How Treasury Management Products And Services Can Help Your Disaster Planning Efforts
Learn how bank’s treasury management services can help in your disaster recovery efforts. Review treasury management services options.
In a recent article, we discussed the importance of business continuity and resiliency planning. Such planning is essential in order to protect your business from the potentially devastating effects of a natural or man-made disaster.
One of the first steps you should take as part of your business continuity and resiliency planning is to identify your most essential business functions that must be back up and running as quickly as possible after a disaster. For most businesses, these functions include payroll, accounts receivable and accounts payable.
Next, talk to your banker about treasury management products and services that can help you restore these functions as quickly as possible. Outsourced disbursement of payables is a good example, notes Cadence Bank Executive Vice President Kacy Owsley. “Should you and your employees be unable to go into your company’s physical location, your bank will make sure that your payables are still disbursed on time,” says Owsley. “This includes both check and electronic payments for payroll and vendor payments. All you have to do is provide us with your print or ACH file.”
With invoice-to-pay, electronic invoices are automatically sent to the system, and then captured, approved, authorized and paid electronically. “This can be done using mobile devices if electricity is down and Internet access is not available,” Owsley explains.
Receivables lockbox is another example. With receivables lockbox, your customers send their payments to a special post office box monitored by the bank, instead of to your physical location. The bank deposits checks the same day they arrive, thus keeping your cash flowing even after a disaster strikes. “Without a lockbox, it’s difficult to predict when checks might get deposited to your bank account following a disaster,” says Owsley.
She adds that banks have their own disaster contingency plans for collecting and depositing checks following a disaster. “For example, we can have mail diverted to an offsite facility, or the post office may have mail delivered to an alternate location. Both banks and post offices have contingency plans to make sure that mail is processed in a timely manner.”
“Companies that don’t use these treasury management services on a day-to-day basis should consider setting them up now so they can be utilized in the event of a disaster or serious business interruption,” she adds.
Secure Important Contact Information
Owsley says it’s also a good idea to make sure you have your banker’s cell phone number and email address in a secure location away from your physical office so you can easily contact him or her after a disaster strikes. In addition, designated treasury employees should have laptops that are configured to allow them to securely access the bank’s network remotely from outside the office. “It’s important for these employees to understand and implement the bank’s PIN safeguards following a disaster,” says Owsley.
“Here at Cadence Bank, we provide our treasury management clients with the phone numbers, tokens and PINs they will need in order to initiate and approve outgoing wire transfers from locations other than their physical office or building,” she says. “So be sure you can access this information post-disaster.”
Plan Ahead for Cash Access
One thing businesses often don’t think about when planning for a disaster or interruption is how they will access cash immediately following a disaster. Bank branches may be closed and ATMs won’t work if power is out for an extended period of time. “Therefore, it’s a good idea to withdraw an emergency cash stash as a storm approaches so that you have some cash on hand if you need it after the storm or disaster hits.”
First Things First
Of course, in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, your first priority should be to check on the safety and whereabouts of your employees, and provide any necessary support that is needed.
Finally, you should perform a dry run test of your business continuity and resiliency plan before an actual disaster strikes. This will help you identify if there are any weak spots in the plan or details you’ve overlooked, and make essential adjustments in advance.
While it’s impossible to anticipate every possible scenario that could occur in a disaster, thorough planning and testing will help you be as prepared as you possibly can to weather the storm. So take the time now to plan for business continuity and resiliency in the aftermath of a disaster or major interruption.
Learn more about how Cadence Bank's Treasury Management can support your business continuity efforts.
This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.