The Check is in the Mail!
A phrase our Beverage Group Accounts Receivable Representatives have heard way too many times over the years. However, with the advent of the Electronic Age, it appears that this phrase is becoming more and more obsolete. Why? Enhanced bank technology has allowed our group to eliminate the manual check process for quite a few of our larger customers through the means of ACH payments.
What is ACH? ACH stands for “Automated Clearing House” and is an electronic network for financial transactions in the U.S.
In 2012, this network processed and estimated 21 billion transactions with a total value of $36.9 trillion. It allows for direct receipt of funds from the customers financial institution direct to our bank.
Between the four Coca-Cola plants, in 2009, 14% of our total dollar payments were received via ACH. Through an aggressive approach, as of November of this year, 46%, or nearly half of our total dollar payments were received via ACH.
Some of the larger chains that have been converted include: WalMart, Family Dollar, Tops Markets, 7-11 stores, Giant Eagle, Wegmans and Giant Foods.
As with any electronic process, errors can occur and/or information can be keyed incorrectly. Close attention to detail is needed by all involved in the process. It is also mandatory that we receive a remittance attachment with each payment so that the payment can be applied correctly. This can be sent electronically as well, to our bank or directly to us via email.
Overall, it is typically a smooth process and we will continue to pursue the ACH option with other customers as it eliminates the cost and time of handling paper checks, reduces mail delivery issues and provides a cleaner, more efficient method of managing payments and cash flow.