A blog written by Vikki Sowter, School Finance Officer
Over a decade ago, schools were warned that the use of cheques as a payment method would eventually be phased out. However, little has changed over the years and cheques are still very much in use – especially in the school environment!
But, in more recent years, you may have noticed that more and more suppliers are unwilling to accept cheques as a form of payment for goods and services. Due to their high processing costs, as well as the rise of digitisation and changing consumer habits, the phasing out of cheques seems to have finally begun.
Nowadays, BACS is the most common way of making or receiving a payment in the UK. Whether it’s through receiving your salary and pension, or paying a monthly bill, BACS is a system that you have probably used before.
Changing payment methods may be a daunting prospect for some schools. In this blog, we hope to shed light on BACS payments, giving you the knowledge and awareness to help you start your transition.
WHAT ARE BACS PAYMENTS?
BACS, also known as Bankers’ Automated Clearing Service, is an electronic system of making payments directly from one bank account to another. There are two types of BACS payments:
- Direct Debit – where a payment is taken from an account
- Direct Credit – where a payment is made to an account
BACS payments are not made instantly and usually take three working days to clear. However, they continue to be the number one bank payment method for businesses nationwide. Not only is this the cheapest way to make bank payments, but every payroll and accounting software supports BACS files – making BACS both highly cost-effective and widely accessible.
THE PROS AND CONS
Like most things, BACS has both its positives and negatives. However, as you will see below, we believe that the pros far outweigh the cons when using BACS to make payments.
Each year, more and more schools are discovering the benefits of moving to BACS payments.
“The transition from Cheque Processing to BACs was a lengthy process but worth the effort for the benefits this system offers. This new system now saves time and administration costs. Preparing, checking and collating cheques with the relevant remittance advice is a time-consuming task. We have improved cash flow management and cut down on reconciliation time and it also offers better payment terms.”
– Mrs J Bramhall, Head Teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School.
Are you ready to make the transition? With industry knowledge and expertise, One Education can work with you to set up BACS processing in your school.
For further help and guidance, please get in touch.