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SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- CoreStates Bank, N.A. today launched Acumen, its suite of intelligent treasury services. Through state-of-the-art tools and technology, CoreStates will partner with its customers in simplifying the back-office financial processing of their business transactions. Acumen offers customers the option of using an array of services to manage treasury-related activities more effectively or of completely outsourcing their back-office functions. Acumen will be released in stages, beginning with payables in November and adding receivables in early 1998 and treasury functions later in 1998. The announcement was made at the Treasury Management Association's 18th annual conference.
``CoreStates excels in a number of cash management products, delivery mechanisms and technology-rich services,'' said Bill Forshey, vice president, CoreStates treasury management program office. ``Acumen provides these value-added toolsets for our customers to create the right system to fit their business.''
Acumen enables CoreStates to process customers' transactions, post their payables and receivables and interface with their general ledger system. Through the use of proprietary ``smart data entry'' technology, both payables and receivables applications will have the flexibility of receiving or initiating paper, electronic and Internet invoices and payments, according to the needs of the customers' clients or vendors. Acumen will utilize the latest technologies, including Image processing and Internet delivery, to offer customers increased controls, capabilities and accuracy while reducing their in-house costs or freeing-up staff for more productive tasks. Customers benefit from process redesign efficiencies and from access to CoreStates' continued investment in technologies. Periodic Acumen product releases will facilitate the processing of more complex payments, provide enhanced payment warehousing features and offer customers more delivery and access capabilities.
``Installing back-office technology is a big investment for most companies,'' said Ana Southern, senior vice president, manager, CoreStates cash management. ``That's why many accountants are advising treasury managers to focus on their core competencies and outsource non-core functions.''
CoreStates developed Acumen partly in response to survey data generated over the past year indicating an increasing demand for end-to-end back-office outsourcing and partly in response to specific customers' requests for enhanced payables and receivables processing management. CoreStates has spent the last year validating market requirements. It assembled a customer advisory group of approximately 30 companies for initial and ongoing customer input to assure that this and future iterations of Acumen meet with customer expectations. The first customer for payables, a major health care provider, will be operational November 21. CoreStates' own accounts payable department will be the second user of Acumen Payables.
``CoreStates has a long history of providing outsourcing services that enhance the productivity of our corporate clients,'' said Tom Gregory, senior vice president, sales, CoreStates cash management. ``Many of these services involve outsourcing some portion of payables and receivables. Through Acumen, customers will now have the option of outsourcing a growing portion of their back-office operation, potentially freeing them from the need to build or buy large, complex, expensive software applications.''
The first phase of Acumen Payables focuses on customers' predictable, repetitive payments. Invoices are received in a reverse lockbox or electronically and they are compared against vendor profiles in the Acumen database. Vendor profiles contain specifications such as method of payment, timing for payment, dollar-limit thresholds and historical averages. Payments are automatically generated using these specifications. Through an Internet browser on their desktop computer, customers will view ``exception'' payments (those that fall outside of the customer-maintained parameters in the database) and make pay/no pay decisions. Customers also will be able to review pending payments and access information for reports such as vendor management. After payments are made, Acumen will interface with the customers' general ledger system to update the account.
For receivables, CoreStates will receive a file from the customer that includes the pertinent billing information. CoreStates, if authorized, will issue a paper, EDI or Internet invoice. Receivables are collected from a lockbox or received electronically. These remittances are processed and deposited to the customer's account and matched against the billing file housed in the Acumen system. The updated, aggregated information is transmitted back to the customer. Reports are available either on hardcopy or via the Internet.
``CoreStates' philosophy has always been to meet customers wherever they stand on the technological continuum,'' said Forshey. ``Acumen allows us to continue providing state-of-the-art tools and services to companies at the forefront of the technological revolution.''
Companies interested in discussing Acumen or other treasury management services should contact Ana Southern at 215-973-2376.
CoreStates Bank N.A. (www.corestates.com) is a subsidiary of CoreStates Financial Corp (NYSE: CFL - news), a Philadelphia-based banking company with assets of $47.6 billion. The company markets broadly diversified financial products and services in the middle Atlantic region and selected products and services worldwide. CoreStates has been a leader in image technology since 1978, and is a top 10 provider of cash management transactional processes and services as well as services to the business and institutional market such as: wholesale lockbox, a national lockbox network, check clearing, CHIPS, EDI, information reporting and funds transfer services.
The 18th annual Treasury Management Association (TMA) conference, held this year in San Francisco, is the largest and most important conference for treasury management professionals.
SOURCE: CoreStates Bank, N.A.
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