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Steering bank account management: 10 vital queries for corporate treasury

The corporate treasury department plays a pivotal role in a company's financial health, ensuring there's enough cash and working capital to meet the organization’s obligations.

In today's uncertain, complex, polarised, remote working, and digital world, the importance of effective bank account management (BAM) cannot be overstated.

To navigate these complexities in an increasingly unstable world, treasurers must pose critical questions and design a discerning bank account structure to enhance cash visibility, improve operational efficiency, mitigate risks, lower costs, and strengthen their banking relationships.

The provided set of 10 key and pertinent questions offers a comprehensive framework for treasurers to evaluate their BAM practices and will also contribute to making them more effective and efficient.

These questions encompass crucial aspects such as visibility, efficiency, control, flexibility, cross-departmental collaboration, and technological advancements. Let's delve into the 10 pertinent questions to optimise BAM practices:

As a treasury professional:

1. Do you have daily and real-time visibility over all your global bank accounts, fees, and banking relationship information?

2. Are there any obstacles preventing you from having complete visibility of your account balances and transactional activity on a daily basis (intra-day or current)?

3. Have you rationalised your bank account structure to gain full cash visibility and drive operational efficiency?

4. Do you have stringent controls (account level, transactional, and structural controls) in place to ensure proper management of accounts, transactions, and signatories?

5. Are your bank account control mechanisms robust enough to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, including FBAR reporting?

6. Have you automated your banking transactions to achieve straight-through processing (STP)?

7. Have you segregated treasury roles to ensure that front-office and back-office staff responsibilities are clearly delineated to mitigate the risk of non-compliance and unauthorised transactions?

8. Is your bank account structure flexible, nimble, and scalable enough to unlock liquidity quickly and accommodate changes such as higher transaction volumes, corporate mergers, acquisitions, or other strategic growth initiatives?

9. How effectively are you collaborating with other departments in your organization to establish a suitable banking structure, reporting standard, and access to accurate information to generate actionable insights?

10. Have you developed an increased focus on treasury centralisation and made continual improvements in your organization’s treasury technology infrastructure for better cash flow visibility and decision-making?

The questions outlined above will empower corporate treasurers to identify bank fee inaccuracies, improve cash flow management, stay ahead with robust bank connectivity, and negotiate favourable service terms with their banks.

In addition to asking the right BAM questions, you can also benefit from reviewing the leading practices for bank account management here. This will help you effectively oversee, manage, control, and optimise your organization’s bank accounts to achieve operational efficiency and augment financial security and compliance.

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