How to maximize benefits from your treasury management system

One mistake companies make with cash management is getting too comfortable banking the same old way and not exploring new and improved processes available, says Suzy Frazier, Senior Vice President and Manager of Treasury Management Sales at ViewPoint Bank.

“You may not be getting the services you need or you could be paying for services you don’t need. A thorough review of bank services after the first 90 days, followed by annual relationship reviews, will ensure the needs of the company are being met,” Frazier says.

Smart Business spoke with Frazier about how to select a bank for your cash management needs.

What does treasury management entail?

Whether it’s called treasury or cash management, it’s the basic services that help businesses run more efficiently. It’s managing the cash going in and out of the business and streamlining the process through automation.
Treasury management services include:

  • Access to account information through Internet banking.
  • ACH (Automated Clearing House) and wire transfer processing.
  • Remote deposit processing.
  • Lockbox processing with remittance detail reporting.
  • Fraud management and account reconciliation services.
  • Automated sweep solutions for investment and loan transactions.
  • Corporate and purchasing card services.

What mistakes do companies make when setting up treasury management systems?

One mistake is staying with the status quo and not taking advantage of the newer technologies. People have a tendency to just do things the way they’ve always been done.

Another mistake is expecting all services to be free. There is a cost for technology, automation, and all the bells and whistles. Do the legwork, investigate the offering, make sure it meets your needs and understand the price.

Finally, communicate regularly with your bank partner, the good and the bad. They cannot improve products and processes if they are unaware of the problems.

How can you compare bank service?

It’s still a people business and often you need to speak with someone to resolve issues. It’s important to know whom to call — don’t waste time rummaging through business cards or automated phone systems. When you have a need, you want it handled quickly and correctly. Being able to reach someone knowledgeable who can make a decision is critical to moving on to the next task.

Today, the Internet and mobile apps provide the flexibility to handle day-to-day business from anywhere you can connect. But technology has its challenges, and banks with good backup solutions keep your business moving.

Challenge your bank partner to be your advocate and consultant when it comes to your business. They can help you build your business and your customer base through their connections and other bank clients. It can be a win-win for everyone.

What fraud prevention is available?

Banks are constantly trying to stay one step ahead of fraudsters. It’s important to discuss the products available to prevent fraud with your banker.

Traditional positive pay has been around for more than 15 years, but the ability to provide payee information and clear exceptions quickly are just two of the newer enhancements.

Another prevention tool is for electronic transactions, known as ACH blocking. With this service, the company has the ability to designate the transactions to clear the account while rejecting all others.

The Internet and various platforms available today are changing the landscape for companies of all sizes — enabling them to conduct business from anywhere and at anytime. Not everything is a rush; there are steps to follow and safeguards that must be in place. Being able to do business remotely is here to stay, and providing access to information to make informed decisions about your business, securely and in a timely manner is the key. Banking should be quick, easy and secure so owners and company personnel can promote their business.

If not, maybe it’s time to make a phone call to your bank.

Insights Banking & Finance is brought to you by ViewPoint Bank