If your firm still uses the traditional way of sending out invoices and processing client payments then you could be in trouble.
According to data from a survey conducted by payment solutions provider TSYS, 75% of people prefer paying for purchases with their credit or debit card. Additionally, 79% of consumers have switched to paperless billing.
Venturing Into A Cashless Society
The future of payment transactions is here. The advent of technology has brought multiple options when it comes to dealing with the financial aspect of running a business. Sending out invoices and receiving payments have become quicker and easier with electronic payment systems.
Add these to the many cloud-based accounting platforms and tax preparation software tools and you could be well on your way to a more efficient workflow.
Let’s face it: not having to deal with the drudgery of cash payments can be a relief for many firms. Think about the time wasted in waiting for invoices to reach clients. The waiting game doesn’t end there. After receiving the invoices, it will take more time before the cheques clear.
Now imagine if your firm utilises an electronic payment method that automatically generates invoices and sends them out at a specified date. The time for the entire payment process can be significantly cut down with such tools, making life more convenient for your accountants.
The question is, why should you adopt this?
For one, there is a huge demand for cashless transactions. Well, it can be surmised that it’s the convenience that people want. Sweden, for example, has effectively moved into a cashless society, with 80% of transactions are comprised of digital payment.
Impact To Client Experience
Excellent client experience is what most firms aspire for. For this to become possible, accounting firms need to rethink their processes and business strategies to ensure all efforts lead to a positive client experience.
Embracing online payment methods can help achieve this because people want more payment options. Data from the survey mentioned earlier showed that 70% of the respondents say that having more options when paying the bills increases their client satisfaction.
Bottom line is people want easier ways to settle bills with utmost ease and convenience and they’re more likely to stick with businesses that satisfy this need.
Rise Of Electronic Payments
Electronic payments have become a huge deal and there’s data to back it up:
- 75% of people prefer to make payments using credit and/or debit cards
- 79% of households with internet access have paid bills online
- 70% are happy with businesses that offer various ways to pay bills
- 55% of consumers no longer carry cheques
- 61% of people aged between 18 and 24 have never written cheques
- There’s a 20% decline in the number of payments made via cheques from 2010 to 2016
- 65% of people expect to pay bills via a company’s website or mobile app
What does this mean for your firm?
This is one of the many needs you need to satisfy. Consumers’ payment methods are changing and you need to adapt for so many reasons:
- It complements attempts to go green because it eliminates paper bills.
- You no longer have to require clients to pay by cheques, which can be daunting at times.
- It provides instant payment confirmation so you don’t have to keep on wondering if and when payment is made.
- It automates your cash flow.
- It helps relieve worries about data security.
More importantly, adopting electronic payment methods for your accounting firm can have a positive impact on your brand. Your reputation, which is crucial in ensuring continuous business, is at stake.
In this age of technology, clients are most likely to doubt your capacity to provide proper accounting services. They expect you to use the latest tools and have a streamlined process. Basically, they expect you to be using the right technology for the services you offer.
Failing to do so will give them the impression that you are outdated. Running a firm using old-fashioned machineries will definitely not help you gain client’s confidence.
Since it’s a vital aspect in accounting, bookkeeping needs to be accurate and efficient. Maintaining balance sheets, generating income statements and processing reports will require a certain level of scrutiny and expertise.
Using electronic payment software makes this process a lot smoother. Its main benefit is it will not consume too much time.
Electronic payment systems automate these processes. They:
- Expedite data collection from clients
- Issue digital invoices and receipts efficiently
- Extracts data from bills, invoices, receipts
- Categorises accounts payable, receivable, etc
Receipt Bank is one handy tool for bookkeepers and accountants because it takes care of the important stuff, like extracting data from your digital receipts. It automates data gathering, storage and processing of expenses, making it a real time-saver.
To drive (and ensure continuous) success, accounting firms need to give clients what they need and that includes convenience when it comes to payment methods.
Your firm’s reputation is at stake if you continue to use outdated methods. It will not help you gain confidence and drive more business in the long run. You’d want to be seen as a firm that’s modern and technologically competent.
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