Why CrowdStrike is Leading the Way for Scaling Tech & Startup Treasuries to Digitally Transform

Written by Keegan Chamberlin
October 7, 2022

CrowdStrike, the pioneer of cloud-delivered endpoint protection, was a runner-up for the 2022 EuroFinance’s Treasury Excellence Awards. These awards highlight corporate treasury teams pushing the industry’s boundaries in challenging times. 

By taking advantage of open banking APIs and machine learning solutions, CrowdStrike won the Digital Transformation Runner-Up Award.

Now, the CrowdStrike team has complete visibility into their cash activity and can provide valuable cash insights to support real-time, data-backed decisions.

eurofinance treasury awards
Brett Turner, Trovata’s Founder & Priti Kartik, Crowdstrike’s Senior Director of Treasury

CrowdStrike’s pathway to digital transformation can be emulated by all, no matter the size of the team and access to resources. In this post, we’ll share the innovative approach Crowdstrike has taken to scale and digitize treasury.

CrowdStrike Before Digital Transformation

Over the past few years, CrowdStrike grew from $80M+ in revenue to $2B. Transaction volume increased exponentially, leading to a significant management challenge. Despite the tremendous increase in volume, locations, currencies, and complexity, their cash management processes did not scale as quickly. Manual aggregation in spreadsheets took 40 hours a month, which limited analysis.

The Typical Treasury Workflow

Managing their cash in spreadsheets presented three significant challenges:

  1. Spreadsheets created silos of information. Spreadsheets, by nature, were never meant to be shared among many team members. As a result, it became difficult to determine who had the most up-to-date information.

  2. Time-consuming to consolidate & organize. Building a new report required navigating to every bank portal, downloading the statements, and normalizing all transactions into a single spreadsheet.

  3. Manual data entry invited the potential for human error. The more hands you have in a spreadsheet, the more room for human error. For example, CrowdStrike spent 10 hours a week reconciling their data with what was in their bank accounts.

Scenario modeling and variance analysis tools were not available out-of-the-box. Since it took incredible time and effort to produce basic reports, advanced scenario modeling was a distant dream.

CrowdStrike needed a quick, automated solution to scale their treasury management.

Going Against the Traditional Grain

Implementing a treasury management system (TMS) seemed to be the obvious solution; however, traditional TMS systems require a lengthy implementation program.

On average, it takes over 9 months to implement a TMS, a luxury they could not afford.

As their IT resources were already stretched to cope with tremendous corporate growth, CrowdStrike would not have been able to start TMS implementation immediately. Once the IT team was ready to begin implementation, it would still take months to gain any valuable insights.

They discovered a better, newer alternative: automated cash management platforms built with an API-first approach. This new technology enabled them to quickly automate tedious manual processes and confidently steer their company with rich cash insights.

Why Take An API-First Approach To Digital Transformation?

In the last six to eight years, banks have started to create their own APIs, which have allowed third parties to connect to their bank data. With this development, banks and SaaS platforms can communicate by sending balance and transaction data and initiating tasks, like sending payments between systems and banks.

Paired with automated cash management platforms, open banking APIs consolidate and normalize balance and transaction data into one standard format within a Multi-Bank Data Lake. This data lake perpetually stores bank data, amplifying companies’ ability to perform historical analysis without submitting thousands of statement requests to their banks.

These automated cash management platforms don’t only store historical data; they also use machine learning algorithms to find patterns impossible to recognize by hand.

Now, organizations that digitally transform their treasury operations through APIs can automate cash flow reporting and forecasting and improve accuracy.

How CrowdStrike Digitally Transformed Their Finance and Treasury Operations

Luckily for CrowdStrike, their primary banks support APIs, accelerating the process of establishing a single source of truth for cash data.

For example, with one of their key banks, they could connect in one day—almost instantly—which is unheard of in the traditional file exchange world via BAI/MT940 formats! 

For banks that have not implemented API connectivity, they were able to connect those accounts via SWIFT and BAI.

As a result, their treasury team gained complete visibility into their cash flow with zero IT involvement. Additionally, the implementation costs were negligible compared to legacy TMS proposals.

By digitally transforming their treasury operations, CrowdStrike:

  • Drove better decisions with automated cash insights
  • Minimized risk by identifying anomalies
  • Increased accounting efficiencies

Automated Cash Insights for Driving Better Decisions

Trovata’s automated, real-time daily cash positioning saves their team ~40 hours a month of manual reporting.

By automating the aggregation and normalization of bank data, the Treasury team can create daily cash reports within minutes. 

Now, with being able to generate reports on-the-fly that identify cash balances and weekly trends, Crowdstrike can make more informed, data-backed decisions.

“As the Fed began aggressively increasing the interest rates, we were able to view cash balances real-time, analyze weekly trends of the inflows and outflows, and by overlaying our interest income projections, we were able to make informed and data-backed decisions for managing cash and investments.”

Priti Kartik, Crowdstrike’s Senior Director of Treasury

Identifying Anomalies to Minimize Risk

Trovata’s data mining and ML capabilities automatically detected abnormal movements in transaction flow data by account. Immediate benefits realized from this were the ability to:

  • Capture erroneous monthly fees from an infrequently used account
  • Discover an FX intermediary fee charged for settlements
  • Identify direct debits quickly by tagging transactions

As a result, CrowdStrike can classify direct debit activities into risk categories. Prior, it was an arduous process to comb through reports to identify these transactions manually.

The ability to quantify the risks helped them prioritize actions with their internal audit team and clean up any activities that added risk or exposure.

Increased Accounting Efficiencies

Trovata enables easy transaction tagging, which assists CrowdStrike’s accounting team with its daily review of outstanding bank transactions.

Labeling transactions with the impacted debit and credit G/L codes helps them reconcile transaction activity more efficiently. This way, they can complete the appropriate journal entries during month-end close. 

Before digitally transforming treasury operations with Trovata, the team combed bank statements manually to identify the ZBA transactions and create journal entries. This has saved an additional 10 hours a month.

With tagging and GL codes set up correctly, it now takes just a click of a button to export all the ZBA transactions with any date range specified. 

Like CrowdStrike, Take Advantage of Modern Tools to Better Manage Cash

By digitally transforming your treasury with Trovata, like CrowdStrike, you too can gain 100% visibility into your bank data. 

Trovata empowers everyone to analyze, report, forecast, move– manage cash like a pro– no matter who your business banks with. Easily access your multibank data in a single platform and gain powerful cash flow insights that facilitate more innovative business decisions. 

Trovata is powered by its library of corporate banking APIs, which it pioneered with global banks who have invested in Trovata; JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Capital One, and NAB. 

Discover new growth opportunities within your cash flow data with:

  • Unified Bank Data. Gain worry-free access to your most up-to-date cash and balance data. Eliminate logging into multiple bank portals with one single source of truth.

  • Streamlined Cash Reporting and Forecasting. With intuitive search, beautiful reports, easy navigation, and forecasts powered by machine learning, it’s easier than ever to identify trends in customer receipts, vendor disbursements, and more.

  • Fast Onboarding with No IT Required. With nothing to install or configure and support from a team of treasury experts, you can automate your cash management in weeks, not months.

  • Cloud Native Innovation. Being a Cloud-based and API-first solution backed by leading global banks, Trovata continuously delivers new features that are easy to use and solves your most-complex cash management challenges.

Want to see what Trovata can do for you? Book a demo today.

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