Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Show HN: BillBuddy – Automated Invoice Processing (billbuddy.io)
39 points by frits1993 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments

Amazing that a) this deals with something very commonly encountered in all businesses and b) someone took considerable time to make the web page BUT...

I have no clue what this service does. None!

Are these invoices that the user's business _sends_ ? ( hence this is some form of AR management application) or are these invoices received by the user's business ? (hence an AP management application)

In either case, surely the business is already using some sort of accounting software and therefore what does this service do that regular Quickbooks doesn't do?

And finally: who sends or receives thousands of invoices per month and doesn't already have some decent management and reporting systems in place?

fwiw I worked on a startup that (I think, because we were solving the problem alluded to on the site of making sense of arbitrarily formatted business transaction documents) was trying to do the same thing about 15 years ago. We were targeting big corporations dealing with high-value invoices with a broken AR/AP process. It didn't end well, I think in part because there isn't a good value proposition here. It has to be "you'll get paid much sooner" or "fewer invoices will end up unpaid". Just being "nicer" or "easier" doesn't cut it.

Hi dboreham, thanks for the feedback.

BillBuddy started as a project for myself, where I found that it was a big hassle to keep track of all invoices I received without manually processing them and filling in the amounts in my own bookkeeping software.

Instead of now having to open every invoice, I simply forward the invoices an let BillBuddy do the reading. Once per month when I do my taxes, I log in, run an export of the parsed data and see all the data I need at a glance.

This way I know what I spent and my quarterly tax-forms are filled in much more easily.

That's the backstory and how BillBuddy turned out to what it is today, where I feel it mostly supports small companies of which the bookkeeping is not too complex but a small hand comes in useful.

Thanks for the clarification. From my albeit perhaps restricted vantage point, a business that is both so small that it doesn't have an AP staff, but large enough that it has volumes of invoices, is a bit of a corner case. Could you give us more insight into what leads you to have such large numbers of invoices relative to your human count?

For a while I thought you might mean "receipts" rather than "invoices", as in retail transaction paper receipts. But then I remembered you deal with submission by email which seems inconsistent with a paper receipt flow.

You'd do well to have that above the fold. Your screenshot takes up a ton of space, but looks like a generic admin screen, and it's not really information dense. The trendy backspace and type thing helps a little, but aside from that, the only thing I see on a 1920x1080 that convinces me to go further is one line "All your invoices in one place by simply forwarding your emails". I'd recommend pushing the UI candy down and pulling more of the FAQ etc up.

Thanks a lot, will work on that.

Hi there!

I'm very interested in learning more about this project! Would I be able to email you at frits@progresso-ict.nl (from the website), or is there a different way you'd prefer to take questions? This is super impressive, well done!

Hi ciro_langone, thanks for the compliment. frits@progresso-ict.nl is indeed my primary address, so feel free to send me an email.

Your pricing is way too cheap, and makes it hard to take seriously. As a business, there is no difference between $5 and $15 per month (and if someone tells you differently, you don’t want their business).

Though I second this, "hacker pricing" could encourage a few small early adopters who may provide critical feedback in the early days of the product.

Looks like a good service!

Obviously early stage (guess there are things to be polished) but I think it would be useful. I've looked for a simple SaaS AP solution without all the complexity of some of the advanced solutions.

(semi-related; anyone has tips on other good SaaS AP services?)

Some suggestions:

- Make it clear on the website that this is AP, not AR (if that's the case).

- Offer the first ~100 invoices for free (regardless of the plan)

- I'd look at a stripe integration for automatic payment (if possible, not sure that it is). Otherwise look at exporting 'bank files' that banks in most countries can import (basically a pre-generated of transactions, uploaded then verified and signed on the bank website).

- Most companies will probably want an approval chain for invoices based on the company hierarchy, invoice amount, etc.

Thank you, those are four great bullet points I have written down and will look into.

Interesting! What's the key difference between this and other "auto invoice management" tools like ReceiptBank ( https://www.receipt-bank.com/ )?

Hmm... initial data scanning seems limited. Only amount, vendor and invoice number. PO number strikes me as a key missing field but was hoping for full Invoice scanning.

Missing fields can be added, so PO number I have written down. It's less common data here in the Netherlands, so thanks for mentioning it!

Does anyone know of an open source tool that reliable extracts data from PDF invoices? Preferably using OCR because some of my invoices are scanned.

It looks like it's email only. Is there a way to bulk upload invoices?

Email is indeed the way to go for the moment. You can however attach multiple files at once, so composing an email with your PDF collection does the trick.

Great idea! Do you plan to integrate with xero?

Integration with bookkeeping software is definitely on my list of to-do's, but the details of that have yet to be determined. In the mean time, the excel/csv export can be used to import processed invoices in bulk.

Nice clean and short landingpage! Well done!

Applications are open for YC Winter 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact