EFT Processing with Sage 300 – A “New” Solution in Demand

Isn’t it funny how old things become new again? We see it all the time in consumer products – the new and improved laundry detergent, great new taste in a soft drink, more crunch in a cereal, low fat, low carb food items. In traditional marketing theory changes to product formulas or food recipes are designed to extend the life cycle of these products by making an old product appear to be something new.

Electronic funds transfer is definitely not new. It has been around for over 40 years and has not changed much but lately it seems to be enjoying a renaissance of sorts as banks and credit unions encourage businesses to pay their vendors and employees electronically rather than write checks. What is the driving force behind this phenomena?

Technology has made it easier to commit check fraud and identity theft. New color printers and scanners make near perfect copies of check stock. Banks and credit unions process millions of checks everyday through automated clearing houses. As a result, numerous studies have shown that payor signatures are not able to be verified so it is possible to cash checks in bogus accounts and disappear with the money before the bank is alerted to the fraud because of the time it takes for paper based checks to clear.

Email communication and large centralized databases with confidential data have raised concerns about privacy and the need to safeguard business and personal information. Consequently, new Privacy Acts are now in place in Canada and the United States.

Well publicized business frauds have increased the scrutiny of businesses and how well they are managed. This has resulted in new legislation such as the Sarbanes Oxley Act in the United States. While most people associate the Sarbanes Oxley Act solely with email retention and document storage, SOX’s real focus is on the management of internal financial controls. That requires detailing the accuracy and scope of accounting procedures and certifying that the controls are helping to prevent fraud, theft and inadequate disclosure.

In addition to legislative changes for better corporate governance, payment associations in Canada and the United States have been pushing the use of check imaging technology to reduce the time it takes for checks to clear and limit the opportunity to cash fraudulent checks. The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (Check 21) went into effect in the United States on October, 28, 2004. In Canada, implementation of the cheque imaging initiative, formally referred to as “Truncation and Electronic Cheque Presentment” began in early 2008.

This shift to image based processing of checks in both countries is supposed to not only improve efficiency, but also allow financial institutions to introduce new services that provide faster and more convenient access to check images for customers than the common practice of enclosing cancelled checks with customer statements.

Ironically banks are re-introducing “new” EFT based services to their business customers to encourage them to send electronic payment files and not bother with the new check imaging solutions. If you find yourself in this situation read on.

EFT Processing is for any Sage 300 customer who wants to streamline the payment process in their business and tighten control over bank transfers by sending electronic files to their bank instead of mailing and receiving paper-based checks. You can pay a group of suppliers easily and cost effectively in Canadian or U.S. Dollars. You save the time and cost associated with creating, distributing and reconciling paper checks and your cash flow becomes more predictable.

EFT Processing for AP Payments transfers Sage 300 AP Payments to the electronic funds transfer functionality of your banking software. Remittance advices can be emailed using standard Sage 300 functionality. Because EFT Processing is written in the Sage 300 SDK (Software Development Kit) it holds all Vendor banking details. It is also possible to support more than one file format for the same bank.

The use of EFT Processing can result in several benefits to your business: reduced Bank transaction fees, elimination of redundant data entry and errors caused by manual entries, increased efficiency by processing payments electronically and avoiding the use of expensive check stationary.

Your customers will appreciate receiving their money on time, every time without waiting in a bank line to cash a check. Because a deposit can be made directly to their accounts, the payment is safer and more private than a check.

So if you are looking for a “new” EFT solution for Sage 300, consider EFT Processing for AP/AR Payments.