Doreen Flint

Accounts Payable Invoice Approval Process

When an accounting department processes payments, it may seem like a relatively simple process that does not involve a lot of red tape. However, there are some areas that can arise that warrants the need for an invoice approval processing system to be put in place. Putting an invoice approval system in place and maintaining it is a way that the accounting department can assist with a company’s overall internal controls and minimize over-payments.

What is an Invoice Approval and Invoice Approval Process?

An invoice approval involves the authorization of a check before it is approved for payment. Before the check can be approved, it must go through a verification process that often involves a variety of documents.

Invoices are paid for goods or services performed on behalf of the company. It’s also used to pay for on-going administrative expenses to vendors, such as rent or lease expense, telephone expense, business loans, insurance, and other business expenses.

The invoice approval process can often involve many different departments, as requests for payments are generated from different internal (as well as external) sources.

Various departments have their own workflow and procurement processes. For example, the sales department may require that some items are purchased by utilizing workflows within their sales and purchasing department. Sales orders may be fulfilled using inventory items currently on hand, whereas other orders may require that a new purchase be made to fulfill a sales order. Each of these methods could require approval for payment:

  1. A payment for inventory currently on hand that may still have an outstanding balance.
  2. A payment for the recent purchase made to fulfill the new sales order.

A different department may be required to purchase office supplies for the entire company, which would require a completely different workflow. That’s why it’s important for the invoice approval process to be properly integrated with other internal departments.

Why an Invoice Approval Process is Necessary

It’s important for a company to have an invoice approval process in place for a variety of reasons. For example, it is necessary because it:

  • reduces errors
  • reduces under, over, and double payments
  • reduces or eliminates payments for unauthorized products or services
  • helps to manage cash spending by allowing invoices to be paid based on the monthly budget
  • helps to the accounting department monitor due dates and reduce late fees
  • allows the payable department to take advantage of discounts for invoices with certain payment terms
  • prevents or reduces invoices from being overlooked and slipping through the cracks

In addition to the items listed above, the invoice approval process also allows companies to have checks and balances in place. Oftentimes, the accounts payables department is the last line of defense with respect to ensuring that all invoices are processed with accuracy.

Many people do not consider all of the areas that could be impacted without having an invoice approval process in place. Accounting departments that do not have an invoice approval process in place tend to have less control of their cash flows.

Create a Paper Trail

When processing payments, it’s very important to create a paper trail. In doing so, it allows management and members of the accounting department to visibly see each step of the approval process. It also allows them to determine whether or not a step has been overlooked and missed altogether.

When invoice approval systems are set in place, it makes it easier to refer back to any part of the process should additional information need to be verified. This is particularly important during an audit. It allows companies to refer directly to various documents upon request.

Enhancing and Streamlining the Invoice Approval Process

Managing and processing invoices for approval can be streamlined if the following three areas are implemented:

  1. Automation
  2. The use of Purchase Orders and Receipts
  3. The use of Contracts

Automation

Whenever automation is added to a system, it speeds up the process significantly. It allows others to access information at various stages of the invoice approval process. Having an automated system in place also reduces the accounting staff from being interrupted by other staff members, vendors and independent contractors regarding the status of outstanding invoices.

When considering automation to approve invoices, features such as email notifications, the ability to upload and download documents, and the ability to view updated information through computer software programs also enhance the overall invoice approval process as well.

The use of Purchase Orders and Receipts

When setting up automation procedures, you can also include an automation process to generate purchase orders then match them to the proper invoice. Whenever a purchase order has been generated, its an indication that the purchasing department has already approved the purchase and thus the purchase order should be a means to verify authorization for payment at this stage of the process.

Concerning the use of receipts, just as invoices can be matched up to purchase orders, invoices can be matched to receipts as well. Examples of receipts include items purchased using a credit card, plumbing services, computer repair or other services not normally utilized on a regular monthly basis. Although these receipts should still go through the authorization process, automating the system can create a paper trail in addition to significantly reducing the overall invoice approval process.

The approval process can be set up in such a way that receipts that are matched to invoices can be processed a lot faster than invoices without a receipt.

