Implementing a Cash Management Program for Your Business
Improving the productivity of your employees while effectively managing the cash position of your business is no easy task. Like many business owners, you may spend hours each month reconciling your business checking accounts when you could be spending that time growing and improving your business.
Ask yourself a few questions to determine if managing your business' finances has become your full-time job:
- Do you know your daily cash position?
- Do you have excess cash in a business checking account?
- Are you calling your bank to see which checks have cleared or to stop payment on a check?
- Are you getting too many checks back each month to store?
- Do you have a reconciliation nightmare because several locations are depositing to one checking account?
- Are you concerned about someone getting your account number and creating fraudulent transactions on your account?
If you answered "yes" to more of these questions than you'd care to admit, then it may be time to explore the options available through a corporate cash management program. Developed and refined from extensive experience with clients and their needs, such programs aim to help enhance your company's earnings potential through the right selection of flexible, safe services such as:
- An information network that can accurately determine current cash positions.
- Tools to best accommodate those positions by efficiently executing concentration and disbursement of funds.
- Loan Sweep, or the ability to draw upon pre-approved loan commitments.
A cash management program generally can also provide a variety of services that should eliminate the tedious day-to-day banking tasks that take up so much of your time. Services such as zero-balance accounts, inter-bank cash concentration, wire and electronic transfers, a lockbox, pre-authorized debits, controlled disbursement and reconciliation, positive pay, and pre-authorized credits can make it easier for you to manage your cash flow and track your expenses.
Cash management programs typically allow you to access your account balances and information 24 hours per day through the Internet. These electronic systems should give you the ability to view previous-day activity and present-day balance and transactions, in addition to providing a host of convenient features.
So you're ready to implement a cash management program for your business. Where do you begin?
Once you've selected a financial services company to manage your cash management program, you'll need to compile some financial information to bring to the first meeting with your account representative. Be prepared to bring copies of your account analyses and payroll information.
The account representative should analyze your current activity to determine your cash management needs and which services would best address those needs. Then, your account representative should work up a price comparison, comparing fees to those of your current financial institution for the particular services you will need.
Once these steps are complete and you agree to the services and fees outlined in the plan, your account representative should supply you with the appropriate forms to complete for set up of each service.
Following the steps outlined above can help you maximize the productivity of your business and provide more time for you to pursue growth and expansion. When considering a cash management program, it's important to first evaluate the needs and challenges of your business and to find a financial institution that can effectively understand those needs and provide the best resources for you and your business.