The Journey of an Analyst from Spreadsheet Jockey to Automation Master

6 April, 2023
5 mins
Gerry Daly, AVP Product Strategy - Treasury

Table of Content

Key Takeaways
Navigating the Complexity in Manual Workflows
The Downside of Relying on Excel for Treasury Tasks
Unleashing the Potential of Treasury Technology to Eliminate Complexities

Key Takeaways

  • Comparison of a day in the life of a treasury analyst working with spreadsheets vs. automation.
  • Common challenges faced by a treasury analyst due to spreadsheets.
  • How HighRadius’ treasury software can eliminate complexities and revamp the role of an analyst.

Are you tired of spending hours upon hours wrangling spreadsheets and manually updating data only to find errors and inconsistencies? Do you yearn for a more efficient and accurate way to manage your daily treasury tasks? It’s a struggle, to say the least. But what if we told you there’s a better way?

In this blog, we’ll take you on a journey through the typical day in the life of a treasury analyst and show you how to escape the tedium of manual processes by embracing automation.

Navigating the Complexity in Manual Workflows

Treasury teams are being prompted to streamline their procedures by shifting markets, business models, regulations, and increased competition. With the evolution of the dynamic economy, expectations from a CFO to a treasury analyst have evolved significantly over recent years, with even more responsibilities piled onto them. Meanwhile, many organizations are left subject to risk since their operating systems need to be faster to keep up with the ever-changing macroeconomics. This happens because the treasury resources are still working on time-consuming and inefficient manual and siloed workflows, such as manual data retrieval with outdated and inflexible systems. This is what a typical day looks like for a treasury analyst: Day in a Life of a Treasury Analyst while Using Manual Systems 8:00 AM - Check emails and review financial updates. 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM- Discuss any urgent issues, market developments, and upcoming projects. 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM - Get on many to-and-fro meetings with banks to negotiate terms for loans and lines of credit. 12:00 PM to 3:30 PM - Follow up with multiple departments to gather data and reconcile cash balances manually. 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM - Glued to the laptop, updating forecasts and cash position reports on spreadsheets while having lunch. 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM - On a number-crunching mode, manually analyzing and reporting financial data from multiple spreadsheets. 9:30 PM - 12:00 AM - Dread about tomorrow’s schedule. As the illustration suggests, the work hours often get stretched due to operational bottlenecks, collaboration delays, or ad hoc tasks. This not only takes a toll on the work-life balance and their sleep cycle but also leaves no time for analysts to upskill themselves or take part in value-added projects. With multiple tasks on their plate already, these are the stressors that they have to deal with in their daily life:
  1. Manual data entry: Inputting data from bank statements, cash flow reports, and investment statements is the biggest time killer, which consumes enough bandwidth.
  2. Lack of automation: Performing tasks such as bank reconciliation, cash forecasting, and payment processing are complex and hectic, but carrying out these tasks manually makes them 10x more laborious.
  3. Inefficient workflows: Inefficient workflows can also be a challenge in treasury operations.  This can occur when tasks are not sequenced properly or when a process has unnecessary steps. Inefficient workflows can slow down the treasury operation and increase the risk of errors.
  4. Poor data quality: Data quality gets lowered when data is incomplete, inaccurate, or outdated. Poor data quality can impact the accuracy of cash forecasting, investment decisions, and risk management.
  5. Disconnected systems: Analysts need to manually consolidate data for reports due to the lack of integration between different treasury systems. This slows down the cycle of consequent treasury operations and increases the risk of errors.
All of the above stressors are usually caused by one tool: Excel. Despite its capabilities, Excel has some drawbacks that hamper the responsiveness and adaptability of an organization in the new economic environment, which demands agility to survive and thrive.

The Downside of Relying on Excel for Treasury Tasks

Despite the impressive technological breakthroughs we’ve witnessed in this decade, such as autonomous cars, smart home devices, self-checkout kiosks at grocery stores, and voice assistants, it’s still surprising that spreadsheets continue to be the go-to tool for financial analysis in many businesses.

The following are the reasons spreadsheets hold back an analyst from working smarter:

  1. Spreadsheets struggle to keep up with collaboration demands as they are information islands that trap data and make it difficult to share among teams., leaving teams in the dark about the recent changes.
  2. Consolidating and organizing data is a tedious process involving logging into various bank portals, downloading statements, and combining transactions in a master spreadsheet. Financial analysts know the drill well!
  3. Human errors are a constant threat while using spreadsheets due to manual data entry. The phrase “too many cooks spoil the broth” resonates well here- more people working on a spreadsheet leaves more chances for errors to creep in.
  4. Basic reporting of data becomes painstaking and time-intensive, leaving no room for exploring different scenarios or analyzing variances. This leaves the executives with wishes for just a glimpse into the future.

How to improve treasury operations?

Thankfully, tools of today and tomorrow make it simpler to acquire data quantities greater than we can conceive, correlate the data more quickly than we can recall doing in the past, and generate a cleaner and more thorough analysis.

Discussed below are the ways treasury technology can help treasury analysts get rid of the friction from the processes.

