Historically, treasury departments have managed their cash using spreadsheets, but the high level of data entry and calculation risk, combined with the man-hours required to maintain spreadsheets have caused companies of all sizes to make the move towards treasury automation. Today treasury workstations have become a more strategic tool in treasury departments. These tools are so relevant now, universities are starting to teach classes dedicated to learning about treasury management and how to best use treasury technology. The irony is that the majority of universities don’t have treasury workstations of their own and many still rely on spreadsheets.
Since the recession began in 2008 colleges and universities have realized how critical it is to know where their cash is being allocated and where forecasted cash will go. Jorge Caraballo, Treasury Analyst at Embry-Riddle University, realized that their treasury operations needed to be improved. Mr. Caraballo was faced with entering numbers and formulas into Excel manually, which was a tedious task and prone to errors. Once the numbers were entered into their designated spreadsheets, the goal was then to forecast the data to help keep track of cash and build estimated data. Forecasting data is taxing when relying on interdependent spreadsheets and the risk of ending up with incorrect data is very high. “One of the reasons forecasting is so important to Embry-Riddle, and should be to most companies, is the ability to track variances between actuals and forecast” states Jorge “but in Excel this was a near impossible task to accomplish.” Universities are responsible for handling student tuition, payroll, ACH credits and debits, lockbox deposits, and internal money transfers, and they need to process accurate data. With the many restrictions Excel provides, a treasury workstation was the logical option.
During Jorge’s evaluation of treasury management systems he reached out to other universities to see how and what other treasury departments were using to forecast their cash. He discovered the lack of presence treasury workstations had in the education industry. The majority of universities never had access to treasury tools and in some cases didn’t even have dedicated treasury departments. Of those schools that did have treasury workstations, they were utilizing the system for forecasting, but were not tracking variances. After a lengthy evaluation process Embry-Riddle came to the decision that GTreasury’s cash management and forecasting tools were exactly what they needed.
The GTreasury system was able to automate Mr. Caraballo’s once – manual functions, which resulted in fewer mistakes and less time spent creating and preparing monthly cash reports. One of Jorge’s main benefits with the GTreasury system was the drilldown capabilities that are offered on GTreasury’s treasury worksheets, “The ability to view transactions at such a granular level is so beneficial, and really helps when forecasting our data.” In addition, there is also the option to add payment details based on each transaction. GTreasury’s forecasting capabilities allowed Jorge to be more proactive when rolling out forecasts. The forecasting module operates at the summary level by performing calculations to determine historical trends, which derive forecast records. The system calculates forecasted items on account, transaction type and date range, allowing Jorge to plan any required future scenario. All of the transactions done within the forecasting module are automatically reflected in the treasury worksheets, where a complete summary of cash is stored and updated in real time.
Similar to Embry-Riddle University, other industry peers have been turning to GTreasury to help organize and automate their treasury departments. Universities are starting to see the benefits of treasury management systems, and more are starting to add people and technology in order to better understand where their cash is and where/when it will be moving. Due to today’s economic conditions and competition in this industry it is important, now more than ever, for these institutions to be ready to forecast and react. GTreasury has and will continue to be at the forefront in this industry partnering with these institutions on how treasury automation can make their treasury departments A+ worthy.