SDN Analysis

If you aren’t already using ASPIRE’s SDN (Specifically Designated Nationals) Checker module, then look no further. The SDN checking process compares customers, guarantors, officers (all contacts in ASPIRE) and vendors against OFAC’s (Office of Foreign Assets Control) SDN list so you don’t have to. Any possible matches are automatically emailed to designated users alerting them of required follow-up actions. The user then has the option to override the “hit” and declare that the customer is not the same person or company that’s on the SDN list.

To learn more about ASPIRE’s SDN Checker module, check out our website at www.leaseteam.com or send an email to info@leaseteam.com

Month End Processing Overview

Let’s talk about month end processing in ASPIRE? Month-end processing calculates contract earnings, expenses on debt, and tax and book depreciation. Daily earnings calculates only contract earnings and expenses on debt. A permanent warning indicates the ASPIRE database should be backed-up and all users should be off the system before running the month-end processing. Both month-end and daily earnings can be scheduled to run automatically through JobStream. Want to learn more? Click the link and login with your password. Once you have logged in, click Knowledgebase. Then you will click the ASPIRE v5 Help link. From there, click on the area for Tasks. Look under the Accounting area and click Month-End Processing. http://ow.ly/Ug18w 

Want to learn more about what ASPIRE has to offer? Visit our website at www.leaseteam.com

An Equal Interest for Change and Growth: A look at leasing medical equipment in developing countries

People are now living longer than ever before, but with this extended lease on life comes greater challenges. In most countries, the average life expectancy is now double what it was before the 19th century (Roser, 2011). The increased life expectancy across the globe shows the technological advancements we have made, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality of people’s lives has grown as well. As a person's age increases so does their need to access medical care, and this is true for developing countries as well.

Medical providers are faced with the daunting task of providing their patients with adequate medical care due to limited resources. Among these resources is medical equipment, which is a common way for organizations to provide aid to these hospitals. However, the equipment while extremely important and highly needed does come with an enormous amount of responsibility.

It is estimated that 40% of the donated medical equipment is broken due to an inability to service the equipment, improper training to use equipment, or inadequate power supplies. The equipment is often given to developing countries with good intention, but the broken equipment is causing problems. There is a significant lack of trained medical technicians to service these hospitals, so much that broken equipment often goes unreported.

Despite these alarming statistics, there is a space within the Medical Equipment Leasing Industry that creates an opportunity for members to combine their expertise, with technology and philanthropy to provide medical care to all humans. Furthermore, these change agents can accomplish these in a way that is scalable, leading to independence within these nations and increased infrastructure for economic growth.

A group of students in a graduate course from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has created a for profit company to help alleviate the heavy burden of purchasing equipment or more often than not, going with no equipment at all. Founder Opeymi Olgun launched MDaaS (Medical Devices as a Service) in 2015. The company is working toward creating affordable access to high-quality medical equipment in Nigeria. They go beyond primary leasing and financing and provide services that focus on combatting the issues surrounding broken medical equipment. MDaaS provides structure for hospitals for obtaining, finance, and support the medical equipment. Furthermore, each device includes one year of service support, with the option to purchase service contracts after the first year and service operating manuals (MDaaS, 2017).

What companies like MDaaS recognize is that there is greater power in going into partnerships when both parties stand to benefit. Having an equal interest in the success of the hospital will result in great success and lead to further investments in the future. While investing in other types of business within developing countries can contribute to the economic growth and decrease the poverty gap, it’s important to understand healthy and financially independent people are the ones that create and build striving businesses. This combination of philanthropy and technology can have a direct effect on economic stimulation and ultimately increase infrastructure within these developing countries – a scalable solution where everyone can benefit. 

Max Roser (2017) – ‘Life Expectancy.' Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: https://ourworldindata.org/life-expectancy/ [Online Resource]

Medical Devices as a Service. (n.d.). Retrieved June 15, 2017, from http://www.mdaasnigeria.com/

Lockbox Module

Wanting a more efficient way to handle your cash transactions?

ASPIRE’s Lockbox module enters cash transactions through lockbox integration. Lockbox files automatically match payments to open invoices based upon the customer number, contract number and/or invoice number. Once payments are matched, an open cash posting batch is created for review and editing.  Furthermore, the Lockbox file is Excel based and can support any payment type you need to pass into ASPIRE, beyond just check payments!

When payments can’t be matched to open invoices or do not exactly match the open payment amount, ASPIRE will apply what can be applied and provides the tools to allow you to efficiently research and apply any unapplied payments. 

