Work with your bank to understand the benefits of treasury management

Treasury management services provide a multitude of ways for companies to operate more effectively, says Jennifer Bidlingmyer, Vice President and Division Manager at Home Savings Bank.

The first step to realizing the benefits of these tools is to initiate a conversation with your bank.

“Your banker should be a consultative partner for your business,” Bidlingmyer says. “When you keep your bank informed about what’s happening in your company and about any problems that you may be encountering, it allows them to identify treasury management services that alleviate those problems and also creates a robust working relationship.

“The combination of your knowledge of your business and your bank’s expertise in identifying products and services that are available to address your needs is powerful and puts you in a stronger position moving forward,” she says.

Smart Business spoke with Bidlingmyer about how to identify and better understand the right treasury management services for your business.

What are the most important ways in which treasury management services can benefit a business?
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any successful business. It seems simple enough to know your company’s account balances at any given time, but the operation of a business with a large number of customers, suppliers and vendors can make this a more complicated process.

Treasury management services, such as Automated Clearing House (ACH), provide tools to electronically schedule when funds are to be moved and then track those transactions. Reports can be generated at any time to keep decision makers updated in real time.

These tools also include controls that allow a company to manage who has access to its accounts. When these responsibilities are closely managed, it reduces the risk of fraud or inadvertent mistakes made by people who don’t typically manage the accounts. These controls provide the stakeholders of the business with confidence that your financial systems are in good working order.

Another helpful tool that companies utilize to better manage their funds is remote deposit capture, which acts like a bank in a box within a business. Users can make deposits electronically using bank-provided desktop scanners to upload deposits to a secure web portal, eliminating the need to drive to the local bank branch office to physically make the deposit.

Even if it’s a short drive to the bank, if the trip is made every day, the time spent on the road can quickly add up. This takes personnel away from other important matters that could otherwise be addressed during that lost time.

What about companies whose management is still skeptical about using technology in their banking?
As with many aspects of life and business, change is not always easy. Some companies hesitate to change processes even if it would make their company more efficient. Other business owners may be reluctant to use technology in their banking due to fraud or security concerns.

Treasury management users receive ongoing training and education to help prevent any internal or external fraud. Treasury management also allows companies to monitor their accounts in real time, which can be helpful in tracking any fraudulent transactions that may arise.

Dual controls are in place on all accounts to add an extra layer of security to help ensure that businesses are protected from being compromised. These dual controls require more than one user to initiate any online transactions and to fulfill online payments.

Working together with your banker to identify the best services for your business’ needs can help you develop a plan to function in a way that enables your company to reach its full potential.

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