Corporate finance and treasury teams have historically been under-served by technological advancements. It was the advent of the computer that was the real, game-changing development and though the machines evolved to become faster, more agile, and more feature-rich, core treasury challenges remained largely unaddressed. Until now.
Currently, technology-resistant finance and treasury teams manage capital across various systems. Which means they:
- Are over-reliant on spreadsheets
- Must handle an array of pass codes,
- Are only able to acquire comprehensive cash visibility at certain times of the day (if at all)
- Use a fragmented payments infrastructure, and waste hours each week on repetitive, low-value tasks.
In this piece, we’re going to look at some of the essential tools treasury and finance departments rely on, and how technological innovation is allowing these tools to connect not just to each other, but to the banks as well. How long-standing gaps are being filled and, ultimately, how the true potential of the treasury function, is being unlocked.
Forward-thinking Finance and Treasury teams use a number of systems to simplify and quicken certain processes. Obvious examples include Treasury Managements Systems (TMS) and Enterprise Resource Planning solutions (i.e. Oracle, SAP) – both of which perform crucial financial tasks that would otherwise be too time-consuming, or not manually viable.
Though these types of systems share features which enhance the treasurer’s capability, they also share a common problem; both stand isolated from the rest of the organisation’s financial infrastructure and neither assimilate with the platforms used by the banks.
Enter the integrator
Though different solutions, TMS and ERP are often confused. Both perform similar roles, but where ERP is generic tool used by different types of professionals, a TMS is specific to the Treasurer. With TMS providing such features as fast and comprehensive data collation, high-level risk management analytics, and detailed product coverage with treasury function solely in mind, it is the preferred option for many.
Whichever tool a Treasurer might use (and some use both), the chances are that considerable investment has gone into implementing it within the overall technology stack. Such investment demands that the technology delivers to its full potential, and for that to happen, it must become fully integrated within the overall financial infrastructure.
Step in the Financial Integration Platform.
The most immediate benefit of a Financial Integration Platform for Treasurers is streamlining of processes.
Teams that take advantage of a financial integration platform are able to connect ERP / TMS tools to the banks to reduce payment processing times, automate statement retrievals and build financial workflows to regain control over their organisation’s financial data.
Connecting different back-office systems in this way allows teams to: a) communicate with data more effectively and b) follow consistent processes across different systems.
Meanwhile, those using TMS can transform statement messages from their banks into TMS ready files before piping them back towards the TMS and other back-office systems for reconciliation. As well as providing operational improvements to TMS and ERP, Integration Platforms also ramp up security by removing the risks of fraud and error associated with manual extraction of files.
So, whether your goal is to tighten up payments security, reduce processing times and fraud risk, improve financial reporting and liquidity access, or centralise operations, an Integration Platform which connects your TMS or ERP to your banks is the gateway to achieving that goal.
Other back office systems
Aside from ERP and TMS, payroll and CRM systems also perform vital tasks within the contemporary Treasurer’s inventory.
Leading payroll Integration Platforms connect businesses to any payment scheme or bank worldwide, allowing flexibility when it comes to payroll processing and ensures the workforce are paid correctly and on time, wherever they are in the world or whoever they bank with.
Payroll Integration Platforms also protect staff by allowing users the ability to automate payments through multiple payment schemes and banks whilst restricting access to sensitive payroll data and masking beneficiary details. By integrating a payroll system with an Integration Platform, the risk of file tampering and potential fraud is removed as the need for manual input of payroll data into a banking portal or payments application is eliminated.
Businesses can also manage workflow and approvals centrally by setting up feeds from connected payroll systems and providers.
Likewise, CRM Integration Platforms offer an array of features which enhance the tool’s potential. Users can centralise payment and collection processing, cash visibility, analytics and reporting into one platform. Payment and reconciliation processing times are reduced, workflows and alerts can be used to control access and user actions, and the risks associated with manually extracting and processing payments and collection files are eradicated.
A secure, scalable finance & treasury operation starts with bank connectivity
Banking is notoriously complex. Forecasting, payment execution, cash and liquidity management and regulatory reporting all require the use of multiple banks, separate teams, fragmented processes and different systems. Organisations that have made significant investment into ERP, TMS, CRM and Payroll systems often find that the data and processes they require to operate effectively are not accessible because the systems do not connect directly to banks. Integration Platforms facilitate the integration of back-office systems with banking networks and deliver a truly secure, scalable finance operating model.
This article was about: automation