To learn more about ASPIRE’s Lockbox module, check out our website at www.leaseteam.com or send an email to info@leaseteam.com

Liens Overview

Can’t figure out liens in ASPIRE? Filing of UCCs applies to transactions where assets are held as collateral to secure the deal. A lien is attached to the collateral assets through a security agreement that outlines the obligations of each party involved and is perfected by filing a UCC1 Financing Statement Want to learn more? Click the link and login with your password. Once you have logged in, click Knowledgebase. Then you will click the ASPIRE v5 Help link. From there, click on the area for Contract Explorer. Look under the Tasks area and click Liens. http://ow.ly/Ug18w 

Want to learn more about what ASPIRE has to offer? Visit our website at www.leaseteam.com

The Evolution of Electronic Signatures

Throughout history, acts of forgery have been committed for as long as the alphabet has been around. Laws to discourage these crimes are traceable all the way back to 80 B.C. when the Romans prohibited the falsification of documents that transferred land to heirs (Thomas, 1980). Forgery comes in various forms as a way to deceive another party for personal gain. In the particular case of signatures, it has long been the only way to authenticate a person’s identity. A simple signature has become so symbolic that it has become a sworn declaration of someone’s intention. Signatures have not always been hand written because literacy has not always been as prevalent as it is today. Historically, people have used everything from a simple cross to a seal created with a wax seal (Weeks, 2015).

Today, transactions and the exchange of contracts are often electronic, and for many, it is still a very new and scary concept. After all, it does not seem like very long ago that we were still using dial up to connect to the internet. Many might think of the seemingly new concept of the electronic signatures as the unknown territory of the wild web. Well, it is not a new concept at all and in fact, it started in the Wild West.

Long before the use of computers and captcha signatures, businesses were using the dotted communications of Morse code and the telegram to sign contracts; furthermore, courts were implementing laws to protect these documents. In 1869, the New Hampshire Supreme Court declared in the Howley v. Whipple case that “It makes no difference whether [the telegraph] operator writes with a steel pen an inch long attached to an ordinary penholder, or whether his pen be a copper wire a thousand miles long. Nor does it make any difference that in one case common record ink is used, while in another case a more subtle fluid, known as electricity, performs the same office.” (48 N.H. 487 (1869)).

Just as we have had to accommodate business practices long ago for western expansion, we have also had to accommodate modern business practices by way of electronic signatures. It was not long after the explosion of the internet that laws were needed as the demand for efficiency increased from businesses all over the world. By June 2000, the U.S. had created two acts, which were signed into law to protect and meet the needs of the changing business landscape. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act) and The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), both of these laws satisfy a signature requirement when the parties involved in a transaction have agreed to proceed electronically. An electronic signature is defined as electronic proof of a person's identity involving the use of encryption; used to authenticate documents. (Dictionary.com, 2017).

While many might think of electronic signatures as just another way, financial institutions are accommodating the millennial generation; it goes beyond mere convenience but has the potential to increase connections and open up financial avenues that may not have been attainable otherwise. Each new advancement will be met with challenges, but the necessary adaptations will be made in the process. As Steve Jobs once said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will happen in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”

 

Cryptography. (n.d.). Retrieved June 16, 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cryptography

e-signature. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved June 29, 2017, from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/e-signature

O’Hara C. Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation, 5th Ed. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL, 1980, p. 474

Temple, J. (2016, October 10). Using Electronic Signatures. Retrieved June 25, 2017, from http://pcgc.parkerpoe.com/using-electronic-signatures/

Weeks, L. (2015, January 14). The Great American Signature Fades Away. Retrieved June 20, 2017, from http://www.npr.org/2013/01/14/169233647/the-great-american-signature-fades-away

Drive By User

Looking for a new way to generate business? 

ASPIRE’s Drive By User module places a configurable form on a website that’s accessible to external users without the need to login. The form captures new business without showing any ASPIRE menus, and includes the ability to upload any necessary attachments. Plus, all information is communicated and saved within ASPIRE upon completion, so you don’t have to worry about rekeying any information. 

Once the online form has been submitted, it can be set up to trigger an automated workflow and become assigned to an internal resource (through a status change), and activate an automated email to go out to the submitter.

To learn more about ASPIRE’s Drive By User module, check out our website at www.leaseteam.com or send an email to info@leaseteam.com.  

