by Warren Glick

We’re getting into the final stretch of the year, a time when many businesses scramble to get back on track and meet the goals they had set back in January. Daily review of financial reporting, controlling expenses, maximizing sales revenue and realigning marketing and market focus. These are all plain things and still the main things that remain vital factors in hitting it home at year-end. No matter how close you may be from achieving your goals for 2017, making a strong and successful finish should be your #1 “business imperative” for Q4.

Q4 – A Window of Opportunity

Even if things have gone somewhat awry, it’s almost always possible to get your business back on track to a successful, profitable, and lucrative future. However, with just 3 months and two major holidays ahead in 2017, the focus needs to sharpen on a basic reality and question:

What can be done to make the biggest bottom-line contribution to my business,
without deterring the priorities, progress and positive path we’ve achieved so far?

This is motivating and impactful logic for every business, and a lot easier than most organizations actually realize!  How?  It’s directly in your accounts payable process – by transitioning your vendor/supplier disbursements to electronic payments.

Using Electronic Payments to Improve Your Bottom-line

There are more ways that electronic payments can improve your bottom line than you might think.  Migrating AP away from manual paper-based supplier check processing to ePayments offers benefits in a number of areas – all with a positive and immediate impact on your bottom line:

Cost Reduction

 Industry researchers estimate the cost of issuing a paper check to be in a range of $3 -$10, depending on the hard and hidden costs that are considered. These costs will often include items such as check stock, printing, envelopes and postage, along with processing time and resources used. The cost of processing electronic payments is only a small fraction of that amount in comparison.

Mitigating Risk of Payment Fraud

Security is always an issue in the payment process and the cost. According to the new 2017 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey, 75 percent of companies were targets of payments fraud last year. Additionally, 75 percent of these organizations experienced check fraud in 2016. This is an increase from 71 percent in 2015 and a reversal of the declining trend in check fraud since 2010:

Ways to Save

Electronic payments are extremely fast and can put your company on a preferred status with your key vendors. As a “preferred” customer, vendors will often offer you better pricing and early payment discounts. Many companies that use electronic payments are pleasantly surprised to find that those two perks actually represent a healthy new revenue stream.

Virtual Cards

Virtual Cards (V-Cards) are essentially “card-less” credit card payments, designed as a more secure alternative to ACH, check payments and physical cards. A V-Card is a unique 16-digit computer generated number used to settle a specific vendor payment transaction issued for a specific dollar amount.  Virtual card numbers are randomly created for a one-time transaction in a specific amount, so no trail to a physical credit card or number exists.  Unlike ACH and check payments, with virtual payment cards vendors no longer have to share or expose their bank account information. This creates an even stronger benefit in using virtual payments.

Turning your AP Department into a Revenue Generator with Virtual Cards 

Companies who use virtual cards may qualify to earn rebates for each dollar their suppliers spend.  AP departments can go from a cost center to a profit center with this new revenue stream – from a percent of the accounts payable dollars you receive!

ACOM empowers organizations to centralize, automate and manage all of their AP business payments of every type through one Intelligent Payment Hub.  Organizations make the transition to 100% paperless for all of their AP disbursements seamlessly and with bank-level security. If you’re ready to convert to electronic payments, the experts at ACOM can help. Call us at 800-347-3638, or contact us online.

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