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Every hour you spend taking care of financial chores — paying bills, collecting payments — is time that could be dedicated to building your business. If you’re still writing checks and running deposits over to the bank, you can win an easy productivity boost by adopting some new banking practices.
Consider these five money management tips to save you time each day.
Electronic bill pay services make it easier to schedule, manage, and track your business’ cash flow. Rather than writing a check for rent and utilities each month, you can set up automatic recurring payments. You can also receive notifications when bills and payments are due.
Deposit your checks when it’s most convenient via your mobile device or a computer and scanner. Remote deposits often allow for later cutoff times than branch or ATM deposits, and depending on your bank, you may see funds in your account as soon as the next business day. With Mobile Deposit1, you use your smartphone to take pictures of checks and submit the images via your bank’s mobile app. This can be particularly useful if you receive check payments on the road and makes it easy to deposit checks quickly.
Be mindful of daily and 30-day limits for remote and mobile deposits as they vary between financial institutions. Daily limits are typically $1,000, while monthly limits can range depending on the length of your relationship with the financial institution.
A lockbox service provided by your bank can save you from handling checks altogether, while also speeding up deposits to your account. Lockboxes work by letting your customers mail check payments to a special post-office box. Your bank then opens and processes your payments. Banks typically receive checks at multiple locations around the country so you can ask customers to send their payments to the nearest one, reducing the amount of time that the check is in the mail. You can view payment images and transaction records online, which may save time on bookkeeping.
Calculating payroll and depositing payroll taxes is complicated and costly. The IRS recently issued nearly $4.3 billion in employment tax penalties, many of them due to inaccuracies or failure to pay. Payroll taxes are also time-intensive: More than one in four business owners spend at least six hours a month on payroll taxes, according to the National Small Business Association. Outsourcing these tasks to a payroll services provider saves you time and can help manage risk. Some payroll services also facilitate health and retirement benefits.
Services that automatically shift funds from one account to another — called sweep services — can help you optimize your use of cash and help ensure you’re able to cover operating expenses. For example, you might set a target balance for an account and if your balance falls below that number, funds are moved from a savings account or line of credit to cover the difference. Or, you might arrange for funds above the target amount to be automatically shifted to an interest-bearing account, such as a money market account.
Managing finances is part of running a business, but practices like these can help streamline routine tasks and allow you to spend your time and energy on more strategic work.
We are committed to helping your business reach its potential. Our dedicated business banking professionals can help you find the right product to meet your business’ needs. To learn more about small business loans, please call 1-800-428-7463, visit us online, or visit your nearest Citizens Bank branch.
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