Online solutions at your bank reduce cost, time, paperwork & fraud
Expenses, time, paperwork and fraud – ask almost any small business owner in Clark County what he or she wants less of, and most likely those four items would be at or near the top of their list. Luckily, many financial services companies offer small business owners a number of electronic solutions to reduce all four of these issues.
Here are just a few of the solutions I’m referring to:
In existence since 1995, online banking enables the business owner to check account balances, transfer funds, manage cash flow and perform a myriad of other transactions safely and securely, on a 24/7 basis, from any online computer in the world.
Online banking can reduce the time you spend driving to the bank and waiting in line, or on the phone managing your finances. It also enables you to keep close tabs on your account activity and quickly identify any fraudulent transactions.
Online bill pay
One of the easiest ways you can reduce your paperwork is to shift to online bill pay. Using this service, you can go online and direct your financial services company to send an electronic payment or check to any company or person you wish, including suppliers and your own employees.
To save time and avoid late fees, you can establish rules for both when to send the payment and for what amount. You can request to pay a bill just once or on a regular basis.
If you think about the cost of a stamp, the envelope and the check you would normally write, using online bill pay could you save more than 50 cents per payment.
This service provides you with tools to create a professional looking, itemized invoice to send to your customers. Many financial services companies will also allow you to include a payment option embedded in the invoice itself.
Small business owners can register to receive payments electronically, even if they don’t handle credit cards. The payment can be electronically and automatically reconciled with the initial invoice, saving you time and simplifying your bookkeeping.
The small business owner receives the payment within a few days of issuing the invoice online. Any business owner concerned about collecting receivables quickly should consider online invoicing.
Instead of your desk being cluttered with paper, you can use your bill pay service to turn off paper bills and instead have them delivered electronically to your desk.
While much of the news today focuses on Internet security, most small business fraud is still perpetrated using traditional paper instruments. Switching to online statements reduces this risk.
Online statements also give you easy access to your account history. Many banks, including Wells Fargo, can store up to seven years of online statement history. If you need a paper copy, you can always print one.
Some financial services companies will also provide a monthly service fee discount if you switch to online statements.
This service gives small business owners an “extended office” by providing access to account information, even when they’re not at a computer.
Using your web-enabled mobile device, you can check the balances of your business and personal deposit and credit accounts, view transaction history, transfer money between eligible accounts and pay bills.
All of the above electronic solutions are easy to implement and will reduce your expenses, time and paperwork. Security tools also enable an owner to designate authority levels that make these solutions safer than traditional, paper-based dual control systems.
Ask your financial services provider about the electronic solutions they can provide to help you increase efficiency and productivity and grow your small business.
Tim Miller manages Wells Fargo’s Business Banking team in Clark County. To reach him, call 360.759.4827 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org