Online Banking - One Step or Two?
Online banking isn't out to change your money habits. Instead, it uses today's computer technology to give you the option of bypassing the time-consuming, paper-based aspects of traditional banking in order to manage your finances more quickly and efficiently. Taking advantage of online accounting services can help you cut down on the paper, free up space on your computer for other business needs and give you 24/7 access to your numbers.
Many of our clients use Online Banking for their businesses, and are happy with the gained efficiency that their bank provides. They simply log into their bank's website to pay their bills or make a transfer, and their bank mails payments on their behalf. Then they enter the payment into their accounting system to show the bill is paid or the money is transferred.
Can it get any easier?!? YES!!!
The process described above requires two steps. First, you initiate the payment, second you record it into your system. What if you paid the bill online, but forgot to log it into your accounting system? What if you logged it into your accounting system, but forgot to send the payment through the bank? What if those two steps could be consolidated into one step?
You CAN do all of your online banking in one step, increasing your efficiency, and eliminating the possibility of missed steps.
Save time and resources by downloading your business banking information directly into QuickBooks. Online Banking in QuickBooks helps you:
- Increase your productivity - manage your company's financial activities whenever you choose.
- Save time on routine tasks - download transactions directly from your participating financial institution to save hours of data entry and eliminate reconciliation errors.
- Gain control of your cash flow - Immediately see which checks have cleared your accounts and get up-to-date account balances.
- Plus, you can write checks, pay bills, reconcile accounts and transactions, transfer funds between accounts at the same financial institution, and so much more.
(To see if your current financial institution participates, see our list of participating financial institutions.)
How it Works
Online Account Access and Download - To download transactions and account information from your financial institution, go to the Online Banking Center, select "Get New QuickStatement" and click "Send." Once you've downloaded your transactions, simply match them to your records and easily reconcile your account.
Transfer funds online - You can transfer funds online between any two accounts at the same financial institution.
Make Online Payments - Write checks or pay bills as you normally would in QuickBooks. Select "Online Bank Payment" and choose the date when you'd like the payment to be delivered (allow up to 4 days to process). Then send your payments from the Online Banking Center within QuickBooks, and the payments will be made by the delivery date. It's that easy!
Online Bill Pay Service - Key Features and Benefits
- Make payments to any company or individual in the United States
- Establish internal business controls for creating, reviewing and sending payments
- Include invoice and credit memo details with payments to obtain proper credit from vendors
- Aggregate multiple outstanding invoices or bills from a vendor into one single payment
- Automatic entry of transactions into your QuickBooks register means no need for duplicate data entry to maintain a record of your transactions
- Simplify your accounts payable process, automate your record keeping, and give yourself more time to focus on your business!
Advantages of online banking
- Convenience: Unlike your corner bank, online banking sites never close; they're available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and they're only a mouse click away.
- Ubiquity: If you're out of state or even out of the country when a money problem arises, you can log on instantly to your online bank and take care of business, 24/7.
- Transaction speed: Online bank sites generally execute and confirm transactions at or quicker than ATM processing speeds.
- Efficiency: You can access and manage all of your bank accounts, including IRAs, CDs, even securities, from one secure site.
- Effectiveness: Many online banking sites now offer sophisticated tools, including account aggregation, stock quotes, rate alerts and portfolio managing programs to help you manage all of your assets more effectively. Most are also compatible with money managing programs such as Quicken and Microsoft Money.
Disadvantages of online banking
- Start-up may take time: In order to register for your bank's online program, you will probably have to provide ID and sign a form at a bank branch. If you and your spouse wish to view and manage your assets together online, one of you may have to sign a durable power of attorney before the bank will display all of your holdings together.
- Learning curve: Banking sites can be difficult to navigate at first. Plan to invest some time and/or read the tutorials in order to become comfortable in your virtual lobby.
- Bank site changes: Even the largest banks periodically upgrade their online programs, adding new features in unfamiliar places. In some cases, you may have to re-enter account information.
- The trust thing: For many people, the biggest hurdle to online banking is learning to trust it. Did my transaction go through? Did I push the transfer button once or twice? Best bet: always print the transaction receipt and keep it with your bank records until it shows up on your personal site and/or your bank statement.
If you decide that you would like to try Online Banking, or (even better) Online Banking through QuickBooks, Cybertary would be happy to help you get started.
This article is a product of Cybertary, Inc. Please review our policy for reprinting this article on your own site.