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BMO Annual Business Survey: 61 per cent of Canadian Businesses Use Online Tools to Better Manage and Save Their Money

- One in three Canadian businesses plan to increase their use of online banking this year

- A typical business can save 50 per cent in costs or almost $1200 a year by using online cash management services

- Five tips to more effectively manage your business' cash flow



TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 27, 2012) - According to the BMO Annual Business Survey, six in ten (61 per cent) Canadian businesses regularly use online tools and resources to manage their cash flow more effectively, and almost one-third (31 per cent) plan to increase the use of these cost-effective tools this year.

"Business owners are increasingly looking for ways to better manage their cash flow, both to help them meet their obligations and give them more time to focus on growing their businesses," said Cathy Pin, Vice President, Commercial Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Online cash flow management solutions provide simple, real-time, cost-effective ways to keep track of cash moving in and out of your business. They give business owners a complete picture of where they stand financially at any given time."

Ms. Pin added that "using an online cash management package like the Smart Pack on BMO's award-winning Online Banking for Business platform, can save a typical small business 50 per cent in costs, or almost $1200 per year."

Earlier this month, BMO Bank of Montreal became the only Canadian bank to win a prestigious Celent 2012 Model Bank Award for its Online Banking for Business platform. In addition, last year BMO launched a mobile banking service that enables businesses to make urgent payments safely and securely over mobile devices - another first for business banking customers in Canada.

BMO Bank of Montreal offers 5 Tips to more effectively manage your business' cash flow

  1. Where possible, send or receive payments electronically. Electronic payments such as Wire Payments and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) are secure, fast and cost effective. You can:
  • View, search and validate payment and collection instructions in advance for more predictable cash flow and easier monitoring;
  • Reduce costs associated with preparing and mailing invoices;
  • Save time by sending payments electronically rather than through regular mail;
  • Speed up the collection of receivables and obtain immediate credit to your account;
  • Improve security by reducing the potential for lost, stolen or forged cheques.
  1. If you use cheques, opt for an electronic reconciliation. By receiving timely, detailed reports on your paid cheques rather than waiting to receive the physical cheque, you are able to make fast, informed business decisions. This will allow you to reconcile your accounts quickly and facilitate cash forecasting. Also, by setting up an electronic reconciliation or cheque validation service, you can reduce the risk of fraud and mitigate related losses to your business.
  1. Understand your bank's cash management online platform and get it to work for you. Take advantage of features and services, such as:
  • performing foreign exchange (FX) transactions;
  • text messages or email alerts that notify you of important transactions;
  • downloading banking reports for better cash forecasting;
  • automating the delivery of files to your company's software to save you time;
  • performing post delivery transactions online to save you money, including cancelling or amending transactions.
  1. Don't let excess funds sit idle. Your business is likely to have cash surpluses from time to time. Don't let cash sit idle when it could be working for you. Be ready to invest cash, even if just for a short period of time. Speak to your business banking specialist about the different investment options available so you can make quick and informed decisions when you are ready to invest.
  1. Be ready for the unexpected. Maintaining access to flexible credit allows you to take advantage of growth opportunities, maintain a good standing with your suppliers, and keep your business secure during temporary downturns. A business banking specialist can help you find a credit facility that meets your specific business needs.

For more information on BMO cash flow management tools and products please visit http://www.bmo.com/home/commercial or contact your BMO Bank of Montreal Representative:

The online survey was conducted by Leger Marketing between March 21, 2012 and April 12, 2012, using a sample of 500 Canadian small business owners. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ±4.38 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $525 billion as at April 30, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

For media inquires please contact:
Paul Cunliffe, Toronto
416-867-3996
paul.cunliffe@bmo.com

Ronald Monet, Montreal
514-877-1873
ronald.monet@bmo.com

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
604-665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com
Internet: www.bmo.com