Feature image for article on automated bookkeeping with Hubdoc

Business owners often say that doing their bookkeeping is one of their least favorite parts of running their business, right along with tax season. But whether they like it or not, good bookkeeping is crucial to a successful business. Performing this vital task is often repetitive and more often dull because your business has lots of expenses to track. The combined power of Hubdoc and QuickBooks Online, however, quickly makes automated bookkeeping a reality for your business.

The Problem

If you perform your business’ bookkeeping properly, you gather receipts and invoices for every expense. You enter the date, the vendor, and the amount for the transaction and code it to the right account. You match transactions to your financial accounts and reconcile them to your statements on a monthly basis.

Your books and reporting practically glow they’re so clean, and it’s all thanks to your careful and methodical work. But those beautiful books and reports came with a heavy cost on your time. You spent countless hours making sure you were always caught up, and this kept you away from other important duties.

On the other hand, if you aren’t performing your bookkeeping properly, you’re missing receipts and invoices. Occasionally, you get a date or amount wrong when you enter transactions (you are human, after all). You sometimes code an expense to the wrong account, so your reports and financial statements aren’t accurate. You only reconcile your accounts during tax season (if indeed at all), and spend lots of frustrating hours trying to recall what the story was behind all those expenses you forgot to enter.

The Solution

Whether you have perfect books or a total mess, you have likely wondered whether a better way exists for keeping your books. With Hubdoc and QuickBooks Online working in tandem, there is indeed a better way. Hubdoc extends the capabilities of QuickBooks Online so you can achieve truly automated bookkeeping. Hubdoc can make this happen by automating three mundane aspects of bookkeeping:

  1. Gathering and Organizing Documents
  2. Automated Data Entry
  3. Automated Transactions in QuickBooks Online

Here at Innovate, the efficiency we gain using Hubdoc is so substantial that we include a Hubdoc subscription with all our virtual bookkeeping services. We do this because using Hubdoc helps our clients achieve flawless bookkeeping in less time. Their bookkeeping is more efficient and care-free. Allow me to show you how Hubdoc brings true automated bookkeeping to your business.

Gathering and Organizing Documents

Gathering and organizing all the financial documentation your business produces is a real chore. Collecting, downloading, scanning and organizing your documents takes a healthy amount of patience. Hubdoc simplifies organizing your documents by acting as a funnel for all your financial documents. Hubdoc offers a wide variety of methods for gathering all your financial documents:

  • Automated Account Document Retrieval
  • Document Upload via E-mail
  • Direct Upload in Account
  • Mobile App Uploads
  • Direct Upload from ScanSnap Scanner

Using each of these methods, getting all your financial documents in one place is simple. Here is how each method works:

Automated Account Document Retrieval

This is the most unique and helpful service Hubdoc provides. From inside your Hubdoc account, you can link your online financial accounts and Hubdoc will automatically retrieve bills and statements. Hubdoc can sync with accounts for hundreds of vendors and constantly monitors them for new documents to retrieve. By automating document retrieval, you’ll never again need to sign into your account to pull down a bill or statement.

Screenshot of Hubdoc showing how Hubdoc helps achieve automated bookkeeping by retrieving documents from your accounts.

Hubdoc automates retrieving financial documents by linking to your business financial accounts.

Document Upload via E-mail

Oftentimes, your vendors don’t have online accounts but instead send you bills, receipts and statements via e-mail. Hubdoc provides a dedicated e-mail address for your account that you can use to forward e-mails with financial documentation anytime. Whenever you receive an invoice attached as a PDF to an e-mail, just forward the e-mail to your unique Hubdoc e-mail address and Hubdoc will process it.

This method introduces more opportunities for automated bookkeeping: if you receive regular invoices and receipts by e-mail, you can configure rules in your e-mail service to auto-forward e-mails to Hubdoc to process. You can also self-select your unique e-mail to make it easy to remember.

Screenshot of Hubdoc with highlights illustrating using a dedicated Hubdoc e-mail address to upload documents by e-mail.

You can upload documents to Hubdoc using a dedicated e-mail address you can self-select for your account.

