In my most recent post, I noted the advantages of modern electronic banking options that allow an organization to minimize, if not eliminate, trips to the bank. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s worth reconsidering your current processes for both receipts and payments.
Similar modern options allow you to pay bills electronically without the many disadvantages of printed checks.
- You must print checks on costly “check stock” — paper that is specifically designed for that purpose.
- To avoid fraudulent use, you must secure your blank check stock under lock and key.
- Staff must take the time to print checks, have them signed, stuff them in envelopes, and mail them.
- All of the labor, materials, and postage in this process add up to real money.
Most banks offer a free “bill pay” service that will send checks to your vendors at your direction. In many ways, it’s preferable to printing checks internally, and it avoids the costs of labor, materials, and postage. On the other hand, it can be a little cumbersome, since you need to enter vendors and bills in two places — your accounting system and the banking portal.
Melio is a free service that is fully integrated with QuickBooks. That means you don’t need to add transactions twice. Like your bank portal, you may use Melio to initiate paper-free payments to your vendors. Through an automated email notification, you invite your vendor to securely enter their banking information to receive payments electronically. Alternatively, your vendor may elect to receive a paper check directly from Melio.
In addition to the cost savings of electronic payments, you’ll never have to “stop payment” and reissue a check that was lost in the mail. Stop payment fees are expensive, and more importantly, replacement checks are disruptive to any business.
What’s Holding You Back?
What’s holding you back from making these changes? Is it not knowing where to start? Fear of the unknown? “We’ve always done it this way”? Is change just too difficult for your staff? Are you confident you’ll always have physical access to your office? If the unexpected happens, will you be able to keep your systems functioning efficiently if you have to operate remotely?
There are many benefits to upgrading your electronic banking capabilities, including time, money, and security. There’s no significant investment; it’s all about making the decision to change the way you do things. In the very near future, you’ll wonder, “Why didn’t we do that sooner?”
Dan Weiss, founder and President of Counterpart CFO, leads a team of flexible, part-time CFO’s specializing in nonprofits. To read more from Dan, follow him on LinkedIn or subscribe to his blog at www.counterpartCFO.com.