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Monday, October 24, 2016

Treasurer Announces New Accounting Program Will Generate $250K in Fiscal Year 2017

Program Projected for Substantial Growth in Years Ahead

City Treasurer James J Lombardi III Esq. CPA today announced that a recently implemented accounting program is expected to generate $250,000 in new revenue for the City of Providence in the current fiscal year. That figure is expected to grow substantially in years ahead as more vendors learn about the program and choose to participate.

This year, the City of Providence fully adopted an e-payables program from Citizens Bank that allows the City to streamline its payment process and collect a small percentage of shared revenue with each transaction. The program incentivizes making payments to vendors electronically; until January, the City was only issuing paper-based checks. “Most major corporations are already paying their vendors electronically,” said Lombardi. “With e-payables, we’re modernizing our accounting operations and bringing the City a new source of revenue.”

Participation in the e-payables program is entirely voluntary, said Lombardi. Vendors can opt-in to receive payments electronically, or they can continue to receive paper-based checks. According to Lombardi, the efficiency of electronic payments makes them the preferred choice for most vendors: “Funds are delivered to them quickly; there is not the typical 30 day or more waiting period. This program is saving vendors a lot of time and it also mitigates fraud and extra paperwork. Businesses that sign up automatically obtain a priority payment because of the efficiency of the system.”

Based on vendor trends, Lombardi anticipates major participation growth in years ahead, which will yield higher returns for the City of Providence: “The annual spend for business that signed into the program is approximately $11 million. We have entered into another phase of outreach to our current vendors; we expect these efforts to generate greater participation, which will benefit both the City of Providence and the businesses that provide us with goods and services.”

Lombardi thanked the efforts of Controller J. Michael D’Antuano CPA and the Accounts Payable Office for their diligence in implementing the new system. He also acknowledged Citizens Bank for effective collaboration: “Citizens has been a great partner in implementing this program, it was a major undertaking and they were with us every step of the way.”

“The City of Providence has been a leader in adopting our e-payables program accessAPcard, which is one of many Citizens Bank solutions that help our commercial and government clients increase their efficiency and improve their bottom line,” said Michael Cummins, head of Treasury Solutions at Citizens Bank. “Our solutions can help customers improve their back office operations – receivables and payables – and our teams are experts at making the transition to the latest electronic and mobile systems fast and easy for our clients and their merchants.”