Daily News

The Financial Physical: Ensure Your Business Is Banking Healthy

HOLYOKE — The secret of successful businesses is that they are constantly reassessing their business needs. While some aspects of a business, like employee performance or the need for new equipment, are reevaluated frequently, one aspect of a business — its banking — can often be overlooked.

“Business owners should consider a financial physical. Business needs change from year to year, and business-banking needs may have also changed as well,” said Dave Thibault, vice president, Cash Management at PeoplesBank. “Similar to a real physical, it’s a quick, face-to-face chat. It allows my customers to catch me up on their business and any changes, then I can recommend any updates that will save them money or make their processes more efficient. Most importantly, I see them walk out of the office with peace of mind knowing there’s a plan in place and it’s been vetted with someone they trust.”

The checkup is a brief series of questions focusing on three key areas:

1. Make your Business Checking Work for You. Are you keeping higher or lower balances than in previous years? Are you making more transactions? If so, may you benefit from cash-management solutions or another account type? “The answers to these questions will help determine the right business-banking solutions for you,” said Cynthia Wszolek, Cash Management Officer at PeoplesBank. “They also will help you know which online tools would work best for your business.”

2. Eliminate as Many Fraud Risks as You Can. Is your anti-virus and security software robust and up-to-date? Is your staff educated on best business practices to safeguard against actions that can compromise workstations and the network? When it comes to your business banking, are you aware of your current level of fraud protections? “Some business owners forget that banking options come with varying levels of fraud protection,” Thibault said. “There are a lot of options, and some of them can reduce the risk and liability that could fall on the business owner. Things like alerts to catch suspicious activity, and, if something does get flagged, your bank can work directly with you to rectify the issue before it becomes a larger problem.”

3. Increase Banking Efficiency. Do you pay your employees by check? Do you go to the bank to make your deposits? Does reconciling your account take time? “If you answered yes to any of these questions, new cash-management solutions may make your banking processes more efficient,” Wszolek said. “These new solutions let you deposit your checks right from your office and automatically updates your accounts-payable system. Your process becomes more efficient — saving you time, giving you faster access to your cash, and increasing your cash flow.”

“Banking technologies continue to become more innovative,” she concluded. “An annual financial physical will help ensure that your business-banking processes are efficient, effective, and safe from fraud.”