the payments you've received when you received them.
This method however doesn't work very well for managing outstanding payments and accounts receivable. You tend to loose a lot of granularity when you modify the date of your documents. It can make it difficult to assess how long it takes your customers to pay you, as just one example.
If you want your financial statements to be truly cash-basis, make sure the dates on your invoices exactly match the dates on the payments you've recorded for them. This also applies to bills.
One of the main benefits of using accounting software is being prepared for tax season. Using Billy to fill out your tax return can be a breeze with a little up front planning.
The best way to make sure that Billy is properly configured to serve you well at tax time is to have a discussion with your client about their filing status. Once you know what kind of filer they'll be, you can help them modify their chart of accounts and put a system in place to start capturing all relevant revenues and deductible expenses.
The default chart of accounts that every new organization comes set up with in Billy is optimized for Schedule C filers in the United States. We've already included many of the common expense line items that are featured in the latest IRS documentation. Please note that this is by no means an extensive list of categories, and you may want to add or remove some depending on your clients' filing status.
Billy has what is known as an proactive reconciliation process, which is very unlike many other tools on the market that feature a reactive reconciliation process. It's worth spending some time getting familiar with this process, as it's something that you'll undoubtedly need to verify your accounting records.
A proactive reconciliation process works best when users are continuously entering data into the system on a day-to-day basis. New invoices, paper receipts, and bank transfers should all be recorded in Billy as soon as they can be.
Once these original source documents have been added to Billy, the user will have a chance to categorize these expenses, revenues or other transactions. Once the transactions been categorized along with the original source document, they can be reconciled with the transactions that come through the bank feed periodically. As opposed to waiting for a bank statement to post, we recommend that users reconcile their bank accounts weekly.
One of the benefits associated with the proactive reconciliation process is that it encourages a higher level of organization among users and disincentivizes lazy bookkeeping. When users attempt to reconcile their bank accounts at the end of a given month with nothing but a pile of receipts, invoices and a monthly statement, the process immediately become grueling. A proactive reconciliation process helps avoid much of the scattered disorganization that happens with traditional reactive reconciliation processes.
Absolutely. You can modify the fiscal year settings under 'Settings'->'Tax settings'.
Although there is no journal entry for this, the settings can be modified by either adjusting your fiscal year or modifying the system role of your equity accounts through an advanced chart of accounts modification.
Yes. Please see the page on this here.
In Billy, pricing is at an organizational level, not a user level.
A user has a specific set of login credentials, and can have access to multiple organizations. An organization can have multiple users that can access its information.
By creating a Billy user account, you can access as many organizations as you'd like. This makes it very easy to work with multiple clients in Billy without having to handle several different files or sets of login credentials.
If you're interested in learning more about this workflow, check out the video we've put together on this specific topic.
The best way to get started is to create a free trial and start entering some sample data. Once you have a sense of Billy works, you can start creating new organizations for your clients and going through the setup process for them.
If you've had a client invite you to their Billy account, find the email invitation and follow the instructions to create your Billy account. You'll automatically have access to their organization through your new account.