Internal Branch Cash Studies: Doing it Yourself vs. Hiring a Professional

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Branch Managers who oversee cash operations are burdened with estimating branch and ATM cash flow in order to properly service their customers. On top of that, managers must balance delivery schedules, ordering time frames and limits – all while preparing for unexpected inflows or outflows, that can happen at any time. How can you manage competing cash needs, while also addressing all the other operations of the branch?

Many banks and credit unions choose to handle cash reviews internally, but there is an alternative option. There are professional consultants and tools available to help you determine cash demand, forecast necessary levels and compile data in an actionable way.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of each, as well as what you should consider before making a decision about your internal cash studies.

Doing Internal Cash Studies Yourself

Many banks and credit unions are still conducting their own internal cash studies. With this, you must take into account all the cash touchpoints from your tellers to financial managers and ensure it’s being handled effectively at each touchpoint. Are you truly prepared for peaks and ebbs in your cash demand, without having excess? This includes holidays, tax season, payday – the list goes on and on.

There’s an innumerable amount to consider when weighing your branch cash management.

Pros:

  • No out of pocket costs
  • Employees know the policies and processes of the bank or credit union

Cons:

  • Outdated processes can lead to operational inefficiencies and excess cash
  • Cash data not readily available and scattered across multiple departments
  • Using previous experience as a baseline isn’t the most effective way to order cash
  • Doing it yourself doesn’t ensure compliance with internal cash policies

Although it seems wise to “DIY” these branch cash management processes, many times the cash study is never completed. Most branches have already optimized staffing, which does not leave employees with time to undertake a cash study. Most revert to the practice of ‘do what they’ve always done’. In addition, setting the correct level of cash does not always effectively meet customers’ needs, because denomination mixes are typically not taken into consideration.

Hiring a Professional

You may be thinking that the cost required to hire a professional will cause a strain – especially if you have a restrictive budget. But not only could this be holding your bank or credit union back from reaching its fullest potential, by reducing non-earning assets, but there are many processes that can be streamlined to avoid constant communication between multiple departments and eliminate time consuming ‘guess-timates’ on cash order amounts.

Seasoned professionals have worked in the branch cash management industry for decades, and chances are, have an actionable solution that can help your bank or credit union.

Pros:

  • Get expert advice on what works best for your bank or credit union
  • Ability to monitor cash levels on a daily basis
  • Greater levels of functionality without having to alter existing processes
  • Implements strategic forecasting tools to more proactively identify and predict future cash needs

Cons:

  • Requires an upfront investment
  • Requires team training and consensus

Know Your Options

Many times, technological processes are outdated, and there are myriad of resources available to improve your level of service and customer satisfaction. Whether you choose to conduct internal cash studies yourself or defer to a professional, be aware there are solutions out there to produce efficiency and eliminate excess non-interest generating cash.

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