A Focus on FIS Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition, with Andrew Winders

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A Focus on FIS Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition, with Andrew Winders

Mastering Treasury Management Systems: Insights from Andrew Winders from E

Welcome to a deep dive into the world of Treasury Management Systems (TMS). Have you ever felt swamped by spreadsheets and fretted over manual errors in your financial management? A TMS could be your savior. It can revolutionize how you handle everything from cash flow to risk management, regardless of your company’s size.

We’re bringing you exclusive insights from Andrew Winders, a senior manager at FIS with deep expertise in treasury management systems. FIS is a financial giant offering a range of treasury services and software, and today, we’re focusing on one of their core products: Integrity.

We’ll uncover what Integrity is, who it serves, and how it works. You’ll also learn about its data security features, how it integrates with other systems, and what future plans FIS has for this game-changing tool. Plus, we’ll discuss how FIS uses real-time data and feedback to continually improve Integrity..

So, if you’re looking to make an informed choice about adopting a TMS, you’ve come to the right place. Stick around to get the lowdown on everything you need to know.

What Is a Treasury Management System (TMS) and Why Do Companies Need It?

A Treasury Management System (TMS) is a tool that helps companies manage their cash more efficiently. Its main goals are to optimize cash flow, get a clear picture of bank accounts, and reduce financial risks. With a TMS, you can move away from manual methods and use technology to make your money work smarter.

Why Not Just Use Excel?

Spreadsheets might seem like a quick fix, but it has its drawbacks. The first big issue is the chance for manual errors. Mistakes are easy to make when dealing with lots of numbers and data. Second, using Spreadsheets isn’t the best use of your time. Think about it: gathering information from different sources and plugging it into spreadsheets takes hours. With a TMS, all this data is ready and waiting for you, allowing you to focus on important decisions instead of data entry.

Challenges and Considerations When Implementing a Treasury Management System (TMS)

If you’re running a business, several issues might push you to consider getting a TMS. The first big one is fraud prevention. With so many transactions happening, you must control who can do what. That means knowing who can make payments, approve them, etc.

Another point to consider is your company’s size and structure. If you’re dealing with many smaller units or subsidiaries, managing all their financial data manually becomes challenging. So, whether you’re a small business or a multinational, a TMS can help you better manage your financial processes.

Picking the Right TMS for Your Needs

Switching fromSpreadsheets to a TMS is a significant step. So, how do you choose the right system? First, you need to understand your internal workflows fully. That’s not just about how the treasury functions but also how the entire business operates. Know what resources you have available for implementing new technology.

Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

  • Understand Your Business Process: Ensure you understand how the business works, not just your department.
  • Assess Your Resources: What do you have regarding people, time, and money for a new system?
  • Plan for Growth: Consider not just your current needs but what you’ll require in the future.

By looking at these aspects, you’ll be better positioned to pick a TMS that suits your needs today and can adapt to your future growth.

What Does FIS Do in the Treasury Management Space?

FIS is a key player when you’re looking for treasury management system solutions. They offer platforms for treasury, payments, and receivables. Let’s break this down a bit.

What Does FIS Do in the TMS?
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Treasury Platforms

FIS focuses mainly on managing cash flow in and out of your organization. So, if you’re a company with a bank account (nearly all), you’ll need a system to manage your treasury payments and receivables. That’s where FIS comes in. They help streamline the order-to-cash process, making your life easier.

Additional Services

FIS doesn’t just stop at treasury platforms; they offer a bunch of extra services:

  • FIS’ SWIFT Service Bureau, FIS Swift Services: This is a secure, one-stop connection to multiple banks. It’s built into the treasury platform, making managing bank accounts easier, sending payments, and even collecting statements.
  • Market Data: FIS integrates its treasury management solutions with market data providers. This makes tasks like month-end accounting or market analysis a breeze

Why Is the SWIFT Service Bureau Beneficial?

Having the SWIFT Service Bureau embedded in FIS’s treasury platform is super useful for a couple of reasons:

  1. Single-Point Contact: Everything’s under one roof. Whether you have bank connectivity issues or questions about the treasury platform, you just need to contact FIS.
  2. Easy Bank Onboarding: If you decide to work with a new bank, getting them onboard is simple. That’s because FIS Swift Services connects you to almost any bank part of the SWIFT network.

