It is a big week in Canada. What is it? Trump & NAFTA? Start of hockey season? No – It is the potential mail strike. We should know on Sept. 26th if there will be a strike …. or not. That got me to thinking about my blog from a couple of years ago, when there was a possibility of a strike by Canada Post.
Brothers, Jack and Ted, are meeting for a coffee to discuss their jobs. You see both are Controllers at manufacturing companies that use INFOR Visual ERP. Jack is the more experienced and Ted is frequently relying on Jack’s expertise to make himself look good. Today, Ted seemed rather tense. He started talking really quickly “Jack, I don’t know what I am going to do. This talk of a postal strike is making me nervous. We aren’t using Electronic Funds Transfer to pay our vendors. My boss asked me to do it a few months ago but I just didn’t get it done.”
Jack replied “Don’t worry Teddy. I have been through this. I can help you get set up in no time. But before we get started I have to wonder why didn’t you do this before?”
Ted replied “Well, I got a little pushback from accounts payable and I didn’t want to push her. You know how I like everyone to get along.”
Jack being the older brother and much, much wiser said “you know sometimes being the manager, requires seeing the bigger picture. Here are some benefits that accounts clerk and the company would get.
- A mail strike for one could be a huge problem. If we didn’t have our EFT’s set up, we would be concerned about getting the payments to the vendors on time and possibly holding up our purchase receipts. Not to mention, the cost of sending a payment by courier. That can get expensive.
- Another thing that’s really helpful is, no more fraudulent checks. Last year alone, before implementing EFT’s, we had a string of six checks over $10,000 that somebody tried to sneak through our account. Now that we’re using EFT’s that just can’t happen.
- And the amount of time to reconcile the bank has dropped significantly. We can clear all the payments at once since they all go through the bank that day. Plus, we never have any stale-dated checks”
Ted came back “Okay, okay I hear you. I’m convinced but what do I have to do to get it running and fast?”
Jack grabbed a napkin and starting making notes. After a few minutes, he handed it to Ted: step-by-step instructions of how to implement EFT’s in Visual ERP.
- Contact your vendors to get their banking information.
- Contact your bank to get you set up for electronic banking. This will include:
- An agreement. Make sure you include any bank accounts you want to have enabled for EFT’s. You can do US as well. They are called ACH’s.
- The bank’s required format for uploading the EFT payments.
- Banking software for uploading the payment information.
- Set up the vendor banking information in INFOR Visual ERP.
- Specify payment type as F for File on vendor maintenance.
- Set up the EFT export format in Visual ERP.
- Link the export format to bank account maintenance.
- Depending on the export format you may need an extra program that will convert the Visual export format to the bank’s required formats.
- Get some training on how EFT’s will change your check run process.
- Do a test run and give the file to your bank.
- If all is good, begin implementing.
It wasn’t overly complicated. Ted looked at it. “Heck I can do that. It shouldn’t take too long.” Then Ted had a puzzled look on his face. So, Jack questioned why. Ted stated “that all sounds great Jack. Thank you so much. But how are the vendors going to know what we paid them?”
Jack replied “Oh, that’s easy. We got a little program that pulls the payment information out of Visual ERP and e-mails a remittance advice directly to the vendors. It is all seamless. The entire system is great. Our vendors are happy because they get their money. Our accounts payable lady is thrilled. She actually really likes it. It is actually, less work. Plus, she gets way fewer collection calls.”
Ted seemed more at ease. He had a plan in his mind.
- Collect the data.
- Get it into Visual ERP.
- Get the bank agreement and software set up.
Piece of cake.
Ted and Jack finished their coffees and got up to leave. Ted quickly volunteered to pay for coffee. He said “that’s the least I can do for all this good advice. Thanks so much.”
Kim Worrall is a CPA, CA with over 30 years of business consulting and financial management experience. Kim has been consulting with Visual ERP for over 20 years. She knows the tables like the back of her hand – something to do with her excitement over solving number problems. Kim’s love of numbers has made her the go to person for solving complex issues within Visual ERP.