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Top features to have in a cash flow management software

What you’ll learn

  • Challenges businesses face without a dedicated cash management software.
  • Best practices for effective cash flow management.
  • Top advantages of utilizing a business cash flow management software.

What is cash management?

Cash management is the process of receiving and controlling cash flows from a company’s investing, operating, and financing activities. It is a crucial component of a company’s financial stability in business. There are many reasons why firms struggle with cash flow management. Poor cash management is typically caused by:
  • Lack of cash management skills
  • Poor knowledge of the cash flow cycle
  • Poor understanding of profit vs. cash
  • Inefficient capital investments.
The health of a company’s cash flow and how well it’s managed are typically determining factors in its success. Many companies want to improve their cash flow by ensuring equal income and expenses to maintain healthy liquidity. 

What is the importance of properly managing cash flow?

Managing cash flow is one of the most challenging aspects of running a business. Cash flow management mistakes might lead to excess debt or even bankruptcy. According to US Bank research, poor cash flow management causes 82 percent of small business failures. Small enterprises go out of business due to poor cash management because they don’t have proper cash management software to manage their money well.

Challenges businesses face without a dedicated cash management software

  • Poor credit score:

    If an organization runs out of cash, it might have to turn to loans or pay suppliers and banks late. As a result, late fees for bills or utilities may be charged. Late payments could lower the business’s credit score. It results in more challenges to qualify for loans and credit account benefits.

  • Delayed or inaccurate reconciliations:
    Quick reconciliation is hindered by many factors, including the time payments take to complete and the absence of information sent with payments. The scenario becomes more challenging when cross-border currency and payment changes are considered. Additionally, having manual cash management systems result in inaccurate auditing and reporting.
  • Poor decision-making for different scenarios:
    Uncertainty and inaccurate reporting are the two major issues for poor cash management. As a result, identifying problems or worst-case scenarios could be more challenging. This makes it harder to allocate a budget and make wise business judgments in challenging times. Sometimes, a growth opportunity may also be lost since a firm isn’t able to detect cash surplus in advance.

Which tools are the best to manage a business’s cash flow?

Many different cash management options are available. These technologies are the used by cutting-edge companies for managing cash:

  • Automation: 
    An automated software connects seamlessly with multiple sources like TMS, bank portals, and spreadsheets to extract and auto-populate data, bank transactions, and other data required to support multi-currency cash positioning. Additionally, it auto-reconciles bank statements based on user-defined tolerances and matching rules and helps find and resolve exceptions easily.  
  • APIs:
    APIs connect to any bank, ERP, or independent market data source to process files in any format, including XML, BAI2, MT940, ISO20022, XLS, and CSV. Moreover, transactions can be automatically categorized based on bank, account, region, and category, and individuals can view them in templates that can modify.
  • TMS: 

    A TMS enables companies to eliminate unnecessary expenses and reduce risks. Users can view bank accounts in detail, including savings and lending balances and transaction histories. However, it doesn’t seamlessly connect with any tool or system and is also very expensive.  

  • Cloud Computing: 
    Cloud solutions track expenses, assets, sales, and purchases. Hence, it provides 360-degree visibility into the company’s finances, with detailed reports that help a firm solve current challenges. Also, since it is online, it’s accessible from anywhere and offers faster implementation and integration. Moreover, cloud systems for managing cash offer the scalability needed to handle enormous amounts of financial data.

Best practices for effective cash flow management

Companies need a comprehensive grasp of the significance of their cash flow and a practical, in-depth, and data-driven approach to carry out these crucial business duties. Hence, businesses should follow these best practices for cash management:

  • Invest in a cash management software solution: 

    Modern business cash flow management software’s essential features include improved data management and analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and process automation.

    Collect, organize, and analyze company expenditure data for optimal transparency, accuracy, and completeness. Cash visibility is crucial for streamlining all business processes. Without proper cash visibility, the company would not be unable to analyze appropriately. How much money is needed or spent to cover operating expenses, such as:

    • Paying employees and vendors
    • Going for strategic investments or handling cash crunches
  • Foster financial awareness:

    Businesses must ensure everyone, from the CEO to the business managers in accounts payable and receivable, understands the significance of good cash flow management for maximizing their working capital. No matter how big or small, any firm must have effective financial management to survive and expand. It entails organizing, controlling, and monitoring the financial resources to enable the organization to achieve its corporate goals. 

    To be financially aware, the treasury team should study industry trends and be aware of the scenarios in treasury and finance. Companies should also track their KPIs frequently to understand their performance and areas of improvement. They should forecast cash flows accurately to identify trends, irregularities, and seasonality and be better prepared for a crisis. 

  • Streamline inventory management:

    Inventory sitting idle in company warehouses isn’t bringing in money for the company. Since such money does not increase in value, many also refer to it as “waste” money.

    If a company has extra cash on hand, it might use it to invest in new equipment, buildings, or other fixed assets that will increase its production capacity. Let’s say a company decides against investing the money in a long-term project. In such instances, they can use it to pay for goods, advance payments on bills like rent or insurance, or any other costs essential to running a business on a daily basis.

  • Prioritize flexibility, continuous improvement, and business adaptability:

    Even though there is severe competition in the global economy, a company will always be its most significant rival in terms of reaching optimal performance. Companies that examine their own operations, finances, strategic sourcing, and other business procedures can uncover new ways to maximize productivity while cutting costs by evaluating and improving their company practices.

Top features to have in a cash management software 

A good cash management software must contain the following features:

  • Seamless integration with multiple systems (ERPs, bank portals, TMS, etc.)
  • Cash transactions are automatically segmented (for instance, by A/R, A/P, taxes, and payroll).
  • Financial transactions matching under predetermined rules one-to-one, one-to-many, and one-to-all
  • Combining funds in many currencies
  • Automated bank reconciliation
  • Accurate and real-time cash positioning
  • Dependable cross-bank connectivity
  • Checking user and payment activity
  • Fraud detection and prevention
  • Reporting of daily and real-time statements from a single location

Top benefits of a cash management software 

Top advantages of cash flow management software
The following are some of the benefits of using a cash flow management software

  • Real-time cash visibility and time savings with automatic data collection: 

    A cash management system records inflows and expenditures. It provides real-time access to all bank accounts by nation, currency, or bank. Hence, a quick financial overview is possible.

  • Advanced reporting:

    Everyone in the organization can use advanced reporting to quickly and easily get deeper insights from business data. Businesses can produce reports that compile information from various sources, adapt them to specific users’ needs, and automate the reporting procedure.

  • Automatic reconciliation improves data efficiency:

    Accounting records and bank statements diverge as a result of transaction mistakes. Businesses can find those transaction problems with the use of bank reconciliation. The goal is to confirm that every transaction on the bank statement matches the data kept by the business. The benefits of bank reconciliations are as follows:

    • It guarantees the accuracy of transactions and general ledger postings.
    • It helps in early fraud detection and prevention.
    • It detects potential delays in check and clearance.
  • Faster access to data and transparent decision-making

    The company’s income and expenses are readily shown in cash flow management software. Treasury can use cash management software to analyze these documents and determine the cash position. This cash position can determine whether the organization’s financial status is stable, surplus, or deficit. Hence, a business will be more likely to make wise financial judgments.

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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.