Maintaining Cash Flow as a Case for Continuity Planning

By Bernadette Macko, Provident Bank – November 9, 2020
Maintaining Cash Flow as a Case for Continuity Planning

During these times of uncertainty, CPAs and businesses are faced with a variety of new challenges. Digital cash management solutions are a unique approach to respond to those needs in real time.

Tools for collecting receivables, methods for payables and digital banking technology provide the ability to bank whenever and wherever — on one’s own schedule. This ability helps organizations to maximize the time spent on business strategies and minimize the time spent on mundane and monotonous payment recordings.

Receivables

Collecting payments is paramount to maintaining cash flow — now more than ever this needs to be seamless for the most efficient business operations. When it comes to information reporting, collection of receivables, positive pay and investment solutions, intelligent cash management can help a business get ahead of the competition and concentrate on what one does best — running and growing the business. Here are some receivables options that work well:

  • Mobile deposit offers the ability to deposit checks from anywhere.
  • Remote deposit capture allows checks to be conveniently deposited from an office even if staff is working remotely. Products like these help save time and provide the convenience of depositing checks the same day they are received. They also allow staff to access funds more quickly, instantly view check im­ages, deposits and reports online, and export accounts receivable data into an accounting system.
  • Lockbox services offer consistent collection of account receivables if staff can’t be in the office to collect and process payments.
  • Automated clearing house (ACH) origination collects funds electronically while increasing speed and efficiency. ACH debit origination can be utilized for the collection of rents, membership dues and recurring invoices.
  • Autobooks provides the ability to send invoices and receive a variety of payment options digitally.

Payables

Similarly, while the pandemic may have slowed some payment processes, vendors still need to be paid. Efficient payables options help ensure that inventory remains available. The following payables solutions should be considered:

  • Business bill payment provides the ability to pay bills from anywhere, even if one can’t get to a physical check stock. Typically, any size bill is accepted with some restrictions by location.
  • ACH origination allows businesses to take greater control over cash flow by sending payments electronically, includ­ing ACH credits for payroll, expense reimbursements and vendor payments. ACH payments can safely and effectively replace check processing.
  • Wire transfers may be the only option a vendor will accept for highly desirable inventory products.

Fraud Prevention

Those banking options which provide an extra layer of security protection are most valuable during this unprecedented time. Despite the decline of total check volume in the marketplace, fiscal loss from check fraud continues to climb. This crime poses one of the greatest challenges for businesses and financial institutions, its tendrils reaching countless organizations in nearly every industry. The following products can help ward off theft:

  • Check positive pay provides precau­tions to keep fraud at bay.
  • ACH positive pay does not allow any­one to have access to valuable balances without permission.

Maintaining consistency and flexibility as a plan for business continuity is the best solution to solve the immediate pain points to business operations. It’s important to be able to obtain the agreements and approvals to put solutions in place remotely until we can all be together again.

Provident Bank is an NJCPA premier sponsor that provides cash management solutions, wealth management, digital banking and business services. Learn more at provident.bank.


Bernadette N. Macko

Bernadette Macko is senior vice president and director in Corporate Cash Management at Provident Bank.

This article appeared in the November/December 2020 issue of New Jersey CPA magazine. Read the full issue.