Direct Upload in Account

As you would expect, you can also upload PDFs and other document types and images to Hubdoc to process. Hubdoc supports uploading many different types of files, including PDFs, Word documents, photos, and various image formats. You can either drag and drop files into the “Add Receipt” dialog or browse your computer’s files to select files to upload.

Screenshot of Hubdoc demonstrating the drag and drop functionality for uploading documents to Hubdoc.

Hubdoc allows you to upload documents directly from within your account.

Mobile App Uploads

Hubdoc offers a mobile app for smartphones and tablets running on the iOS or Android platforms. The mobile app also allows you to upload files directly to the account. However, it also allows you to use the camera on your device to upload photos of receipts and other documents. You will find this feature particularly convenient when you get receipts while on-the-go.

Direct Upload from ScanSnap Scanner

Hubdoc recently announced an additional way to get documents into Hubdoc. With select models of Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners (either a Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap or the portable Fujitsu iX100 ScanSnap), you can scan a document to send directly to your Hubdoc account. After configuring your Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner to upload documents directly to Hubdoc, your wifi-enabled scanner will upload to Hubdoc without being connected to a computer. With the portable Fujitsu iX100 ScanSnap, you can even connect the scanner to your smartphone’s mobile hotspot and upload documents while on the road!

With all these various methods for gathering your documents into one place, you are well on your way to paperless and automated bookkeeping with Hubdoc. Next, I’ll show you how Hubdoc automates data entry and entering transactions into QuickBooks Online.

Note: Currently only the Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap and Fujitsu iX100 ScanSnap scanners support scanning documents directly to Hubdoc. No other scanners yet have this capability.

Automated Data Entry in Hubdoc

Hubdoc takes every document you upload and runs it through its OCR (optical character recognition) technology. In so doing, Hubdoc automatically extracts the name of the vendor, the reference number, the document date, the due date, the currency, and the transaction amount from every document.

By automating this data entry function, Hubdoc can save countless hours of time pouring through documents and extracting information. With these features, you’re one step closer to automated bookkeeping. You simply review the extracted information and move on to configure Hubdoc to publish the transaction to QuickBooks Online when necessary.

Screenshot of Hubdoc illustrating how Hubdoc automatically extracts information from all document uploads.

Hubdoc automatically extracts key information from all document uploads, which is used to create transactions in QBO.

Automated Transactions in QuickBooks Online

The final piece of Hubdoc magic is in their integration with QuickBooks Online. With all the documents gathered and the key information extracted from each one, you can “publish” transactions from inside Hubdoc directly into your QuickBooks Online account. Currently, Hubdoc supports creating Bills, Expenses, Checks and Vendor Credit transactions. You can configure rules by vendor to specify the payment account, payment type, the expense account to code to and the description.

You also can select the customer or client to associate the expense with and specify whether to make the expense billable to a client. If a specific vendor’s bills are consistent over time, you can even have Hubdoc automatically publish transactions as soon as it processes a document from that vendor. When you publish transactions using Hubdoc, it always adds the document as an attachment to the QuickBooks Online transaction, giving you audit-proof bookkeeping.

Automated Bookkeeping: Putting it all Together

You achieve true automated bookkeeping when you get all of Hubdoc’s features working in tandem. For example, let’s say you have regular expenses from Office Depot and you always code them to the same account. Hubdoc can sync to your account to automatically retrieve your expense documents. Hubdoc then extracts the key information such as the date and amount, and uses your pre-configured options to automatically create the expense and add the relevant details in QuickBooks Online. In this example and with so many others, absolutely no human involvement is needed – the bookkeeping is completely automated!

Hopefully this article helps you catch the vision of how powerful a tool Hubdoc is. With it, you can achieve paperless and automated bookkeeping. At Innovate Professional Services, we highly recommend Hubdoc and use it with all of our virtual bookkeeping clients to eliminate paper and save time. To find out more about our virtual bookkeeping packages, we invite you to contact us.

Blake is a CPA and a law school graduate specializing in taxology, tax and finance process automation and optimization, and cloud accounting systems.

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