In today's cash- and liquidity-focused business environment, transparency, standardization, and efficiency are paramount. Many organizations are putting heavy emphasis on straight-through processing (STP) of payments and receivables to help boost efficiencies across the supply chain. But how a company defines the scope of the STP process can have a major effect on whether the project reaches its ultimate potential for cost savings and streamlined workflows. The scope definition can impact which department owns the process, and process ownership is an important variable in determining the extent and effectiveness of STP development. 

Thinking that STP applies to only transactions, many companies place ownership of the process squarely within the treasury department and limit its scope to payments or receipts. Treasury departments often narrow the scope even further, measuring, for example, the STP of a wire transfer payment—asking whether it went from the company's office straight through to the ultimate beneficiary. However, I believe that companies need to take a broader, more encompassing approach to STP than merely payment or receipt processing.

A better understanding—and, ultimately, a more successful implementation—of STP should be based on the following definition: STP is the end-to-end processing of financial transactions that are fully automated and integrated, without manual intervention, across diverse applications, diverse systems, and even across the diverse organizations participating in the transaction.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to Treasury & Risk, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical Treasury & Risk information including in-depth analysis of treasury and finance best practices, case studies with corporate innovators, informative newsletters, educational webcasts and videos, and resources from industry leaders.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Treasury & Risk events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.