Get the most from your Payment Hub

 

By Beth Mongold

June 3, 2020

                     

After our team presented a recent webinar, we heard from one of the attendees: “I truly enjoyed learning more about the product we already own and could not believe how little we are using.”

 

She’s a current customer who uses Mekorma software for only a few select tasks.

 

If you'd like to get more out of your Payment Hub, this blog aims to give an overview of existing functionality  - and what’s on the roadmap.  Even if you already use  Mekorma  Payment Hub to print checks and process EFTs, there may be some functionality you haven’t been aware of or  haven’t  yet  configured that will help with remote working conditions and general operational efficiency. 

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Printing payments in  2020 

The COVID crisis has forced AP departments to seek out more effective ways of paying their vendors. Printing checks hasn’t been easy to do away from the office. AP teams are converting more vendors to accept EFT / ACH and other electronic payment types, so they’re not as bound to the physical printing of checks.

 

Dynamics GP provides inherent support for ACH payment, as does the Mekorma Payment Hub. It’s fairly straight-forward to implement – you can find out how in this video.

 

And, inspired by the challenges our customers have expressed over the past few months, Mekorma is rapidly developing an electronic payment solution that will fully integrated with the Payment Hub. You’ll be able to outsource your AP batches through a provider that supports checks, ACH and credit card payments.

 

Mekorma  software does continue to support local check printing for our customers, including: 

 
  • MICR printing technology for payables and payroll. 

  • Ability to print on blank or pre-printed check stock. 

  • A full library of check stub and EFT remittance templates you can customize for your business rules. Special fields that assist integration with Binary Stream’s Multi-Entity Management can be added to checks / remittances if you have our MEM Connector product. 

  • Automated electronic signature configuration.

     

Secure Approval Workflow 

No matter what payment type you’re working with,  we have  always kept your security in mind as a top priority. Our secure approval workflow settings  integrate fully with GP security tasks and roles, allowing you to enhance  what’s available with  basic  Dynamics GP. 

 

For those of you who still perform manual payment batch approvals – perhaps printing out edit lists and invoices, then finding the right person to hand-sign checks – our approval workflow can replace that process with an easy electronic workflow that maintains your business rules.

 

Mekorma  security configuration  allows you to  assign  different  users  approval  permissions,  based on dollar amount  threshold levels.  This means that once batches are built in GP, they cannot be printed or processed until the appropriate users have approved payments within their assigned threshold levels. 

 

For example, some companies choose to automatically approve  smaller payments. You could set up your system so that any payment of $500 or less is instantly ready to process and post. 

 

But let’s say  your  Accounting Manager is required to approve any out going payment  between  $500 and $20K, and payments over $20K need approvals by  two VPs. Those payments get pushed through a workflow, and the assigned approver(s) are notified via email or text. Only after payments are reviewed and approved can they be released for further processing.

 

Approvals can be handled in  Dynamics  GP, or within  Mekorma’s  mobile app,  PowerApprovals. The app doesn’t require a user to log in to GP – approvers can access payments on a phone, tablet or web browser. This is a particularly useful tool for anyone working remotely.
 

 

Centralize and automate  right in Dynamics GP

All the above-mentioned functionality neatly ties together in the  heart of the  Mekorma  Payment Hub:  the  Action Board.  The Action Board  makes  payment batch  procedures  more efficient than how they are typically performed in Dynamics GP. 

 

The  Action Board is  of notable value  to AP departments that  make  payments  from  multiple  GP companies/ databases.  As an additional bonus, the Action Board and Binary Stream’s Multi-Entity Management play well together – both MEM centralized and decentralized processes  integrate.  

 

Let’s first look at how payments are processed  without  involving the Action Board:

 

AP staff are required to  open and close  many windows to accomplish their workflow – each task has its own window, and sometimes more than one.  Consider this as a typical example of the lifecycle of an EFT payment batch: 

 



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  • An AP team member creates a batch in the  Build Payment  window. 

  • Any needed edits are made in the  Edit Payment Batch window. 

  • Approval is requested once the batch is finalized  - many AP departments perform this task manually by compiling edit lists and paper copies of invoices  for  approvers  to review. 

  • Once approval is granted, the batch is opened in the Print Payments window and printed / processed.

  • The batch is then posted from the Post Payments window. 

  • The EFT file must be generated to send to the bank.  

  • These steps  are  repeated for  every additional  batch. 

  • The whole process must be repeated in every additional GP company. 
     

While there may be variations along the way depending on business needs, this outline gives a general idea of the repetitive actions involved. 

 

Now, enter the Action Board. 

 

The same process described above can instead function in one window,  and many of the most time-consuming aspects can be automated: 

 
  • An AP team member opens the Action Board and chooses  the  Build Batches  action. 

  • Pull up a Process ID and in one button click, multiple check and EFT batches can be created automatically,  for all GP companies and checkbooks.  Process IDs  are customizable, and store criteria that determine which vouchers are pulled into payment batches. 

  • As batches are built, approval requests are  automatically emailed to the appropriate people.

  • Approvers can drill in to view payment details and supporting documentation, right in GP - or on the PowerApprovals app.  No paper necessary.

  • Once approved,  batches can be printed / processed  all  at once  within  the same window (the Action Board). 

  • Posting and the generation of EFT files and/ or  SafePay  files can happen automatically as batches are processed; or accomplish each  step separately  within the Action Board. 
     

The Action Board provides one single location  in  which to accomplish the entire payment process,  so  you  and  your staff  can be free  of  unnecessary,  repetitive tasks. 
 

 

Conclusion 

For those of you who already use the  Mekorma  Payment Hub, it’s possible you discovered something new about what you already own.  Our Professional Services team can help you get up and running with the features and functionality mentioned above: 

 
  • EFT / ACH set up 

  • Coming soon: remote / electronic payments 

  • Secure approval workflow 

  • Automation with the Action Board 

  • Third-party integrations (like  Binary Stream’s  MEM) 

Please reach out to  sales@mekorma.com  if you’d like to schedule a demo or a consultation. We’re here to support you through immediate changes in working conditions, and into the future. 
 

 

Binary Stream's Multi-Entity Management:

Complementing Mekorma's Payment Hub is Binary Stream's Multi-Entity Management (MEM). Multi-Entity Management is a robust solution for streamlining consolidation accounting and multi-company challenges in Dynamics GP. With MEM, organizations can use a single database and master record to have clearer and more flexible insights across all their entities, run intercompany transactions with automatic allocations, and greater security for a sustainable growth.

 

By using Multi-Entity Management and Mekorma’s Payment Hub, accounts payable professionals can access all of their different companies and chequebooks in Dynamics GP and limit the chance for error, lack of insights, and tedious manual processes.