Organizations are constantly in search of new ways to optimize their banking relationships and reduce costs. Still, many companies face a significant hurdle: the lack of time, resources, and expertise needed to understand the intricacies of data elements like AFP Service Codes™, ensure their correct mapping and harness the valuable data within their bank fee statements. This oversight can lead to inaccurate benchmarking, improper cost calculations, and missed opportunities for cost savings.
The AFP Service Code™ Conundrum
AFP (Association for Financial Professionals) Service Codes are a critical component of any bank fee benchmark, reporting, analysis, or project. Additionally, they are also the key that unlocks the mystery of the service charges themselves, as they provide a standardized way to categorize transactions and banking activities. The challenge arises when organizations, especially the financial institutions who report them, fail to allocate the necessary resources to properly manage these codes.
The improper mapping of AFP codes can result in flawed benchmarking, making it difficult to accurately compare financial performance with industry peers. Banks are one of the largest consumers of benchmarking data and they perform more cross-bank pricing exercises than their corporate clients so the lack of attention to these codes creates more work on all sides.
In addition, within the loads of data contained in bank fee statements lies a wealth of cost-saving opportunities that often go unnoticed. The complexity of these statements and the sheer volume of transactions can overwhelm finance teams, leaving them without the time or know-how to extract meaningful insights that can positively impact an organization’s bottom line.
The Solution For Data Complexities
While extracting meaningful insights from banking data presents universal challenges, there are a few solutions organizations can consider:
- Transition to Electronic Bank Fee Data – Traditionally, treasury departments spend exorbitant amounts of time sifting through PDF statements. Making the switch to electronic data not only saves time, but also makes the AFP code mapping process much easier to complete with potentially fewer inaccuracies.
- Work with AFP Accredited Service Code Providers – These banks have their AFP Service Codes certified annually to ensure accuracy and consistency.
- Leverage Bank Fee Software – Bank fee analysis software is a helpful tool that can identify the hidden potential within your bank fee statements. A solution that manages the data classification is key to being able to gain visibility into the nature of your charges to reduce costs and detect internal processing issues that should be resolved.
- Outsource Your Benchmarking – Utilizing data service providers to offload the benchmarking process allows organizations to access comprehensive data sets, tap into external expertise, unlock accurate industry comparisons, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions with confidence.
With our comprehensive bank fee analysis software and team of experts, we offer clients:
- Strengthened Bank Relationships: Proper AFP code analysis and mapping, as well as data optimization, lead to more transparent and efficient communication with your banking partners. This strengthens your relationships and fosters collaboration for mutual benefit.
- Time, Money, and Resource Savings: Redbridge’s finance expertise and proprietary technology streamline the entire data process, saving your organization precious time and money so that you no longer need to allocate excessive resources to manual data analysis.
- Better Benchmarking: Our global database includes billions of fees in more than 105 countries and 550 bank branches.
- Enhanced Finance Team Efficiency: With Redbridge as your partner, your finance team becomes more effective and efficient. Freed from the burden of manual data analysis, they can focus on strategic initiatives that drive growth and profitability.
If your treasury department’s current process for streamlining the analysis of its bank fee data is unoptimized, it’s crucial that an efficient strategy is devised and implemented. Working with a data optimization partner like Redbridge allows organizations to free their internal resources by outsourcing the heavy lifting of data analysis and benchmarking to finance experts.
Connect with us today to learn more about how you can optimize your bank fee analysis process and enhance your cost-savings capabilities.