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Cutting Costs: You Can Slash Bank Fees

Conducting business means collecting from customers, paying vendors and suppliers, and depositing funds. Banks will do all this for you but they charge transaction fees at every step in the process.

Usually, you only hear from your banker when there is a problem with your account -- such as an overdraft or when you've violated the terms of a loan. When did your banker last sit down to discuss how you can better manage your cash? Banks' account analysis statements can be cryptic and service descriptions are often confusing to anyone not familiar with banking terminology, industry jargon and acronyms.

Some business owners wrongly assume banks are too big to pay attention to smaller account-holders who want lower fees. But your banker should be behaving like a true partner and advisor. Ask your banker to review your accounts, and ask the bank to:

• Eliminate services that are redundant, outdated or inefficient.

• Restructure credit terms and accelerate cash flow in a tightened credit market.

• Speed up deposit processing so you can access funds more quickly.

• Determine if your services are the most effective and efficient for your volume and activity levels.

• Apply benchmark pricing data and win pricing concessions on high-volume services.

A local nonprofit reviewed its banking services and found that by changing banks they could save 80 percent on their fees -- now that is minting money.

Deena Kaye is a director in New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island with Expense Reduction Analysts, a worldwide network of consultants specializing in finding extra profits by reducing expenses in non-core categories. She can be reached at 800-656-7270, ext. 136; 203-550-2094 (cell); or .

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