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Accounts Payable
August 9, 2022

Check, please. A better way to make B2B check payments.

Written by
Laura Slauson
Laura Slauson
Check, please. A better way to make B2B check payments.Check, please. A better way to make B2B check payments.

You’ve discovered the advantages of paying bills by virtual card or ACH: the control and visibility, the ease of use, and let’s not forget the opportunity to monetize bill payments by earning cash back with virtual cards. In your perfect AP world, you’d pay every bill digitally. You’d use the newfound time to focus on strategic activities that are much more interesting than writing checks, finding the right person to sign them, getting them in the mail, and reconciling bank balances. Checks would be a relic, a reminder of times gone by, like typewriters and fax machines. 

But what can you do when a vendor asks to be paid by check?

It happens surprisingly often. Even in this age of digital innovation, and despite the many advantages of virtual cards and ACH, many vendors continue to ask for payment by check. In fact, according to PYMNTS, 40% of B2B payments are made by check, making checks the most popular B2B payment method. That’s a big deterrent to your “all virtual cards, all the time” fantasy scenario.

But with a payment-agnostic bill pay platform like Airbase, you can initiate a payment by check just as easily as other payment types. And, when you pay with a check using Airbase, you’ll experience the benefits of a modern payment platform including:

Less manual work. With traditional checks, AP team members have to print the check, get it signed, put it in the mail, and manually reconcile the amount. In contrast, once you choose to pay by check in Airbase, we take it from there. 

Improved visibility. As with all bill payments in Airbase, check payments are synced to your GL, eliminating the need to do manual bank reconciliations. 

Reduced costs. In a well-known study, Bank of America looked at time spent and the costs associated with check writing, including envelope, stamp, and even printer ink costs. They estimated that checks cost between $3 to $20 each. 

Bill payments by “a good old-fashioned check.”

When you operate from Airbase’s spend management platform, the choice of payment method is comprehensive. ACH, virtual card, vendor credits, and international and foreign currency payments can all be utilized from one convenient dashboard. An Airbase user noted on the review site G2 about the innovation on the Airbase platform, but said it’s still possible to “cut a good old-fashioned check.”

To make things even easier, the process for paying by check is the same user experience as any other payment method: 

  • Simply select “check” as the payment method. 
  • Choose to initiate payment right away, pay by the due date, or choose when you want the check to arrive and Airbase takes it from there. We’ll calculate the right time to send out the check via USPS so it arrives on time, even taking holidays into account. The signed check will be sent along with the first page of the invoice. 
  • The approval workflows and booking to the GL are powered by the same accounting automation as other payment methods, so the system will follow the policies you’ve created. 
This automated sync to the GL eliminates the need for manual bank reconciliations and helps speed up the monthly close. 
  • Images of the check, front and back, are added to Airbase once the check is cashed. These images can help in the event of an audit, to confirm payment, or for dispute resolution. 
  • If you have to stop a check payment before the check is cashed, it’s as simple as clicking a button in Airbase.

The end result is a way to pay checks that leverages accounting automation to reduce the disadvantages when you have to pay by check.

Dennis Fang, Staff Accountant at Finix, appreciates the way Airbase’s check payments have helped him streamline his accounting processes:

“This is the first software I’ve used that actually does check payments on our behalf. I used to have to write physical checks and then track down the CFO to get them signed. It’s a game-changer. We don’t have to do paper accounting anymore.”

The ease of writing a check and the automated GL booking of all bill payments, regardless of payment method, has helped Finix speed up their monthly close. 

Let us show you how Airbase’s spend management system streamlines all aspects of AP, including check payments. 

Laura Slauson
Laura Slauson

About Airbase

Airbase offers a one platform solution to manage all non-payroll spend. It provides oversight and control over spending with real-time reporting and automatic syncing directly to your general ledger. Control all paymentsphysical cards, virtual cards, ACH, and checks – from one place. Close faster. Empower employees. Control spend.

To learn more about Airbase, contact us for a product demo.
Laura Slauson
Laura Slauson
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