Contracts Agreements

A contract agreement is another source that is used to determine how much a partner, independent contractor or other business associates should be paid. It should spell out the terms of the agreement, which should then be used to create an invoice. The contract-based invoice must also go through the approval process. Based on the type of industry, some agreements involve the payment of royalties.

Additionally, invoices that are less than a certain dollar amount or threshold can sometimes bypass the approval process altogether. For example, invoices that are less than $50 may not need to be approved and can be submitted for payment right away.

What’s Involved in the Accounts Payable Invoice Approval Process?

The invoice approval process involves the accounts payable department is presented with an item that requires payment but that must first be verified to determine it’s legitimacy. Sometimes invoices get crossed in the mail and duplicate invoices are mailed out. Duplicate invoices are one of the major causes of overpayments, which is why it is important to cross-reference invoices prior to making a payment.

After an invoice has been verified and approved for payment, it can then be scheduled for payment. Scheduling an invoice for payment takes place by adding the item to the accounts payables open invoice or aging report. After the invoice has been approved payments can be made during certain times of the month or upon receipt. Payment due dates depend on the accounting policy at each company.

Processing and Approving Rush Invoices

Invoices that requires payment right away may have a different verification process to expedite the payment. A different system could be processed to move a particular request for payment, further along, to ensure the payment is made on time as requested.

How to Reduce Bottlenecks

Sometimes the invoice approval process could become bottle-necked. When this takes place, there should already be manual systems in place to keep processes flowing.

Those who work in the accounts payable department should continue the overall approval process while maintaining efficiency.

To conclude, when finalizing your invoice approval process, it should be designed to implement internal controls while setting up systems to expedite the overall approval and payment process. It should also be set-up based on workflows and how you run your business in general.

How To Improve Your Accounts Payable System

You can’t run a business without spending because it comes with the package. You’ll need to buy stuff to fully operate your business. The majority of suppliers provide invoices whenever you purchase from them. Unfortunately, this can get chaotic along the way especially during busy days. How do you stay on top of things? If you don’t manage your invoices well it could result to unnecessary fees, late payments and quite possibly broken relationships. Avoid these by learning how to improve your accounts payable system.

The following are important steps that you need to do so you can finally take charge of your payables.

Choose To Go Paperless

Gone are the days when business owners had to manage piles and stacks of paperwork because now that we are living in the digital age, you can go paperless and still be able to organize everything. Electronic bills are just the same as paper, only they make the process ten times easier. With paper, there’s a possibility that it can get damaged or lost but with online billing, the invoices will always be available thereby lessening the chances of late payments and lost hard copies. When a vendor asks if you want paper or electronic invoice we encourage you to take the latter.

Create A System For Your Accounts Payable Workflow

The secret to an effective accounts payable system is repetition. Create a system that will allow your business to manage your invoices well from the moment you receive the invoice until the time you are able to pay for it. Find a place to safely keep all of your invoices and streamline them according to priority and date received.

Make Reminders

Busy people can easily get sidetracked and that includes you, especially during peak season. To keep all your invoices organized we suggest that you set up reminders so you can pay for everything before their due dates. These reminders will also let you know how much money you need to prepare for the payments. A majority of business owners use a calendar to organize their invoice dates, creating alerts to let them know when the due date is near.

Document Your Data

It is very important that you develop the habit of documenting your data so you can keep track of your invoices. As soon as you receive a bill, document it and save it in your file online. Examples of such documents include receipts, notices, purchase orders and of course, invoices. Saving these documents will keep you updated on how much money you are shelling out and who you are paying.

Make Sure All Contact Information Is Updated

At some point you’ll need to communicate with your suppliers and your vendors. The last thing you’d want is to spend time searching for their contact number. To make sure the process is smooth and efficient we recommend that you regularly update all of your vendors’ and suppliers’ contact details including their phone numbers, mailing addresses and their email addresses. Keep all these pieces of information in one place. Similarly, your vendors and suppliers also need to reach you so make sure that you inform them if you plan to change numbers, email address and mailing address.

