Approximately 25 percent of mid-sized companies plan to expand how they use treasury management products this year, according to Greenwich Market Pulse. Treasury Management is more important than ever to make sure businesses not only manage risk but effectively oversee their payments and receivables with adequate liquidity.
But, how can you ensure your business is maximizing its liquidity and cash position potential?
“Businesses are increasingly challenged to provide a disciplined, efficient means to effectively manage their capital position and liquidity in response to the rapidly changing economic environment, increased regulation and globalization,” says Korlin Scott, Senior Vice President and Director of Commercial Product Management for FirstMerit Bank.
“As financial systems continue to evolve with more sophisticated functionality to support these market drivers, there are significant, cost-effective opportunities for businesses to leverage Treasury Management services for improved payment settlement, reconcilement and cash positioning.”
Smart Business spoke with Scott about how companies can use Treasury Management to save money and time.
Why is Treasury Management important for businesses?
Improving cash flow can help any business efficiently manage its working capital. When key aspects of the cash flow cycle can be utilized to their fullest extent, companies gain competitive advantages.
Treasury Management services can significantly drive efficiencies in the receivable collection processes and provide enhanced control over payments while delivering a real-time view into company finances. Driving improvements in the cash flow cycle can have a direct impact on a company’s working capital and ability to focus on revenue-generating activities.
What’s the first priority for employers with treasury management?
Taking advantage of a bank’s robust technology allows a business to significantly improve its cash flow cycle without costly investments or additions to staff.
The broad range of payment and collection services available includes automating the routine, daily process of making/receiving payments and centralizing the reconcilement of information for a consolidated view of the business.
Integrating these services — and, perhaps more important, the information — is key to achieving significant reductions in time spent on day-to-day administration and transaction processing.
How can employers more efficiently manage how they receive payments?
There is a tremendous opportunity for businesses to improve order entry through cash conversion, particularly with check payments, by speeding up the payment collection and posting process.
For example, lockbox services effectively automate the collection of larger volumes of payments. Payments are received at a central location and scanned for automated deposit, accelerating the cash application process. The ability to capture and image not only the payments but associated remittance information also improves the reconciliation process, leading to improved availability of funds.
Another service that is equally as effective is Remote Deposit Capture, which can be used instead of or in conjunction with lockbox services. Remote deposit allows your business to deposit checks immediately upon receipt without the need to visit the bank. You also have the flexibility of later deposit times providing faster access to funds without making physical deposits at the bank.
What’s the best way for a business to manage how it pays out cash?
Gaining control over the timing of outgoing payments allows businesses to more accurately forecast cash outflow, as well as maximize use of their available cash.
Automated Clearing House (ACH) services allow businesses to make and collect payments electronically with specific settlement instructions to more efficiently control the timing of the payments. ACH typically costs much less than writing checks and with the ability to initiate payments online, you can significantly reduce payment risk while enhancing your ability to manage recurring payment information.
Wire Transfer is another alternative, providing an easy, secure means to transfer funds worldwide. For urgent payments, wire transfer has a distinct advantage over writing checks and ACH, as it provides immediate funds availability, which is an effective tool to improve the purchase to payment process.
These are just a few of the Treasury Management options that can more efficiently manage your cash flow, whether it’s expediting payment collection or gaining better control over outgoing payments.
Korlin Scott is Senior Vice President and Director of Commercial Product Management at FirstMerit Bank. Reach him at (330) 996-6496 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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