Each year Global Finance magazine ranks the best treasury/cash management banks by region and by service category. The March 2008 issue arrived on Friday (just in time to land on the top of my weekend reading pile) and here are the highlights:
Best Overall Bank for Cash Management (Global Winner)
Best Bank for Risk Management (North America)
Best CLS-Linked Bank Offering (North America)
Global Finance praises Citi for innovation and its close collaboration with technology providers to help companies re-engineer their treasury and cash management processes. Highlights include the Citi TreasuryVision portal providing treasurers with greater visibility into their cash, investments, and liquidity and its new Managed Identity Services solution that enhances and streamlines security and identity management in high value corporate payments. Citi is one of the few banks that supports ISO 20022 XML standards. Citi has a 38% share of the third party Continuous Linked Settlement (CLS) system, simplifying foreign exchange processing and allows non-CLS settlement members to access its CLS settlement services through its online portal, CitiDirect.
Best Bank for Cash Management (North America)
Best Bank for Payments & Collections (North America)
Best Bank for Liquidity Management (North America)
Best Provider of Money Market Funds (North America)
JPMorgan Chase withstands increasing competition from foreign banks in US Market, and wins based on its integrated receivables offering, liquidity management, and order-to-pay processes. Its network of 15 image-enabled lockbox processing centers is linked with Receivables Edge (see my earlier post) a web-based interface for consolidating payment and remittance info for ACH, wire transfer, and EDI payments. JPMorgan is expanding its remote capture deposit services to include document image capture and promoting Back Office Check (BOC) conversion. In addition, the acquisition of Xign enhances JPMorgan's payables and procurement capabilities. Global Finance lauds JPMorgan as an early pioneer in liquidity management, building on early innovations by providing third-party sweeping capabilities and "double sweep" which provides intra-day and end-of-day sweep and automated sweeps of excess funds into a centralized consolidated account, available for investment in a wide range of vehicles. JPMorgan Asset Management funds are well integrated into the banks liquidity management solutions and the bank is positioning itself to support special classes of investors such as central banks and sovereign wealth funds. As the leading ACH originator (by an overwhelming majority) and largest US dollar clearing bank JPMorgan is well positioned to serve its commercial customers.
Systems & Services Provider Rankings
Global Finance also reviewed Treasury and Cash Management systems and service providers to determine the best solutions in eleven categories. The winners are:
Best Accounts Payable Services
Working capital efficiency is driving the effort to automate and streamline order-to-pay. Global Finance is impressed by Bottomline's strong exception management and workflow tools that enable companies to accelerate the invoice approval process and increase the number of payments eligible for early payment discounts. Bottomline recognizes that paper is not going away anytime soon, and provides outsourced invoice data capture (not just invoice images).
Best Accounts Receivable Services
SunGard has one of the most comprehensive accounts receivable solutions on the market, according to Global Finance. User lower their days sales outstanding (DSO) by reducing disputes and streamlining the receivables process. Features include credit risk management, collections, dispute resolution, electronic invoice settlement, cash forecasting and analysis and reporting.
Best Invoice Presentment & Payment
Ariba provides both payments and remittance management. It is partnering with Orbian to provide supply chain financing. Over 120,000 suppliers are in the Ariba network, and efforts are underway to increase that number.
Best Payroll Services
Global Fiance notes that by consolidating various acquisitions Oracle delivers rules based payroll management that allows users to easily and dynamically control changes to employee benefits. It has modules for country-specific payroll needs, providing a global solution.
Best Corporate Cards & Expense Management
Expense cards provide efficiency, but the real value comes through transaction reporting, data integration, and authorization management – areas in which MasterCard has invested heavily over the last year. Sophisticated authorization, transaction routing, and alert controls can be customized using MasterCard inControl. SmartData offers enhanced spend data reporting, and Travel Dashboard provides travel program business intelligence.
Best Electronic Commerce Provider
CheckFree claims that a significant percentage of the 14 billion annual ACH transactions are processed using their software. CheckFree has an EFT network, bill presentment and payment solution, too. Fiserv aims to combine CheckFree's capabilities to its own core banking solutions for small and mid-sized banks.
Best Loss Prevention /Business Services Provider
Global Finance is impressed by SunGard's comprehensive Availability Services that address all aspects of business continuity planning – data, IT, networks, and people – and enable companies to restore business as usual after a calamity.
Best Pension Plan Administration Services
e from CPAS is used to administer thousands of pension plans around the world. Global Finance praises the solution's strong workflow and data management capabilities, web-access and self-serve features. An Express version is pre-configured for rapid implementation.
Best Technology Service Provider
Acknowledging stiff competition from Indian high margin business process outsourcing providers, Global Finance still thinks EDS is tops for remote infrastructure management via its utility based model and large geographic footprint.
Best Treasury Workstation Provider
Best Treasury Management Software
More than 1,600 companies use SunGard AvantGard for treasury and risk management. Recent focus on straight-through-processing and collaborative financial management in order to increase efficiency in the end-to-end supply chain. SunGard was an early champion of ASP and hosted solutions, providing an answer to companies without a dedicated treasury management system. Acquisition of ZRT's Globe$ and TWS solutions provide comprehensive data to support treasurer's risk and cash forecasting solutions.
World's Best Treasury Providers 2008
March 2008 (pages 40-57)