CloudX Blog

Accounting Automation Solutions For The People!

Posted by Chris Cosgrove

Jan 5, 2015 12:11:00 PM

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If you left this year’s holidays behind and for some reason or other, Santa, your office white elephant, or Great Aunt Mertyl’s gifts to you just didn’t cut the mustard, then we’ve got good news for you! CloudX is feeling uber generous and want you to have the awesomest time possible in 2015.

 

Here’s a few ways we’re giving back to the people this year:

 

  1. An oldie but a goodie nonetheless! – There are still a ton of businesses who haven’t pulled the trigger yet on pursuing Accounts Payable automation.  Why?!?! Who knows, could be too costly, too difficult, too many conflicting priorities, apathy, heck even ignorance of what’s possible, & we get it…that’s why we’re here to help you learn about ways to improve your AP invoice processing from manual antiquated ways to state of the art, hi tech, hi touch processes that transform your process and usher you into the streamlined digital age!  Learn more about that here or schedule a time with us to get a demo of our approach to AP automation today!  As a gift, we’ll provide a complimentary analysis of your current state process against industry benchmarks and YOU can make the decision about what you want to do about it!
  2. The cool kid’s gift! – For our underrepresented friends who labor away in the Accounts Receivable department, have we cooked up something for you!  Tired of getting bogged down in lengthy and arduous statement reconciliation and remittance processing…we’ll, we’re here to help.  With our approach to processing statements and remittances, we can take the data entry and process delays encumbered by many AR professionals out with the Christmas tree if you will (it is January 5th afterall).  If you want to see how this works, it’s simple, and we’d be happy to share with you some of the wins we’ve had in working with other AR clients who have previously been buried under piles of AR statements!
  3. The trendsetter! – Now for the juiciest one that should make all the CFO’s & Controllers squeal like a kid who hankered for and finally got the original Furby or Tomagotchi back in the day… While many organizations have implemented various types of procurement card or credit card spending mechanisms, a relatively small few (something like 18% of companies surveyed per MasterCard data) have actually pursued Electronic Accounts Payable. By definition, that would be literally, single use virtual credit card accounts that are generated per invoice to their vendors, who then redeem it electronically.  There’s a slew of reason that this is a fantastic way to pay…from a timing and control standpoint, to a cost reduction within the AP side (no check cutting, no postage, no time wasted)  But the biggest reason that we see for any finance leader to seriously consider this is the financial uplift it provides.  Out of the gate, most companies can expect to capture about 1.25% of their spend they run through this means.  And in terms of acceptance, MasterCard suggests that nearly 1/3 of companies already accept this means of payment.  So if you pay out $3MM a month, and 1/3 of your spend was eligible ($1MM) at 1.25%, you’d be getting a $12,500 check back as a monthly cash rebate for nada…just how you physically make payment.  That in ancient Greek is what you call a ‘no-brainer’. Extrapolate that out for a year and you’re looking at $150,000 upside…which could be used to fund the other initiatives we’ve already mentioned.   And besides, what other means exist to drive that kind of impact in your AP organization with nothing out of pocket…because we’d like to know!

 

So, if none of these appeal to you or fit your priority list, there’s always a lesser known pathway to a joyous holiday season…and that would be the man in the red suit.  No…no…not Santa…much better than Santa…let us introduce you to Sump’n Claus! Cause everybody get Sump’n!

 Free Whitepaper on Why CFO's Are Ditching Checks!

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Topics: Accounts Payable Automation, Virtual Payments, Electronic Payments, accounts receivable automation

4 Problems With Checks & Why To Consider Electronic Payment Solutions

Posted by Chris Cosgrove

Dec 16, 2014 1:35:00 PM

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Ho Ho Ho!

As you bustle about in the final days here between now and Christmas, it’s common for most people to tick items off their burgeoning gift lists.  However, in stark contrast to this post, those paper documents are ok and don’t hamper process. Sure, it may be old fashioned to jot down the list of all your friends and family, but it’s also fast, reliable, and cheap.   If only the same could be said for the check writing and cutting process that most companies gyrate through all the time.

 

Here’s 4 major issues with cutting checks:

 

  1. Time – Check printing is an arduous process that encumbers the time of your Accounts Payable staff. Invoice processing in and of itself (presentment to posting) is difficult enough, let along having to deal with an armada of devices and stocks necessary to cut checks. Then you have the time involved with getting those checks stuffed into envelopes and on their way. No wonder check runs are as fraught with scampering staff as holiday fun runs are with racers.
  2. Cost – Sure, the obvious costs associated with printing checks boil down to three items: stock, toner, and postage. This all adds up and not insignificantly either.  With all things being equal, most companies would prefer to hang onto the cash that is routinely flushed down the drain while doing check runs.  In most companies the cost just to cut and mail a check is well within a $1-2 range…heck first class postage now is $.49, so there’s that. Costs are further amplified by having to support additional printers or MFDs, all of which can be reduced through electronic means.
  3. Hassle – No one wants to be mired in inefficient processes, in fact many folks would prefer to streamline their operations and move to a better way, the problem is that many folks don’t have an awareness of what’s available to them to improve the process. Again, if you didn’t have to go through manual efforts to crank through a check run, most AP staff would be better served to focus on core items like handling customer billing disputes or pursuing more strategic objectives like securing early payment discounts. Bottom-line: in today’s day and age with all the nuanced solutions that exist, electronic payments can make the woes of having to prep and output manual check runs a thing of the past.
  4. No cash benefit! – That’s right, when’s the last time any organization literally paid you for cutting a check? Oh, never…really, why am I not surprised?

