A workshop during the Cash Management University organised by BNP Paribas examined how to optimise bank account management. This included two case studies from treasurers whose departments are at different stages of projects designed to bring efficiencies to their bank account management processes.
Getting to grips with bank relationships
The first case study came from Open Travel Service (OTS), an organisation that provides touristic services to travel companies. The company was founded in 1995, but the treasury department was only set up in February 2012. The fledgling department quickly realised that the organisation as a whole worked with 35 banks and held over 300 accounts in 15 countries.
There were number of challenges concerning bank account management that the treasury faced at this stage. The primary issue was that the decentralised way in which the company had been acquiring banking partners and accounts meant that there was no reliable overview covering global bank accounts. Payment processing and the processing of account statements into the ERP system lacked automation. The company was faced with high costs and complexity due to either bank or country specific payment methods and connectivity that had been allowed to develop over time. The different bank accounts were also managed by a wide range of different software solutions and online tools, so the documentation and audit processes could not be managed easily.
Faced with these issues, the OTS treasury outlined a number of targets for its bank account management project. These included: