For corporate treasurers, achieving global cash visibility is the first step towards being able to see, control, and optimise your cash.
Having an accurate global cash position is fundamental to running efficient banking operations, allowing you to properly strategise and invest, conduct cash flow forecasts, and even uncover hidden cash stored away in various subsidiaries.
To shine a bit more light on this topic, we spoke to Product Manager for AccessPay’s Cash Management solution, Winston Pearson.
A Treasury Expert Explains All
You wouldn’t use a sledgehammer to hang a picture on the wall, so why would you use a TMS if you’re trying to achieve cash visibility?
Okay – perhaps a little extreme. Ultimately, though, I’ve spoken to hundreds of treasury and finance professionals pre-Covid-19 and I was frequently told the same thing:
“My operation isn’t big/complex enough to require a TMS”
For organisations with teams of one or two people – or especially those who run global banking operations without a dedicated treasury function – the manual task of logging into online banking portals can be time-consuming and mundane.
So, why are many organisations now turning to the TMS as their first venture in to treasury technology?
The reality is that the current climate has put cash visibility at the top of the agenda for finance, treasury, and senior leadership teams everywhere.
I’ve seen a lot of TMS providers promoting so-called cash visibility functionality as a free add-on or at discounted rates. While offers like these may seem like a steal, I can’t help but wonder if adopting a TMS for the sole point of achieving cash visibility is a little excessive – even counterproductive.
My Experience With Cash Visibility and Treasury Management Systems
To give you some context, I come from a treasury operations background. Before I joined the Product team here at AccessPay, I worked for a Tier 1 bank where the technology of choice was always Excel and online banking.
The Group Treasurer and traders did actively use a TMS – but I didn’t once login to the system to complete my daily activities, nor did I want to.
My role was all about being as accurate and efficient as possible in positioning our cash, and I didn’t need a TMS to help me achieve either of those things.
While my method of cash management wasn’t necessarily perfect, it provided key stakeholders with a high degree of visibility, while remaining a people intensive task due to the scale of our operations.
Cash visibility to me was knowing exactly how much cash we had – not only first thing in the morning, but at the end of the day (prior to the currency deadlines). With the added visibility, I could see my working capital, which would then allow others in the team to control and optimise it.
It wasn’t my role to reconcile payments or worry about hedging of currencies, or any bank exposure we may have; my role was to know how much cash we had, and how much could be invested/borrowed when required. That was all the visibility I needed.
In a small finance team, logging into a single banking portal is more-than-manageable if you’re only looking for a balance update a couple of times a day.
However, issues start to arise as soon as you have multiple banking relationships, and the figure you’re looking for is an aggregation of all of your balances. When a manual process such as this doesn’t scale well, you’re right to look to automate it.
Automation is your friend, but there’s no point swapping out one or more systems if the user still experiences the same pains as before.
Improved efficiency comes with teams being alerted to specific activities as they happen, where data is presented in the best way to prompt the user to take action. If this can be achieved without the need to login to one or more systems, even better.
When calculating daily positions, there are often adjustments to be made to the raw balance information itself, be they for payments expected or other anticipations. This is the case whether you have one banking partner or many – and so having a system to record these adjustments and calculations can be of value across the spectrum.
Don’t fall into the trap, though, of buying the ‘best known’ technology in treasury or finance.
Adopt the best technology that works for you.
Operational cash management, and ultimately your wider cash visibility, should be an efficient and minor task in your workflow.
Achieving Cash Visibility With a Cash Management Solution
Cash visibility shouldn’t cost you significant amounts of money, nor take up precious resources to setup.
There’s a notable dearth of services that specialise in this niche, but AccessPay’s Cash Management solution provides the perfect answer.
Built for the purpose of retrieving bank statement data – both end of day and intraday – it has a simple and easy to use interface that provides complete control to the end user.
Designed with a user first approach, Cash Management is fully customisable to allow each organisation, as well as each user, to be able to create an experience that is unique to themselves.
Understanding that it’s outcomes that matter to you the most, we’ve included a nifty reporting feature that can deliver the information to key stakeholders, directly to their inbox on a scheduled basis. This means that for some users, access to the system isn’t required – yet they reap the benefits that they’re interested in.
So, if Excel and online banking just isn’t cutting it for you anymore and you need a smarter way of achieving global cash visibility, think twice before embarking on a project to implement a TMS.
If your goal is simply better cash visibility and operational efficiency, look no further than AccessPay’s Cash Management Solution.
Product Manager (Cash Management)