Increase Profitability and Efficiency by Banking from Your Office | Treasury Management 101

Andrew Hasley, CPA, MBA, is the president of Standard Bank. He is a seasoned executive in the financial institution industry and maintains a strong dedication to supporting local communities. Andy takes pride in connecting with customers, ensuring that Standard Bank is their first call when seeking financial advice. His confident, hands-on, open-minded style combined with the belief that a happy, well-trained, disciplined, and accountable workforce will result in a high degree of customer satisfaction and company success, has proven to be very effective. Andy is a board member of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium and serves on the Community Depository Institution Advisory Counsel to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Published in the Pittsburgh Business Times and The Rising Standard, bank president, Andy Hasley, discusses the benefits of Treasury Management services for local businesses of all shapes and sizes. Not sure what “Treasury Management” means?  Read on because this article is especially for you.

 

What are “Treasury Management” services?

Treasury Management services are a set of banking services that help businesses increase profitability, efficiency, information security, and cash flow, while mitigating threats such as fraud and theft. Most of these services are electronic services that can be implemented whether you are near or far from a Standard Bank location. Gone are the days of time-consuming paperwork, driving to bank locations, and processing deposits or handling banking transactions.

Another way to look at Treasury Management services is to envision them as an extra set of hands and eyes helping you move money, process deposits, or authorize transactions. They add a layer of protection from internal and external theft (as well as innocent human error), all while automating payments and cash flow to maximize profitability. The benefits of this service far outweigh the time and resources traditionally devoted to money management in day-to-day operations.

 

What size or type of business benefits from Treasury Management services?

The great thing about Treasury Management services is that they help businesses of all sizes and in all industries. We work mostly with small- to mid-sized businesses, non-profits, professional firms, and municipalities. Did you know that according to the Small Business Administration, a “small business” is a business with fewer than 500 employees? These “small businesses” comprise 99.9 percent of all business firms in the United States. That’s a lot of organizations looking for tech solutions that don’t compromise face-to-face service.

You may think bigger businesses are the ones who need Treasury Management services, but it’s usually the small- to mid-sized businesses who have limited man-hours to devote to transactional matters that utilize these services the most. Every business owner needs those extra hours in their day—Treasury Management can provide you those extra hours.

 

Which services provide businesses INTERNAL financial security against theft or human error?

There are several ways businesses can use technology to improve their internal controls and enhance their security. A main concern for a lot of businesses is to protect themselves from internal theft or innocent human error. To mitigate this risk, we offer Dual Control services and Security Authorization Devices. With Dual Control, one individual initiates the money movement (wire or ACH) and another individual approves the transfer. This service requires several individuals so not one employee has full control over the business cash flow.

Security Authentication Devices are also available to add an extra layer of control and security within online banking. These devices generate a one-time security number that is needed to originate any transaction from the account. This number changes within minutes, safeguarding against anyone who may have had access to an old number. Security Authentication Devices allow only those trusted with the actual security device to originate transactions, thus limiting your exposure for internal fraud or theft.

These two popular services offer peace of mind to small business owners, especially for businesses where any one employee has control over the financial processes and transactions of the business. Likewise, these services also benefit larger businesses with higher transaction volumes as each transaction can carry greater risk.

 

What ways can businesses mitigate EXTERNAL security threats such as hackers and fraudsters?

This is a hot topic and will only be exacerbated as the world digitizes more and more. However, digital security, apps, and technology are ubiquitous and available to all size businesses and banks. There are several ways to help businesses protect their company and their company’s money. One of our most popular services is Check Positive Pay and ACH Positive Pay, which reduce the risk of fraudulent account activity by identifying unauthorized transactions BEFORE they occur. These services allow the business to provide a list of acceptable or planned transactions for Standard Bank to confirm before those transactions are paid. If the transaction is not on the list, it does not go through.

Here is a real-life example. We had a consultation with a business owner who had their account and bank routing numbers taken (out of the mail) by a criminal who then produced fraudulent checks that quickly and easily spent the business’ hard-earned dollars. The compromised account had to be closed and reopened, which if you have ever had to close an account due to fraud, you know it is an aggravating and time-consuming process. In addition, the business owner was understandably nervous it would happen again, but our Check Positive Pay service gave him peace of mind. He didn’t have to worry about fraudulent checks or the hassle of re-establishing a new account. The service, additionally, catches bad checks where the check amount has been altered or the check has an invalid date. Check Positive Pay was a game-changer for them.

 

How do Treasury Management services improve business efficiency and profitability?

Treasury Management also helps businesses process payroll, process debit/credit purchases, deposit checks on-site, use a cash courier pickup/delivery service, and set up sweep accounts that automatically move money so it’s where you need it, when you need it.

Sweep accounts are popular solutions to automate your cash flow without consuming an employee’s time. With a Money Market Sweep Account, a checking target balance is calculated and assigned based on a review of your account activity. Each day, excess funds over the target balance will sweep to a money market account. Also available is a Zero Balance Sweep Account (ZBA), which is a checking account that maintains a zero balance by automatically transferring funds from a master deposit account to a secondary account in an amount only large enough to cover checks presented. A ZBA is used by businesses to eliminate excess balances in separate accounts and maintain greater control over withdrawals or disbursements on the ZBA.

Another example of improving efficiency is eliminating time-consuming processes such as driving to the bank or waiting for in-person deposits to be made available. Often, businesses prefer to work with a community bank and a dedicated Relationship Manager, but simply are not located near a physical office. Now, that’s a moot point. With Treasury Management services, there are multiple ways to accommodate these businesses. Distance shouldn’t be a reason you chose to do or not do business with a bank—there are too many ways to bank remotely. In addition, we make it our priority to ensure your needs are being met either in-person or remotely.

Doctor and dentist offices are great examples of businesses that benefit from these services. As a fast-pace service business, they normally need all hands on deck. Their employees may not have the time to run to the bank to process deposits, but their deposits are needed to run their business. With Deposit Xpress, they get access to their deposits sooner because deposits are processed and available the same day they are received (up until 5:00 p.m.). Processing their deposits on-site not only keeps their office running efficiently, but also keeps their staff doing what they do best—serving customers.

 

How does technology and Treasury Management fit into the banking dynamic of a community bank?

At Standard Bank, our top priority is making sure every business owner has an outstanding customer experience. Some customers consider this to be daily interactions with their dedicated Relationship Manager while others consider it technology that improves their day-to-day banking interactions and financial security. In my eyes, both are important. We work with our businesses just as we work with individuals and families—serving their unique needs, addressing their concerns, and making their banking experience a great one. If you ask 50 businesses what they consider a “great banking experience,” you would get 50 different answers. Standard Bank, as a community bank, strives to meet each of those expectations. So whether it’s through a one-on-one meeting or through a digital Treasury Management service, we rise to the occasion and provide our customers with an outstanding experience.

 

If a business owner feels Treasury Management services could benefit their business, what’s their next step?

Our goal is to provide outstanding customer experience regardless of business size. We conduct a free, detailed analysis for every business to determine which products and services will increase their efficiency and increase their bottom line. Standard Bank’s experienced Treasury Management team is dedicated exclusively to this process. They’ve heard the horror stories such as internal theft or a hacked account. Conversely, they have also witnessed growth in businesses through improved productivity. Listening is key, and we have learned from every story. The good and the bad. We know running a business is difficult. We’re here to help make it easier. Our team is experienced, and they will become your trusted advisor.

If you would like to learn more about Standard Bank’s Treasury Management services, we invite you to check out our website or call our Treasury Management team directly at (412) 684-1082.