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Automated Multifamily Vendor Payment Processing is Saving Time, Money and Headaches

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Automated multifamily vendor payment processing is rapidly turning into a significant source of cost and labor savings for PMCs. Sweeping trends and advances in software—including accounting—are pointing the way to a faster, easier, more cost-effective and less risky future for PMCs. In a recent webcast entitled Easy Does It: RealPage® Vendor Payments, Dan Newbern, Vice President of the RealPage Financial Suite and Brandon Patrick, RealPage Senior Sales Engineer discussed the benefits of the company’s fully-automated electronic vendor payment system.

The webcast title says it all—it’s about “easy.” According to Brandon Patrick, “The key thing that we want to do here is make it easier for your teams to remit payment. RealPage Vendor Payments is a fantastic solution to simplifying your business process and significantly lowering your costs in processing payables.”

RealPage Vendor Payments enables owners and operators to manage the complete payment lifecycle easily—and reduce the cycle time by 66%, from one month to 10 days. The solution, powered by AvidXchange™, integrates seamlessly with the RealPage Accounting and Financial Suite to automate workflow and improve productivity.

Chucking those checks

The first big benefit: eliminating the cost of payments via paper check.

Over the last 10 years, check usage has been trending downward for both B2B and consumer payments. One reason is the cost of issuing, printing and mailing checks, which averages $3 to $7 per check. Second, fraudulent checks are the easiest and leading way for fraud to be committed against your AP. Paying directly via electronic payment helps prevent this from happening, protecting both you and your vendors. And finally, there's the substantial time it takes to process checks, including time spent in accounting and issuing, moving through the mail and in the hands of vendors prior to cashing.

Says Dan Newbern, “Paying bills isn't fun. There are lots of tasks that are tedious and time-consuming that your team could spend doing more important work. 70% of our webcast audience told us they spend an average of 5-10 days per month managing payments. RealPage Vendor Payments helps you streamline your process. Instead of your team printing and mailing checks, uploading files to your bank for ACH and sending positive pay files, the solution sends them via API to our payment partner, AvidXchange. You can specify whether you want the payments sent over immediately, daily or at your own choosing. Removing these steps helps you reduce your costs and time following up on uncashed checks.”

Outsourcing the headaches

Partnering with AvidXchange delivers real simplicity. For example, you don't have to manage how the vendor wants to be paid. On the RealPage Vendor Payments portal, you select the invoices you want to pay, hit the “Pay Now” button, and Vendor Payments does all the heavy lifting of transferring the information to AvidXchange. AvidXchange then matches the vendor against their database of hundreds of thousands of vendors and pays them in the manner they've chosen. If for some reason the vendor isn't in their database, they contact the vendor and inquire whether they would like to be paid via virtual card, enhanced ACH or check.

The solution simplifies risk management as well. Paying vendors quickly using the methods they prefer reduces the risk of late payments. Confirming proof of payment to reduce risk is also easy, thanks to the exclusive, market-first integration with RealPage Accounting. A full audit trail of everything that's happened related to each payment is included in the information that's transmitted back into RealPage Accounting. This history extends from the moment the payment was created all the way down to the moment it was issued to the supplier, whether by check, card or ACH.

As an example, Brandon Patrick points to enhanced ACH payments. “With RealPage Vendor Payments, you can dive down into the payment and see the payer, payee, payment ID and the amount,” he notes. “Since this is an enhanced ACH, not only does the vendor receive this information, but you do as well. You can see the debit information for the vendor, for the originating bank account and the credit information. The vendor then receives the associated invoice information. If you're processing multiple payments in one ACH, it makes it easier for them to receive it as well. That's a major reason a lot of vendors adopt this program. RealPage has a network of 680,000 vendors, with 44% already accepting ePayments.”

You can even boost your bottom line directly with ePayment incentive programs that generate cashback for every electronic payment. Plus, you can earn guaranteed annual rebates by achieving your contracted number of electronic payments made via virtual card and enhanced ACH.

But what’s the cost of all this convenience?

“That's always the most important question with RealPage Vendor Payments,” says Dan Newbern. “And there’s a simple answer: 75¢ per payment to your vendor. For example, you have 100 invoices you're paying to HD Supply, and you pay only a single 75¢ payment.”

That’s a remarkably low price tag for an automated multifamily vendor payments processing solution that makes payments fast, easy and virtually pain-free.

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