Tax, Accounting & Legal
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Standardised Bank Account Management in a Changing Environment

by Stacy E. Cordier CTP, Assistant Treasurer, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific (‘Thermo Fisher’) has developed its market-leading position through a strategy of organic growth enhanced by mergers and acquisitions (M&A) with companies that enrich and expand our service offering to customers. The company itself is the result of a merger four years ago between two conglomerates, which themselves had grown through M&A. During 2010 so far, the company has made seven acquisitions, each of which comes with its own accounts, bank relationships and cash management structures.

The need for stability and visibility

With so much complexity and frequent change, a few years ago we recognised that we needed a better solution than simply spreadsheets to manage the ever-increasing number of bank accounts, together with mandates and authorities on each one. While bank account management was easier in the United States, as we had already started consolidating bank relationships, we were reliant on local finance teams in other regions to advise us of bank account signatories on a large volume of accounts. Inevitably, reporting was sporadic and our processes and bank account inventory were not easy to audit. Furthermore, with 15 treasury personnel across four locations, it was difficult to maintain a single point of access to information. We do not use a treasury management system at present, although we use Chesapeake’s treasury workstation for US cash positioning and an in-house system for bank balance reporting globally. Our in-house system is not integrated with our electronic banking systems.

Identification and implementation

We had an existing relationship with the Weiland Financial Group (‘Weiland’), as we used their Bank Relationship Manager tool, BRMEdge™, for account fee management. We were aware that the company also provided bank account management tools (BRMWeb) and services. We therefore made the decision to extend our relationship based on our confidence in Weiland as a trusted business partner.