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Happy New Year from René

December 29, 2011

RenelacerteIt’s a wonderful time of year and I hope you are enjoying the holidays. When one year ends and another begins, I always like to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. This year I have been thinking about Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. 

And believe it or not, I have tied it to what we do at Bill.com! So here goes.

From my perspective, accounting is all about the past. When we record transactions, whether they are payables, receivables or journal entries, we’re writing history—history of where we spent our money and where we made our money. It’s critical in business to balance the books, just as the ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge how vital it is to remember where he came from. But, looking at a snapshot of the past fails to provide all the insight that Scrooge needs to become a better person (or the insight we need to become a more successful company). 

Scrooge must, of course, meet the ghost of Christmas Present in order to face the reality of the status quo, to examine where the past has taken him. In the accounting world, the present is when we pay bills, send out invoices, and collaborate with customers, vendors, employees and documents in real-time. It’s the daily grind, but it’s very valuable to step back and take a good look at what’s going on.

In fact, the present is where I learn how our plans are unfolding for the company. Just like Scrooge—but with a much more positive outlook and friendly disposition!—I can see how a past decision has impacted our work today. Seeing a bill for a new vendor or coming across an invoice that remains unpaid gives me lots of ideas for follow-up, how to proceed, and how to improve.

Of course, Scrooge’s transformation is not complete until the ghost of Christmas Future shows him where he is going and that there are different paths he can take, each with dramatically different outcomes. In business, cash flow is our guidepost for predicting the future. In fact, the most common reason for business failure is an inability to manage cash flow. When you consider that Scrooge’s mismanagement of his cash—his overall greediness and misappropriation of resources—was his downfall, it’s easy to see why the ghost of Christmas Future was the specter with the most compelling message!

At Bill.com, we don’t send you ghosts to scare you into changing your ways, but we do give you the tools to transform the way you control your company’s finances. We sync with your accounting software to provide the view of the past, we help you manage the documents, workflow, invoicing, and payments of the present, and we provide you a view of the future with our cashview tools—the calendar and many more to come.

After all, as Ebenezer Scrooge learned, it takes the Past, Present and Future to bring balance and happiness to your financial work life.

So happy holidays and as Tiny Tim said, “God bless us, every one.”

René Lacaerte
CEO and Founder
@rlacerte

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