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Tate & Tryon Managing Partner Charles Tate, CPA and Christopher McCarthy, MCP of Tate & Tryon subsidiary T3 Information Systems presented on “Cost-Effective Electronic Control Strategies” at the recent American Institute of CPAs Not-for-Profit Industry Conference in DC. Tate, the 2011 TRENDS Association Vendor of the Year, and McCarthy advised:
• Online collections streamline receivables by electronically updating accounting records and centralizes payments to one account. This eliminates internal accounts receivable processing, therefore reducing the margin of error and the opportunity for fraud.
• Online disbursements systematically compare checks presented for payment to files you provide the bank to detect serial numbers and dollar amounts that don’t match. In addition, the payee validation and match features detect any alterations in payee names.
• Remote deposit eliminates the need for checks to be physically transported to the bank, and makes misplacement less likely. Most banks have scanners that auto-populate information through use of a scanner, which reduces data entry errors. Another benefit is that it enables customers to access data captured at different locations and receive check images at multiple stages of the deposit process.
• Evaluate software to identify key goals and simplify the communications between your website, accounting software and the bank and make sure you thoroughly understand the process before automating any systems. You can generally avoid customization, as most mid-level accounting software systems do all an association would need, but understanding the process keeps executives attuned to red flags, and better equips the association against fraud.