For a homeowners association, eliminating a manual paper checks payment system can be a game-changer. By adopting cash management tools like sweep accounts, Automated Clearing House payments and remote deposit capture, HOA boards can receive monthly dues payments more quickly.
Want to spend less time collecting checks and catching up with accounting? Let’s take a look at how some cash management tools from your community bank can streamline your HOAs payment system.
Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments
Eliminate that stack of paper checks with the ease of electronic payments. An ACH system lets homeowners opt in to a secure, electronic payment processing system, so monthly dues are transferred from their bank accounts to the HOAs.
Members will appreciate the convenience of automatic online payments — no more writing paper checks and walking them over to the drop box. The HOA won’t have those paper checks and card payments to process. With your accounting software, simply extract and export the payment information to automatically generate reports on who’s current on payments and who’s delinquent.
Remote deposit capture
In reality, some populations are still attached to their paper checks and don’t plan to give them up anytime soon. If that’s the case for your HOA, a remote deposit capture (RDC) system can eliminate many steps of your monthly accounting tasks. If you’re already familiar with mobile deposits, RDC works in a similar way. A desktop scanner device captures the image of the check, so you can deposit the monthly dues electronically without going to the bank. It can also export the data into your accounting software, so you can create and pull up deposit reports.
Set up a sweep account
While a portion of the monthly HOA dues pays for operations (like landscaping), some funds get socked away for future projects and emergencies. A sweep account keeps any excess money from sitting idle in low-interest accounts. When the balance reaches a certain level, the “sweep” kicks in, sending the designated amount right into a higher-interest investment or money market account. A sweep account can also spare you the cost and headache of unexpected overdrafts, because it can activate a transfer from a line of credit.
Not only is a sweep account an effortless way for an HOA to manage cash, it can help the funds work a bit harder. Sweep accounts let you minimize interest expenses on revolving credit accounts, reduce monthly service charges and maximize interest earnings.
Are paper checks going extinct?
If you’re wondering if the time is right to deploy cash management tools, the data shows that electronic payments are gaining widespread acceptance, in households and businesses alike, while paper checks are on the wane. The most recent statistics come from the 2019 Federal Reserve Payments Study, and it shows the following:
- From 2015-2018, annual ACH payments grew 6% by number of payments and 7.2% by value.
- The year 2018 marked the first time the number of ACH debit transfers (16.6 billion) exceeded the number of check payments (14.5 billion).
- The number of annual check payments fell 7.2% from 2015-2018.
HOA boards are made up of volunteers. When you add up all the steps saved by cash management tools offered by Minnwest Bank, you'll restore hours of time back to your schedule — which isn’t a small thing when you’re a volunteer. Talk to one of our helpful cash management specialists in your community to learn how you can start doing more with your cash.