Adding a new payment channel has a strong impact on the business processes and procedures of a company. In this article, we will cover in detail how to update your accounting processes when you introduce mobile money in your business.
Customers’ and portfolio management team
The first perspective to take into account is the one of the teams in charge of the customers’ and portfolio management. This team typically has two key objectives relevant to our topic:
- Managing the customers’ payments and the loan portfolio on a daily basis.
- Quickly catching any payment errors and keeping the customers happy.
The first point can be addressed by taking into account the transactions in a timely manner. Using software that reconciles automatically the mobile money transaction with the customer invoices is a big plus here. An integration with the mobile money suppliers can also help. By using a loan management software, the team can also oversee the loans and repayments in an easy way. Regarding the second point, payment errors can be of different types. A typical example is a customer making a small mistake when entering his “Customer ID” in the payment process, leading to a payment that cannot be identified automatically. Processes can be designed to correct and reconcile those errors quickly, and keep the customers happy. A dedicated article presents a sample procedure you might want to use to capture and address those errors.
The second perspective to take into account is the accounting management. This involves two main objectives:
- Making sure that the payments of the customers are correctly taken into account in the accounting of the company.
- Making sure that the money in the bank account is line with the mobile money transactions.
To address the first point, we want to ensure that all the customers’ mobile money payments have correctly been taken into account. For this, the mobile money transactions used for the customers’ and portfolio management can be checked against the weekly or monthly excel reports sent by the mobile money suppliers. Regarding the second point, we need to check that the list of transactions sent by the mobile money suppliers matches the actual amount transferred by the mobile money supplier to your bank account. This is typically done using the PDF or Excel reports sent weekly or monthly by the mobile money supplier.
Finally, on the audit side of things, the two main objectives we need to consider are the following:
- Making sure that the processes allow being compliant.
- Having checks in place to detect errors or fraud.
Several strategies can be deployed to address these objectives: separate the responsibilities, and ensure double checking of data in the systems. To separate the responsibilities, the person in charge of the checks should be different than the person in charge of the reconciliations. To perform such checks, the customer management team can for instance export the transaction data, while the accounting team checks it against the mobile money transactions reports. Random checks with customers can also be performed, for instance through phone calls. As is it based on a second source of data, such a process also ensures at the same time both error and fraud checking.
Using the right tools
When you use a set of tools that are adapted, implementing the procedures described above is made easier. With a software solution offering automated reconciliation, the reconciliation of the mobile money payments is done for you by the platform. This is the case with such as Portmoni, for instance. A dedicated filter will show the mobile money payments that could not be reconciled. These will typically present an error, such as a wrong customer ID. Manual transactions can then be created to correct the data.
On the accounting side, an integration between your accounting platform, such as Xero, Quickbooks or SAGE, and your portfolio management platform, simplifies the processes significantly. When the online version is used, a tool like Portmoni can send the data directly to this platform, and the reconciliation of the different accounts is automated. If an offline platform is used, the data can be easily imported and exported before being reconciled.
In conclusion, the mobile money management involves three key sets of procedures, regarding the customers and portfolio management, the accounting management, and the audits. Those sets of procedures will typically be assigned to different teams in the company, and cover the reconciliation of the mobile money transaction, the reconciliation of the accounting, and the compliance of the whole process. Using the rights set of tools makes the procedures simpler as they are designed to include the relevant procedures.