The coronavirus pandemic has been a once-in-a-lifetime study on how businesses can adapt to significantly different customer activity — or working remotely. For many business owners, this has meant adjusting: managing the logistics of running their business and maximizing tools at their disposal so working remotely doesn’t mean operating at limited capacity or ability. During the early and transitional stages of the pandemic, the focus was on the shift to working remotely; now, it’s most likely on improving efficiencies and smoothing out the process as we continue moving forward. Another consideration is staffing: How many employees will you consider bringing back to brick-and-mortar, or will the shift to remote working be a permanent one for your business?
There is much to consider, like maximizing both convenience and security while ensuring company finances and paying suppliers can happen remotely. We’ve put together a list of common concerns and some possible solutions to consider in helping to manage your accounts, gain efficiencies, improve cash flow, and maximize your workforce. Let’s take a look.
Bank trips are time-consuming, and couriers are costly. A leaner staff often translates into time being at a premium. You can’t operate without funds in your account(s), but trips to the bank can take time, and the expense for a courier can be hard to justify.
Something you might consider is the Desktop Teller platform, which allows you to scan and deposit checks as soon as they’re received. It’s as easy as preparing the deposit, scanning the checks with your scanner, and digitally sending the deposit to your bank from your PC. Desktop Teller automatically reads dollar amounts, totals the deposit, and searches for duplicate items, and when you’re ready, it submits the deposit securely to your account.
It’s the fastest way to turn checks into cash, with no disruption to you or your staff and no spending premium resources on courier costs. Since your checks never leave your company, there’s no physical security risk. Another plus: Some business owners find that they can consolidate their accounts, as depositing checks into a central account eliminates the need for accounts in different locations. The end result? You save time and money.
Fraud — and mistakes — can lead to loss. Operating remotely with fewer employees in one area can mean there are fewer eyes on items being submitted for payment. That means it can be difficult to detect possible fraudulent items or even errors.
One solution might be using Positive Pay, which is an automated cash-management service used to deter check fraud. By using Positive Pay to match issued checks with those presented for payment, you’re able to stop problems before they start.
Positive Pay compares your issued checks and ACH payments against those presented for daily payment and reports any discrepancies to you. This “extra set of eyes” increases the likelihood of preventing altered or fraudulent checks by looking for duplicate check numbers or amounts, altered amounts or payees, unreadable MICR lines, or unauthorized ACH entries. Each day, you’ll be apprised of any issues that can lead to fraud losses or disruption of payments to your vendors or customers.
Keeping tabs on paper checks uses time and resources. Of course your goal is to keep money coming in to your business, but let’s not forget that you have to spend money to make money. That means time and effort spent on processing payroll, mailing out payments, and reconciling accounts. That’s where electronic ACH is worth your consideration.
Making and accepting electronic payments via ACH (automated clearing house, which is a computer-based electronic network for processing transactions) enables you to pay employees and vendors, collect payments, and consolidate funds digitally rather than physically. This makes it much easier to monitor and manage your business’s cash flow, manage payroll, and regularly reconcile your transactions in one place.
By using ACH to pay employees and vendors, you’re able to cut payroll processing time, which eliminates printing, reconciliation, and special handling of checks — not to mention helping to reduce fraud risks associated with paper checks. By using ACH to collect from businesses and clients, you can greatly reduce (or even eliminate) the expense of billing. Another great ACH perk is that you can use it to move funds from multiple locations to your primary bank.
Paying (and tracking) bills can get out of control. Paying vendors, utilities, and your other obligations can seem like an endless paper chase. But now that you’re sailing toward streamlined business approaches, it may be time to ditch the stamps and look into electronic options, like Business BillPay.
Much like your personal bank account’s BillPay function, Business BillPay allows you to simplify your accounts payable by paying everything online from the same place. Payments sent electronically add more control, improve security, and save a ton in both time and postage. The convenience of making and tracking payments and the customizable controls for adding users, assigning permissions, and setting restrictions for user access make this a popular service for business owners of all sizes.
With the right tools in place, some pro tips from experts who care, and your already-proven ingenuity and determination, running your business remotely is in the bag — you’ve totally got this. (And remember, these tools are still helpful long after you’ve returned to the office — or if you never left!) For more information on any of our Treasury Management products, or to connect with a member of our Treasury Management team, visit our Treasury Management page.
Learning Center articles, guides, blogs, podcasts, and videos are for informational purposes only and are not an advertisement for a product or service. The accuracy and completeness is not guaranteed and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Please consult with your own tax, legal, and financial advisors.