NetLedger Inc., announced Tuesday (Dec 19) that it has joined forces with automated bill paying service, Paytrust to help small businesses simplify their bill payments without the headaches or hassles of traditional payment methods.
The partnership of NetLedger and Paytrust adds online bill payment capability to the web-based firm’s platform of services, which includes a full suite of accounting and financial applications, expense reporting, customer ordering, credit card processing and online commerce. NetLedger is the first online accounting service to offer bill payment to its customers, according to Evan Goldberg, founder, president and CEO of the two-year-old ASP, located in San Mateo, Calif.
“The launch of online bill payment provides further evidence that NetLedger continues to deliver its promise to provide small businesses with one tightly integrated tool to run their entire businesses. This tool enables businesses to run their companies much more efficiently and effectively without the need for different, incompatible applications,” Goldberg said.
This new service allows NetLedger’s customers to fully integrate their accounting, payment processing and check printing into one simple, streamlined process. “For our current customers, this adds great convenience. They can create memorized transactions to pay bills every month and it provides full remittance info to the payee.”
Another unique feature, according to Goldberg, is that bill payment is completely “integrated into your accounting and your accounts payable. Our customers have been asking us for this service for some time. This is really in line with our larger business which is running your business on the web.”
Built-In Expense Tracking
Businesses will benefit because they get a better picture of their own operating expenses, Goldberg said. “It really comes down to really keeping track of what you’ve paid and what you haven’t paid. We think of NetLedger as kind of a dashboard for your business. You really get a picture of what your exact cash position is.”
Paytrust offers a complete bill management system that can deliver all subscriber’s bills online or to a wireless device. Subscribers receive bill notification and payment reminders electronically via e-mail rather than through traditional mail. This allows the user to review their accounts anywhere they have access to the Internet. In August, Paytrust acquired online competitor PayMyBills.com at an undisclosed price. With Paytrust, payments are issued electronically and paper checks are issued for invoicing purposes, a feature that allows businesses to manage their financial records more efficiently.
One advantage of online bill paying is ease-of-use and avoiding the manual and often tedious writing and processing of checks, Goldberg said.
“Bill management can be extremely laborious and by streamlining the process together NetLedger and Paytrust are able to effectively save them valuable time, money and resources,” added Edward G. McLaughlin, CEO of Paytrust.
Functionality Plus Integration
This addition of services increases the functionality of NetLedger’s overall product tremendously, according to Goldberg. Through the use of XML (extensible markup language) and industry standard security and encryption technology, all payment processing and check printing is safe and easily recorded. Paytrust uses the same security measures as other leading online banking and financial service sites, including Secured Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, firewall technology, and password restricted account access.
Every account is backed by $100,000 of insurance protection from Safeweb and customer information is kept private, according to the company. By using Paytrust, NetLedger users can make online payments while at the same time providing full remittance inf
ormation on each check simultaneously. And as another time-saving feature, all transaction records are automatically updated to the minute in the customer’s NetLedger account, Goldberg said.
Customers also are able to issue payments directly from any check writing account, to balance their checkbooks automatically, and download and analyze data contained in NetLedger or their own personal financial management account.
NetLedger operates using an open, scalable Internet architecture and users can run the program from any of today’s major browsers and operating systems. No special hardware or software is required. The service is available immediately to NetLedger’s customers at a fee of $15.95 per month for 20 bill payments a month or a total of 240 annually, Goldberg said.
Eventually, he added, there will be a reciprocal agreement so that Paytrust’s customers can take advantage of using NetLedger. The company also is planning to add more functionality to its product and will soon announce version 5.1.1, which will allow users to export their financial data from NetLedger into an Excel spreadsheet.