We have used KashFlow for a few years now, its a great accounting system and if you are a small business still struggling with Sage or Quickbooks then I suggest you give it a serious look. They made bookkeeping bearable for non-accountants. Notice I say bearable – not fun – you would have to be a special kind of person to find accounting fun.
Clearly though, their marketing lads have their ear firmly to the ground and can sense my increasing annoyance at the process of being paid by cheque. Not a moment too soon they sent me a reminder that they have integrated with GoCardless.
Cheques, honestly, drive me mad! Most of our customers simply transfer money using BACS, some use cards. But in 2012 there is still a small minority who will insist on writing out a cheque, addressing an envelope and going to the post box. Now, assuming that this fragile piece of paper actually manages to get through the complex sequence of planes, trains, automobiles, sorting machines and posties hands, that is the Royal Mail machine, it will arrive though the Clearly IT letter box. Is that the end of it? Oh no! Our accounts guys then have to open the envelope, work out which invoice(s) it belongs to, write out a paying-in slip and then – get this – drive to the bank, queue up and pay it in! People, this is madness.
So, it was with great relief, that I logged into @kashflow and after a few clicks I had a button on my invoices saying “Pay Online”. As well as handling one-off payments this way there is the option for a customer to set up a direct debit to pay a regular bill – like a retainer – which means we have to do nothing.
@gocardless key points are:
- 7 day holding period. You only have to wait 7 days to get your money
- The only charge you pay is 1% of the transaction value with a maximum (not minimum) charge of £2 for each transaction
Anyone who has used a card processor or PayPal will see that this looks pretty reasonable.
However, as we all know, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. The challenge now is to help people get over their reliance on antiquated payment methods and persuade them that, if you are sensible (and about as sceptical as you would be in real life), the internet is not a dangerous place to perform financial transactions.
I’m hoping that sometime soon we will hear the last ever “The cheque’s in the post.” when we call chasing payment.