The New Breakthrough: Online Banking
Technology can help boost your practice's financial efficiency.
As eager as healthcare professionals are to embrace the latest technologies for treating patients, they can be steadfast traditionalists when it comes to running their practices--and that includes banking.
Indeed, there are seemingly good reasons for sticking with old-fashioned checks and deposits slips sent through traditional mail. Your staff is comfortable with its routines, so why rock the boat? Besides, paper checks just somehow feel safer and more substantial.
Unfortunately, embracing outdated banking methods can be as detrimental to your practice as using old-fashioned treatments might be for your patients.
However solid and secure they seem, paper checks in fact contain enough coded information for a motivated thief to find a way into your bank account and start pilfering. In a 2011 survey by the Association of Financial Professionals, 71 percent of businesses with revenue between $1 million and $10 million reported being victims of actual or attempted financial fraud. The main types of fraud (counterfeit, forged signatures and returned deposited items) were all related to paper checks.
Most likely, the vast majority of your suppliers' partners are fundamentally honest. But one lone predator in possession of a single check can do sizeable damage. Keep in mind that if you write just 10 checks per month, over the course of a year you are giving 120 individuals or groups the tools they need to commit fraud.
Transactions handled online through automated clearinghouse systems (ACH) are safer, faster and more efficient--and don't give potential thieves access to the coded information on a check. For added safety, consider ACH credit origination, which transfers payments automatically to the recipient's account. Credit origination systems are much harder to defraud than checks, since transactions create a permanent, indelible record at your bank.
For Efficiency's Sake
Beyond the crucial security considerations, online banking offers you and your staff savings of that most valuable commodity: time. You can access account information when you need it, 24 hours a day. Paying online also enables your billing staff to handle all of your bills in one place and maintain clear, easily accessible records on one secure site.
Consider those regular checks that your staff writes out each week or month for predictable expenses. With online banking, they can arrange to pay those bills with a few clicks--thus reserving that time for vital tasks that keep your office humming.
Routine functions such as transferring funds between accounts, managing payroll, processing employee expenses, depositing checks remotely and keeping your all-important cash flow running smoothly all become much easier when you trade pens and checkbooks for online banking.
Making the leap from paper to online banking may at first seem as daunting as the leap from X-rays to digital imaging. But once you recognize the advantages, chances are you'll never look back.