EFT – What is it and What can it do for me?

In the not too distant past it was exciting to learn about disruptive technology. Disruptive technology that changes our lives, both business and personal, can be interesting and often exciting. But in the last couple of months we have all learned a new level for the meaning of disruptive.

In the first part of 2020 we have been reminded that disruptions can come from other things besides technology. Disruptions this year have sent many of us scrambling to employ technology to maintain our business continuity into the near future. That technology has already been available to us, but it wasn’t deemed mission critical to implement because we had the ability to put our “boots on the ground” to address all work hurtles and day-to-day processes. Now that has all changed. Now we are looking for technology to help us maintain business during this office shut down period.

One of the easiest but underutilized tools provides the ability to electronically handle vendor payments and is called Electronic Funds Transfer, or EFT. This process allows us to pay vendors without having to be in an office to print checks; collate and file checks with backup; fold and put the checks in envelopes; run the envelopes through the postage machine; and then mail them out or have them picked up at the front desk. In addition, EFT eliminates the added expense for check stock, printers, envelopes, stamps, filing cabinets…the list goes on. That’s a lot of man hours and supplies every week!

Using EFT, the accounting team still processes the invoices for payment in your system, but when it is time to pay, they simply run the EFT process instead of printing checks. The EFT process can be run by accessing the appropriate program in your ERP/Accounting system, whether it is cloud based or accessed remotely. The resulting electronic file is then transferred to your bank. This means employees working from their home office, with the proper authority, could be paying your vendors from their own electronic devices.

According to a US Government Appropriations report from as old as 1998, EFT is virtually crime free when compared to $60 million in forged checks, $1.8 million in counterfeit checks and $3.3 million in altered checks experienced by the Federal Government annually before their adoption of EFT. Yes, that was our old gray-mustached government adopting EFT in 1998! As an industry, real estate and construction have always been slow to adopt new technology. So if you’re not using EFT today, perhaps this worldwide disruption and the embarrassment of being 22 years behind the federal government in adoption will be enough to get us to move forward!

Leverage the lessons of this disruption to adopt this easy-to-use and simple-to-setup technology today. If you have questions or need help in implementing EFT, positive pay or other electronic processes, give us a call. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to implement. And Cornerstone has decades of experience helping folks just like you…really, just like you.