Send in the Robot: Automating Bank Account Signatory Maintenance

By August 19, 2021No Comments

One corporate’s solution uses RPA and ServiceNow to solve the problem of updating signatories on bank accounts.

Treasury teams at multinational corporations with scores of banks and hundreds of bank accounts often struggle to find out in a timely manner when the people who are signatories on those accounts—spread across the globe—change jobs or leave the company. That’s a problem.

  • One member of NeuGroup for Global Cash and Banking recently described to peers how her company solved the problem by creating a solution using robotic process automation (RPA) and technology from ServiceNow. The result: real-time monitoring of employee movements and an automated, centralized ticketing system.

The scope of the problem. Treasury had no reliable source informing the team when the employment status of bank signatories changed. Team members used paper-based notification and approval processes, adding to delays and errors.

  • Treasury manually compared its data to HR data annually to identify needed updates. The data gathering and reconciliation process was tedious and took months, the member said. By the time it was complete, the information was already out of date.
  • Numbers reveal the scope of the challenge and the immense potential benefit of using technology to wrestle the bank compliance and maintenance monster to the ground. The company operates in more than 55 countries and has:
    • More than 100 banks.
    • More than 600 bank accounts.
    • More than 650 account signatories.
    • More than 150 entities.
    • About 6,000 relocations or terminations annually.

Steps to the solution. The company’s process was manual, rules-based and repetitive. “We thought this was a good candidate for the robot,” the member said.

  • The team devising the RPA plan consisted of treasury cash management staff, an RPA developer who works for the company (using software from UiPath) and a developer who works for ServiceNow.
  • The solution involves using a robot to identify role changes and terminations by comparing HR data held in SAP to a list of active signatories in treasury’s bank account management database, marked BAC (bank account compliance) on the chart above.
  • An app from QlikView pulls the data from the two databases and then the robot automatically writes tickets in ServiceNow, directing treasury to take any necessary action.
  • A detailed process map established the workflow approval process within the system.
  • The team’s case study and financial evaluation indicated the expected return on investment from the project “was quite huge”—more than 250%, the member said.
    • Ancillary benefits identified included a timely update of bank records, prevention of financial loss and complying with a recommendation from the audit team.

Tweaking ticketing. The solution required using both a standard API for ServiceNow and a custom API to reduce the amount of time needed to create the ServiceNow tickets.

  • The team separated the data in ServiceNow into two categories: tickets per person (cases) and associated accounts (tasks) as sub-tickets.
  • The ticketing system created a centralized location to track all requests, eliminating the need for spreadsheets.
  • It also helped clarify priorities by creating visibility for all requests and eliminating duplication of effort.
  • Requests are now prioritized according to urgency instead of order of receipt.
  • It provided built-in data reporting, allowing the development of dashboards to track KPIs, including the number of updates completed monthly, outstanding items and average time to completion.

Results, future. Once implemented and running for the first time, the solution generated 280 tickets that impacted 390 bank accounts where the signer had some type of HR position change or termination.

  • The RPA tool now runs daily, generating an average of 12 tickets a month.
  • The company has biweekly meetings with ServiceNow developers to discuss issues including workflow, email notifications, auto closure of tickets and viewing access.
  • Future updates may include adding Power BI to extract data from SAP and the company’s bank account management database.
  • Treasury is considering using the same process developed for signatory management for bank portal access.
  • Many other groups at the company may use a version of the tool to manage other risks.
    • The solution is being reviewed for use by the legal department to identify HR changes for personnel with powers of attorney.
    • It may also be used by the company’s shared service center and internal audit to track other types of access and authorities.
Justin Jones

Author Justin Jones

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