Once upon a time, businesses had to mail bill payments to vendors, defenseless against the possibility of the check being lost, or merely the timing of mail delivery. The exercise of printing and mailing paper checks also created the perfect storm for fraud—having checks sit in mailboxes near a road or in a business park was an opportunity for checks to be stolen, cashed, and even altered.
The concept of cloud-based bill pay is real and is leading to an entirely new set of efficiency opportunities. Cloud software runs in a web browser or on a mobile phone, which means users have immediate access to data and functionality without being tied to a desk or an office. Business owners can schedule payments from their phone while watching TV, and cloud-based apps send notifications when a vendor is paid. No more “the check’s in the mail” excuses. Most cloud-based bill pay systems also will give the vendor transparency into the life cycle of the invoice it has submitted for payment, enabling it to monitor cash flow in a more effective manner.
The cloud-based bill pay process is disrupting the traditional accounts payable (AP) process, alleviating the need to drive to your bank, fill out a form, and stand in line to buy a money order, cashier’s check, or send an international wire. Now with cloud-based payment services, you can initiate international wires as easily as you can initiate a domestic ACH, directly from your phone or computer.
When working with cloud-based bill pay providers, we’ve found that they’re typically focused on four key areas:
- Transferring payments quicker
- Creating a software that is convenient
- Payment visibility
- Affordable pricing
The 1980s process of printing checks, attaching backup, stuffing envelopes, and driving to the post office is being retired for a cloud-based process that aims to be secure, convenient, and honestly a better use of our time.
As a cloud-based service line for FORVIS, our Outsourced Accounting Services (OAS) team provides services to clients across the country. We leverage technology to help streamline the current bill entry and payment system, allowing for a paperless process that includes virtual image storage, and best of all, the retirement of the lateral filing cabinets we have become accustomed to seeing in accounting departments over the years.
Our OAS team can help evaluate your existing AP process, suggest opportunities for improvement, and help implement a new cloud-based tool. We also can leverage our recurring services to help small and midsize organizations focus their time on strategy and achieving their business goals. If you have questions or need assistance, please reach out to a professional at FORVIS or use the Contact Us form below.