In a recent PwC study of Global Corporate Treasurers, 89% of all survey respondents still use spreadsheets to collect data and analyse projected cash flows. This is an example of one of the many treasury processes still managed manually. Another recent study by FP&A Technology reveals that the main challenge corporates face in monthly reporting cycles is time spent identifying and correcting spreadsheet errors. All these manual entries often result in increased costs, increased chances for error, delays in information and increases inefficiency. Moreover, managing these treasury processes across spreadsheets all too often leads to operational risks. Corporates are looking for ways to reduce these inefficiencies. How? The answer is Straight Through Processing.
What is Straight Through Processing?
Automating business processes without human intervention to guarantee a reduction in operational errors, that’s what Straight Through Processing is all about. STP is the end-to-end processing of financial transactions that are fully automated and integrated, without manual intervention, across diverse applications and diverse systems.
Treasury Automation is becoming the norm
Straight Through Processing is applicable to a large number of business sectors. However, according to the PwC Corporate Treasurers survey, treasury automation is becoming the norm. Automation promises straight through processing (STP) and scalability of treasury processes. Corporates sometimes have hundreds of banking relationships and thousands of bank accounts, all managed manually on spreadsheets. Redesigning these treasury processes based on STP creates an integrated treasury workflow that streamlines processes effectively and provides treasurers with timely access to financial information (see figure 1). No more manual entries, no more errors. STP enables corporates to find all the business critical information in one place, the ‘holy grail’ in treasury.
Figure 1: Straight Through Processing in Treasury Departments.
The key benefits of STP:
- Improved efficiency and control by automating manual activities
- Reducing errors and error rates
- Cutting back on costs
- Streamlined operations and increased treasury staff efficiency and productivity
- Reduced risk of fraud
- Quicker transaction processing time
- PriceWaterhouseCoopers (2014). Treasury shown in a new light. PwC Global Treasury Survey 2014.
- FP&A (2014). Technology Survey. Report of results: financial planning, analysis and update. GtNews.