Credit Adjudication Overview

Are you confused about credit adjudication in ASPIRE? Contract credit is used during the credit analysis process. Within the tabs of this option, credit reports and scorecards are pulled and viewed, exposure on the customer is displayed, credit references can be recorded, credit documents can be stored in the repository, and the credit decision and contract status is entered. Want to learn more? Click the link and login with your password. Once you have logged in, click Knowledgebase. Then you will click the ASPIRE v5 Help link. From there, click on the area for Contract Explorer. Look under the Tasks area and click Credit Adjudication. http://ow.ly/Ug18w 

Want to learn more about what ASPIRE has to offer? Visit our website at www.leaseteam.com

Effectively Using Social Media for Your Business Part 2

In our last blog, we talked about the value of social media as a customer retention tool. This edition we are going to focus on the value of social media as a sales tool. 

Social media is an excellent venue to promote your products and services, and one of the biggest benefits is the chance to stand out in an increasingly noisy world. This exposure leads to brand awareness, increased web traffic, improved search engine optimization and new leads.

The Top Benefits of Social Media:

The cost to participate in social media is minimal. Compared to other forms of marketing, such as print, broadcast and online advertising, the actual expense to market your business with social media is relatively low. The greatest cost will be time and resources.

Gain credibility and authenticate your brand. When you focus on sharing industry expertise, insight and knowledge people will view your company as a resource. This develops a company’s credibility and builds trust. Blog about your business and share tips/advice. If your followers trust you, they’ll tell others. Social media also personalizes your businesses. The best way to build a relationship with your audience is to share your personality with them.

Opportunities for providing customer service and feedback. Maintaining and improving client relations, and conversing with prospects via social media create opportunities to improve your company’s reputation, and allows for increased engagement with your stakeholders.

Increase traffic to your company website. Once you develop a sizable audience and begin posting links to products, pages, blog posts, etc. you will see an increase of traffic to your website. 

Search engine optimization. Search engines index content on social media sites which will create links back to your website and improve your search engine rankings. As search engine rankings improve, so will business exposure and lead generation efforts, and overall marketing expenses will decrease.

Brand awareness. Social media gives everyone a voice.  Whether you choose to listen to the comments about your company is up to you, but you need to realize that this is an opportunity. Positive comments should always be rewarded with gratitude. Negative comments should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. It may surprise you to find out how many negative comments result from a simple misunderstanding. You will also be surprised by how enthusiastic people, in the social space, become when they learn that companies are listening to them and are eager to rectify adverse situations. This is an excellent chance to turn a negative into a positive. Conversely, if you don’t monitor what is being said about your brand, you will miss these opportunities, and as a result, you could suffer damage to your brand.

You can generate leads and better develop your business. If your current and potential customers are online, you need to be there, too. Social Media allows you to reach people who might not otherwise know about your products and services. To generate leads through social media, it requires equal investments of time, strategy, and patience. You also need to be consistent with these things; if you do not plan on being consistent, don't do it at all.  

Some basic steps to get you started:

  1. Add social bookmark links to web pages, email correspondence and blog posts to improve your exposure and to make it easy to share your information.
  2. Focus on using a conversational approach when building business relationships.
  3. Couple your email newsletter content with additional blog content for improved interactions.
  4. Test an integrated approach to generating leads by incorporating a blog, social networks, and a face-to-face event.
  5. Investigate into whether your product sells better by recommendation or by education. Social media will help with the recommendation side, and videos and podcasts are excellent for providing education.
  6. Track your inbound links, so you know where your traffic is coming from.
  7. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be ready to apologize. Admit when you’ve made a mistake.

The most important thing to remember is to be true to the spirit of social media and act honestly and transparently. Don’t use social networks as one-way marketing and advertising channels. Instead, talk to people and engage them and leads will begin to trickle into your sales funnel. Marketers must understand that social media works very differently from traditional direct marketing channels. There’s no place for aggressive sales pitches and marketers need to be mindful of their tone.

Property Tax Integration

ASPIRE’s Property Tax Management System (PTMS) integration lets users feel like experts in property taxes, without having to actually be experts in property taxes.

Through the integration, users can easily upload assets and locations into ASPIRE and export equipment information to the PTMS Property Tax product, automating the backend invoicing process for the reimbursement of property taxes paid by a lender. You can also automatically create property tax billings (and mail them earlier) in ASPIRE that will be assigned to a payable account upon being opened, allowing for advanced reimbursements from borrows.

As a result of the integration, costs associated with personnel can be substantially reduced, and write-offs for reimbursable property taxes can be reduced or even eliminated.

To learn more about ASPIRE’s PTMS Integration, check out our website at www.leaseteam.com or send an email to info@leaseteam.com.