Treasury & Systems Centralization at USG
by Elizabeth Fruin, Treasury Manager, USG
USG’s treasury has seen significant changes since I first joined the business 19 years ago. Until recently, our operations were primarily domestic but the international aspects of the business are now becoming increasingly important. Although USG is still a relatively small player globally, things change rapidly which is why we have taken action to centralize our treasury management, implement a new treasury management system (SunGard’s AvantGard Integrity) and provide a firm foundation for the growth of our business.
We sought a solution which would acoommodate our future needs as well as support our current operations.
We had a number of challenges we sought to address when centralizing our treasury operations and systems infrastructure. Most of these related to the number of manual processes which we had in place. We had separate connections to eight banks, each of which we had to log into and then input the data manually. These manual tasks, such as the re-keying of data, created operational risk and lacked control. In addition, because of the time taken to complete these daily tasks, we were not able to see a complete cash position until 11 a.m. each day, which made it difficult to optimize the return on any surplus short-term cash or secure better borrowing rates.
One of the outcomes of this was that we were only able to post to the ledger once a month. Subsidiary businesses too could only reconcile their financial activities monthly. These difficulties have been exacerbated whenever we have acquired a new company, as it has been a challenge to integrate their banks and systems into our infrastructure.