|By Travis Miskowitz, Director, CFO Advisory|
Protecting data integrity while leveraging data for strategic insights and decision‐making
Imagine that you’re the head of a real estate company that has 90 bank accounts. You want to know the details of your cashflow, so you request that someone from the accounting team update you on the activity and cash balances twice a day. The employee spends his entire week doing this manually — checking each of the 90 accounts and transferring data into a spreadsheet.
You know this is an inefficient use of this person’s time and that the process is prone to human error. But you need this updated information. What if you could automate the process, getting the information you need while freeing up your accountant for more strategic, high‐value deliverables?
Introducing the Automated Cashflow Reporting Tool
We worked with one of our large real estate clients to create exactly this solution — an automated cashflow report that allows the client to easily track the inflows/outflows while keeping a handle on the company’s actual cash position.
Leveraging an automated bot, the tool can effortlessly tap into a company’s bank and accounting system to pull the information required to prepare the summary report. The company maintains the ability to manually enter transactions to create what/if scenarios, which are key to accurate planning in a variety of situations.
Why We Are Automating Cashflow Reporting
We think this tool will offer a wealth of benefits to real estate enterprises. With the help of this automated tool, companies will be able to:
- Simplify reporting to help make accurate decisions around cashflow and treasury management
- Identify inflows/outflows and the pending cash requirements of the company
- Determine when and what cash resources the company should tap into if necessary
- Increase accuracy of the cash balance report by automating collection and summarization of data, and reconciling to trusted data sources such as the bank account and accounting system
- Reduce the workload of the accounting team so they can focus on more important aspects of their jobs
We are now developing this tool into one that we can deploy with any client and that can scale to handle any scope. The tool currently provides a report on the company’s cash position at a point in time.
Our next step is to add additional layers of functionality, including cashflow forecasting, covenant compliance and reporting, and KPIs. With those extras in place, companies like the one with 90 bank accounts can move beyond cashflow tracking to get more intentional around goal‐setting, compliance‐monitoring, and strategic decision‐making.