Ceridian sorts through the bum cheques

One of Canada’s largest payroll management companies has turned to image-based processing technology to get a clearer picture of how many bad cheques it has to send back.

Ceridian Canada Monday said it has installed ImageSoft’s

Titan Enterprise Edition (Titan E2) through Intria Items to run its enterprise archive and speed up the cheque-clearing process. Based in Winnipeg, Ceridian Canada manages payroll and human resources for 40,000 businesses across the country.

Richard White, Ceridian Canada’s manager of trust reconciliations, said the company handles its own cheque-clearing volumes for all the cheques it issues on behalf of its customers. That could involve anywhere between 50,000 and 75,000 cheques a day, White said. Though technology can help match cheques electronically, some cheques are labelled “”exceptions,”” and require a review of payment information.

Even if there were only 400 exceptions in a given day, however, would traditionally send Ceridian all its cheque-clearing data, forcing Ceridian staff to go through thousands of others to find them.

White said Ceridian will now be able to send Intria back a file telling them which cheques need to be returned to the bank to be cancelled or stopped and which ones require more detailed analysis before a decision is made. Intria will create an image of those cheques and deliver them to Ceridian by 8:00 a.m. the day they need to be processed.

“”We used to spend two hours probably just writing up ‘Return to sender,'”” he said.

Intria Items is bringing Titan E2 to Canada in partnership with ImageSoft’s parent company Fiserv, which formed Intria Items as a joint venture with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce seven years ago.

Bob Bouey, Intria Item’s chief operating officer, said the company hopes to market the ImageSoft product to other Canadian enterprises.

“”They have to be issuing large volumes of cheques and be confronted with the issues around fraud that automation would clearly help them,”” he said.

White said changes in Ceridian’s cheque-clearing process were long overdue.

“”It was something we talked about for years and years,”” he said. “”With paper items, the clearing costs for the banks are just getting astronomical.””

Ceridian Canada will have only two or three employees using the system, White said. These were the employees who were once devoted to searching through the cheque files. Ceridian has now assigned them other duties, White added. “”What they used to spend 100 per cent of their time on, they’re now spending 50 per cent,”” he said. “”It’s not as stimulating a job as adding these responsibilities has made it.””

Bill Garnish, project manager at Intria Items, said the learning curve for the ImageSoft product is relatively easy.

“”We were on si

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