How treasury management services can help improve cash flow and protect against fraud

Now more than ever before, business owners are focused. They’re focused on production, payables, receivables and, of course, the bottom line.

In the past, a business owner may have passed bookkeeping and banking duties on to a staff member without giving it a second thought. Now, owners are adding oversight of their books and banking to their already long to-do lists.

Many business owners are turning to their banks and utilizing treasury management services — online services that help companies accelerate cash flow, increase visibility and control over payments, reduce or eliminate exception handling, decrease exposure to fraud and lighten staff workloads.

“Treasury management services help a business save time and money, and they offer peace of mind,” says Ed Jurek, a senior business relationship manager for Wells Fargo Bank. “They allow you to do more with less.”

Smart Business spoke with Jurek about treasury management services and how they can help improve cash flow and protect against fraud.

How are treasury management services used to improve cash flow for businesses?

Basically, treasury management services allow a business to receive cash more quickly and provide more control over outgoing payments. The ability to automatically transfer funds between accounts means you’re not waiting around for checks to cash or deposits to clear.

With ACH transfers, for example, you can pay bills just days before they’re due, rather than sending out a check weeks in advance. With a lockbox, you have a P.O. Box address for customers to send payments to, and then the bank picks up the payments and deposits them into your account. Deposits are made daily as checks are received.

Besides improving cash flow, these services save you time, because you don’t have to do all the banking paperwork, spend time at the bank, and travel to and from. Plus, you can conduct banking business at any time; you’re not confined to the normal branch hours.

Why is it important to improve cash flow?

Many business owners that never had cash flow problems in the past have them now, due to the fluctuating economy. And these owners can’t take advantage of cash discounts and/or they can’t buy in bulk. Because of these issues, collections are more important than ever. You can’t afford slow pays or no pays. Without a steady flow of incoming funds, you’re dead in the water.

Again, this is where treasury management services come in. With smooth, automated collection, processing and documentation processes, for example, you’ll be able to receive payments efficiently and effectively, which, in turn, can improve your cash flow.