Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi

ANZ makes its mark in the STR space

The move to centralised treasury operations together with tough regulatory requirements are key drivers behind increased corporate expectations around the quality of their reporting and information. Treasury Today speaks to Anne Collard, Global Head of Product & Channel Management, Payments & Cash Management, ANZ Institutional & International Banking, about the bank’s partnership with Gresham Computing to deliver innovative solutions for corporate clients requiring straight through reconciliation (STR).

What trends are you seeing in the corporate reconciliation space at present?

For today’s treasurers and CFOs to have accurate and timely visibility and control of their cash position they require accurate and timely information, as well as efficient, flexible and reliable transaction processing.

While we continue to see a growing demand amongst corporate clients for streamlined and automated reconciliation due to the foreseeable benefits, they don’t always feel that they have the capabilities to successfully execute such a large and complex program. We’re also seeing our clients increasingly acknowledge that automated capture and reconciliation of financial information can not only assist them in the accounts receivable area, but also with accounts payable.

We selected Gresham to enhance work we already had underway to rapidly design and deliver a suite of market leading and client focused solutions that will change working capital management practices for corporates.

What functionality and benefits can each of the new solutions provide to corporate clients? How do the three solutions differ from each other and why?

The three solutions address the different needs of our clients that operate across a diverse range of industries. This also recognises the fact that no single organisation ever manages its business in exactly the same way.

ANZ Cashactive Virtual is an online sub-account solution that streamlines the management of intra-company funds. It enables a self-managed and intuitive way for assigning business rules to transactions and automatically allocating funds to sub-accounts. Utilising the same online sub-account capability, ANZ Cashactive Control instead focuses on the management of client monies or third party funds.

Given the increased focused of treasurers and CFOs on business intelligence and automated process management to supplement their need for visibility and control of cash, we’ve also developed Cashactive Fusion. This solution matches electronic receipts and invoices against outstanding items to provide meaningful information on closed or open items. The appropriate actions in the ‘procure to pay’ or ‘quote to cash’ supply chain can then be taken to effectively manage working capital.

When will the products be rolled out/go live? Have you received any interest from corporates wishing to try out these solutions?

After a successful pilot period with a number of corporate clients, ANZ Cashactive Virtual was released into the Australian and New Zealand market from December 2011, and is receiving positive interest from a diverse range of corporates during its introduction phase.

ANZ Cashactive Control and ANZ Cashactive Fusion were only recently launched after a pilot period in the same geographies in April 2012. Given the more sophisticated nature of these solutions compared to basic transaction banking services, we have a solid base of corporate clients that are either going through the implementation process or business identification and solution design phase.

How do you foresee the reconciliation space developing in the coming years?

We believe the demand and quality of services in the automated reconciliation space will continue to get stronger and stronger in a very short period of time.

Our future plans in this area are focused on enhancing the client experience by optimising the quality and range of information that can be automatically captured and reconciled. We’re also looking at stronger integration with our clients’ systems and enriched information across the complete financial supply chain. It will equip our corporate clients to better forecast and manage their cash flow, help them to connect their buyers and suppliers, and enable them to control business triggers for effectively managing surplus cash and optimising debt.