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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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11–25. Install a Treasury Workstation

The multitude of treasury-based transactions can take up a large part of the finance staff’s workday and is highly subject to error. These tasks involve management of a company’s cash position, investment and debt portfolio, and risk analysis. The normal approach to these tasks is to track, summarize, and analyze them on an electronic spreadsheet, with manual input derived from all of the company’s banks and investment firms on a daily basis. In addition, any changes resulting from this analysis, such as the centralization or investment of cash, must be manually shifted to the general ledger. Given the highly manual nature of these tasks, this frequently results in errors that must be corrected through the bank reconciliation process. A treasury workstation can greatly reduce many of these work steps.

A treasury workstation is a combination of hardware and software that will manage cash, investments, debt issuance and tracking, as well as provide some risk analysis functions. It is an expensive item to purchase, typically ranging from $30,000 for a bare-bones installation to $300,000 for a fully configured one. The difference between these prices is the amount of functionality and bank interfaces added to the treasury workstation—if a buyer wants every possible feature and must share data with a large number of financial suppliers, then the cost will be much closer to the top of the range. Given these costs, this best practice is not cost-effective ...

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