Electronic Funds Transfer
The University of Toronto is currently implementing a project to update the payment method to transition vendors from paper cheques to Electronic Funds Transfer. This initiative will help to increase efficiency and transparency as well as provide a convenient, cost-effective way to distribute recurring payments to established Canadian vendors. To achieve this goal, the Financial Services Department, Procurement Services and Enterprise Applications & Solutions Integration have implemented CIBC Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) payment to allow U of T to pay vendor invoices directly to vendors’ bank accounts.
In August 2022, the first phase of the pilot project launched and vetted 33 Canadian currency vendors to transition from payments by paper cheque to direct deposit, offering increased payment speed while reducing processing costs for U of T and vendors. Vendors were selected for the EFT pilot due to their transaction volume and spend and were onboarded through the Enterprise Service Centre.
After a successful pilot, the second phase of the project will focus on increasing automation and reducing manual workflows.
Phase 2 will include:
- Scaling automation to onboard larger number of existing U of T vendors. This includes vendors selected by U of T as well as additional vendors proposed by the U of T community (beginning February 2023).
- Enabling the convenient display of EFT suppliers in SAP (beginning February 2023).
- Onboarding new to U of T vendors to EFT (beginning Summer 2023).
Why Transform the Vendor Payment Process?
U of T currently prepares physical cheques for vendor payments, which are then mailed to vendors. This process can be slow, labor intensive and subject to the availability and speed of Canada Post. U of T has limited control over when cheques arrive, which makes it challenging to meet tight payment terms and there is no tracking or tracing ability. Given these challenges, U of T has implemented this project to improve efficiencies and transparency for vendors and staff.
Interested in learning about changes for users? Visit Financial Services’ webpage for details about:
- An overview of the project
- Highlights for financial administrators
- Documentation and simulations related to the EFT Initiative and FIS reporting and processing
U of T
- Reduces manual effort and provides a convenient, cost-effective way to distribute recurring payments by an electronic payment file rather than issuing a cheque.
- Allows U of T to deliver remittance information along with payment electronically.
- Reduces the uncertainties associated with the timing of cheques, reduces lost or misdirected cheques, and facilitates meeting tight payment terms.
- Provides a secure file-transfer system to move files to and from CIBC in an automated manner.
- Provides reassurance that security protocols will be implemented.
- Allows for improved tracking capabilities.
- Provides reassurance that payments will be processed properly by CIBC, a trusted U of T partner.
- Increases payment transparency and reduces the uncertainties associated with the timing of payments and avoids lost or misdirected cheques.
- Eliminates the inconvenience of suppliers having to prepare and process deposits – reduces manual workflows.
- Increases speed of payment.
Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Finance Division
- Trevor Rodgers, Chief Financial Officer
Project Leadership Group
- Cathy Eberts, Director, Enterprise Applications and Deputy CIO
- Renata Faverin, Director, Procurement Services
- Sanish Samuel, Controller and Director of Financial Services
- John Ogg, Senior Manager, Financial & Student Account Information Systems