Cash Flow Management

Fri, 27 Sep 2019

This article was previously published by the Hartford Business Journal

Any business that expects to operate efficiently and experience growth and expansion must have a detailed, well-thought-out cash flow management system in place. In the past, this meant having a dedicated employee who focused solely on recording revenue and tracking spending, usually on paper. In today’s high tech world, effectively managing cash flow has transitioned to an online system that provides access to cash, accurate tracking and routine updates to financial data. Webster Bank has earned a well-deserved reputation for offering a comprehensive portfolio of products that supports cash flow management for businesses in a variety of industries.

In 2014, Eastern Connecticut Cardiology Associates, LLC called on Webster Bank to help the business create a better, more efficient way to manage its cash flow and track financial information, according to administrator Rachna Khanna. She explained that the business had been using a traditional system that required several man-hours on a daily basis and caused delays in depositing funds. “When checks came in, we had to fill out deposit slips and then drive to the bank. It was very time-consuming,” she said.

With the help of Annette Larabee, Webster Bank’s relationship manager, and her team of experts, ECCA successfully transitioned to a new, more efficient system.

Custom designed tools

To ensure that the Bank provided the best option, Larabee brought in an experienced cash management team to evaluate ECCA’s current system. “We discussed their goals and introduced products to help achieve those goals,” she said. The team included industry specialists who worked together to create a custom-made system.

Webster Bank’s Treasury Sales Officer, Sharon McKinstry, said, “We help many health care companies to improve receivables with check scanners, lock box services and online payment portals, while also educating them on fraud awareness. This system saves the time of going to the banking center. Many customers like that.”

After reviewing ECCA’s needs, Larabee and her team offered a solution to streamline operations that eliminated unnecessary paperwork and delays. “Webster Bank helped set up our own deposit system. They installed the equipment and trained all staff . Now when checks come in, they are scanned and deposited,” said Khanna. “There is no waiting for the funds to appear in our account. It’s also more e client for our accountant. She simultaneously sees the status as well using Webster Web-Link®, Webster’s online banking system.”

Larabee explained that a check scan machine sits on the desk and is connected to a remote deposit service. “This allows staff to make deposits well past the time branches are closed,” she said. “Through Webster Web-Link®, staff at ECCA can see all their accounts and can move cash between accounts. The accountant is also set up to see the financial status of the business.”

Efficiency, ready access and reassurance

Khanna cited efficiency and immediate accessibility as the biggest benefits of this remote deposit system. “When front desk staff accepts cash, check or credit card, they enter the copay amount. It’s faster and more efficient. We have instant access to all our financial information, from withdrawals and deposits to cash currently available,” she said. “We can transfer money between accounts. We see in real time what cash is available day-to-day.”

The new system also allows for routine audits, which provides peace of mind. “The accountant checks the accounts weekly so minor errors are caught and fixed right away. In fact, we are to the point where we have no errors,” Khanna said.

Although the new cash flow system has earned rave reviews from the entire ECCA office, Khanna admitted that many staffers had reservations about making the switch. “We were all scared. Some staff is not technologically savvy. They were used to writing things down, so they resisted at first,” she said. “But Webster Bank worked with us to allay any fears. And they kept coming back until all staff was comfortable with the new system.”

Khanna also expressed concerns about the security of the new system. “I was afraid of having financial information on my iPhone,” she said. However, she was quickly reassured by the security multi-layer system in place. Users are asked to change passwords frequently and to use a complicated combination of letters, numbers and symbols, she explained.

The security measures are so stringent that when Khanna is out of the country, the Bank will lock her out of her account. “They do this when they detect anything out of the ordinary. But it just takes a phone call to have the issue resolved immediately,” she said.

The cash management system at ECCA has expanded over time, according to Larabee. At the outset, Webster Bank installed and trained on the scanner. In time they added fraud protection, access to a line of credit, remote deposit and cash availability.

In addition to creating a better financial system for the business, the Bank designated one point person to answer questions and address any concerns. Khanna likes the fact that, although she might be exposed to 20 or 30 different products, she does not have to deal with several people. Larabee serves as her conduit to all the help she needs. “She is my go-to person. I can text, email or call her and she coordinates and takes care of my questions. The efficiency is awesome,” she said.

ECCA has become more productive since switching to an online cash flow management system, thanks to Webster Bank. Khanna credits Larabee and her team for finding the perfect solution to their needs.

The opinions and views in this blog post are those of the authors, and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All loans are subject to the normal credit approval process.
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