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What are some of the best Treasury Workstation solutions for SMB's?

treasury workstation solutions

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Topic Expert
David OBrien
Title: Treasury Consultant
Company: EE Treasury
(Treasury Consultant, EE Treasury) |

Dear Anonymous:

At issue is Best Practice use of Treasury technology. If I may I will respond to your question indirectly:

1) First determine what it is you wish the Treasury Management System (TMS) to do:
o Unattended polling of bank information reports
o Daily Cash Position
o Investment tracking
o Debt tracking
o Inter-company loan tracking
o Cash Forecasting
o Foreign Exchange exposure and trading tracking
o Mark to Market
o Bank overdraft tracking
o Upload to the general ledger

2) Map the processes to be housed in the TMS, map them as you want them to be not necessarily as they are

3) Determine the user base structure for use of the TMS; i.e. are all users in one place or are the users from an input perspective distributed in different physical locations. How many users at each location.

4) Give consideration as to the technical architecture; i.e. will the application be housed on a company PC, file server, or on the internet?
Also realistically determine the internal IT resources available to implement and support the TMS, if none fine.

5) Identify the benefits resulting from implementation of a TMS

6) Quantify the amount you are willing to spend to obtain a license to use the TMS and support the annual maintenance.

The price range for TMS is broad: from $10,000 to $2 million for the original license with commensurate annual maintenance.

Also a number of commercial banks offer very inexpensive yet well designed Treasury tools for cash position, cash forecasting, in house banking, foreign exchange tracking and the like. Check your bank.

End of the day the TMS of your choice depends on what you want to do and how much you are willing to pay to do it. Focus on the above and the answer will become evident.

Once you have completed your analysis, I would be delighted to advise you further.

My thoughts are based on 30 years in Treasury with the implementation of 8 TMS, 3 as a Corporate user and 5 as a Consultant.

David L. O'Brien, CTP

Topic Expert
Brenda Morris
Title: Board of Directors, Audit Committee Chai..
Company: Boot Barn
(Board of Directors, Audit Committee Chair, Boot Barn) |

First, what an amazing answer David! You covered every aspect to consider in the search for and selection of a TMS. I implemented the Treasura solution a couple years ago and had a great experience with the implementation team and the deliverables. Good luck, Brenda

Bruce Lynn
Title: Managing Partner
Company: The FECG LLC
(Managing Partner, The FECG LLC) |

If treasury management systems are the solution, what was the problem again?

SMB companies can very widely in their size and complexity so it is important to understand what the issues are before buying that "wonder tool".

I would suggest a company's first 5 thoughts about workstation solutions should be:
- How much liquidity is "enough"?
- How much risk is "too much"?
- How do I measure "success" ?
- What systems must work together?
- Who will use this new system?

Regarding users - one of the mistakes made, even by the larger companies, is that treasury workstations are only for treasury. Managing liquidity and risk is something that both financial and operations staff must do, working together. After all operating cash flow is the largest source of cash flow for most companies. Therefore, a workstation should be used by many people throughout the organization to execute / forecast this source of cash.

Also consider your banking structures or systems. I consulted for one $500MM company that had 6 banks, too many for a company of this size. A workstation doesn't care about the size / complexity of your banking structure, but too many banks and accounts means the system (i.e. users) spends too much time "accounting" for transactions and not enough time planning or forecasting cash, debt, investment balances. Too many banks also makes the system harder / more costly to implement.

Finally, SMB companies often lack the resources to own and operate technology. There are at least 2 or 3 vendors offering systems for lease (i.e. software as service).

Whether they are right for you requires answers to the questions above before you start the inevitable RFP process, view system demos and make that final vendor selection.

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