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Remote lockbox case study

Florida Company Reaps 5 Huge Benefits From Remote Lockbox

Companies have been using lockbox services to streamline the receivables process, improve access to funds and maximize cash flow for more than 50 years. In recent years, advances in technology enabled a new facet of lockbox for accounts receivable: remote lockbox.


With remote lockbox services, checks and remittance documents are received at your business location and then scanned and sent to the bank. Here, they are combined with items received through other lockbox services for posting, clearing, reporting and archiving at a main processing facility.


Enter Vengroff Williams


Vengroff Williams, a collection agency located in Sarasota, Florida, started using remote lockbox services from Cadence Bank in early 2015. They had already been using remote deposit capture to deposit checks remotely from their headquarters; however, this service did not meet their needs for capturing and storing remittance documents associated with the checks.


“Different types of remittance and correspondence, such as coupons and letters, are sent in along with debtors’ checks,” explains Vengroff Williams CFO Todd Cooke. “We needed to be able to digitally capture, store and retrieve all of this on demand by various search criteria, such as the debtor’s name, a control number, a date, etc. This wasn’t possible with remote deposit capture, but it is with remote lockbox.”


Vengroff Williams realized five main benefits from remote lockbox, which increased accuracy, reduced costs and improved cash flow. Let’s take a look:


1. Increased deposit and posting accuracy


Accuracy is vital in the collection agency world. If a check is mistakenly posted to the wrong debtor’s account and a collector calls the debtor about collecting a payment that has already been made, a lawsuit could be filed against the agency.


Accuracy rates increased. According to Cooke, since Vengroff Williams started using remote lockbox, their accuracy rates in depositing and posting debtors’ payments increased from 95 percent to about 99.5 percent. This is because remote lockbox eliminates human intervention in this task. “It’s easy for employees to post checks to the wrong debtor, but remote deposit automates this process, which virtually eliminates errors,” says Cooke.


2. Reduced paperwork and document storage


Everything is scanned and stored digitally. Paper piles up fast in the collections industry, and agencies can devote valuable office space to boxes and boxes of stored documents. With remote lockbox, checks, remittance documents and other correspondence that accompanies checks are scanned and stored electronically. “We no longer have to store boxes of paper for seven years,” says Cooke.


3. Improved audit trail efficiency


Vengroff Williams is licensed to do business in 32 states, 12 of which conduct audits on the company. In addition, some states require that state-specific trusts be established for debtors in their states so debtors’ funds aren’t co-mingled.


Remote lockbox simplifies the audit process. Because remote lockbox ties directly into the company’s AS400 software, the audit process becomes simplified and more efficient. “It’s easier for auditors to see that debtors’ checks are entered, scanned and tracked all the way through to the remittance to the client,” Cooke says. “Remote deposit also helps ensure that debtors’ checks are deposited into the right trust accounts, which is critical in our industry from a compliance standpoint.”


4. Lower labor costs


In addition to helping Vengroff Williams achieve these goals, Cooke says remote lockbox has also reduced the company’s labor costs.


“It has saved between 7 and 8 percent in labor costs. The company is currently in a growth phase and using remote lockbox has enabled us to process a growing volume of checks without adding more staff. Without remote lockbox, we would have hired an additional full-time employee by now.”


5. Increased flexibility & efficiency


Vengroff Williams is no longer tied to a specific end time every day, such as 4 p.m. “Employees can enter checks right up until the close of business, which enables us to deposit more checks every day,” says Cooke. “Also, our system and debtors’ accounts are automatically updated each day, so collectors know throughout the day how much money has been collected. This is a huge efficiency boost.”


Cooke says remote lockbox is tailor-made for the collection industry and that working with Cadence Bank has been a terrific experience. “Cadence Bank’s customer service is outstanding. Everybody we work with at Cadence is professional and attentive to our needs. It’s a true collaboration.”



If you’re ready to talk to someone about remote lockbox or any of our lockbox services for accounts receivable, contact a Cadence Bank treasury management representative today.



This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.


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