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Originally published on The Successful Bookkeeper.

It’s not just about crunching numbers and tracking expenses.

For bookkeepers, it means being there for their clients by understanding the landscape of the industries, adapting financial agility, and advising ways to improve efficient cash flow. Introducing modern technology solutions like the power of instant payments can give bookkeepers an edge in enhancing financial success for their clients.

Slow traditional payment methods can unknowingly amplify cashflow challenges. However, with the release of technologies such as instant payments facilitated by the FedNow Service and The Clearing House’s RTP Network, a significant paradigm shift will transform how accountants and bookkeepers manage their clients’ accounts receivables and accounts payable. Gone are the days of worrying and waiting for a payment to be settled. Instant payments are processed in seconds and available 24/7/365.

 

Why financial agility matters

Financial agility is crucial for small businesses to stay competitive and thrive in an ever-evolving market. Accessing and managing funds in real-time empowers businesses to seize opportunities, address unexpected expenses, and promptly make strategic decisions. Instant payments will be the future standard for digital payment. They offer businesses, especially small ones, the ability to enhance their financial agility and maintain a competitive edge.

 

Problems with cash flow

More than 80% of business failures cites cash flow challenge as the reason. Widening cashflow gaps leads to delayed payments, limited liquidity, and potential disruptions in operations. These issues can hinder growth and limit the ability to meet financial constraints and growth. Instant payments can solve these problems with instant access to funds, eliminating payment delays and enabling proactive cash flow management and better financial agility.

 

Why tech hasn’t taken off

Why is the financial sector dragging its feet with tech adoption? The slow pace of technology adoption within the financial industry is a significant barrier. The hesitation around the need for instant payments and concerns over security and industry-wide interoperability has been met with resistance due to concerns and even the simple lack of awareness about the benefits of instant payments.

The problem lies within the banks; consumer knowledge about instant payments is limited. Banks need to actively let their clients know that there’s a faster and more affordable payment method available.

After all, instant payment technology isn’t new. The Clearing House launched the RTP (Real-Time Payments) Network back in 2017, and yet only supports 280 banks out of the thousands. In July 2023, the Federal Reserve launched its Instant Payment Network, called the FedNow Service, hoping to increase nationwide adaptation and accessibility to over 9,000 financial institutions. But as bookkeepers, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and share innovative and modern solutions that benefit your clients.

 

The way to enhance client experiences

A bookkeeper’s role goes beyond just crunching numbers. By understanding and adopting emerging tools like instant payments, bookkeepers improve their customer’s experience by:

 

  • Saying goodbye to bank hours: Instant payments don’t adhere to the 9-5, weekends, or holidays. Instant payment platforms that support round-the-clock payment capabilities ensure smoother financial transactions anytime, 24/7/365.
  • Benefiting from effective financial fluidity: With improved cash flow with instant access to funds, businesses can streamline their financial activities, minimize the impact of delayed payments, and ensure they have the liquidity needed to cover expenses and invest in growth opportunities.
  • Streamline with existing platforms: Leverage existing platforms and solutions that offer instant payment capabilities. Many online banking systems now support instant payments, enabling businesses to seamlessly integrate this functionality into their existing financial workflows with accounting software for easy reconciliation and management.

In today’s digital age, instant payments are transforming the way small business accountants and their clients handle finances, offering unparalleled convenience and flexibility. With the rise of instant payments from the FedNow Service and The Clearing House’s RTP Network, accountants and bookkeepers can help small businesses better navigate cash flow challenges, save time, and gain a competitive edge in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape. Financial agility is foundational to success. Embrace the power of instant payments and witness your small business clients thrive like never before.

If you’re interested in exploring instant payment solutions but aren’t sure where to start, the team at Forwardly is happy to help. Not only do we offer white-glove service when it comes to onboarding with QuickBooks Online and Xero, but we’ll help you earn generous referral rewards for bringing your clients to the modern era of payments.

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