It is now official there are three speeds to send your letters or statements within Australia,
Regular post now costs $1 and will take 2-6 business days
Priority mail will cost $1.50 and will take 1-4 business days
Express costs $5.75 and has a next-day guarantee. That guarantee means you can get your money back if it does not arrive in time and you complain. In my experience, if you do complain, is it normal to wait over 40 minutes to speak to someone in Customer Service, particularly if it’s a Monday morning?
So now Australia Post is 30% dearer at half the speed.
The problem of speed is almost as significant as cost. Monthly statements have to be there with a reasonable gap before the end of the month. If they are going to take one to six business days, that means they need to be sent out about two weeks before the end of the month, so the books have to be finalised; now as a typical month is about 30 days, we are looking at about 40% of your debt being carried forward another month.
Advantages of paperless email statements.
Besides being excellent for the environment and saving a few trees, they are also suitable for you as you won't have to incur the cost of printing and mailing your statement monthly. They can be done closer to the end of the month, including more of the latest information.
As the statements look very similar to your paper statement and carry the same information, they are now considered legally acceptable for record-keeping purposes.
Plus, sending emails automatically is much easier than a hundred printed emails.
Overall the advantages are so significant that now many businesses are set on you going paperless that they've offered up incentives, discounts, and a chance to win a price to get you to drop your statements.
Let us discuss some of the problems.
Many of your clients do not have or refuse to release email addresses. However, you will find that almost all businesses do have email addresses. I estimate more than 95%. About 18% of people do have email accounts but rarely use them. Many of you may be surprised how many of your clients have email addresses when they discover account-keeping fees.
However, many with email addresses feel that they need to print the email for tax reasons, so they may as well get you to print it and send it to them. I used to be like that too until recently when I decided my wife, my accountant, or someone else was asking for details of an item and could not find it. If it is by email, I can find it by google search. So I switched.
Many find it easier to forget to send their payment as they don’t have that physical bill as a reminder.
Sometimes even if they do have an email account, they do not get it; a typical example is when it gets caught by their spam filters. Another is that their mailbox, for some reason, is down, e.g., full.
Lastly, sometimes people accidentally think it's spam, delete your email without thinking. I know I have done that trick too.
So if you are going to go to email statements, you need to take into account the pros and cons. In practice, you must run both an email and a printed statement. In time, I am sure we are all going electronic.
If you want to know how to set it up email statements, Please click here.