Companies operating in today’s diverse global environments face unprecedented challenges in managing capital assets, especially cash accounts that are distributed throughout multiple operating entities in different countries. These challenges are exacerbated within companies that have grown via merger and acquisition (M&A) strategies, which often results in trying to manage cash accounts across a variety of legacy financial systems.
CFOs and treasury departments need to optimize their companies’ cash agility amid volatile foreign-currency exchange (FX) environments while also complying with constantly changing regulatory environments and escalating global competitive pressures.
At the same time, many companies are realizing that leveraging new, treasury-focused technologies and best practices in cash management can provide valuable benefits: improving operating results, maximizing asset utilization, and enhancing their ability to quickly respond to new opportunities.
Instituting strong, enterprise-wide cash management is also saving valuable time and resources, thereby enabling finance staff to better contribute to high-value activities such as analysis, planning, and decision support.
Centralize to gain visibility
Effective global cash management requires an intricate balancing act to stay abreast of cash levels and optimize balances, transfers, and other actions. Finance staff need continuous, real-time visibility into all cash accounts, as well as overall rollup status to identify deficits and surpluses and resolve them immediately.
Among the keys to successful cash management are:
- Centralization – Leveraging technology to unify fragmented cash-account landscapes, such as legacy systems, in order to see the full picture within a single source of truth.
- Optimization – Integrating process automation solutions, such as machine learning, AI, etc., to reduce dependence on manual activities and free up finance personnel for higher-level tasks.
- Agility – Building in the ability to rapidly adapt to changing conditions, to predict what’s going to happen, and to take real-time actions to optimize cash status.
- Visibility – Providing accurate real-time cash status information, along with the deeper analytic tools to help you make the right decisions.
- Insights – Being able to forecast where your business needs to be and to maximize cash assets to help you get there.
Fortunately, achieving these goals doesn’t require a complete overhaul of every existing cash account and process throughout the whole enterprise. Instead, comprehensive cash management solutions can bring all the disparate pieces together into a single, highly manageable picture.
Improve control and streamline processes
Using a single-source-of-truth approach enables finance staff to keep control of multiple bank accounts and track global bank balances, along with streamlined processes for sweeping balances, opening or changing accounts, and directly connecting with financial institutions.
Cash and liquidity management is also improved by empowering treasury professionals with the visibility and tools that enable them to immediately trigger any necessary actions from within the application, regardless of which legacy systems may be involved with handling localized cash accounts.
Companies can also use a centralized application to simplify payment management by connecting with multiple banks using a variety of different payment standards and data formats. This provides a highly integrated solution for streamlining inter-company payments and optimizing working capital.
The bottom line is that cash is still king! However, for most companies, the kingdom of cash has become increasingly complicated by the diverse, dynamic, and often fragmented processes involved with managing legacy cash environments. Fortunately, there is now a better path forward by leveraging new technologies that integrate and unify all of these enterprise-wide cash activities without throwing everything away and starting over from scratch.
For more on this topic, read “Treasury: A Call for Change.”
Bramasol is an SAP gold partner.