Even though consumers have enjoyed the convenience of online banking for years, many businesses have been slower to adopt the technology and still “cut checks” the old-fashioned way. But with the ACH and Positive Pay features introduced with Sage MAS 500 Version 7.3, Accounts Payable has gone online – making it easier for you to benefit from the convenience and security of electronic banking. Let’s explore ACH and Positive Pay to help you determine whether these new features are right for your business.
What is ACH?
ACH is an acronym that stands for Automated Clearing House. The ACH network is a secure payment transfer system that connects banks all over the U.S., making it easy for them to transfer funds amongst one another while relying on a common set of standards. It represents an important link in the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) process that acts as a sort of escrow for payments as they await clearance for their financial banking destination.
The new ACH feature in Accounts Payable allows you to use EFT as an alternative to issuing paper checks for payment. That means paying vendors and taking advantage of early payment discounts is easier and faster than ever. Plus, you eliminate the complications and cost of:
- Processing paper checks including printing, stuffing, and mailing
- Purchasing and securing paper check stock
- Approvals and signatures that can delay paper processing
Since ACH is governed by strict rules that regulate electronic payments, you can rest assured that your electronic banking transactions are totally secure. The new ACH feature supports both the United States (NACHA) and Canadian (AFT) formats.
What is Positive Pay?
If you’re unfamiliar with Positive Pay, it’s essentially a tool for fraud prevention and security. Offered by most banks, Positive Pay is a service that matches the check number, account number, and dollar amount of each check presented for payment against a list of checks that have been previously authorized by your company. All three components of the check must match the exact details of the authorized list or the bank will not pay.
With Positive Pay in Sage MAS 500 Version 7.3, a file is generated and sent to the bank each day that checks are written. That file contains information necessary for the bank to match your authorized payments. In the event that a check is presented that does not match the list, the bank will send an image of the item to you for manual authorization to pay or return the check.