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April72014

Beyond Traditional Treasury Management: Making Treasury Your Strategic Advisor

treasury management

When asked to name their primary business advisors, most executives will mention their attorney, CPA, key vendors and possibly even their banker. But they usually won't mention their treasury management officer.

This is because, too often, businesses view their treasury manager through the "transaction" lens. But today's bank treasury management specialists are equipped to provide much more than just transaction processing. Savvy finance and treasury executives are proactively working to go beyond traditional treasury by making the bank treasury team a key strategic advisor.

A True Advisor

"Many businesses today want to work with a bank treasury manager who can be a tactical thinker and advisor, not just a transaction processor," says Katrina King, Executive Vice President and Treasury Management National Sales Manager for Cadence Bank. "They are challenging us to step up to the plate and provide a higher level of strategic input and insight."

According to King, bank treasury management specialists can add tremendous value to organizations that are proactive in building a strong relationship with them. Here are a few examples she notes:

• Integration of bank data — Data that resides in the bank's internal systems needs to be integrated into client-specific accounting systems to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness. This data (including receivables, disbursement and balance data/images) can help corporate treasury managers accomplish a wide variety of cash forecasting tasks.

• Automated accounts receivable functions — Deposits need to be posted and processed in a timely and effective manner, with customized data brought into the client's system automatically instead of having to be manually entered. And check images should be archived in a web-based environment for a minimum of seven years for easy access and environmental friendliness.

• Centralized and automated accounts payable functions — Handling payables manually involves managing lots of paper, which makes it hard for companies to take advantage of payment incentive terms. Having invoices automatically entered into a central lockbox increases efficiency, reduces processing delays, minimizes vendor disruptions and improves cash forecasting while creating an image archive of all detail.

• Account consolidation — Your bank's treasury team should be able to help you consolidate multiple and overlapping accounts to maximize efficiency and minimize service fees.

• Creating contingency and disaster recovery plans — Often, companies haven't thought through all of the potential implications of various disaster scenarios, ranging from catastrophic storms to IT meltdowns, on their treasury management function. Your bank treasury specialist can help you plan for these and other kinds of disruptive events.

• Guarding against fraud — Your bank's treasury management department offers a number of different fraud-prevention products and services, including Positive Pay, ACH Block, Receivables and Payables Lockbox, and Account Reconciliation. They can advise on the best solutions to help protect your business from various types of fraud such as check fraud, ACH fraud and cyber fraud.

Next-Generation Technology

King stresses that today's bank treasury management specialist should be able to offer true next-generation technology while keeping the client's specific needs in mind. "If your banking advisor really understands the intricacies of your business, then they should be making recommendations and bringing creative ideas to the table to help you expand your company while growing revenue."

Bank treasury management specialists also need to be flexible in order to adapt to their clients' ever-changing needs, and they need adequate in-house IT resources (including custom programmers) to be able to develop customized client solutions. "At most companies, the internal IT resources already have conflicting priorities and projects," King adds. "Any time the banking advisor can bring programming resources to the table, this opens the door for the corporate and bank treasury management relationship to grow exponentially."

 

If you have more questions about how you can make your bank treasury management specialist your strategic advisor, please contact your Cadence Bank Treasury Management representative.