The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated many businesses to implement practices they had been working toward for years, such as remote work, automation and the need to make payments remotely through ACH (Automated Clearing House), a form of electronic payment.
While businesses have been moving away from paper-based payments, such as checks, to ACH payments for years, the pandemic has spurred many others to follow suit. The transition has allowed businesses to continue paying their employees and vendors despite most work going virtual.
If your business is still using paper-based methods for its payables, here are five benefits of ACH payments and why your business should consider making the transition.
In addition to experiencing less disruption, ACH payments are more efficient than paper-based methods. The ACH payment system is a computer-based network, which means it allows for a transfer of funds directly between bank accounts on a scheduled date. It’s fast and it can be automated, making it less hands-on for your accounting team. Direct deposits to employees, payments to suppliers and other regular transactions can all be scheduled.
ACH transactions are less expensive than alternatives. The cost of processing an ACH transaction is much lower than checks mailed with postage. Additionally, the expense of initially implementing an ACH payment system for your business is low with few up-front costs.
Since ACH transactions are made online, you have control over when you make payments and when they are processed. This control and flexibility over when you make payments enables you to manage your business’s cash flow more efficiently while providing more security controls over who can process and approve transactions.
Checks can be intercepted in the mail, forged and cashed in by a fraudster. ACH payments, on the other hand, are sent and stored securely online and have a reduced likelihood of administrative error since several individuals often review ACH payments before they are sent.
Preparation for future unforeseen events
Many businesses using paper-based methods at the start of the pandemic rushed to transition to an ACH system when they were already overloaded with other changes and stressors. If anything has been learned from this year’s events, it’s to be prepared for anything, and that includes ways to efficiently and effectively continue making payments during a crisis.
Getting ahead and implementing payment efficiencies now will better prepare you for future unforeseen events so your business, employees and vendors experience less disruption. Take some time to evaluate how your payment system has worked for your business since the pandemic started, and ask yourself “How can I better prepare for the next crisis?”