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The corporate treasurer who unlocked £150,000 in NII overnight

TRUE STORY of how the corporate treasurer of one multinational unlocked over £150K in net new interest income overnight

The job of a corporate treasurer isn’t easy.

Presiding over the financial decision-making processes of an entire company’s portfolio of investments and acquisitions is usually as high pressure as it sounds. It’s a role which demands sound business knowledge, a solid appreciation of numbers, ruthless decisiveness, and a good amount of iron-stomached bottle. It’s also a role which, historically, has been more difficult than is necessary.

Treasurers deliver their most profound results based on the opportunity and their ability to analyse data. Unfortunately, technological limitations have meant that, to produce value, they have been forced to rely on end-of-day batched statements and information collated across multiple banking portals.

In other words, though the fruits of their labour are harvested during the analysis of data, they spend the majority of their time simply gathering it.

Not only is this clearly a poor use of time from a productivity point of view, but it also inevitably impacts on the results treasurers can achieve. When the bulk of the working day is spent merely gathering financial information instead of analysing it, funds can only be positioned towards the close of play when liquidity within many markets has dried up, consequently diminishing potential returns.

It’s a reality which has been in equal parts widespread and excruciating.

Determined to remedy this imbalance between the gathering and analysing of data, AccessPay developed a highly innovative and eagerly anticipated cash management analytics tool and dashboard aimed at the beleaguered treasurers of global corporations.

BankSense provides treasurers with a single access point to the company’s complete portfolio of banking relationships. As such, they are bestowed with the ability to deploy cash moves actively and accurately across multiple accounts, thereby optimising the value of company capital.

Crucially, financial information is displayed in real-time and all data is aggregated automatically. This gives the treasurer a single view which can be configured to view balances by currency, bank provider, country, or organisational business unit. BankSense also allows the treasurer to automatically pool funds across providers onto a header or concentration account making it easier to invest in the markets much earlier in the day.

BankSense in practise

Even before the technological revolution began rapping on the office door of corporate treasurers, one would assume that – within a large, cash rich multi-national commercial organisation with a decentralised Treasury function – that each treasury team would ensure balances were kept to a minimum and investment opportunities in their jurisdiction were maximised. Assumptions, though, are dangerous.

Without critical, real-time information readily available, not only are such assumptions dangerous, they are difficult for treasurers to either prove or disprove.

It’s a quandary familiar to most corporate treasurers. No more so than one particular Treasury Operations Manager who approached AccessPay having grown increasingly impatient with only receiving balance updates once a month due to the disjointed approach across the global teams.

The balances themselves were routinely higher than expected – enough for many treasurers to find other things to worry about. But this treasurer was troubled by the fact that she couldn’t prove that this was anything other than normal as she was, perhaps unsurprisingly, being told by the various teams.

She decided on BankSense as it allowed her to consolidate all of her balances across the group into a single, user-friendly, and configurable User Interface. This simple, real-time visibility soon exposed that the group and its subsidiaries were carrying excess cash throughout the month to the tune of around £50m, which was only being reduced over the month-end.

Freshly armed with this new information, she was able to challenge the Treasury teams. Funds were soon being invested on a daily basis which, across the year, would generate income over £150k at current market rates.

The case for automation

Business and commerce have been on a steady evolutionary journey since the first caveman offered to swap a hunk of bison carcass for his friend’s nifty looking, sharpened lump of rock. The technological revolution has added a whole new dimension to this journey, forcing those who resist its offerings off the beaten track. In no role is this more true than that of the corporate treasurer.

Advancements such as BankSense are transforming how these finance professionals are able to perform their duties. Hours of dead time each day, lost to almost mindlessly gathering data, are replaced with hours during which critical decisions can be made and bottom lines fortified.

We’re at a point in time where those treasury departments who have deployed automation functionality are standing out for having made the leap. It won’t be long though, before the ones standing out, are the treasury departments that fail to make a move and opt to continue as they are.

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