It seems like it's not a big ask: you need a website designed to let you pay your global contractors and ditch the patchwork software you've hacked together to get it done. That's Liquid. But business owners are still stuck in a compliance nightmare by using their payroll systems to pay contractors or spending hours comparing invoices to the original agreement in the contract five folders deep in legal team's Google Drive.
We get it. Sometimes it's more comfortable dealing with the hiccups of your current system than to learn something new. But if your workflow is slowing down your ability to take on new clients, causing friction with your on-demand workforce, or sucking up time you need to spend elsewhere, then it's time to shake things up with Liquid.
Stay Fluid With Liquid
Liquid believes that the future of business is built on blended teams: a core full-time team supplemented with a bench of global contractors, freelancers, and vendors. Agile businesses who adopt this philosophy are able to punch above their weight, scale quickly, and embrace new opportunities that traditional, full-time teams may be too encumbered to accept.
Getting payments to your global freelance team can be challenging enough, especially if you're trying to pay contractors with your payroll software. But just getting them paid is only part of the problem: there are contracts to send and sign, invoices to track and match, and tax forms to keep track of. That's where Liquid comes in. Built from the ground-up for small- to medium-sized businesses and agencies who hire domestic and international contractors and vendors, Liquid is a complete vendor and contractor management system that:
Streamlines onboarding with standardized contracts
Automates invoice matching
Provides project overview and spend management tools
Offers fast, secure international wires across 175+ countries in a vendor's preferred currency
Collects and generates tax forms
And best of all? It keeps you domestically and globally compliant. Or maybe it's the vendor tools that simplify invoice generation and help them track payments among all their clients. Or the lack of hidden fees that ensures more money in your contractors' pockets -- keeping them happy, and working for you.
Liquid was designed to help business owners scale their work quickly and foster great relationships with their bench. Which makes us a little different from the other guys.
How, you might ask? We'd be remiss if we didn't show you.
Let Go of Gusto
If you have employees, there's a chance you've come across Gusto. They're a popular solution for payroll management. But as we've discussed previously, employees (whose income is reported on a W2) are crucially different from contractors (whose income is reported on 1099). Not only do employees need to be domestically authorized for work, but the employer/employee relationship comes with strict protocols about tax responsibility and unemployment compensation.
That's why, if you use Gusto to pay contractors (either domestic or international), you could find yourself creating a labor compliance nightmare. California and New York are especially strict about worker compliance regulations, and using one payment system to handle two fundamentally different worker roles can trigger an audit. In other words, Gusto is a payroll system designed to pay domestic employees, and using it to pay freelancers is like trying to tighten a screw with a nail gun.
The Currency Conundrum with Bill.com and Melio
Picture this: someone in AP is sent an invoice from an independent contractor. AP's first question would ask if this in voice is correct, and that sends them down the rabbit hole searching for contracts and the original work order. These are cross-referenced against the invoice and then checked against the history of invoices paid to this contractor to avoid duplicate payments. And assuming these all lineup, and that there's nothing unexpected in the invoice requiring further approval/contract forwarding, then AP can log into Bill.com or Melio and make a payment.
But what about everything AP had to do prior to that? Why aren't contracts, payment history, and work orders all in the same place, on the same platform, so they can be checked with ease? That's our problem with Bill.com and Melio: there's more that goes into managing your contractors than just sending an invoice. That's why Liquid has automated approval systems, spend controls, and invoice matching — because Liquid is a complete vendor system, and that includes contracts, onboarding, and work orders.
When you do eventually get to filling that invoice for your contractor, you'll encounter even more trouble if the recipient is international. Melio only provides USD international transfers, which means the money your contractors were promised is subject to additional intermediary bank feed and fluctuating currency rates. Bill.com claims to offer payments in some local currencies, but we when we went to their supporting documents, we were 404'd.
At Liquid, we know the best way to keep your contractors happy is to make sure they receive the entire amount they're supposed to, which is why we offer domestic and international wires with no hidden fees. Contractors and vendors are never charged any fees to send invoices or receive payments.
Put Down The Remote and Don't Deal with Deel
Paying contractors can be a simple, straightforward process: you both sign a contract, and when they’re ready to get paid, they send you an invoice that you pay. But if you want to hire a foreign worker as a full-time employee while also staying compliant in that country, then you need an employer-of-record (EOR) to process your global payroll.
That’s where Remote and Deel excel. But is that the solution that’s right for you? Not only does hiring an employee in another country come with the same commitments and liability as adding a domestic employee to your full-time, permanent workforce, but EORs can cost hundreds of dollars per month per employee. Agile blended, however, businesses thrive when they can pivot and pull from their bench anytime, anywhere, and for any duration, as needed.
Remote and Deel do have the ability to handle onboarding and payments, but only if you’re working with individuals. If there’s a dev shop or marketing company you’d like to hire and pay, then you’re out of luck.
Assuming you decided to use Remote or Deel and you found a contractor and they were not a business, then it bears repeating you’ll still lack spend controls and automated invoice matching. You’ll end up spending a significant amount of money to still do a ton of the work yourself.
Be Smarter Than Wise and Payoneer
Global connections mean there’s no shortage of ways to send money abroad. If you’re considering Wise and Payoneer, they:
offer the ability to wire money to foreign countries
These sites lack onboard tools designed to manage freelancers and scale your business. With Liquid, one click can bring businesses to a birds-eye-view of all their work orders in progress, allowing them to quickly identify spend issues and ensure the profitability of each project.
Additionally, unless you have a dedicated AP team to match invoices to their originating scopes of work, you'll find you can still lose hours making sure you haven't double-paid an invoice and that the invoice you're about to pay lines up with the work order. Discrepancies are left to you to hunt down and, unfortunately, are your responsibility to shoulder.
The Liquid Nature of Clients and Contractors
Liquid was custom-built to provide agile businesses with complete vendor management. That means more than just paying invoices or signing contracts. Liquid is a unified platform that saves you money and, even more importantly, time. No more digging through folders to find a work order, no more hunting down an intermediary bank for global payments, and no more manual invoice matching.
Liquid is everything you need, all in one place.
And because Liquid was created for agile businesses and agencies, we know that businesses quite often function as both client and contractor. When your company wins a coveted RFP, you're a contractor providing a service to client — you'll then turn to your workbench to tap the world's most skilled workers to join your team.
So why choose an AP service that only does half the job? With Liquid, all your vendor and client tools are in one place.
Ready to save time and join the Liquid revolution? Contact us today, and we'll find the right plan for you.