This particular client used to have me come to their office every other week to pay bills and perform data entry including reconciling the bank accounts. I would say the average cost to them was about $230 per month for these services, including the travel time charge and time I spent filing the receipts, invoices, and other paperwork. I was happy to work for them providing this service but I had an idea that I thought would save them money and save me time. I proposed working from my home instead, which meant accessing their online banking and also accessing their computer remotely.
My client was very receptive to the idea, especially because I thought it could save them money within a few months, even though they had reservations. I use the online bill pay service for most everything, and download the bank statements from the website. I access the computer with the Quickbooks file when the computer is free and do the data entry, reconciliation, and generate reports at that time.
Here are some of the main benefits to this arrangement in my experience:
- No stamps or envelopes required - saves money and if you don't have stamps or envelopes you can still get your bill payments sent out.
- Once you get all the vendors and payees set up (if you have consistent payees), it takes only minutes to pay many bills at one time.
- You can schedule payments to be sent on a certain date and also schedule reoccurring payments on a cycle so they are not forgotten.
- Most services give you a summary you can download or, with larger banks, the option to download the data directly to your Quickbooks file or at least in a format that you can import to your file. This definitely saves time doing manual data entry.
- I am able to work quickly, without waiting to schedule an appointment to meet them in their office. In most cases if they fax or e-mail me bills to pay I can get them processed in the same day.
So in the end, this client is saving about $100 a month, or $1200+ a year! We have not experienced any issues with security. This arrangement is working out well for both of us and the bills are getting paid faster than before. I am spending less time traveling as well, which means more time with my family. It's a win-win in my book.