When you are operating a business, especially if you have been in the industry for quite a while, you know that managing invoices and making payments can be burdensome. If you do not have an established system in place, it can get crazy and you might find yourself paying for fees as a result of delayed payments. If you follow these tips mentioned here you can take it easy and feel less stressed knowing that everything is paid for before its due date and every receipt, purchase order and invoice is saved in a designated online folder.

Our Round Up of Postal facts – Part I

HERE ARE THE TOP TWELVE
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE

#12 Social responsibility.

From facilitating the nation’s largest one-day food drive to addressing dog bites, educating customers on consumer protection and delivering holiday cheer to those in need, the Postal Service supports communities.

# 11 Veterans.

The Postal Service employs more than 100,000 military veterans and is one of the largest employers of veterans in the country. Learn more

# 10 All heart.

The Postal Service is at the core of the $1.4 trillion U.S. mailing industry that employs more than 7.5 million people. Learn more

#9 Heroes.

Postal employees regularly go beyond the call of duty to protect the lives of customers they serve, including older and disabled customers through the Carrier Alert Program. In fiscal year 2018, the Postal Service recognized 243 heroic employees.

#8 Retail giant.

The Postal Service has the nation’s largest retail network — bigger than McDonald’s, Starbucks and Walmart combined, domestically.

#7 Global business.

The Postal Service processes and delivers 47 percent of the world’s mail and is constantly innovating to make customer experiences better.

#6 Vehicles.

The Postal Service has more than 232,000 vehicles, one of the largest civilian fleets in the world. New next-generation vehicles will have improved ergonomics, safety features, fuel efficiency and design flexibility.

#5 Competition and collaboration.

The Postal Service both competes and collaborates with the private sector. UPS and FedEx pay the Postal Service to deliver hundreds of millions of their ground packages, and USPS pays UPS and FedEx for air transportation.

#4 Affordability.

For 55 cents, anyone can send a letter, regardless of geographic location, to anywhere in the United States.

#3 Dependable.

The Postal Service is the only organization in the country that has the resources, network infrastructure and logistical capability to regularly deliver to every residential and business address in the nation.

#2 Security.

U.S. Mail is protected by more than 200 federal laws enforced by the Postal Inspection Service, one of the nation’s oldest law enforcement agencies.

And most importantly…

1 Zero tax dollars used.

The Postal Service receives NO tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

10 Facts You Should Know About Direct Mail

Direct mail is still one of the most effective, if not the most effective, way to reach customers for the cost. Here are ten facts about direct mail that show how it can bring your company a solid return on its investment.

Direct Mail Response Rates.
With email inboxes becoming more and more occupied by unwanted spam, legitimate email solicitations that a customer may be interested in are becoming lost in the shuffle. Conversely, a well crafted, vivid, attention-grabbing direct mail piece is likely not only to be seen but also to be responded to as well.

Fact. According to ANA/DMA in 2018, the response rate per house list for direct mail was an impressive 9%. It was the highest response rate for house lists since the report started and is nearly twice that of the response rate for 2017.

Fact. The direct mail response rate was 5% for prospect lists in 2018; which was substantially higher than it was in 2017 and the highest response rate for any year since 2003. A clear indicator that response rates continue to rise.

Fact. A lead generation campaign which uses a letter-sized envelope to recipients on a  house file produced an excellent median response rate of15%.

Fact. For decades now, we have been told that the internet is the future of marketing. Yet, despite that claim, direct mail continues to produce a greater response rate than that of any digital direct marketing mechanism. The response rate is a staggering nine times higher than that of email, pay per click or social media.

Fact. According to the USPS, the intended response rate in 2016 was 11% for standard mail and 13% for first-class mail.

Reading Direct Mail.
Again, as compared to ads received in an email, customers are more likely to read an ad received via direct mail. It could be that not having to go through the act of opening an email is a factor, or having the mailer in hand leads to a natural curiosity as to its contents; whatever the reason, there can be no doubt about the direct mail piece making an impression.

Fact. A study done by the USPS in 2016 showed that 75% of households regularly read or scan most of the direct mail ads they receive.

Fact. A Gallup poll taken in 2016 revealed that 36% of those under the age of 30 enjoy checking the mail each day. This fact runs contrary to the trope about Millennials only caring about what is on their smartphones and shows that the reports of direct mail’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Fact. It’s not just Millennials who enjoy checking mail on a daily basis, across all age groups, 41% look forward to going to the mailbox each day and seeing what is inside.

Fact. In 2015 Baby Boomers were influenced the most by flyers, advertising cards and catalogs more than any other form of media.

Fact. Direct mail is a “no-brainer”, case in point- it requires 21% less brainpower to process than does digital media and evokes a much greater positive brand recall.

In Conclusion.
Despite being awash in digital technology, there is something lasting and true about holding a piece of mail in your hand that cannot be duplicated or replaced by email or any other form of digital media. It is that visceral response that keeps people looking out their home or office window to see if their mail carrier is coming. In fact, being able to hold on to something that was personally sent to you or your company is a feeling that only direct mail can bring.

Promotional Products Build Brand Memory and More.

The Importance of Promotional Products in Branding.

Branding is not a new concept; it has been around for as long as businesses have been advertising, but in today’s world, it is more important than ever. With a universe of competitors online, it is vital that a company’s logo is instantly recognizable and invokes a positive response in the customer. If you are not aggressively promoting your brand, then you are most likely falling behind your competitors. There are many ways to grow your brand’s recognition, but two of the most effective are through the use of promotional products and apparel. Let’s take a look at some of the ways these two methods of growing brand recognition can benefit your company.

Promotional Products Build Brand Memory and More.

A recent study by the Promotional Products Association found that 94% of customers who have promotional products remember the company that gave them the promotional product. Just like branding, promotional products have been around a long time because of their simplicity and high rate of effectiveness. George Washington was the first person known to use promotional products in the United States when commemorative buttons were given out to onlookers at his Inauguration. Since then, there has been an uncountable number of types of promotional products used to build brand recognition. From keychains to hats, to bumper stickers and thousands of other promotional items, the use of giveaways to build brand recognition has proven over and over to be an excellent way to build your brand. The reason for the popularity of promotional products is simple; everyone likes to get something for free; especially if the free item is something useful. Another staggering fact was found in the study; 500 % more referrals are received by the use of promotional products. If a customer is satisfied with both your company and the item you gave away, they will most likely recommend your business to a friend or relative. This fact is important to remember when embarking on a search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click advertisement (PPC) campaign. A quality item such as a phone charger with your company’s logo on it is likely to be used often and will make your brand recognizable to the owner of the charger, but everyone who comes into contact with the charger. The amount you would pay for a promotional item such as a phone charger, or a bag clip, would be the same as or less than you would pay for a PPC ad.  When used in conjunction with SEO and PPC, promotional products can help build brand recognition that will bring about a positive emotional response from those who see your logo.

Promotional Products Won’t Break Your Budget.

As opposed to broadcast, print ads, and billboards, promotional products are cost-effective. While you may reach a wide number of people through an advertisement and have a certain amount of success, the cost per view of the ad can range anywhere from fifty to five hundred dollars per person depending on where customers see the advertisement. The downside to ads is that they may only be seen once and run for a finite amount of time. By comparison to advertisements, a promotional item will be seen time and again by the owner of the item and those around them.

Free Stuff Means Customer Loyalty.

Regardless of whether your promotional product is obtained by a customer as a “free gift” included with a purchase, off a table at a trade show, or at a community event, customers will come back to a company that gives them a quality promotional product for free.  It is clear from decades of success that if you seek to build brand loyalty with customers, promotional products are a must.

Learn More about BMS Direct Promotional Products & Apparel

The Benefits of Using a Statement Processing Company

Congratulations, your business has had rapid growth in the last year, and you now have more customers than ever before. The downside of your success is making sure all those customers pay on time, that is if you can get the billing done on time. What is the solution to this welcome, but complicated issue? Using a statement processing service. A statement processing service can help your company not just with getting statements out but can improve other areas as well.

Save on Staff and Operations Costs.

When you outsource your statements to a processing service, you are freeing up valuable employee time and costs. Statement processing services allow you to assign employees to other areas where their skills can be a more significant benefit to your company.  They can focus on the company’s core products or services. Using a statement processing service also allows you not to have to employ a larger staff to process statements, meaning a more considerable profit margin for your company. It also lets your accounting department focus on other details having been liberated from the duty of processing statements.

More Statement Options.

A statement processing service specializes in customizing statements to be what a company wants. They have a number of options available that your company would not be able to offer without using a statement processing service. They can produce statements with colors, font, logos and language all in line with your company’s brand. When your statement is in line with your company’s branding your are building customer recognition with has been shown in numerous studies to lead to long term customer loyalty. A statement processing service can also include inserts which can bring in higher sales. When you add a coupon or loyalty card with the statement is likely to bring a customer back to your business because of a perceived deal. You can include an insert which promotes an upcoming event such as a sale for which the customer may not have seen an advertisement. You can insert a newsletter that tells what is going on at the company and makes the customer feel as if they are an insider.

A customer receiving a statement on time is another excellent way to build your company’s brand. If a customer, especially if that customer is a business, expects a statement on time, it can be frustrating when it shows up months later because your accounting department couldn’t keep up with the work. Customer care has been shown to be one of the most identified aspects of a company’s brand, getting the correct statement to the customer on time is an excellent way to connect your brand with taking care of a customer’s needs.

Increase Traffic with Statements.

A statement processing service can actually help with your company’s SEO efforts. Putting your company’s web address on both the statement and the envelope that is sent to the customer can drive traffic to your website. Be sure that your website has engaging content and eye-catching graphics to get the maximum benefit of listing the site in a statement. If your homepage is not interesting enough and to the point, customers will only stay a few seconds and won’t visit any other pages on your website. You can also drive traffic to your company’s social media accounts by including icons to the various platforms it uses. Again, make sure that you have interesting content on your social media accounts and include links to your company’s website, perhaps a product page if the post is related to that subject.

So, if your company has grown recently, and your accounting department is overwhelmed by the increase in their workload, alleviate the problem by outsourcing your statement processing; your bottom line and brand can both benefit.

The Reality of Greenwashing and Going Paperless.

Greenwashing the Facts

Going paperless to save the environment, who could be against that? That is basically what major financial institutions, big box stores, power companies, Insurance companies and others claim to show how environmentally aware they are. The truth is something completely different. E-Waste is the actual outcome of going paperless. The hardware needed to bring about the switch to paperless requires constant repair or replacement, leading to an ever-growing environmental crisis. Computers, monitors, old printers, are shipped to dumping grounds in Africa or China, seeping into the groundwater, and creating a toxic soup of heavy metals and carcinogens. 

Recently, in the United States and Canada, 120 companies, have altered, or altogether removed their statements about being green and paperless. The change came about at the urging of Two Sides, a consumer advocacy group urging the continued use of paper for things like statements and bills. They pointed out that being certified green in the U.S. and Canada has to fall within the guidelines set forth by both the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and the Competition Bureau of Canada. Both agencies require that credible and specific science-based fact to support a company's green claims. It has been found that more often than not, requirements are not being met even as companies still claim that they are paperless to benefit the environment. In fact, the claims are nothing more than a marketing ploy used as a way to manipulate and force more customers to use digital options. 

What is not understood by the companies who go paperless, or the public at large, print and paper is a far more sustainable model than paperless that takes up landfill and leaks pollutants into the environment. Trees, especially with fast-growing hybrids, are a renewable resource and paper is among the most highly recycled substances on Earth. It makes much more sense to use paper when it is actually green and is preferred by consumers.

Paperless is Not Popular

A recent study found that despite all the environmental claims companies make, and their focus on a paperless society, the average person does not want to feel they are being pushed into going paperless. The study also found that the majority of people feel that it is not only their preference to receive paper documents but also their right. They also see the word "paperless" as a ruse. Most people said that it is not truly paperless if a consumer has to print out a hard copy of their documents for things like applying for a job, or a mortgage. They also see the push for being more environmentally friendly as a convenient way to cut a popular service in order to save money.  The resistance against going paperless is so strong among consumers in the United States and Canada that a whopping 45% and 34% respectively said they would move to another provider such as a new bank or cellular provider. 

