Top Five Best Practices for Corporate Treasury to Optimise Payment Processes

Corporate treasury professionals face a greater set of challenges than ever before.

Reduced liquidity and enhanced volatility mean firms must manage cash and financial risk more efficiently. At the same time, higher costs, fewer resources, and more complex transactions require greater transparency and tighter control to drive better financial results through operational process efficiencies.

One key area where improving operational efficiencies can be highly remunerative for corporate enterprise resource planning (ERP) system users is around payments and the payments process. According to the Accuity Payments Industry Report, 90% of organisations cited a payments failure rate of under 5% percent, yet costs of failed payments have increased, with over a third reporting an average fee of more than $30 USD per transaction failure.

Despite a wealth of powerful financial processing capabilities available to companies deploying ERP systems, it is clear that issues remain. Regulatory compliance, payment rejections and repairs, and the manual research necessary to ensure correct payment routing information can still result in sub-optimal payment efficiency.

The key to managing these issues lies in securing the most complete, accurate and up-to-date bank master data so you can keep your vendor, partner and bank payment routing data current and relevant.

To help corporate treasury departments, we have pulled together our top five recommendations to ensure accurate payment data and optimised payment processes:

  • Use accurate and comprehensive payments routing data to standardise and minimise manual intervention in the payments process, and help the organisation develop payment hubs for divisions or departments internally.
  • Reduce the total cost of ownership of payment processing services with accurate payments routing data, which provides a ready business case for implementation based around the following areas:
    • Minimise bank repair costs by ensuring payment routing instructions are accurate and always up to date for better control over cashflows.
    • Improve payment quality by ensuring that payments instructions are right the first time and every time, minimising the cost of manual intervention.
    • Maintain regulatory compliance by ensuring sanctioned banks are not present in payment instructions or held in bank master data files.
  • Validate payee bank details at the point of onboarding and when making one-off payments to your vendors, partners and customers. This will help mitigate the risk of holding incorrect payee details in your bank master data files thereby optimising straight through processing efficiencies.
  • Minimise risk and exposure of payment failures to supply chains with the acquisition and storage of accurate payment routing data so vendors and partners are paid on time, minimising the risk to reputations and relationships. In fact, maintaining a reputation and relationship with customers is extremely important and was cited as a top priority by 93%of firms surveyed in the Accuity Payments Industry Report.
  • Simplify the control and exchange of payments routing data by working with a payments partner whose core competency is data management and who offers flexible software tools to upload global vendor, partner and bank data directly into your ERP systems’ bank master data file. For SAP users for example, this is the SAP BANKA file.

As the payments ecosystem continues to innovate at pace along with the inevitable push towards global real-time payments, corporate treasury departments will undoubtedly face new challenges in ensuring that payments to their vendors, partners and banks are error-free and executed on time.

Avoiding the risks of failed payments – whether supply chain issues, bank repair costs and the cost of manual intervention in the repair/rekeying process – is paramount. The quality of payee data held in bank master data files – when kept current and up to date will ensure payments remain compliant and optimised so that you can extract the best possible straight through processing efficiencies.

Learn more about the Accuity suite of payments solutions for corporate treasury departments.