From complexity to clarity: How BILL enables firms to help their SMB clients with cash flow management

Small and midsize business (SMB) clients share a common pain point—the need for seamless financial operations within a fast and competitive landscape. It’s an ongoing challenge I have helped clients with during my 30 years as a practicing accountant. The universal drive towards seamless operations, optimized workflows and cutting-edge efficiency is more of a long-term play than a trend, and one that firms leaning into client advisory services (CAS) can leverage for growth. Automation is now a mainstay, and navigating the tech landscape can feel like an uphill climb.

In my recent discussion with BILL’s Chief Product Officer Irana Wasti, we explored the complexity of the SMB tech stack to understand their desire for automation and how BILL's innovative products and services continue to evolve as part of their commitment to serving the needs of firms focusing on automating their clients’ financial operations and managing ore of their cash flow.

The path to automation 
From manufacturing to IT to hospitality and retail, many SMBs are exploring the digital expanse, seeking the benefits of automation but struggling to keep up. With the promise to move beyond time-consuming, repeated tasks to streamline their processes, automation isn't just a shiny gadget—it’s a new way forward for agility and resilience. As your clients face major challenges like growth mandates, managing a band of employees, and the daily grind of operations, automation and artificial intelligence capabilities provide welcome relief. Finance and accounting functions within a business are an ideal place for SMBs to seek efficiencies, with the need to understand and manage cash flow at the top of the list.

The selection of fintech solutions and SaaS platforms is plentiful, each promising to be the key to efficiency and growth. During our discussion, Irana highlighted how this abundance of tools brings its own trials, noting, “For our target customers, which are SMBs and accountants, proliferation is great, but it also introduces such a complexity around managing this tech stack and many point solutions. Then the burden becomes on those SMBs and accountants to piece [it all] together.” It's a journey to identify the right combination of tools that not only solve immediate challenges but also come together to form a cohesive ecosystem which requires wisdom, foresight, and skill.

A trusted partner: BILL's integrated financial operations platform  
Cash flow is a make-or-break factor for SMBs. Where it used to be as simple as assessing what cash was in the bank versus upcoming expenses, SMBs now understand the long-term viability for their business also requires the ability to forecast what future cash flow will look like. For accountants and their SMB clients, BILL's financial operations platform is a solution to help accountants and their clients understand cash flow and inform better business decisions. With its recent advancements, including partnerships and innovative features like Insights and Cash Flow Forecasting, BILL is an even more comprehensive partner, providing technology-enabled capabilities to firms as they guide clients, bringing a level of certainty to historically uncertain financial operations. The features and integrations through BILL’s financial operations platform are not just for number-crunching—they act as a line of sight into the future of cash flow, empowering businesses to make decisions with confidence and clarity.

Additionally, as an early adopter of AI, BILL continues to embrace the power of AI, weaving it into the fabric of its platform. To complement automation, it helps make solutions easier to use, more automated, and increasingly predictive for accountants and SMBs. For accounting professionals and forward-looking firms, this means being able to offer actionable advice with the backing of powerful insights and experiences, making way for unparalleled value for clients.

Tech-enabled CPAs driving tech-enabled SMBs  
It's clear that the journey through the digital age for SMBs and their advisors is fraught with continuous challenges, creating unique opportunities for firms. For accounting professionals, the partnership with BILL is more than a strategic choice—it's a leap towards a future where technology is a powerful ally in providing greater value to clients through financial operations. In the end, digital-forward firms are a testament to the energy brought by innovation, and a commitment to their clients in the ever-evolving digital landscape as they strive to make better, faster, timely cash flow decisions.

As the trend among firms adopting CAS as a practice area continues to increase, more and more firms are turning to an integrated financial operations solution like BILL. Click here to learn more about the BILL Accountant Partner Program.

Kimberly K. Blascoe, CPA, leads’s CAS 2.0 practice transformation programs, focusing on helping firms establish and grow optimized CAS practices through consulting, practice development and training offerings. Prior to joining, Kim spent more than 30 years in public accounting, which included leading the CAS practice for a Top 20 firm.

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