 

So in summary, there’s a bevy of reasons why printing checks is a pain and there are some solid reasons (aka business advantages) for those who are pursuing electronic payment solutions.

 

For starters, you can retain the same level of payment control with your vendors, but with the upside of taking less time to execute payment, being more environmentally friendly, reducing the process hassles, and finally, the big one, providing a financial incentive for the business to do so in the form of cash rebates.  To learn more about that click here!

 

So, as you prep you’re nog of choice for the Yule tide blaze that is to consume your hearth in short order, sit back and ponder whether cutting checks is really getting it done for you in a positive way or whether 2015 might hold some Accounts Payable process improvements (electronic payment solutions) in your future that will make your life easier and organization stronger!

 

Merry Christmas!

 

Free Whitepaper on Why CFO's Are Ditching Checks!

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Topics: Virtual Payments, Electronic Payments, electronic payment solutions

5 Things Your Boss Needs to Know About Making Electronic Payments!!

Posted by Chris Cosgrove

Dec 2, 2014 1:00:31 PM

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 So it's like this...

 

No one ever likes being tasked with breaking bad news to their boss, but it tends to be a reality that any leader has to face at some point in their career.  The trick as they say is in the delivery, and hopefully being able to provide a silver lining for whatever is being delivered.  However, in today’s post, the only bad news that we have to pass on is that the days of making manual, paper payments (can anyone say checks?) are numbered. So consider this a license to share the good news about virtual payments, and more aptly put virtual card payments, a rapidly growing subset of automated electronic payments. This is key stuff for any Accounts Payable Manager, Controller, & CFO because it affects them all in positive ways.

 

So here’s the skinny, as we’ve reviewed here, many folks are open to taking electronic payments in lieu of checks and it’s important that both you and your boss learn about it for a few reasons…here’s why:

 

 

  1. More vendors are open to accepting electronic payments than you might think!  - For vendors, the biggest factors that interest them regarding payment in our opinion are two-fold, a. time to cash and b. ease of processing payment. With electronic payments means, in many cases it’s both a faster and easier process for the paying organization as well as the payment receiving organization.

 

  1. It saves your people time spent on check runs! – Check runs can be a painful proposition..for a slew of reasons. From getting payment authorization on big checks to the physical process of having to output and mail checks, there’s a ton of manual process wrapped around the function of getting checks out that in todays’ day and age can be drastically reduced through automation and technology. Don’t let cutting checks bottleneck your organizational efficiency anymore.

 

  1. It saves you money too! – Cutting checks isn’t only time consuming, it’s dollar consuming (in more ways than one). Here’s a shortlist of the ways it costs…check stock, toner, printers, envelopes, postage, and the labor required to support the process.  All of this can be excised from the process in significant amounts by adopting a virtual card payment program.  In this way, each time you paid a vendor, a unique single-use credit card account would be generated per invoice (or across multiple invoices) and the supplier would be able to confirm and receive that without having to process any paper! You’re not only saving time and money on your end, but for your vendors too, which we’re sure they’d be psyched about!

 

  1. It’s a lesser known segment of Accounts Payable improvement, but one that is ripe to see massive growth in the coming years! - This isn’t a knock against the concept of electronic payments, but more-so a validation of the fact that it is driven by recent technology advances made possible only recently through the cloud and modern credit processing capabilities.  So, let it be an opportunity for both you and boss to learn about the latest and greatest tools to improve the process!

 

  1. It pays and pays well! - Beyond all the time and process saving elements, making virtual card payments is like the golden goose.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.  Seriously, consider how many rebate programs work with the following simple math, as most companies that deploy these types of solution can see about 1% (or more) of their spend pushed through it come back via a monthly cash rebate!

 

Spend per month -                                                                     $10,000,000

% of Spend that takes electronic payment –                                 30%

% of Spend pushed electronically -                                         $3,00,000

Cash Rebate @ 1% of Spend -                                                   $30,000

 

That’s no small number just for switching your payment method in addition to getting all the other bennies out of it.

 

So with that said, unless you know of another easy to implement means of bringing about a $360,000 annual windfall into your AP organization, virtual card payments may just be the best news you have brought to your boss in a long while.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about how virtual card payment programs work, by all means click here!

We've also got quite a bit of intel on accounts payable automation if you're looking for ways to improve that process too!

Download a virtual payment brochure now!

 

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Topics: Virtual Payments, Electronic Payments

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