According to a survey by Insights West, nearly half of small business owners consider profit and cash flow their main source of stress. And according to a study by U.S. Bank, 82 percent of businesses fail due to cash flow mismanagement.
One of the top reasons accounting firms struggle with cash flow management is because of archaic payment processes. While many other professions have switched over to digital payment processes and automation, accounting firms have been slow to make the transition to ePayments.
Businesses routinely accept five- and even six-figure payments via credit card. So why don’t firms?
5 reasons your firm needs ePayments
One of the biggest benefits of ePayments is that you’ll get paid quicker, which instantly improves your cash flow.
Instead of waiting for checks to appear, payments come through straight to your bank account. And if you use a software like BQE Core, invoices and payments will automatically sync with your software.
But getting paid quicker isn’t the only benefit of ePayments. Here are 5 additional ways ePayments can help your firm:
1. Checks have hidden costs
Many organizations forget about the hidden costs associated with paper checks. It costs anywhere between $4-$20 to process one paper check, according to the Wall Street Journal. Postage, hard costs (including envelopes, stamps and paper), and internal resources, such as labor, all add to the cost of processing a paper check.
Labor is the most expensive hidden cost most companies forget to factor in. It may be hard to determine an exact dollar amount to attach to this expense.
Your clients may already know about the hidden costs associated with paper checks. But even if they don’t, they’ll be sure to appreciate a switch to ePayments considering the decreased productivity that accompanies paper in the payments process.
2. Paper records expose fraud risk
Paper payments and invoices are a leading cause of fraud. Counting on paper checks exposes your business and clients to fraud.
This is because paper checks are easy to replicate. And recent reports by the Association for Financial Professionals show payment fraud is at an all time high - 78% of organizations were targeted in 2017 alone.
While payment fraud is mostly a risk for your clients, it’s also a security concern for your business. Eliminating manual processes and paper checks is the only surefire way to reduce this type of fraud risk, and to ensure your clients have a safe, secure payments experience.
3. Tracking down late payments is painful
The list of why clients pay their invoices late is extensive. But antiquated, slow paper-based payment processes limits payment visibility, including payments and amounts.
Whether it’s an outstanding invoice or a past-due invoice, when you rely on paper payments, the response is never instant. If a customer has an issue, you’ll likely have to track them down.
ePayments offer instant visibility into the payment process. Many payment processors also give you the option to set reminders at predetermined intervals. So, if you have a customer that’s often late, you can set a reminder for a week ahead. On the flip side, the payment processors can also send reminders for past-due invoices.
Plus, tracking down payments is a major time suck. Whereas ePayments are instantaneous.
4. ePayments are easier for your clients
Electronic payment systems give you control and visibility, but they also give your clients control and visibility.
If your cloud accounting has an online invoicing function, you can add a payment button directly to your invoice link or email. Simply clicking a “Pay Now” button saves your clients time and removes a lot of the hassle involved in managing their purchase payments.
No one loves to pay an invoice, but the easier it is for your clients to pay you, the more likely they are to pay you.
5. Paperless reduces your financial admin
Working through your bank statements to match payments to invoices is also a time suck. Anything that can speed up that process frees up your time to focus on running your firm.
Combining ePayments with cloud accounting, direct bank feeds and online invoicing practically eliminates your financial admin time. The key is choosing software that lets you integrate each of these features.
Choosing software with ePayments
Using ePayments doesn’t mean you have to stop accepting traditional payment methods, like checks. In fact, ePayments would be a great addition to any payment system you already have in place.
While there are many software options with ePayment integrations, it’s important to make sure the entire ePayment process, from start to finish, is entirely traceable and secure.
That’s why BQE has partnered with Stripe, the industry leader in online payments, to launch its new ePayments feature for users of its Core practice management software. Core ePayments allows your firm to accept online credit card payments with just a few clicks.
Core already allows users to easily manage every element of their engagements, from tracking billable hours and expenses to automating invoicing. Allowing a safe, secure, and simple way to accept online payments completes the circle.
Who has time to wait for checks? Don’t let archaic processes hold your practice back. Let ePayments by BQE Core handle the payment collecting for you!