Unleashing the Potential of Treasury Technology to Eliminate Complexities

Treasury technology can remove friction from treasury processes in several ways, including:

  1. Automation: Treasury software can automate many manual and repetitive tasks, such as data entry, reconciliation, and reporting, hence improving the efficiency of the treasury function.
  2. Integration: It can integrate with other systems, such as ERP and CRM, to streamline data flows and eliminate the need for manual data entry and reconciliation.
  3. Centralization: It can provide a centralized platform for managing all treasury-related activities, such as cash management, liquidity management, risk management, and compliance, making it easier for treasury teams to collaborate and share information.
  4. Real-time data: Treasury software can provide real-time data and analytics, allowing treasury teams to make more informed and timely decisions and respond quickly to changing market conditions.
  5. Security: It can provide robust security features, such as multi-factor authentication, encryption, and access controls, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.

Overall, treasury technology can help treasury teams to work more efficiently, effectively, and securely by removing manual processes, increasing automation, and improving access to real-time data and analytics.


How the Day in a Life of a Treasury Analyst will Look Like After Adopting Treasury Technology

8:00 AM – Scan through emails and review financial updates while sipping coffee.

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM – Discuss any urgent issues, market developments, and upcoming projects.

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM – Watch the bank data get automatically captured into the system.

11:00 PM to 11:30 PM – Reconcile cash balances and build accuracy in financial records with treasury software.

11:30 PM to 12:00 PM – Review the forecasts and cash position reports that are generated automatically in the system.

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM – Socialize with colleagues over a delicious lunch.

1:00 PM to 1:30 PM – Analyze and report financial data with a single click in a few minutes.

1:30 PM to 2:30 PM – Wrap up urgent tasks, take on projects like skill-set training, and plan for tomorrow.

This leaves them with sufficient time to work on strategic tasks that drive their individual growth alongside the business’s growth, and also have enough time to hit the gym, binge-watch shows, and spend time with their family and friends.


How HighRadius Treasury Solutions Help Streamline Treasury Processes

HighRadius Autonomous Treasury Solutions is designed to simplify treasury operations to empower treasury analysts with the following:

  1. Automated processes:
    1. Automated cash positioning: The cash management solution extracts up-to-date transactional, invoice-level data from bank portals and ERPs to analyze cash positions. It also automates cash pooling, cash concentration, and other treasury activities, reducing manual errors and increasing visibility.
    2. Automated bank reconciliation: It automates bank reconciliation by matching transactions in bank statements with those in the company’s accounting system, reducing the time and effort required for manual reconciliation.
    3. Automated cash forecasting: The cash forecasting solution automatically predicts cash flows by tracking historical data, trends, scenarios, and other factors to make accurate predictions, enabling a birds-eye view of future cash balances.
  2. Seamless integration:
    1. SFTP integrations: The solutions easily integrate with banks, import current and previous-day bank files, and auto-populate market data, bank transactions, etc., to support multi-currency cash placement in bespoke templates.
    2. Standardized Formats: The cash forecasting and cash management solutions support a variety of standardized formats for transaction data, including SWIFT, XML, XML, BAI2, MT940, XLS, and CSV. This makes it easy to import and export data from other systems and ensures that data is consistent and accurate across all systems.
    3. Customizable Workflow: The treasury suite offers customizable workflows that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each organization. This means that organizations can integrate their treasury operations with their existing workflows and processes rather than having to adapt their processes to fit a predefined workflow.
  3. Centralized platform:
    1. Consolidated view: The tools provide a consolidated view of all cash flow categories across regions, company codes, entities, and time horizons.
    2. Centralized data: The solutions centralize all information in a single location. This means that all relevant data, such as bank account information, payment details, and cash balances, is easily accessible.
    3. Customizable dashboard: The solutions offer customizable dashboards that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each organization. This means that users can quickly access the required information instead of having to navigate through multiple screens.
  4. Real-time visibility:
    1. Real-time bank connectivity: The solutions offer easy connectivity to banks, enabling organizations to monitor cash positions and transactions in real-time.
    2. Real-time payment tracking: The cash management solution offers real-time tracking of payments, enabling organizations to monitor payment status and identify potential issues proactively.
    3. Customizable alerts: The solutions offer customizable alerts that can be configured to notify users of critical events or changes immediately. For instance, alerts can be set up to notify users when cash balances fall below a certain threshold or when there is a significant change in cash flow.
  5. Enhanced level of protection:
    1. Secure access and encrypted data: HighRadius treasury solutions offer secure access to the platform through multi-factor authentication and role-based access control. They also encrypt all data at rest and in transit, using industry-standard encryption algorithms. This helps protect sensitive financial data from unauthorized access and ensures that data is transmitted securely over the internet.
    2. Audit trails: The cloud systems provide comprehensive audit trails that track all user activity and system changes. This helps monitor activity within the platform and detect any unauthorized or suspicious activity.
    3. Disaster recovery: The treasury solutions provide disaster recovery capabilities, including regular backups and failover mechanisms. This helps ensure that organizations can quickly recover from any system failures or data loss incidents.


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The HighRadius™ Treasury Management Applications consist of AI-powered Cash Forecasting Cloud and Cash Management Cloud designed to support treasury teams from companies of all sizes and industries. Delivered as SaaS, our solutions seamlessly integrate with multiple systems including ERPs, TMS, accounting systems, and banks using sFTP or API. They help treasuries around the world achieve end-to-end automation in their forecasting and cash management processes to deliver accurate and insightful results with lesser manual effort.