Oh how times have changed. Rewind the clock back to 1997 when the Spice Girls were on every tape player and double denim was a big hit.
I was also entering the industry as a fresh-faced real estate newbie. Back then, everything was done via cheque = a major labour intensive process. At the end of every month, I would have to physically walk to the post office with over 600 bills. I would then proceed to stand in line (always a lengthy one), and pay them by cheque. Low and behold, if there was an incorrect cheque or oversight, I would walk back to the office and correct the error. (Let’s say commercial real estate near banks was hot property back then). The process of cheque writing would often take days and then collating everything could take up to a week.
Now let’s fast forward to 2018.
The Spice Girls are a distant memory (sort of) and yet double denim is threatening to make a comeback.
The birth of bulk Bpay
However thankfully now we live in a world with bulk Bpay. The sad news is that only 5 banks support it:
- Macquarie Active Banking
- Westpac Payments Plus
- ANZ Corporate
- NAB Connect
It is so important to choose a bank that is well suited to trust accounting. We have previously discussed 7 things to consider when choosing or switching banks for your real estate trust accounts. Added to the list is access to bulk Bpay.
Why is bulk Bpay so amazing for trust accounting?
Bulk Bpay is a heaven send for trust accounting for several reasons:
- It completely eliminates the need to write cheques.
- It automatically syncs with your trust accounting software.
- It’s simple to process with the press of a button. You can pay more than 500 bills at once simply by importing one file from your software to your banking platform.
- There is less room for human error.
- Bpay funds are processed the same day you pay the bills. Gone are the days of waiting for cheque clearances.
What if you are not with a bulk Bpay bank?
You bank with St George – can you still process Bpay payments? The answer is yes, just not bulk Bpay. This means you have to manually key in each biller code and reference number to process invoices. The absence of bulk Bpay means your bank will not sync with your software to produce a compatible Bpay file for import. By the time you process each transaction manually via online banking, you could write a cheque. Purpose defeated.
Look into switching to a bank that offers bulk Bpay. The time and effort you may invest now will pay off a thousand fold down the track when you can process hundreds of transactions with the push of a button. If you’re thinking of switching banks to accommodate bulk Bpay then read our blog on 8 steps to switching banks and staying sane to help your decision-making process.
Our preferred bank?
Our choice would be Macquarie, Commbiz or NAB Connect. We use NAB Connect in our office and use bulk Bpay on a regular basis. Our clients report that Westpac Payments Plus is difficult to set up with numerous hoops to jump through to implement the system. Additionally, ANZ corporate is prohibitively expensive for an agency with less than 1000 rental properties.
Ultimately the choice is yours, but we are here to help with any questions and assistance along the way.
– Jane Morgan is the Director of End of Month Angels, a consultancy firm specialising in Trust Accounting. Jane knows the legislative requirements of running a successful Real Estate office through her 20 years industry experience. Don’t trust just anyone with your trust accounting. Book an appointment with an End of Month Angel today.