A single check seems small enough. But added up, the checks your property management company deposits or prints can ultimately bury your staff under a mound of paper. If you are on the way to a paperless office but haven’t yet tackled electronic payments for receivables and payables, you are paying more than you need to run your operation.
Many property management companies use a blended approach of electronic and paper-based payments, although the trend is clearly towards electronic payments. Most electronic payment implementations involve a combination of one or more of the following:
- Moving resident rent payments, application fees and other receivables online using ACH (Automated Clearinghouse) and credit cards.
- Moving your payables online by sending electronic payments to vendors, owners or investors, employees and others.
You may have already implemented check scanning for receivables or MICR laser check processing for payables. Congratuations – both these technologies are effective ways to streamline your backoffice. However, these methods still carry handling costs. Electronic payments can dramatically reduce these costs even further.
Here are five great reasons you should implement electronic payments as part of your paperless office initiative:
- Improve efficiency and accuracy. After all, isn’t that the reason you decided to go paperless in the first place? With electronic payments, your staff can save a significant amount of handling time and reduce errors. According to independent studies, each paper check you eliminate can save your company at least $2.00 in handling costs.
- Greater security. Each time a check is handled, whether it’s by the post office or your backoffice staff, the odds of a loss or security issue is increased. Online payments are a more secure way of getting the payments into or out of your account.
- Improve cash flow and visibility. Rent payments made using an ACH system are deposited more rapidly than a traditional paper check. Notification of non-sufficient funds occurs faster as well. In addition to faster funds availability, electronic payments provide your accountant and management team with a more real-time view into receivables and payables.
- Fewer trips to the bank by you and others. Payments you receive online are automatically deposited at the bank, saving you trips to the bank and improving deposit security. Your payables are deposited directly as well, and although this doesn’t affect your bottom line, it’s the greener way to go.
- More convenience for your customers. Payments by paper check are clearly on the decline, and forward-thinking companies are offering innovative electronic payment methods to their customers. In property management, you can provide more convenience to your customers: residents, vendors, investors/owners, and employees. These customers expect it.
You can find electronic payment solutions from multiple sources, including your bank, independent payment processing companies, and from your property management software vendor. Once you get started with electronic payments, you can streamline your operation even further and start to unbury your staff from that mound of paper.