Magazine article University Business

The High Cost of Paper Money

Magazine article University Business

The High Cost of Paper Money

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

PICTURE TWO OVERWORKED ACCOUNTING CLERKS, THEIR desks completely covered in paper register receipts, and an accounts payable manager who needs a wheeled hand cart to deliver 5,000 paper checks to the mail room for distribution to students so they could buy books for classes. This is what the business office at Macomb Community College (Mich.) looked like prior to 2008, before the start of classes, says Bobbie Remias, director of finance and investments. Employees were nearly completely consumed with check processing, on top of answering the rush of incoming calls before the start of the semester.

As at many campuses, the challenge was providing a means for Macomb's 12,000 financial aid and sponsored students to purchase books in the bookstore prior to the start of classes. That had meant issuing paper checks--only 80 percent of which were used promptly for the intended purpose. The remaining 20 percent were lost, stolen, misused, or never cashed, creating more work for the business office, which had to pay $20 stop payment on the original check and issue a replacement. Paper receipts were sent to accounts receivable to be input for billing on all the sponsored students. The process was paper-intensive and rife with human error.

Remias and the financial aid director, Judy Florian, began investigating how to link the Datatel Colleague system and bookstore. At the Datatel Users' Group conference, they heard about Trim Data's FA-Link module. …

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