A healthy cash flow is a concern to companies at the best of times. It is a critical necessity when the stock market is down, the economy is staggering, and external factors prevent the ability for cheques to change hands. Waiting for payments to arrive by mail is not something businesses can afford to do right now. Companies need to get paid ASAP.
So, what do you do in the time of COVID-19 when some customers and vendors still pay and receive payment for invoices by cheque? You can set them up with a paperless payment via Electronic Funds Transfer. Typically, they need to fill out a Direct Deposit Authorization Agreement form and unsurprisingly many organizations use a paper form to setup the paperless EFT payments. (The irony is not lost on us.)
Filling out paper forms sucks, especially at the worst of times. Making in-person visits to collect and drop off forms is difficult, if not impossible in this moment with physical distancing protocols. Exchanging paper requires interaction with multiple high touch surfaces such as door handles, counters, and pens.
Organizations can mail forms back and forth, but this again increases wait times. It does not solve the issue.
It is a fair assumption that the current COVID-19 pandemic will not be the only one we experience in our lifetime. We must accept that it will continue to be a burden and concern in the future. Fast, reliable solutions need to be set in place today to ensure we don’t repeat the pain of past.
I’m done with cheques. Everyone gets why this matters now. This is an opportunity to stop this legacy paper madness.Sean Wallbridge, President, Regroove Solutions Inc.
Regroove created an electronic form to share with vendors to capture all the required details including a signature for the authorization of a direct deposit. This allows Regroove to pay vendors without writing cheques.
Our team of skilled consultants:
- Created an online form that captures complete, accurate, and validated data from the vendor in a digital format including:
- Company information
- Financial institution information
- Cheque details with visual sample cheque
- Digital written signature ‘authorization’ – sign using mouse or finger/stylus on a touch-device to ensure authenticity
- Additional notes, if needed
- Scripted a submission process where after you press Submit, you:
- Enter a reCAPTCHA for robot detection
- Receive a submission ID Reference Number
- Built a digital list to store Digital Deposit Authorizations form submissions while they await processing.
- Automated the process so when results arrive:
- A status field lights up yellow to clearly identify which vendors need their submission to be processed.
- Notifications to relevant personnel that a new vendor has submitted their information so they know to acknowledge receipt of information and add their information into the banking system.
- The status field colour changes to green (using conditional formatting) to clearly show that the vendor’s information has been fully processed into the banking system.
- Present the information centrally in a dashboard for easy discovery.
Now that we have automated our vendor payment process, we’re moving on to the next one. This is all part of our cloud-first journey.Sean Wallbridge, President, Regroove Solutions Inc.
Outcome and Benefits
- No in-person visits to communal areas required to pick up or drop off forms.
- No touching shared pens or paper forms handled by other individuals.
- No more delays waiting to send or receive paper forms via postal mail.
- No more time spent on hold when calling in to ask questions about how to fill out a form.
- The form results are captured securely in house where processes can be built around it (and continuously improved), quickly and easily.
- Data is clean and validated, every time.
- No waiting for cheques to be delivered by mail and no postage fees or delays.
- Get paid faster when we need steady cash flow most.
- Avoid paying credit card transaction fees.
- Electronic payments allow for larger values to be sent and received than eTransfers (which are capped at a few thousand dollars per transaction).
Regroove can replicate this solution for other companies so they can enjoy the same benefits.
The first form that gets automated is the most expensive because you are investing money into building the tool and learning the process. Every form you add after that reduces the TCO (total cost of ownership) of the tool. To me, it’s a ‘no brainer’.Sean Wallbridge, President, Regroove Solutions Inc.
This solution was built using:
- Microsoft SharePoint lists and pages
- Sintel Forms
- Alternative Available Form Options: TypeForm, PowerApps Portals, or Microsoft Forms – but Sintel gives us Digital signatures and other goodies. Check it out!
- Microsoft Flow
- Microsoft PowerBI
- Blog Posts: