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Why Do Billing Organizations Need a Payment Reconciliation Tool?

By Julie Paine

Whether it’s monthly utility payments or book-to-tax reconciliations, the need for a payment reconciliation tool is a vital part of any billing operation.

At its best, the reconciliation process can easily show billers when customer payments, rejects, returns, and chargebacks are either credited or debited to a specific bank account.

At its worst? Reconciliations can become a costly and time-consuming manual process, one that leaves billing organizations vulnerable to critical errors and needlessly consumes employee time.

The solution to bank statement reconciliations

For billing professionals, reconciliations pose a challenge that’s all too familiar. It’s traditionally difficult to reconcile bank statement activity with an organization’s respective online payment platform – this misalignment is usually what causes reconciliations to become complicated, time-consuming, and susceptible to manual oversight.

Without enhanced reconciliations to line up credits and debits with bank records, it can be tricky to confirm the proper funding for a particular bank account.

For example, your organization could receive a deposit for what looks like one $3,000 payment on paper. In actuality, this sum could be made up of two payments of $1,500 from two different payers, or three payments of various amounts adding up to $3,000.

Unless your billing organization has a comprehensive payment reconciliation tool, you’re left in the dark in situations like these.

A critical process like reconciliations demands the best tools possible. Your organization can only stand to benefit from an online payment solution that makes it easy for you to serve your customers and reconcile your various accounts.

Here’s what to look for in a payment reconciliation tool to prevent errors, save employee time, and keep internal efficiencies consistent.

Easily sync up with bank statement activity

The ideal reconciliation tool should get right to the crux of the issue: it should enable your team to easily create reports that match your bank statement dates.

Look for a solution that utilizes built-in logic to group amounts by date of activity – this gives billers the ability to display results for a specified date range, according to how and when payments, chargebacks, and rejected payments are posted to a designated bank account.

Convenient links to relevant detail

Researching discrepancies is typically a cumbersome task. The process often requires constant switching between tabs, screens, and even various tools to get all the information you need.

Understandably, billers want to be able to do more on one tool.

When vetting online payment solutions, look for a payment reconciliation tool that offers a detailed view without having to leave the reconciliation report. The functionality should allow you to click embedded links to get relevant information immediately, so that your team can quickly and easily view or export detailed information.

Multiple ways to filter results

Another feature of a great payment reconciliation tool should be a filter functionality, which would allow billing teams to focus on:

  • Credits and debits to one or more transaction accounts
  • Certain transaction categories (i.e., EFT/card or Online Bank Direct)
  • Certain invoice types (i.e., motor vehicle, real estate, water, etc.)
  • Or a combination of all three filters

This kind of advanced functionality makes information easier to find and should provide more detail and context across the reconciliation process. Ultimately, a feature like this can save hours of weekly staff time and safeguard against manual errors.

Invoice Cloud’s payment reconciliation tool

As with everything we do at Invoice Cloud, we’ve strived to make the reconciliation process as easy for billers as possible. So, when our customers spoke up about the ways we could improve our reconciliation functionality, we listened.

Invoice Cloud now offers a payment reconciliation tool that makes it easier than ever to match up funds on a billing organization’s bank statement. The new tool lines up dates, account numbers, debits, credits, and balances, providing these granular details (and more) all within one easy-to-navigate interface.

Overall, we’ve been thrilled to hear positive feedback about the new payment reconciliation tool.

According to one customer, Invoice Cloud’s streamlined reconciliations have saved their team countless hours a week.

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Customers are also thrilled with the ease of use and level of detail the new tool offers.

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And the Invoice Cloud platform doesn’t stop at making reconciliations easier. The City of King, NC, has seen a 15% decrease in mailed in payments and a sizeable reduction in lobby traffic, all from increasing online payment adoption with Invoice Cloud.

To see the full results of the City of King’s implementation with Invoice Cloud, download the free case study today.

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Tags: ebpp, online payment system, utilities

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