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Money Movement

Preferred Popcorn Reduces Late Fees and Labor Costs with Automated Payments Solution

Preferred Popcorn Reduces Late Fees and Labor Costs with Automated Payments Solution

Preferred Popcorn, which is a large farmer-owned popcorn producer headquartered in Nebraska, averages over 200 check payments per month. To increase efficiency in the payments process and have more control over their payment cycle, Preferred Popcorn worked with FNBO to implement an automated accounts payable solution.

The Challenge

Before implementing the payments automation solution Payables+, Preferred Popcorn was using their accounting software to determine when payments needed to be made and then initiated a check run in the system. Employees would then manually print checks on site, have them signed, mail them, record the payment in their accounting software and send a positive pay file to FNBO. This manual process was cumbersome for employees to complete and it made it difficult for Preferred Popcorn staff to track and make payments on time.

Because payments were being made via paper check, the company was losing out on early pay discounts and the benefits of using card payments, like rebates. Paper checks also exposed the company to potential payment fraud due to the lack of security associated with check payments.

Seeking a better way to manage the payment lifecycle, Preferred Popcorn turned to FNBO for advice and help on implementing a more efficient system.

"If we still had the old paper check system, the checks would be waiting on someone’s desk and that would result in late fees from vendors. Now we seldom have late fees."

Brenda Budzinski, Director of Finance, Preferred Popcorn

The Solution

FNBO considered the different payment options that would fit Preferred Popcorn’s needs. In addition to moving away from check payments, the company wanted to implement a solution that would digitize approvals, tracking and payment management. 

FNBO’s Payables+ solution was determined to be the right fit for Preferred Popcorn. The payments automation solution integrates with accounting software, digitizes payments and allows Preferred Popcorn to make card, ACH and check payments in one convenient location. The solution also allows for more oversight by having different levels of controls. For example, only certain users have permission to approve payments.

By automating their payments through Payables+, Preferred Popcorn was able to eliminate duplicate data entry into their accounting system and was able to convert many of their vendors from check payments to ACH or card payments.

Outcomes

Since implementing Payables+, Preferred Popcorn no longer needs to manually print and mail over 200 checks each month. The company has been able to convert many payments from check to ACH or card and if a vendor still requires a check, once a payment is approved in the system, FNBO prints and mails the check on Preferred Popcorn’s behalf.

The automated payments solution has been especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic since employees don’t need to be in the office to complete payments. “If we still had the old paper check system, the checks would be waiting on someone’s desk and that would result in late fees from vendors. Now we seldom have late fees,” Director of Finance Brenda Budzinski said.

In addition to fewer late fees and not having to manually print checks, Preferred Popcorn was able to cut back on manual work. “We’ve been able to reduce labor hours and costs by not issuing checks manually,” Budzinski said. “We also have increased control over the cash cycle because we have separate employees entering payments, initiating payments and approving payments.”

About Payables+

Payables+ is a payments automation solution that integrates with accounting software to save you time and resources with automated payments and workflow approvals that are customized to your needs. Learn more or sign up for a 60-day free trial.