5 Tools to Help Streamline Your Business Finances
Consider these five cash management and fraud protection tools that can help fortify your financial position.
Independent retailers boost the local tax base and help improve our quality of life, our schools and our parks. A dollar spent at an independent retailer is usually spent 6 to 15 times before it leaves the community, according to the Independent Retailer Month website. From $1, independent retailers create $5 to $14 in value within a community.
Often, local small business owners are invested in the community long term. These are generous entrepreneurs who give back to make their neighborhoods better. But it’s not always easy to make your own path as an independent business owner. Fortunately, small businesses can employ some of the same tactics for financial success as their large national counterparts.
In celebration of July’s Independent Retailer Month, consider these five cash management and fraud protection tools that can help fortify your financial position:
1. Integrated Payables
Would you rather spend less time on your daily payables and more time growing your business? If you’re like most intrepid entrepreneurs, the answer is a resounding yes. Enter Integrated Payables, a system that automates your accounts payable and payment process.
- Reduced processing costs and improved internal accounting controls
- Active synchronization with accounting software that reduces manual payment entry and posting
- Ability to choose when and how to pay your vendors in order to maximize benefits to your business. Gain extra cash by taking advantage of early pay discounts and earn greater rebates by making payments with a Commercial Card.
2. Commercial Credit Card
A key part of the Integrated Payables process includes the Zions Bank Commercial Card, an all-in-one purchasing, travel and expense card program that allows the user to earn revenue based on the amount charged to the card in a calendar year.
The card includes controls to authorize purchase types and define credit limits for each cardholder, and allows you to integrate card transaction data into your accounting system.
3. ACH Cash Disbursements
ACH cash disbursements — short for Automated Clearing House Origination — allows you to transmit funds to any bank account in the U.S. This feature helps reduce administrative costs, potential interest or late charges on payments, and reduces check stop-payment charges and reissue costs.
In addition, ACH allows you to manage and schedule vendor payments, federal and state tax payments and employee payments such as direct deposit payroll, expense reimbursements and pension payments. Daily ACH activity can be monitored through the Anytime Gateway service.
4. Card Processing Solutions
Thanks to advances in technology, accepting credit card payments has evolved beyond a simple swipe to integration with accounting software, payroll and fraud protection tools, services and features.
Take the Clover® point-of-sale systems as an example. They accept a wide variety of payment types, including EMV®, Apple Pay®, credit, debit and EBT card swipes and gift cards. Clover® users say they value the point of sale systems for three fundamental reasons:
- Cost – Compared to other point of sale systems, which retail for upwards of five figures, pricing for the Clover® system starts at under $1,000.
- Cloud based – Retailers can access the system from anywhere, including from their mobile phone.
- Capability to manage inventory – Users can log product sales and monitor inventory in real time.
Beyond those benefits, users say it integrates well with accounting software, makes payroll a breeze, and allows them to come into compliance with EMV® chip card payments.
“Some small businesses have shirked from becoming EMV® compatible because of the cost of overhauling their payment system,” said Crystal Low, executive vice president of Corporate Services for Zions Bank. “To protect their business, it’s very important for every business to upgrade their merchant services terminals to compatible equipment. If they are not EMV® compliant, they are at risk of incurring any loss from fraudulent charges. A payment system like Clover® will boost their security and help protect their business from losses due to running a counterfeit or stolen card.”
Every business is different, and Zions Bank offers customizable technology solutions for managing card processing, including:
- Clover Flex
- Clover Mini
- Clover Mobile
- Clover Go
- Clover Station
5. Risk Protection Technologies
Even as more payments are being made electronically, check fraud continues to be a growing problem for businesses. And fraud disproportionally affects small businesses, comprising 30 percent of cases, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ 2016 Global Fraud Study. In addition, the organization found that 60 percent of small business fraud victims didn’t recover any of their losses.
To manage risk, business owners can seek fraud protection services offered by their bank. In some cases, businesses electronically provide their bank advance notification for checks written, listed by check numbers and amounts. The bank then monitors for any discrepancies in checks issued by the company and immediately notifies the client of a potentially fraudulent check.
This way, it can be rejected before it is charged against the business’s checking account. There are also services that offer protection against fraudulent checks presented in person for cashing against your business account.
For example, Zions Bank’s Positive Pay verification service helps businesses identify and report fraudulent and unauthorized payments. Positive Pay helps stop unauthorized transactions from clearing your account, includes enhanced protection against payee alteration and gives tellers access to the most current check information available when cashing items.
More information about Zions Bank’s Treasury Management suite of products and services is available on our website.
The unique character of our communities is fueled by a diverse business community. Taking the right steps to manage cash flow and automate fraud protection features, tools and services can save your company time and money, and keep your independent business viable for the long haul.
The CLOVER name and logo are trademarks owned by Clover Network, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of First Data Corporation, and registered or used in the U.S. and many foreign countries. EMV® is a registered trademark or trademark of EMVCo LLC in the United States and other countries. Apple Pay® is a trademark of Apple, Inc.