Every day we see more and more scams, which is the reason we need to be proactive in protecting our data. If you are still generating accounts payable checks, one way to be proactive is to utilize positive pay. Within this process, the bank receives an electronic file of your checks, including the payee and the amount of the check. When the bank clears the check, the check is referenced against this file to ensure that the payee and amounts are the same. So, you’re probably wondering, “Well why would I need this?”
I can tell you firsthand why this is needed. Several years ago, we sent out checks and one of our vendors inquired as to why we had not sent payment out, even though we had. We checked the bank and the check issued to them had cleared, so we were baffled as to why the vendor did not have the funds. After further investigation, we found that the name on the check had been altered to another company’s name. Somewhere from the time that we mailed the check to the time that it was cashed at the bank, someone had changed the name. Of course, we immediately tried to contact the company on the check but could not locate them. The bank confirmed that this happens more than you think and advised us to move to positive pay. We eventually got our money back from the bank, but it took some time. This whole ordeal would have been avoided if we had positive pay set up in our system, which is why I highly encourage you to consider a move to positive pay in order to protect your company’s data.