What About Market Data?

FIS also offers its own market data service. It feeds directly into their treasury platform, making it easier to perform daily evaluations or market analysis. Think about this: you get everything in one place instead of juggling multiple subscriptions.

An All-in-One Service

FIS is a one-stop shop for treasury management. You get platforms for treasury, payments, and receivables, plus a whole suite of additional services. This extends beyond treasury, including features like a free money market funds portal and a confirmation matching service for foreign exchange and money market trades. So, if you’re tired of dealing with multiple service providers, consider simplifying things with FIS.

What Sets FIS Apart from Other Treasury Management Systems?

Regarding standing out in the Treasury Management Systems (TMS) world, FIS offers a broad set of features. Think money market funds, payment solutions, and market data—all under one roof! They focus on specialized services because their team comprises treasury experts. This lets them give customers an all-in-one service experience, compelling their offer.

But that’s not all. FIS isn’t just resting on its laurels. They keep pouring money into their platform. Investments include the infrastructure, the actual product, and external support networks. So they’re continually upping their game to stay ahead.

How Has the Role of Treasurers Evolved?

You might have noticed that the role of the treasurer has been changing. It used to be all about risk management. Nowadays, treasurers wear more hats, including strategic ones. Money’s more expensive, so the stakes are higher. They’re not just managing risks but also key players in shaping financial strategy.

In response, TMS platforms like the one FIS offers have evolved, too. Today’s treasurer wants a sophisticated tool that brings value immediately. And they don’t want to wait ages to get it up and running either.

The Importance of Data Strategy

Another big change? Treasurers are now talking about data strategy. It’s not just about having information; it’s about bringing all that financial data together in real time. This helps treasurers make quicker and better decisions. TMS providers must ensure their platforms can handle this kind of data consolidation.

The Future of Treasury Management Systems and the Treasurer’s Role

The landscape for Treasury Management Systems (TMS) and the role of the treasurer is rapidly evolving. Let’s dig into what’s on the horizon.

The Future of Treasury Management Systems and the Treasurer's Role
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Data Strategy: The New Must-Have

Companies are focusing more on data strategy to make smarter decisions. The idea is to give the treasury department the tools to collect data in real time from various sources. This data isn’t just for the treasury; it’s also valuable for the CFO and treasury analysts. Soon, there will be tech solutions for this kind of data strategy.

Everything as a Service

The “as a Service” model is taking over. Customers don’t want to go through complicated processes to connect their bank accounts or integrate with their ERP systems. They want immediate, hassle-free connectivity. This means services should be ready “out-of-the-box” without complex designs or mapping.

The Rise of Subscription Models

Businesses are increasingly moving toward subscription models, like software as a Service (SaaS). The perk? No upfront fees. Companies can immediately start using the services they need, paying for them on a subscription basis. This makes adopting new technology a lot easier and less risky.

Business Process Outsourcing: A Growing Demand

Some sectors are also showing a growing interest in business process outsourcing. The idea here is simple: let experts handle the operational side of things. This allows companies to focus solely on making crucial business decisions without getting bogged down by operational complexities.

FIS: More Than Just Treasury Solutions

While the discussion mostly revolved around treasury solutions, it’s worth mentioning that FIS is a diverse organization. It is a leading provider of technology solutions for financial institutions and businesses of all sizes and across any industry globally. Each division offers a wide range of products and services, catering to specific business needs.

What Does Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition Offer in Treasury Management?

Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition is a robust software that is an all-in-one solution for managing a company’s treasury needs. Let’s dive into its features, who can benefit from it, and what sets it apart from other treasury management systems (TMS).

What Does Integrity Offer in Treasury Management?
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No Infrastructure Needed

First off, FIS Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. This means you don’t need any special hardware or IT skills to get started. All you need is a web browser, and you’ll have your secure database.

Wide Range of Treasury Solutions

FIS Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition is not a one-trick pony. It offers many features, from basic cash management to advanced risk analytics. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Cash Management and Visibility
  • In-House Banking
  • Front and Back Office Applications
  • Accounting and Hedge Accounting
  • Risk Analytics

Moreover, it comes with a built-in Business Intelligence (BI) tool for reporting. So you can keep tabs on your data without needing an external tool.

Connectivity Features

Another strong point is its seamless connectivity options. Think about this: Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition can automatically connect to banks and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. That means fewer headaches when it comes to integrating different data sources.

A Cut Above the Rest

So, what makes Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition stand out? Its sheer breadth. The solution has features like market data, money market funds, and confirmation matching built right in. For the more advanced users, there are also options to analyze value at risk and other metrics to understand your risk profile better. This makes it a highly versatile choice for your treasury needs.

Who Should Use Integrity?

The solution is flexible when it comes to the size and needs of your company. It boils down to whether you prefer a standardized approach (Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition) or a more flexible approach (Treasury and Risk Manager – Quantum Edition, another platform by FIS).

When to Switch from Spreadsheets to a Treasury Management System (TMS)

Switching from spreadsheets to a Treasury Management System (TMS) like Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition can be a game-changer for any business, big or small. So, how do you know when it’s the right time to make that switch? Well, the answer lies in how much time you’re spending on manual tasks.

When to Switch from Excel to a Treasury Management System (TMS)
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Signs You Need to Switch

  • You’re spending too much time gathering banking information.
  • You find it challenging to quickly get info from other operations in your company.

If you notice these signs, it’s time to consider a TMS. The good thing is that technology like Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition is becoming more affordable and easy to use, making it accessible for smaller organizations, too. Plus, the return on investment is quick, so you don’t have to wait long to see benefits.

Flexibility in Integrity

You might be thinking, “Is Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition too rigid for my needs?” Good news: it’s flexible. While the solution offers just one version of its software, each customer gets their own database. This means you can configure:

  • Your workflow
  • Analytics
  • Processes
  • Visibility
  • Alerts

You can set up the system exactly how you need it, all within that single version. So, no two customers are locked into the same setup.

Why Do Treasury Departments Need Customized Systems?

Treasury management is not one-size-fits-all. Companies, especially those operating in specific countries, often require unique solutions. This can be due to:

  • Local banking expectations: How they share info may differ based on location.
  • Unique internal processes: These might be incompatible with standard solutions.
  • Scale: As the company grows, old systems may not keep up.

Sometimes, companies even have their own IT-developed treasury tools. In such cases, they’ll talk with vendors to incorporate these custom tools into a new treasury platform.

Integrating Systems

How does this system communicate with others? Two words: middleware and flexibility. This treasury management system (TMS) offers a transformation service as a standard feature. It’s a sort of digital interpreter. You can use it to connect with other systems using any file type: CSV, XML, you name it.

Here’s the catch. The process is streamlined. It minimizes the work needed on both ends. Security is a top priority, too. The communication happens via a secure SFTP connection.

Moreover, there’s also the option for API connectivity. But unlike other vendors, this system offers it “out of the box.” That means minimal technical work on your end. So, you can connect to banks, dealing platforms, and other data sources super easily.

Sources for Market Data

But wait, where do you get your market data? Turns out, you’ve got options. Whether it’s Bloomberg, Refinitiv, or Central Bank Information, you can choose. You’ll get all the data you need for your accounting and reporting without breaking the bank.

How Secure Is Your Data and What Regulations Come into Play?

Data security is a big deal, especially when dealing with sensitive information from large financial institutions and corporations. Many organizations team up with heavy-hitters in data security, like National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, and Microsoft, to make sure your data is as secure as possible. On top of that, they go through rigorous security checks like penetration testing to check for any vulnerabilities.

How Secure Is Your Data and What Regulations Come into Play?
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When it comes to regulations, being aware of different jurisdictional laws like GDPR in Europe is crucial. After significant events like Brexit, some organizations even provide hosting environments specific to the UK and Europe. All these steps are in place to ensure not just the smooth operation of technology platforms but also the utmost safety of customer data.

The Limitations and Opportunities in Current Systems

Let’s be honest—no system is perfect. While big players in the market offer numerous benefits, their size can sometimes be a drawback. New startups can quickly innovate and shift market expectations. For example, in our complicated world filled with geopolitical and interest rate volatility, new solutions for optimizing working capital and liquidity management are popping up. So yes, smaller fintechs are bringing some fresh ideas to the table.

What does this mean for you? Competition keeps everyone on their toes! Larger organizations have to adapt fast to these new trends. They can’t just rely on their existing capabilities because the market is always evolving. And this constant change is what makes the industry so thrilling.

Collaboration with Startups: A Win-Win

Do larger organizations just ignore these nimble startups? Absolutely not! Many opt to work directly with startups that have already come up with innovative solutions. This approach saves time and resources, and it’s beneficial for everyone involved. The startups get access to a more extensive customer base and resources, while the larger organizations can quickly integrate new capabilities into their existing platforms. So, it’s a win-win for everyone—most importantly, for you as a customer, who gets the best of both worlds.

How to Successfully Implement Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition for Your Business

Implementing a software system like Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition in your business is a big step. But don’t worry; you’re not alone. Here’s how to make it smooth and effective.

Know Your Business Vision

Firstly, get a strong grasp of your business vision, goals, and future needs. Only then can you develop a reliable implementation strategy.

There are mainly two kinds of strategies for implementing Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition:

  1. Packaged Approach: This is ideal for small organizations with limited resources. It’s a turnkey solution with quick ROI and lower costs. However, your options are limited initially, although you can expand later.
  2. Customized Approach: Larger organizations often take this route. Before even signing any contracts, your business will have a thorough planning process with the Integrity team. The goal is to not just replicate your existing processes but to improve efficiency and value.

Flexibility in Project Delivery

Who should be responsible for delivering the project? You’ve got options:

  • Work directly with FIS’ professional services team.
  • Partner with a consultancy you already have a relationship with.
  • Choose a hybrid approach combining both options above.

What Resources Do You Need?

The amount of time and resources you’ll need depends on your role and the project’s size. An accountant may need to devote less time compared to a treasury analyst, who is more involved.

Key Milestones and Deadlines

Setting clear milestones and deadlines is crucial. These can range from launching different modules like cash and liquidity visibility to more complex functionalities.

For successful implementation, you need people who:

  1. Understand their roles within the organization clearly.
  2. Can translate current practices into what the technology should deliver.

This includes team members like cash managers, accountants, and treasurers. Sometimes, you might also need IT support for integrating other data sources.

Time Duration for Implementation

The timeline can vary significantly based on many factors, such as:

  • Organization size
  • Number of modules needed
  • Training approach

It could be as short as a couple of months or much longer, depending on the complexities involved.

The Importance of Real-Time Data in Treasury Management Systems (TMS)

Real-time data is not just a buzzword anymore; it’s become critical for modern treasury tasks. You might wonder, “Why the sudden importance?” Well, let’s dive into it.

The Importance of Real-Time Data in Treasury Management Systems (TMS)
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What Real-Time Data Offers

First off, speed matters more than ever. Imagine it’s the end of the month, and your accounting team is scrambling to close the books. The faster data flows in, the easier their lives get. Think about this: With real-time data, you could go from closing the books in five days to just two. That’s a significant efficiency gain!

Data Availability

But it’s not just about speed. It’s also about data being readily available when you need it. You don’t get a new bank statement every second, but when you need your statement, it’s there—no lag, no waiting. This helps you react faster to changes, avoid fees, and make the most of your financial resources.

Integrated Connectivity

Now, how does this all work? Through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), which connect different systems in real-time. An example would be sending an accounting entry from a treasury platform to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system instantly. So, as soon as a transaction happens, it’s recorded and available across systems.

Immediate Impact on Treasury Tasks

You might think, “Well, all this real-time data must be overwhelming,” but it’s the opposite. You can customize reports to see exactly what you need. And because you’re always looking at the latest information, you can make quick decisions on things like managing overdrafts or reducing costs.

How Do Different Systems from FIS Work Together for Treasury Operations?

It’s no secret that a well-integrated tech stack can make a big difference for treasury teams. But what happens when you bring together different systems from FIS, a company known for its robust treasury solutions? Good news: there’s a lot to gain from such a setup!

The Beauty of Integration

First off, most FIS products can easily connect with each other, except for Integrity and Quantum. For example, FIS Payment Hub – Quantum Edition (Formerly Trax), known as a payment hub, works hand-in-hand with both FIS Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition and Treasury and Risk Manager – Quantum Edition. This hub has a library approach to help you connect with banks efficiently and in the proper formats. So whether you’re dealing with local or international payments, you’re covered.

All About Payments

Imagine you’re a treasury team member who has to handle multiple bank accounts and various payment formats. That sounds stressful, right? With FIS’s payment hub, you’ll find it easier to manage this complexity. Tracks enhances the payment capabilities of both FIS Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition and Treasury and Risk Manager – Quantum Edition, ensuring smooth, immediate bank connectivity. So, you’re not only in control of your treasury process but also your payables.

Beyond Payments: The Order-to-Cash Process

But wait, there’s more! FIS offers other tools that take treasury management up a notch. One of these is their order-to-cash solution called “GETPAID.” Now, you can have a bird’s-eye view of your expected receivables. This means you’re not just crossing your fingers and hoping the receivables numbers are correct. Instead, you’ve got real-time, reliable data at your fingertips.

Why This Matters

So why should you care about all this? Because integrating these systems gives you a well-rounded view of your financial operations. You’re not only speeding up processes but also making them more efficient and transparent. This sets you up for better decision-making, which, let’s face it, is crucial in the fast-paced world of treasury management. So, if you’re using FIS products or considering them, think about this: the right mix of their tools can really streamline your day-to-day tasks and long-term strategies.

Separate Treasury Management System (TMS) VS ERP’s Built-in Treasury Module

Choosing between an integrated treasury module in an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and a standalone Treasury Management System (TMS) like Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition has its perks and pitfalls. Let’s break it down for you.

Why a Standalone TMS Can Be Better

  1. Specialization: A dedicated TMS is specifically designed for treasury functions. It offers a higher level of sophistication because that’s its main job, unlike ERP systems, where treasury is an add-on.
  2. Efficiency: Standalone TMS platforms usually operate as true software as a Service (SaaS) applications. This ensures smoother and quicker functions.
  3. Easy Implementation: TMS solutions come as standardized offerings. Setting them up is generally straightforward, saving you time and hassle.
  4. ERP Compatibility: Many TMS solutions offer built-in ERP connectors. For instance, if you’re an SAP user, the TMS can connect directly to your SAP system. This means you get the best of both worlds—ERP’s broad capabilities and TMS’s specialized functions.

The Downside

  1. Limited Scope: A standalone TMS can’t completely replace an ERP. It won’t manage other business processes like inventory, sales, or human resources.
  2. Extra Cost: You’ll need to budget for an additional system, including its setup and maintenance.

How Customer Feedback Shapes TMS Development

Listening to customers is crucial for any service provider, especially for something as important as a TMS. But how exactly does feedback shape the product?

Open Communication Channels

  • Idea Toolbox: Customers can add their suggestions directly into a tool. The more votes an idea gets, the higher it climbs on the development priority list.
  • Face-to-face Meetings: Vendors often organize local customer group meetings to discuss anything and everything—what users like, what they don’t, and what they need.

Handling Bugs and Issues

  • Strict SLAs: Service Level Agreements are in place to tackle bugs. The response time depends on the severity of the issue. Critical problems like login failures get immediate attention.

So, when you’re picking a TMS, think about this: Does it meet your specialized needs better than an ERP? And does the vendor listen to your feedback for ongoing improvement? Making a choice that aligns with your unique needs will set you on the path to long-term success.

Conclusion:

Treasury Management Systems (TMS) aren’t just a nice-to-have; they’re essential. They make cash flow management a breeze and keep you in the loop with all your bank accounts. Plus, they’re great for reducing financial risks. You need to choose your TMS wisely, factoring in your business size, available resources, and future plans. Companies like FIS offer solid, all-in-one options that you can count on.

Don’t overlook the importance of security and compliance, either. The TMS landscape keeps changing, mainly because of collaborations with fresh, innovative startups. The integration of various systems can also make your financial operations more efficient.

Finally, don’t forget that your opinion counts. Customer feedback is critical for improving these systems. So, think about your needs and make them known. Picking the right TMS is your ticket to streamlined, hassle-free financial management.

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