The Great Chamber Time Waster
The Ugly Truth About Paper Billing and Payment Processing
By Marcy Weaver
Executive Vice President, ChamberMaster
So, you’ve probably already read Stop Data Entry Madness. Well done! Now it’s time to learn about the next step!
CAUTION: Reading this article may make you realize you’ve been wasting time and money!
In today’s digital age, most Chambers use accounting software. But how much time (and money) does your Chamber staff still spend on tedious paper billing, payment processing, and manual accounting tasks?
The Ugly Truth Behind Outdated Paper Billing and Payment Processing:
The Hidden Costs:
• Paper (invoice, envelopes, bank slips, receipts, and deposit notes)
• Printers, postage machines, copiers, and ink cartridges (plus power and maintenance)
• Postage, follow-up mailings, and reminders for late payments
• Bank charges, cost of handling NSF checks, and fuel (visits to the bank and post office)
• Employee time to process (load paper, stuff envelopes, open mail, enter data, etc.)
It takes about 56 days from invoicing to payment receipt. With e-invoicing and recurring payments, the process can speed up by around six weeks.
Paper billing contributes to deforestation, energy use, greenhouse gasses, wastewater discharged into lakes, streams, and rivers, solid waste via filled garbage bags, and fuel consumption.
Cashless payments are growing at an explosive rate – 80% of consumer transactions are cashless. Based on this trend, most people will replace their wallet with a smartphone-based virtual wallet by 2025. Members may delay – or altogether skip – their payment to your Chamber if your billing processes are convenient for them.
Millennials are the “cashless” generation. They are used to electronic solutions and fast payment speeds. They simply expect environmentally-friendly billing.
Unlike cash or checks, e-billing or integrated payment processing use PCI-compliant payment security to ensure data is encrypted and protected. Therefore, implementing integrated payment processing into your member management software results in a decreased risk of checks being intercepted and sensitive banking information being stolen.
The Good News:
With a few mouse-clicks you can replace the hours spent handling paper invoices and labor-intensive payment processing. Look into integrating your billing and payment processing with your member management software to save time, save money, and save the environment.
You can find more details on becoming a cashless chamber on the ChamberMaster blog. Find articles on improving Chamber efficiency, ideas for programs and events, and marketing tips on the ChamberMaster website.