Online Banking: Make More, Work Less
By: Craig Huntington, President, Alliance Association Bank
In today’s world, nearly all of an association’s internal money management is done using computers. Generally, associations are comfortable with the internal electronic management of their money. However, those same associations may not be taking advantage of all the benefits of conducting their banking business electronically. It is hard to imagine an association that would prefer managing its finances using traditional manual methods.
Many associations have been reluctant to use online banking services, but their concerns often do not reflect the reality of today’s world. Banks today have sophisticated operating systems that are designed to interact with customers electronically since most businesses conduct at least a portion, if not all, of their banking online. The question is: why have associations lagged behind the rest of the world in using online banking?
Some of the benefits of online banking are:
Better Cash Management
By using online banking, associations have faster and easier access to account information. Board members can review accounts online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from any computer. They can review scanned copies of cleared checks online, which will allow them to immediately respond to payment questions. This avoids the days of delay that can occur waiting for a bank to produce copies of cancelled checks. Instead, copies of checks can be printed immediately in their office.
Electronic banking can also reduce fraud. Paper checks can easily be stolen and altered, and it may take days or weeks before anyone realizes what has happened. Online payments can be posted and reviewed immediately. There is also software that can monitor payments and receipts for transactions and notify bookkeepers and treasurers of transactions that appear to be out of the ordinary.
These are just a few of the benefits of online banking. Electronic banking has significantly altered the world’s banking and finance systems and has become the standard for business banking. It is time for community associations to adopt this standard as well.