If you’re responsible for your Accounts Payable operations, you know the value of electronic payments and the time and money that can be saved over manual check processing. The switch to ePayments also offers important benefits in maximizing resources, where time previously spent on paper check payments can be redirected toward more meaningful and productive AP and finance work.
So why not convert ePayment processing right now?
The participation of your vendors is key, and sometimes they can be unresponsive to change and just more comfortable with the traditional approach. It can be a challenge to get all of your vendors to make the transition to ePayments.
Using a payment provider can be a definite advantage for your ePayment transition. Along with handling your electronic payments, some providers will take the lead in onboarding and managing the vendor conversion process for you.
Communications and project planning
First, you will need to have an effective communication plan. The plan must deliver a consistent message emphasizing the value of converting to ePayments, and how it brings direct benefit to your vendor. It’s a combination of emails, phone and mail sent on your behalf in a tone that you’re comfortable with, and that meets your specific goals and guidelines.
Next, is the project lead. It’s vital to have one key person who will guide your vendor conversion project from start to finish and who understands your requirements. This is the person that you will interact with the most, and should be the one responsible for sending you daily/weekly updates on the project status.
Answer Typical Concerns About ePayments
A vendor who is new to accepting ePayments may have doubts about how well the process works until they’ve experienced it for themselves. You will need to pay serious attention to these concerns, providing vendors substantive answers and direction on ePayment processing. Here are some highlights of what to address:
Like any company, your vendors are concerned about being paid quickly. In general, every supplier wishes they could be paid the day you receive their invoice. You can’t fulfill that wish, but using electronic payments will help you pay vendors more quickly for two reasons.
- When you streamline your Accounts Payable process, you’ll approve payment faster.
- Once that approval is in place, your vendors will be paid automatically via ACH or Virtual Card. You won’t need to print checks, and there will be no delay waiting for the check to arrive in the mail.
Even when your vendors receive a paper check, there’s no guarantee that the check will clear. Dealing with NSF (non-sufficient funds) problems can be a big headache. Regardless of the type of ePayment you use, the guarantee of funds being available with ePayments is much stronger than with paper checks.
Many vendors are trying to hold the line on personnel costs in their accounting departments. Switching to ePayments will help them accomplish that goal because there won’t be the same requirement for processing paper checks and trips to the bank for depositing them. In addition, the reconciliation process will be simplified.
Check Fraud Issues
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. Your vendors are sure to have felt the impact of check payment fraud, so it’s important to not only address this concern, but illustrate how secure ePayment processing will mitigate or completely eliminate this risk .
Changes to Workflow
You can’t get around the fact that your vendors will need to change their accounts receivable process. The good news is that the changes will improve their processes. Eliminating paper checks will reduce paperwork handling and eliminate the problems that sometimes arise in getting the checks to the bank.
When you switch to ePayments, the most important thing is maintaining effective communication with your vendors. Ultimately, it’s your “buyer & supplier” relationship, so if your payment provider is taking the lead in the transition, it is essential they work diligently with vendors on your behalf.
If you’re ready to make the switch, the experts at ACOM can help you ensure that the transition goes smoothly. Call us at 800-347-3638, or contact us online.