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Tableau Software, which has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Salesforce since August 2019, knows how to make data easy to comprehend. Tens of thousands of businesses around the world use Tableau dashboards to make sense of their financial data. Still, several years ago, the Tableau treasury team struggled to see their own global cash balances and transactions.

“Every day, the controllership would log into various online banking portals and generate statements for the previous day’s activity,” says Ed Barrie, senior director of treasury. “They would use these statements for manual accounting and reconciliation processes, while the cash application team was manually posting and clearing cash receipts against open customer invoices. We had dozens of bank accounts across several different banks, so this approach was quite inefficient. In addition, the fact that they were always utilizing the previous day’s statement meant liquidity and accounting activities were operating on a one-day lag.”

The opacity of corporate treasury data led to significant business challenges. “Daily global visibility into all bank and investment account balances and transactions is a fundamental requirement for any corporation,” Barrie says. “Anything less results in a suboptimal understanding of where your cash is and where it needs to be. That is a problem not only for cash positioning, but also for forecasting.”

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Meg Waters

Meg Waters is the editor in chief of Treasury & Risk. She is the former editor in chief of BPM Magazine and the former managing editor of Business Finance.

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