Check Scanning Best Practices
Check scanners have gained popularity among property managers as a way to combat the time-consuming process of accepting paper checks. They have become a necessity for communities that receive a large number of checks or money orders. Without them, the staff is bogged down with processing payments and not focused on leasing or resident retention.
Why Use a Check Scanner?
There are still plenty of folks who prefer to hand in a check rather than pay a processing fee for a direct debit from their bank account. On top of that, it’s legally required that property managers offer a free payment method, and check scanning eliminates that issue.
Whatever the reason checks are still accepted, property managers who use a check scanner find exceptional value in converting checks and money orders into electronic transactions. No longer do they have to walk their checks to the bank, deposit them, and then manually post each one to their accounting software. When the checks are sent through the scanner, their accounting software updates the resident and/or homeowner ledgers in almost real-time.
Safety & Security Benefits
As well as saving time, reducing the risk of theft is also one of the major benefits of check scanning. Many of our clients receive a fair amount of certified funds. However, robberies of certified funds are quite common, making it dangerous to store these types of checks in your office. Scanning checks right away eliminates that risk of theft, and gets you paid faster.
Over the years, we’ve learned a few best practices for scanning your checks that we’d like to share with you.
- Organize the checks by category, i.e. personal checks, money orders, cashiers checks, etc.
- Take the time to calculate each batch correctly.
- Scan no more than 25-30 checks per batch.
- Allow your accounting software to sync with your scanner before trying to manually add a resident/unit you can’t find.
- Double check that money order account/routing numbers are accurate.
- Double check you have correctly assigned the right resident.
- No-brainer #1: Make sure that your scanner is plugged in and turned on.
- No-brainer #2: Make sure that scanner has an ink cartridge.
Your Time is Valuable
Conveniently scanning checks from the comfort of your office saves you tedious hours spent posting payments in your accounting software. That time saved lets you focus on more important things like making your residents and homeowners happy.
In summary, if you don’t have a scanner, but you receive a lot of checks and/or money orders, it may be time to think about reducing your workload and investing in a scanner.
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