Skip to content
5 min read

The Future of Cash Management: Trends to Watch in 2023 and Beyond

Featured Image

A combination of extreme events over the past few years have impacted the global economy which in turn launched several cash management trends worth keeping an eye on–and even more than that. These trends are transformative, and businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition should give them serious consideration.

First, a brief review of what happened. We experienced a worldwide pandemic that accelerated a universal move to a largely remote workforce. Then the pandemic along with the war in Ukraine interrupted the supply chain in an unprecedented way. And finally, almost no one managed to escape the impact of inflation and rising interest rates.

It’s in this whirlwind of change that finance professionals have been forced to adapt and innovate, finding challenges and opportunities along the way. In this blog we’ll share some of these trends in cash management that aren’t going to go away. In fact, it’s a safe bet to say that these trends are just the beginning of a digital overhaul of the ways finance and treasury departments operate. Successful small to mid-sized businesses are already looking for ways to integrate these trends into their processes and workflows as soon as possible:

  • Centralized cash management
  • Increased control over payments
  • Automated reconciliations
  • Use of advanced technologies

Fortunately, the market has plenty of options for businesses to use these trends to their advantage. Not only do these shifts improve efficiency and visibility, they will enable businesses to continue following one timeless trend in cash management that won’t change any time soon: Cash is king. By improving your current processes with the employment of the above trends, you’ll have the ability to know your cash positions in real-time, forecast cash more accurately and increase cash flow.

Cash Management All In and From One Place

Finance departments that rely on manual processes are inherently riddled with inefficiencies and opportunities for inaccurate or omitted information.  Instead of finance teams having to manually gather financial data from disparate sources such as paper files, ERPs and extraneous digital records, with a cash management platform, they are able to work from and make cash management decisions from a centralized, cloud-based location.  Having all your financial information stored in one place gives everyone (authorized) on your team a single source of truth from complete, real-time data that’s accessible anytime from any place.

The advantages of centralized cash management are far reaching. Preparing forecasts and other financial reports is faster because all the data is readily available at your fingertips. Your forecasts and reports are more accurate and useful because the data is in real-time. Additionally, because of the visibility into all accounts, it’s much easier to minimize idle cash and ensure that any cash excesses are working for the business. Planning for growth and profitability is also streamlined and driven by insights based on more accurate, up-to-date and complete data. 

Control Over Payments 

A basic part of a centralized cash management system is having a standardized way to manage and execute payments. Typically this is done through two mechanisms: a payment hub or an in-house bank. The alternative that’s best for your business depends on the structure of your business and your cash management priorities. For this discussion, we’ll focus on payment hubs.

A payment hub allows you to make payments and benefit from increased control and visibility into outgoing payments. Up until recently, payment hubs were typically used by enterprise level companies and businesses with global operations. But smaller and local businesses can also benefit from using a cash management platform that includes an automated payment solution that allows them to prioritize vendors and payables, determine the best times and terms for payments to suppliers and examine payables data at a granular level to gain insights across different projects, departments, currencies, systems and banks.

Typically, a payment solution fits between your ERP and your bank accounts making it possible to automate the payables workflows between them. The trend for more control over payments can begin with implementation of a payment hub.

Reconciliations Taken Care of Automatically

To ensure the accuracy of a business’s books, an important part of financial management is reconciliation. Manual reconciliation of accounts involves comparing two different sets of financial records to make sure they’re in agreement–without using automation tools. The process includes reviewing bank statements, checking credit card transactions and any other relevant records for the purpose of verifying the information that has already been recorded in your accounting system. Sometimes data has to be manually entered, transactions and amounts compared and any discrepancies resolved–all of which is time consuming and prone to human error.

Because of the drawbacks to manual reconciliation, the trend toward automatic reconciliation using technology tools is quickly catching on. Automatic reconciliation provides the same verification of accounts and transactions,  but it’s much faster and presents fewer errors. It streamlines the process by automating most of the manual steps needed for reconciliation. Businesses quickly see the following benefits:

  • Improved efficiency: Automatic reconciliation saves time and effort by eliminating many manual tasks. Open items from a variety of sources can be imported for AR and AP balance matching.
  • Increased accuracy: Consistent, accurate comparisons are possible because the risk from human error is reduced.
  • Real-time data: Financial information is in real-time for better decision making.
  • More control: It’s easier to track discrepancies because automatic reconciliation provides a clear audit trail.
  • Scalability: Automation easily handles large volumes of transactions.
  • Ease of integration: Most software solutions will integrate seamlessly with accounting and ERP software for increased efficiency and reduced errors.

Increased Use of Advanced Technologies: AI, RPA and APIs

The cash management trends to watch for all involve the use of digital technology. This last trend involves emerging advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA) and application programming interfaces (APIs).

Artificial Intelligence

AI and machine learning (ML) have been used in cash management for a while now. It can be used to enhance fraud protection, improve cash forecasting by making more accurate predictions around accounts receivable and identify risky accounts allowing you to reduce reserves and write offs. 

Robotic Process Automation

As the name implies, this technology allows for the automation of operations that involve the identification and extraction of data and improving its quality. RPA accomplishes this by mimicking the interactions between human beings and applications. In cash management, this technology is particularly helpful when it comes to sharing data across systems–meaning you can get rid of trading spreadsheets back and forth. As you can imagine, RPA can greatly reduce costs, improve efficiency and add flexibility.


APIs are not really new, but their use in cash management is relatively new. They improve the connectivity between systems and accelerate data sharing. Open banking has created the need for the development of APIs to provide the seamless access to data such as account statements or the status of payments.

Cash Management Trends to Stay

Cash management will improve with increased efficiency, accuracy and control when businesses take notice of the trends we’ve discussed and implement them into their operations. Payference is an all-in-one cash management platform that makes it easy for you to integrate these trends into your business. Find out more by scheduling a short demo today.