Now that we are well into the digital era, more and more companies have decided to ditch their paper-based accounts payables processes for a more convenient, streamlined ePayments solution. But choosing the right solution can prove to be a difficult task, as there are many factors such as reducing processing costs, streamlining AP processes, and gaining better control over cash flow that need to be taken into consideration. It’s something that NVoicePay heard a lot from the CFOs and Finance Directors they worked with. So, they decided to compile all of the best practices, tips and tricks into a white paper. “From Payment Checks to ePayment Optimization” provides the scoop on what you is needed to wave bye-bye to paper invoices for good.
Here are a few of the key takeaways.
Beware of Common Pitfalls
Technology limitations and financial institutions’ lack of necessary ePayments services have set back the adoption and success of electronic payments for many companies. As a result, they have had to deal with “unnecessary complexity, limited payment flexibility, increased workloads, and the unpleasant reality that the majority of accounts payable payments are still made with print checks."
Now, there are better solutions available to make 100 percent of payments electronic, and for those who are deciding on an ePayments solution, common issues and pitfalls must be understood.
Ad Hoc Payment Processes
Enterprises should be making 100 percent of their payments through one simple, automated workflow. A solution that requires multiple flows for payment processing based on different payment types is a red flag.
Supplier Information Management Burden
Accounting teams should not have to keep track of the payment methods their suppliers accept. Maintaining this information is time consuming – moving to electronic payments should remove steps from accounts payable staff, not create additional work.
Good Rates, Bad Volume
Card providers may offer enticing rates on their card products but only select the largest suppliers to enable for payment. For enterprises with thousands of suppliers, this approach carelessly limits the number of suppliers that can be paid electronically with a card product.
File Processing Rules
Many ACH alternatives require firm rules for processing payment files that can lead to batch failures, causing more work for accounting teams. Thoroughly understanding the details of how payment files process, how they can fail, and what flexibility is available to prevent failures will help companies dodge these dated systems.
Lack of Supplier Enablement and Support
The biggest obstacle to ePayments is enabling suppliers for payment, which involves knowing what payment methods suppliers accept, who their remittance contact is, how they want to receive the payment, and collecting banking information required to send the payment though the banking network. This information must be collected and maintained continuously over time in order to have the maximum benefit from your electronic payment solution.
Payment Error Breakdown
Payment errors are rare but do occur, requiring immediate and often time-consuming investigations. It is critical to know what type of supplier support is available and who will answer payment support calls before entering a long-term agreement with an ePayments provider.
Finding the ePayments Solution for Your Business
Here is a list of key attributes to ensure that any company’s ePayment solution drives AP efficiencies, reduces costs, and enables 100 percent electronic payments.
1) All payments should go through the same workflow to provide a consolidated, real-time view of accounts payables.
2) Look for a solution provider that proactively pursues suppliers for enablement. Do not accept the burden of maintaining this information.
3) Payment optimization provides the assurance that 100 percent of a company’s suppliers can be paid electronically with the payment method that delivers the greatest return. This is essential as supplier information, processing costs and card rebate opportunities are dynamic and change frequently.
4) Look for solutions that deliver flexibility and control at the individual payment level so your payments process successfully with minimum amount of effort.
5) Immediate support for payment questions or issues should be available. Know what type of supplier support is available and who will answer payment support calls.
6) All solutions should be PCI Compliant and adhere to this industry security standard, deliver rich remittance information to the supplier, and offer an easy connection to ERP systems.
For a complete checklist for identifying the right ePayment solution and issues to avoid, as well a breakdown of what NVoicePay can offer, CLICK HERE.