When it comes to running a business, there's no shortage of complexities that revolve around managing working capital, which is the money used for day-to-day operations. Fortunately, business owners have a multitude of helpful tools at their disposal – chief among them, their bank's treasury management team.
In addition to managing corporate cash resources, a sound treasury management team can help an enterprise reduce administrative burdens, speed collections, manage payments, and facilitate the availability of funds. It can also make corporate capital work harder by offsetting fees and potentially earning interest on sizable balances, and – of particular concern to any business – mitigate fraud.
Fraud is an extremely hot topic, both in business and banking. Reducing exposure to risk is a key treasury management solution that can have a direct effect on a business’s bottom line. Whether paper-based (e.g., check) or electronic, fraudsters are hitting businesses at an unprecedented rate.
Check loss-prevention tools, such as Positive Pay, can reduce a company's risk of check fraud loss by identifying potentially bogus checks before a loss is incurred. The service provides a daily reconcilement of a company’s issued checks against those presented for payment to the bank. Once a check reaches the bank for payment, it is compared against the file of checks issued from the business, and any discrepancies trigger an alert. The business then verifies the details of the checks on the discrepancy report, and decides to either pay or issue a stop/return.
Businesses are always looking for ways to improve their cash, and online banking services can help them optimize their positions. Online account management can provide a detailed transaction history, along with balance summary information, to assist in making decisions about cash daily. A quick glance at on-hand cash can support decisions to advance or pay down a line of credit, or to move funds into an investment account. Additionally, online banking can save time by leveraging the ability to move money between accounts, or by originating external payments, electronically, and it is frequently the first line of defense against fraud.
Remote deposit capture can increase a company’s productivity through streamlined collections and cash flow – and it's as simple as loading multiple checks into a scanner. That scanner then instantly makes deposits electronically. There's no longer a need to spend valuable time and resources driving to a specific branch to make a deposit; making deposits this way can speed the availability of funds by extending deposit cut-off times for same-day ledger credit. Further, image technology provides quality control by reducing the risk of errors, and data can be exported directly to other accounting systems. This helps reduce the processing time of receivables, thereby making funds available more quickly. Some businesses do not warrant a check scanner. For them, mobile deposit services, for just a few checks here and there, is extremely efficient and complimentary to other electronic deposit services.
Technology also allows organizations to make their own payments. Electronic payments, or ACH, can save time and may reduce errors by eliminating manual processing. More and more business-to-business payments are made via ACH, which can also be used for direct deposit of payroll.
Corporate credit cards can help businesses conserve cash, while allowing them to still buy the items necessary to keep them moving forward. They typically carry higher limits, which helps for large purchases, and they often provide rewards or cash back on all purchases made. Not only does purchasing with credit benefit cash flow, it's also a convenient way to keep a company’s expenses in check.
SBCP’s Treasury Management Team – comprising me, Sam Huntington, and Kylie Hagen – can help to assess your needs and allow you to get the most out of your working capital. Please don’t hesitate to touch base with us – we’ll be glad to explore any options that make sense for your business and, ultimately, improve your bottom line.