In this article, we’ll give you the time-tested, no bull getting started guide for Billy. We’ve helped thousands of people get set up with Billy and learned a lot in the process. We’ll give you the 5 key steps you need things you need to do in your first two weeks to ensure your own long-term success.
If you haven't already checked out the video tour, it's worth a quick watch to get you familiarized with Billy.
1. Linking your business bank account
2. Adding your logo and organization info
3. Connecting Stripe for credit card payments
4. Inviting your accountant
5. Get set up for expense tracking
Before we get started, it’s important to acknowledge that you’ve already taken a big step. Looking back at years of disorganization can be a daunting task, so congratulations for taking the first step and signing up for your Billy account.
It’s important to emphasize how critical it is to get set up correctly from the beginning. While anyone can jump into Billy, start sending invoices and getting paid right away, an improper setup can cost you significantly in these three areas:
Time: Troubleshooting an accounting software system is no one’s favorite thing (OK well I like it, but that’s why I work for Billy). Setting Billy up correctly from the beginning is the best way to ensure you can run your business smoothly and effectively throughout the year.
Money: According to several CPA’s that we’ve talked to, one of the main reasons they have difficulty combing through financial systems is because they weren’t set up correctly from the beginning. If it takes your accountant longer to do your taxes, you won’t be getting the kind of financial advice you might otherwise want.
Decisions: This is probably the most critical, but the least understood. Making decisions about your business is never only financial. You need to consider your customers, your vendors, your relationships and your overall business ecosystem. But finances should also be taken into consideration. Make sure you have all the information you need at your fingertips for when you need to make a snap decision.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started!
This is the number-one most important thing to do to ensure the success of your financial organization effort. There’s nothing quite like having all of your business transactions automatically imported for you right out of the gate.
Not only does it save you from the cumbersome task of logging into your online banking, downloading your most recent bank statement, working some spreadsheet magic and ultimately importing your transactions into your accounting system, but it’s one less thing you have to remember to do each week.
You may have linked your business bank account when you first signed up, which is great! You’ve already completed the first step. If that's the case, go ahead an move onto step 2. Otherwise, here we go!
Side note: We don’t recommend you mix business transactions with personal transactions. If you’ve linked a personal account, it would be advisable to open a new account with your bank specifically for your business activities.
Before you start shooting off invoices, you'll want to make sure to add your logo and contact information so your customers know who they're talking to. It also helps to add a personal touch for when you're doing business.
Making it easier for your customers to pay your invoices helps get you paid faster and frees up your time for other activities. Billy leverages the power of Stripe to help you accept credit card payments on your invoices.
You may have already set this up in the beginning, but don't worry if you didn't we have all of the instructions here.
Surrounding yourself with a team of experts is one of the best ways to succeed in freelancing. There’s a popular quote that comes to mind here:
One of the best parts of running a small business is the ability to adapt quickly and change things on the fly. By periodically bringing in experts to help out from time to time, you increase your chances of success dramatically.
Accountants are like the wizards among your team of business experts. They spend years in training to harness their skills and have a deep knowledge of the intricacies in their subject area. Leveraging their expertise right from the start is the best way to guarantee the success of your efforts.
At Billy, you've probably noticed by now that our thing is making everything as easy as possible. The fact of the matter is, setting up accounting software isn't an easy thing to do no matter who you are. Unless you know how to set your conversion balance, format your chart of accounts to line up with your tax filing procedure and define your fiscal year, you're probably going to need the help of an accountant.
But that's ok! Here's the the best way to get your accountant on board with a new software tool. We have plenty of resources specifically for accountants that get into the nitty gritty jargon that they love.
After you've had your accountant help you set up Billy and linked your bank accounts, you're ready to get started tracking expenses. You can always start creating bills right away from the Bills menu, but there are plenty of quick tips that we have for efficient tracking.
Ready to start getting set up? Let's get you started: