Every rand counts
By Pieter Cronje, Director and Head of Cash, Liquidity, and Forecasting at TreasuryONE
Among the various financial challenges South African corporations face, one often overlooked but significant aspect is the analysis of bank fees. This seemingly routine task, essential for optimising financial strategies, can be surprisingly complicated and frustrating.
Here we delve into the difficulties that South African corporates encounter while analysing bank fees and how TreasuryONE offers an innovative solution to alleviate these challenges.
The Complexities of Bank Fee Analysis
Bank fees might appear as a minor detail in the grand scheme of corporate financial operations, but their cumulative impact can be substantial. They encompass charges for services ranging from account maintenance to international transfers, and their proper analysis is crucial for cost containment.
However, three major frustrations hamper this analysis process for South African corporates:
- Time-Consuming and Manual Nature of Analysis
Bank fee analysis is notorious for its time-consuming and manual nature. Corporates must sift through a deluge of bank statements, combing line by line to identify and categorise various fees. This process demands meticulous attention and eats into valuable time that could be allocated to more strategic tasks. The manual nature of the process also introduces a higher likelihood of errors, which can lead to inaccurate financial reporting and decision-making.
- Deciphering Complex Bank Referencing
One of the most vexing issues in bank fee analysis is deciphering the cryptic references used by banks. Bank statements often display fee descriptions using vague codes and obscure references that lack clarity. This not only confounds corporates but also makes it challenging to allocate fees to the correct cost centres. The result is an inefficient allocation of costs, and potential missed cost-saving opportunities.
- Limited Insights from Online Banking Platforms
While online banking platforms offer convenience and accessibility, they fall short of providing comprehensive insights into bank fees. The fee information presented is often limited and lacks the granularity needed for thorough analysis. This limitation restricts the ability of corporates to scrutinise fee trends, identify anomalies, and make informed decisions to optimise their financial operations.
TreasuryONE’s Innovative Solution
Recognising these challenges, TreasuryONE offers an innovative solution that addresses the frustrations associated with bank fee analysis for South African corporates.
Let’s delve into the ways in which TreasuryONE’s solution revolutionises the landscape:
- Automated Categorisation of Bank Fees
TreasuryONE’s comprehensive lists of bank codes and references form the foundation of their solution. These lists serve as a repository of knowledge about various fees and their corresponding descriptions, overcoming the obstacle of deciphering complex bank references. By harnessing the power of automation and data analytics, TreasuryONE’s platform streamlines the categorisation process. This not only saves a significant amount of time but also reduces the potential for human error, enhancing the accuracy of fee allocation.
- Clear and Actionable Reports
The heart of TreasuryONE’s solution lies in its ability to generate clear and actionable reports of categorised bank fees. These reports offer a holistic view of fee patterns, making it easy to identify outliers and anomalies. By presenting the information in a concise and understandable manner, TreasuryONE empowers corporates to make informed decisions swiftly. This newfound transparency enables proactive cost management and strategic financial planning.
TreasuryONE’s innovative solution offers a way out of these predicaments. By automating the categorisation of bank fees and providing clear, actionable reports, TreasuryONE equips corporates with the tools they need to navigate the complex world of bank fee analysis effectively.
- Automatically aggregate & analyse bank fee statements against company-negotiated bank fee schedules to achieve transparency into bank fees.
- Analyse current, prior, and same-month charges for the prior year.
- Conduct analysis using both industry standards and non-standard formats.
How we do it
- Streamlined processes: automated processes result in more efficient and less time-consuming bank fee analysis
- Benchmark: Benchmark current contract fees and identify overcharges for the past year against contract fees. We do the negotiation of new contract fees and refunds where applicable.
- Maintenance: Monthly review of contract differences and fee adjustments with each bank. Resolution of bank fee discrepancies and escalation when resolution is not optimal.
- Focus on strategy: Ensuring you get what you negotiated and need takes time from more strategic treasury operations. We can handle analysis,
bank follow-up, negotiation, and reporting so you may focus on treasury’s most important tasks.
- Reporting: receive any of a wide range of reporting options, making it easier to share the results of the bank fee analysis with stakeholders and management.