Monday, January 25, 2016

Have You Had Your Annual Checkup?

By: Patrick Carlton, Senior Vice President-Private & Professional Banking Manager at National Bank of Commerce.

If you are like me, you start each New Year with fresh ideas, recently crafted resolutions, and the determination to make the coming year better than the last. Whether it is for your practice or your personal finances, a review of your banking needs and what services best match those needs should be at the top of your list in “organizing and reorganizing” your finances. Here are a few tips that can help increase profitability and productivity - or just make life easier.

1. Evaluate your capital needs for the year.

 Do you plan to buy a new piece of equipment, bring on a new employee, open a new location, or build a new office? Maybe you plan to buy a new house or you have college or wedding expenses? Or are you simply trying to just stay the course?

In all of these scenarios, it’s a good idea to strategize with your banker and outline your expectations. Your banker should fully understand your objectives and advise you on the available tools needed to accomplish your goals.

2. Review your rates and fees.

 A thorough review of your banking, merchant services, and credit card statements can often reveal opportunities for savings. Maybe interest rates are more competitive now or maybe you are no longer using a service but are still paying for it. If you are unsure of charges, be sure to inquire. You may find you are overpaying – oftentimes for something as simple as viewing your accounts online. One thing we often see is unnecessary service charges that are a result of not performing a regular and basic review of your statements.

As a reminder, while it can be a factor, you should never choose a bank based solely on finding the lowest cost provider!

3. Learn if you are behind the times.

 Make sure you are using all the technology available to make your life easier. Remote deposit capture, EDI, and ACH can help create efficiencies and improve internal controls. Rebated foreign ATM fees, Smartphone apps with mobile deposit, and P2P payments are all great ways to simplify your personal banking.

As I have said before, there are a lot of challenges and worries in healthcare today--margins are lower, risks are higher, and regulations continue to grow. However, a strong relationship with your banker will help improve your bottom line and your piece of mind.


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