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14 December 2011

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We would like to pay our bills online, but if we do this can we have different levels of authorisation available to different users?

Question in full:

We would like to reduce the cost of banking by paying all our invoices and bills online, but with access for our practice manager to view the accounts on a day-to-day basis. Our current bank has told us that all the users will have permission to make and authorise transactions, up to £10,000 per day. We do not want our practice manager to make authorised payments as she is currently not a cheque signatory. Can we have different levels of authorisation available to different users?


Unfortunately, most internet-based banking systems work on the principle that access means ‘authoriser’ status, therefore I don’t think that you will be able to achieve your desired outcome from an internet-based solution. However, there are software systems designed by banks that would allow your practice manager to review accounts, input payments but not be an authoriser – this would be another level of management at your own discretion.

The downsides are that while internet systems are invariably provided ‘free of charge’, the software systems usually have a monthly ‘maintenance’ fee and a ‘per transaction’ charge, which would be cheaper than sending cheques. You also need to consider the time efficiency savings by going fully automated. In the first instance, speak to your Relationship Manager and ask them to provide a rough costing of the software system based on your current transaction profile and go from there.