Reasons to Adopt Paperless Payments and Stop Cutting Checks
People are comfortable using their computers, phones, and even their watches to make merchant payments, and employee compensation and expenses have been direct-deposited for a decade or more. But many organizations still make payments to vendors, suppliers, customers, and others with paper checks. Sometimes the volume of payments doesn’t seem to justify the cost of implementing electronic payment capabilities. But the investment may be smaller and take less time to implement than you think.
Those who hesitate to kick the paper check habit may not know all of the benefits of a paperless electronic environment. Sure, you’ll save the cost of paper checks, and cash flow is improved by the immediacy of online payments. But there are other less obvious reasons why the change may be right for your organization.
Benefits of digital payments over paper checks
- Always be ready for taxes and audits — Whether you are using a business payment system or syncing with your accounting system, all the items your tax preparer or auditor may need are centralized in one place. You can give third parties read-only access to the applications and allow them to gather the information they need.
- Greater insight into your organization — Whether you are using dashboards in your business payment application or you are syncing with another cloud computing application, you can get a quick, raw picture of cash flows and other items onscreen instead of waiting for monthly reconciled financials.
- Reduce overhead and employee costs — Minimize the impact of payment processing tasks on staff, which in turn allows for reduction or redirection of staff to more important business objectives. You may also be able to relieve staff of tasks that have been done at a higher cost by another employee.
- Help prevent fraud — Most online payment applications help you adopt automatic workflows, restrict access, and minimize the need for blank check stock in the office. With built-in email notifications and user audit trails in the application, it’s much harder for items to slip past without getting noticed.
- Applications and integrations — One of the beauties of cloud computing is that it allows the seamless integration of applications; typically an employee expense cloud application and others can easily be connected to an accounting application.
- Get paid faster — With paperless, you will be able to offer more payment options online, such as a branded customer portal with the ability to accept automated clearing house (ACH), PayPal™, and credit cards. There is no waiting for check clearing or the mail, so funds move to and from your account more quickly. Many systems can also be configured to schedule payments, send automatic invoice and payment reminders, and process recurring bills and invoices.
- Reduce technology costs — Licensed software or products may require costly equipment and downtime for repairs, but updates and changes to cloud applications are done during off hours, causing minimal impact on your business.
- Anytime, anywhere access — The industry standard is 24/7 availability with limited periodic holiday, evening, and weekend breaks in service for upgrades and maintenance. People can’t be glued to a desk all day and still be able to grow the organization, so most applications can be accessed by a variety of mobile devices when a conventional computer may not be practical.
- Save time — Time spent keeping supplies stocked, running to the bank, paying postage, and following up and researching payment status will shrink significantly. Newfound time can be used to address higher-level/higher-yield tasks. It may also free up time for other employees not directly involved in the process.
- Reduce or eliminate paper — You can either accept paper payments and get them into your paperless business payment process or require your vendors and customers to use an all-electronic submission and payment system. Gone are the days of hunting in file cabinets, possibly losing important documents, or having to reprint paper documents because you can’t locate them.
How we can help
Getting online payments set up is a lot less complicated than other cloud products; it can usually be done in a day or less. It is critical that staff members have the proper training and materials, and that business workflows are correctly mapped. We can perform an analysis to determine if payments and other functions in your organization can be automated, and help you calculate the investment required and the return you can expect.