BILL.COM BLOG

Replace Your Business Checks with eChecks

eChecks

eChecks, the “cousin” of ACH payments, offer a valuable pathway to paperless pay. They reduce the paper burden and provide cost savings for businesses of all sizes. For companies with limited resources and budgets, the move to eChecks is paramount.

Yet, a study by analyst firm Aite Group Research finds that less than 10% of business bill payments are made online. That means a vast majority of organizations rely on the age-old paper check—a tool that requires a longer amount of time to create, sign, mail, and cash. eChecks, on the other hand, can transfer money quickly between companies. Translation—you can pay and get paid faster. And when you combine eChecks with a powerful bill pay solution, the benefits are exponentially optimized for a business environment.

eChecks  - an overview

eChecks convert the entire paper check process into a digital discipline. The results mirror that of paper checks, since authorized amounts are deducted and added directly to your designated banking account.

The benefits of eChecks

eChecks offer the following advantages:

  • Since eChecks are completely digital, they process in a fraction of the time that it takes for paper checks (both for AP and AR.) Your business is no longer “held hostage” waiting for checks to clear.
  • eChecks create a clearer vision of your cash flow since payments are made and received quickly.
  • eChecks often cost less to send than other forms of payment such as credit cards or PayPal.
  • The reduction of paper (in this case check stock, envelopes, printed envelopes and more) always results in cost savings. Plus, eChecks require far less time to process and send, meaning employees will reclaim time they can invest into more value-added tasks for your company.

eChecks + cloud-based bill pay systems = amplified advantages

While eChecks enable a business to move to paperless pay, their performance is greatly amplified when combined with a cloud-based bill payment system. The two together offer a business-proof solution for making and receiving payments.

Visibility into AP and AR activities

Instead of working between multiple systems (for example one for invoicing and several to pay bills for vendors in their systems) to get an idea of scheduled or sent payments, a bill payment solution provides a dashboard for all AP and AR activities. You can log in and see at a glance which payments have gone out and which ones have come in. You don’t have to access different systems or rifle through paper files to find out if that check you’ve been expecting has arrived. Everything is online and automated in one secured cloud-based environment.

Permissions-based access

Smart businesses regulate access to their banking information. Not everyone can have the keys to the kingdom, right?

Oftentimes, AP and AR can fall into an “all or nothing” access. Reviewers may be able to see too much information. With a bill payment solution, you can enable different tiers of access based on the role of the participant—for both external and internal operations.

For example, a customer support representative only needs to see the invoice to verify if it is the correct amount and an approved vendor. But, they don't need the ability to pay. Or, perhaps you’d like your off-site vendor to have more access to your information. You can grant them permission to join the process within the parameters that they fulfill. For external facing operations (think of customer invoicing), you use the solution to send invoices and it allows customers to view the invoice, leave questions and pay online.  

Automation

Automation takes over tasks that typically consume large portions of employee time. In this case, a bill payment solution will automate the entire workflow for the review and approval of a bill. When the invoice hits the system, it evaluates its contents based on preset parameters (vendor, amount, etc.), selects the review process based on those parameters and sends a note to the first person that the bill is ready for review. They can click on the link and view the invoice, leave notes, etc. When they approve it, the bill payment solution automatically notifies the next person in line to review the bill. It repeats this until it is approved for payment and payment is sent. It’ll even remind individuals if they take too long to review a bill. This eliminates the paper shuffle—no more taking a bill from desk to desk to review or pinging people to determine the status of a payment.

Automation will also support AR, sending out invoices as scheduled or on a recurring basis. Even better—it allows customers to automatically pay for invoices upon receipt. The minute your invoice is sent, it is already paid.

Audit-ready transactions

Your auditor has a question about a bill that posted for payment six months ago. Who approved it? Who reviewed it? How do you find that information? Where is it housed?

With a bill payment solution, each transaction is automatically tracked. That means one login by an authorized individual will show the history of payments and received payments for your company. It’ll show who reviewed them, any notes, who paid them and even an image of the eCheck. This audit-ready environment not only protects your company, but it also enables a seamless audit.

Ready to try eChecks for your company?

Bill.com

Kate Wilson
Social Media Manager, Bill.com
Kate is in charge of all things social at Bill.com. When she's not writing every type of content imaginable, she's drinking strong coffee and debating the use of the Oxford comma with her coworkers.