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Electronic Purchasing Lets You Buy Smarter

Share current LOB: SmallBusiness

For many business owners, managing cash flow day-to-day can be a time-consuming challenge. Significant resources may be tied up paying for the goods and services necessary to run your business, and differentiating between product and non-product expenses can become overwhelming.

Surprisingly, too few small businesses take control of these expenses by making the switch to electronic purchasing. According to SunTrust Business Owner Research, only 35 percent of owners reported using cards, automated approvals and entitlements to control employee spending. For the remaining two-thirds, there’s an opportunity to gain more control of these expenses with far less time and paperwork. Here’s how:

Electronic Payments Bring Many Benefits

It’s more affordable than ever for you to consolidate purchases using debit, credit and prepaid cards, as well as online bill payment and the electronic automated clearinghouse (ACH) network. Business owners today are even using cards for large commercial purchases like raw materials and equipment.

Making purchases using electronic or payment cards allows small business owners to:

  • Take advantage of vendor discounts with faster payments
  • Control employee spending with authorizations and limits 
  • Prevent fraud associated with cash, check and expense reports
  • Streamline cash flow management by minimizing the hassle of expense reports and receipts 
  • Earn discounts through rewards programs

Online Tools Simplify Purchase Tracking

Consolidating your business transactions online provides 24/7 access to your purchasing patterns and trends. Your online banking solution offers you a single, secure resource for consolidating, tracking and controlling the complete range of business purchases, so that you can more accurately project your cash flow needs.

Expense Analysis Identifies More Ways to Save

It has never been easier to code and allocate expenses. An online cash manager allows you to easily import electronic information into your accounting software, which allows small business owners to:

  • Group expenses and identify opportunities for volume discounts.
  • Track purchases by employee or project quickly and easily. Most business owners agree that tracking an expense budget on a regular basis is the single most effective way to improve cash flow.
  • Optimize inventory levels without risking shortages.


About SunTrust Business Owner Research: SunTrust surveys small business owners and advisors as part of its ongoing business seminars and symposiums. The small business owners attending these events include both SunTrust client and non-client business owners and are representative of the broad spectrum of businesses located in the SunTrust markets. The research cited in this report is extracted from these 5,425 small business owner surveys collected between 2007 and 2011.

This content is educational in nature and is not an advertisement for a loan or business solicitation. It does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

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