Paper is Green and Popular

The bottom line is that paper through the careful use of using trees at the right time and planting a new one to replace each that was used is a green option. It is clear from the data on the subject across the consumer spectrum; paper is more popular than paperless. It makes sense for companies who want to retain customers and truly make an impact on the environment to return to paper. Yes, some consumers prefer paperless, but they are in the minority.

Better Data Management Means Business Success

Data management has become a vital part of any business in the digital age. Dealing with terabytes of sensitive customer information has exposed more than one company who did not take proper steps to ensure that their data was secure from malicious operators. Data that is transmitted from client to business without secure file transfer protocols (SFTP) have been used to steal customer information and lead to issues such as ransomware and the sale of customer data.  Having customer data compromised not only leads to angry clientele, but it can also lead to a host of legal issues. Therefore it makes sense for your company to outsources your data processing to a data processing service who has the means to protect your data; here are some reasons why it can help your business.

Instant Access to Your Data.

If your company has a large customer base but does not have enough employees to organize and maintain data effectively, it can become a nightmare made up of hours of searching and sorting through data. The few employees you have to oversee your data will lose hours that could be spent on your company's core business, not searching through physical and digital files. By freeing your employees, you ensure that your company can focus on improving and expanding its goals.

Keeping Data in Step with Changing Technology and Regulations.

A data management service has to be in tune with improvements in technology. They will migrate data to newer systems which make their management easier and more efficient. They have the resources to research and employ new technology that most mid-sized and smaller business don't have the budget or workforce to dedicate to such things. Data management services are also must stay on top of the latest regulations in order to remain compliant. There are laws concerning documents such as contracts, financial papers, and legal documents that mandate they be held for a fixed amount of time. If your company does not keep track of those important documents and they become lost or destroyed (deleted), then your company could face fines or worse. Why would you take the risk of running afoul of such laws and not outsource the responsibility to a data processing service? 

Consistently Meet Deadlines

A data processing service can make sure that things such as scanning paper documents can be transitioned into digital, searchable documents that are required for items such as the sale of a property or business. A data processing service can dedicate the time your company can't; to ensure that all your documents are in order and ready when you need them to be.

Improving Your Company's Bottom Line.

By using a data processing service, you save employee time and cost that would have been tied up in dealing with data and documents. Inadequate data management can cost you both money and loss of customer satisfaction. In this day and age, when a customer expects instant access to their data, anything that takes longer can result in losing that customer. If you have a sudden need to access and gather customer data together, you don't have to scramble and take employees away from other tasks to get it done.

So, the bottom line is if you want to ensure that your customer's data is safe, and easily accessible when you need it, then you should use a data processing service. Not only will a data processing service help your bottom line, improve your company's efficiency, but it can also give you the peace of mind that your customer's data safe and it's one less problem with which you have to deal.

Five Reasons Your Company Should Outsource Invoicing.

If you are dealing with a large customer base, you know the difficulty in getting invoicing out every month then outsourcing your invoicing makes sense. You may still be leery of using an invoicing service from past experience. In the digital age, there is no reason to fear invoicing services, in fact, larger companies should be embracing them. Here are five reasons why outsourcing can benefit your company.

Invoicing Services Know the Rules.

Your company must stay on top of compliance when it does its own accounts payable department. Regardless of it’s a state-specific such as privacy laws, or federal law such as HIPPA, your company should be sure that your company is following regulations. When you have a large number of customers, it can become a gargantuan task. Outsourcing your accounts payable process, ensures you do not violate any state or federal laws. Experts you are entrusting your invoicing to know the laws more intimately than a regular accounts payable employee at your company does.

Invoicing Services Get Your Company’s Invoices Out Faster.

An invoicing service is more efficient than your accounts payable department. They are specialized in processing invoices, that means they are in your customer’s hands faster, and your company gets paid more quickly. Invoicing services aren’t using the same antiquated equipment and methods that your company does, that is why it’s essential to make the switch. Getting invoices out faster also increases customer satisfaction, when a customer has the invoice paid, and off their books, it means they can focus on other issues.

Invoicing Services let You Reduce Costs.

Using an invoicing service means that you don’t have to increase your payroll to get invoices out. It also lets you save money on equipment required to get invoices out in a timely fashion and maintenance on that equipment.

