AA048501 FinOffice Inefficient treasury management procedures can result in untimely liquidation of resources, missed opportunities for expanding operations or inventory, wasted resources and increased exposure to fraud.

Proper treasury management solutions can help a business manage corporate cash resources, reduce administrative burdens, speed collections, manage payments, facilitate cash flow, mitigate risks of fraud and make corporate capital work harder.

"Treasury management solutions run the gamut from picking the right deposit products to investing idle balances," says Shelly LaPoint, Assistant Vice President, Treasury Management Services, Associated Bank.

Mitigate Risk "Some of the most crucial tools are those that help protect businesses from the negative impact of fraud," LaPoint said. Reducing the risk of fraud can directly affect a company's net bottom line. Electronic payment (ACH-Automated Clearing House) filters and blocks prevent unauthorized electronic debits or credits by automatically returning ACH items for a designated account unless pre-authorized.

According to a recent study paper-based check fraud is far more common than electronic payments fraud, striking 90 percent of those businesses that experienced attempted or actual payments fraud.

Associated suggests using check fraud loss prevention tools, such as Positive Pay, to help mitigate the risk of check fraud loss by identifying potential fraudulent checks before a loss is incurred.

Optimize Cash Information services or online banking provides detailed transaction history and balance summary information to assist in making decisions about optimizing cash on a daily basis," LaPoint explains. "A quick glance at cash on hand can support decisions to advance or pay down on a line of credit, or to move funds into an investment account."

Associated recommends a controlled disbursement, which is a unique type of daily reporting service to help maximize working capital.

Speed Collections Associated's Remote Deposit Capture can improve your company's workflow productivity by streamlining collections and cash flow. "You or your employees no longer have to drive to a branch to make a deposit into your business account. Instead you can scan and deposit checks electronically from the convenience of your office." LaPoint explains. "It can improve availability of funds by extending your deposit cut-off times for same-day ledger credit. Plus, the image technology provides quality control by reducing the risk of errors, and the data may be exported directly to other accounting systems."

Increase Efficiency ACH (Automated Clearing House) or electronic payments can save time and may reduce errors by avoiding manual processing of payments. "We're seeing an industry trend. More and more business-to-business payments utilize ACH," LaPoint comments. "It's primarily used for direct deposit of payroll, but increasingly, businesses that may be focused on going green, or are possibly looking to trim administrative costs and reduce the cost of printing and mailing paper checks are using it for other payments , too. It can improve efficiency in receivables and payables processing."

Focus on Strategy, Not Minutia Taking advantage of treasury management tools can free up your time to focus on growing your business rather than attending to paperwork. And, using efficient treasury management can help you make the most of your cash position to leverage opportunities as they arise.