Treasurer Kennedy Recommends Four Options for Increased Efficiency and Investment Earnings

BATON ROUGE, LA – The Louisiana Department of the Treasury is encouraging state agencies to take advantage of its cash management review program to increase investment earnings and efficiency and save taxpayers money, according to State Treasurer John Kennedy.

One of my jobs as Treasurer is to oversee the cash management activities of the state, and in doing so, Ive found several ways agencies can save money, said Treasurer Kennedy. I encourage various departments to use any or all of the following services when it is in the best interest of the state and taxpayers. In particular, lock boxes are a great way agencies can increase investment earnings, because they reduce deposit days and streamline the cash receipt process.

The Treasury recommends the following options for agencies:

– Lock box Expedites the availability of funds. Instead of waiting days to deposit checks, cash or credit card receipts, agencies use a lock box service to process payments daily using advanced scanning equipment that electronically captures critical information.

– Positive Pay Enables agencies to pay or return checks before they clear a disbursement account. This can reduce check fraud because departments can choose to authorize payment or return checks.

– ACH Debit Authorization Prevents unauthorized debits from posting to accounts, controls the amount of debits allowed by trading partners, and eliminates the need to review accounts daily for unauthorized returns.

– Credit Cards Reduces NSF checks and overdue accounts. Credit cards also provide taxpayers and agencies with the convenience of conducting financial business on the Internet.

Sometimes the smallest changes in the way a company or in this case the state does business can have the largest impact, said Treasurer Kennedy. These are tough economic times for everyone, and every little bit helps.

Some state agencies are already taking advantage of the above cash management options. The Department of Health and Hospitals has two lock boxes, Wildlife and Fisheries has one, and the Office of Student Financial Aid and Department of Public Safety intend on using lock boxes in the near future.

The Treasury uses Positive Pay, and several other agencies use this feature for check disbursements. Currently, 19 different state agencies accept credit cards. For more information on these services, contact the Treasury at (225) 342-0051.

Sarah Mulhearn
(225) 342-0012