Invoicing Services Means Increased Employee Productivity.

Employees are the lifeblood of a company, and when they are tied up with unnecessary tasks, their productivity goes down. Employees steer your company toward a unified goal, making sure things get done. Freeing your employees from processing invoices means that they can be assigned to other areas where they are the most needed. It eliminates tying up your employees with unnecessary meetings and training. They can spend more time collecting from delinquent accounts and focusing on relationships with your vendors.  If your company is seasonal, then you won’t need to hire extra employees just to deal with invoicing, you can focus on hiring for manufacturing or the service your company provides.

Invoicing Services Can Eliminate Mistakes and Protect from Downtime.

You’ve heard “to err is human,” and that applies to your company’s employees as well. Automated payroll processing eliminates under or overcharging on an invoice, or misstating what a charge was for. Processing services have the automation software to ensure there are no mistakes in invoicing. You can also rest assured knowing that employees being out on vacation or sick won’t slow down invoicing. Invoicing services also protect you from not being able to bill from a disaster such as a fire, flooding from a storm, or roads made impassable from snowstorms. Your invoicing will go out at the time when you will need it the most.

These are just a few of the many good reasons to switch from having your company do its own accounts payable to having an invoicing service handle your company’s substantial billing. Contact BMS Direct today for more information!

5 Reasons Your Company Should Use Direct Mail

Direct mail has proven the test of time and still has proven itself to be one of the most effective tools that any company can have at their marketing department’s disposal. In the digital age direct mail, especially business to business direct mail, is a proven way to get past some of the digital gatekeepers that can relegate your emails to the spam filter. So, with the fact that direct mail still stands strong after centuries of use, here are five reasons your company should use direct mail for its direct marketing campaign.

Direct Mail Gets Your Email Noticed.

A well designed, eye-catching, direct mail piece can bring about name recognition and will begin to linger in your prospective customer’s memory. After receiving a  few direct mail pieces, your target recipient may become curious about your company and notice your email in their inbox. In this way, you are overcoming a common problem in the digital age known as “fragmentation of attention.” Fragmentation of attention is the decline in how long someone can focus on one thing. Recent studies show that the average amount of time someone can stay focused on any one thing is between eight to twelve seconds.  A vibrant direct mail piece can grab and keep hold of someone’s attention and therefore build brand and name recognition, thus making more likely your email will be opened when they recognize your company’s name.

Direct Mail Helps Build Your Brand Locally.

Selling to your local market is often more convenient than selling to an out of state or out of the country market. Local customers may already be somewhat aware of your brand, through print or broadcast ad campaigns, or simply may have seen your company as they traveled past it. So, your company already has a brand foundation locally from which to build. Direct mail marketing helps you to tailor your message to those potential local customers who are likely to purchase your product. Direct mail sent locally helps your company to capitalize on the organic relationship between your company and potential customers that already exists.

Direct Mail Gets Better Responses than Email, Social Media, or Internet Marketing.

Studies show that emails only have a 1% response rate; social media also only boasts a 1% response rate. Internet marketing produces less than 1% in responses. Direct mail, however, garners a response rate of 3.7%. Since customers are more likely to convert from direct mail recipients to paying customer’s your company is much more likely to see a higher ROI from direct mail than an email blast, a Search Engine Optimization campaign, or a Pay Per Click campaign.

Direct Mail can Drive Traffic to Your Company’s Website.

Adding your company’s webs address to a direct mailer is a simple way to drive traffic to your company’s site. Use your direct mail piece to describe your company, products, and any sales you may have. After the piece has served its primary purpose use your company’s web address in combination with a free offer such as a digital download or a coupon. You can require the customer to fill out a brief survey before they get the download or coupon to gather customer demographics. Use the customer demographics you collect to tailor your next direct mail campaign.

Customer’s Don’t Consider Direct Mail Spam.

Due to its personal appeal and physical properties studies have shown that a customer will open an email at a staggering 90% rate. Because direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort; which means that messages are absorbed quickly and will be embedded in the customer’s memory, these facts underscore why direct has been and remains such an effective means of communication with customers.

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