In a previous article, How to Add Low-Effort, Bottom-Line Value, I shared the results from an OPEN-commissioned study by Accenture exploring how business owners could get greater value from using the OPEN “system.”1 Basically, the study showed that certain “best in class” businesses save time and money, as well as improve their cash flow, by putting most of their expenses on their OPEN Charge Cards and taking full advantage of the OPEN Savings program, the Membership Rewards program, and OPEN expense management tools – the OPEN system.
I’ve explored the cost savings and cash flow aspects in other articles, so how can they save time? The study found that 79 percent of those who saved time did so by not only replacing cash and check payments with Charge wherever possible, but by using systems that store their card information with vendors to enable faster and automated payments. Additionally, best-in-class businesses ensure that spend information rolls up into one account, especially if the business has multiple employee cards. With a large portion of their purchases recorded in one place, these companies could download OPEN spend data to their internal systems as well as take advantage of OPEN's expense management tool – further streamlining their accounting and tax processes.
On average, these best-in-class businesses were able to save five hours a week or 30 work days per year. If, for example, you paid an accountant $29 per hour, this would mean a savings of $7,000.
As another example, Adam Wasserman uses the OPEN system to manage expenses for his company, H&W Printing. He’s moved payments from primarily check and cash to his American Express Charge Card, and has cut the number of checks per months from 200-300 down to 15-20. Now, he said, “It only takes four hours a month to pay all our vendors. Four hours, that’s it!”
In addition to time saved on cutting checks, Adam said, “I pay 90 percent of my vendors with the OPEN Card. As a result, I can analyze our spend. I can see where we’re spending our money, how we’re spending our money, and who we’re spending our money with.”
I invite you to learn more about how Adam and other business owners are using the OPEN system and how these best practices may boost the bottom line for your business. If you use any of these or other strategies, I invite you to share your story with me at marcy @ openforum.com. Your experience may provide valuable insights to other entrepreneurs.
Download your complimentary copy of “How High-Performing Businesses Boost the Bottom Line through American Express Business Cards.”
1Based on actual customer data obtained by Accenture in March 2010 via research of OPEN Charge Cardmembers. The Study, consisting of interviews and surveys involving over 135 U.S. firms using an OPEN Charge Card – ranging in size from 1 to over 100 employees and in revenues from $200,000 to over $20 million a year –shows that small businesses can derive substantial value by using the OPEN system.