Cash Management and Treasury Overview

Purpose:  This overview document will provide and orientation and overview of what ctcLink calls, “Cash Management and Treasury” (CM&T).

Audience: Finance/Settlement Accountant, Bank Reconciliation Bookkeeper, Finance Staff/Supervisors.


As you will see, there are some notions to dispel as we approach this topic. But let us start with some background. As you likely know by now, “ctcLink” is how the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) brands its implementation of Oracle’s software called “PeopleSoft.” Prior to ctcLink, the SBCTC used a highly customized and updated software suite that we now refer to as “Legacy.” How Washington state accounting is done (moreover, how SBCTC accounting is done) still requires customization. Still, ctcLink is a more modern software implementation.

Vocabulary is a constant issue and Oracle is a bit notorious within the technical world for making up new words and terms for its own context. Here are a few terms for review and that you will encounter:

  • Accounting Template - a saved and named accounting treatment of ChartFields for a transaction.
  • A/P - Accounts Payable; what you need to pay to others (boo!).
  • A/R - Accounts Receivable; what others are going to pay you (yay!).
  • Business Unit - PeopleSoft was developed for the private sector and is a bit shoe-horned into the higher education world. SBCTC has many colleges as well as the SBCTC in Olympia, generically, they are referred to as Business Units (BU’s).
  • ctcLink - SBCTC’s implementation of PeopleSoft. You will see that "ctcLink" and "PeopleSoft" are terms used interchangeably.
  • External Transaction - a transaction reported by the bank that is otherwise ‘unknown’ to ctcLink; a transaction-from-the-outside.
  • P/R - Payroll system; how you get paid.
  • Role -a PeopleSoft capability that allows access or use of modules and pages within modules; user access and security.
  • T&E - Travel and Expenses; funds that you spend on behalf of a BU and can expect reimbursement.

Within ctcLink, there are three main “pillars” for student management (CS), personnel and payroll (HCM), and finance (FIN). CM&T indirectly interacts with CS and HCM yet is firmly within the FIN pillar. Each pillar is made up of several “modules.” Within the FIN pillar, there are several modules, such as:

  • Accounts Payable (AP)
  • Accounts Receivable (AR)
  • Asset Management (AM)
  • Billing (BI)
  • Your new friend, Cash Management and Treasury (CM&T)
  • Commitment Control (KK)
  • Grants, Contracts, and Projects (GR, CN, PC)
  • Travel and Expenses (T&E)

Yet all is not as it seems. While we use the term, “Cash Management and Treasury,” that is not really the truth. Technically, in the financial world, “Cash Management” and “Treasury” functions mean certain things. They are capabilities which SBCTC does not use. What ctcLink means by CM&T is the two functions of Bank Reconciliation and Financial Gateway. These will be explained just a little bit later. The “Cash Management” term is used because, to have certain tools that make bank reconciliation easier, the SBCTC had to purchase a separate product called, “Cash Management.”

CM&T provides two functions:

  • Bank Reconciliation - reconciling bank statement information with what ctcLink FIN knows about. This is more complicated than what you do each month with your own personal bank account. We’ll see why in a bit.
  • Financial Gateway - this set of tools allows Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions to be pooled and then released to the Business Unit’s bank and payments to be made.

To access the Banking, Cash Management, and Financial Gateway modules, you (as a ctcLink user) will need to be given the appropriate security “Roles” by your local Business Unit's Local Security Administrator (LSA).

Bank Reconciliation

Nearly everyone reading this document knows (or should know) how to do a reconciliation between what their bank tells them happened to their money and what we think happened to our money. And there, in a nutshell, is what bank reconciliation is about: reconciling the account the bank gives of our money with our account of what happened to our money.

Importing Bank Statements

Every Business Unit has arranged with their banks to send an electronic version of their bank statement each day. That file is sent in accordance with the standardized “BAI2” file format. The file is received by our “Axway” server and then immediately moved to each BU’s bank statement import folder on the server.

The bank statements just stay there until someone at the college (you?) explicitly imports that data into ctcLink. Each bank statement is given an ID number (“Statement ID”), which can be useful when doing searches.

So, now you have the bank’s story about what happened to your money: deposits and charges. Where is your story? Well, it’s been in ctcLink all along. There are several FIN modules that interact as sources for bank reconciliation. Predictably, they are A/R, A/P, P/R, and T&E. Because these sources of transactions come from the ctcLink system, we call these “system side” transactions. This is presented graphically as we get further into the reconciliation process.


Now, each college ‘reconciles’ transactions recorded by their bank with the financial transactions they know about. When there is agreement, the bank transaction(s) are ‘reconciled’ to the system transaction(s). This is done in a graphical way by using the Semi Manual Reconciliation page.

PeopleSoft displays bank statement transactions on the left side of the screen (thus, “bank side” transactions) and system transactions on the right side of the screen (thus, “system side" transactions). The reconciliation user matches up appropriate transactions to each other using check boxes, and then hits a Reconcile button to change the status of the transactions. Some reconciliation ‘events’ are easy: the amount and the reference ID (a check number) match exactly. Others are more interesting!

When you are comfortable with reconciling easy transactions, you can have PeopleSoft automatically do those easy transactions using the Process Bank Reconciliation process.

External Transactions and Treasury Accounting (for Student Financials)

There are plenty of times that will occur when the bank says you got money that the FIN pillar didn’t know about (say, from Student Finance) or were charged money you didn’t put in (say, a bank fee). Generally, you should take that charge and insert it ‘upstream’ into the A/P system. However, not all transactions can be dealt with so easily. If you cannot do this upstream insertion, PeopleSoft does have a mechanism to make your comes-from-the-outside transaction work.

A transaction recorded by the bank but not recorded by the FIN system will need to be acknowledged and accounted for. Specifically, it needs accounting information attached to it.

Let’s say you have a campus food truck that does its own bookkeeping and just deposits its cash into your checking account. That cash transaction shows up on the bank statement but there is no information about it from any of the modules in the FIN pillar. You need to put that transaction on the system-side of the reconciliation system and attach accounting information to it so that your books balance.

You can manually enter such an External Transaction into the reconciliation system and attach the accounting information (ChartString) to that transaction. If that accounting information is routine enough, you can create an Accounting Template that contains the ChartString information and can then be applied to an External Transaction.

If that is not mind-numbingly abstractly complex enough, there is a further option to automate the creation of External Transactions with their Accounting Templates based on the “addenda” data that the bank sends with each bank statement transaction line. Gadzooks!

If you opt to create External Transactions, then the reconciliation process moves the reconciled transactions into a mini-accounting area where the transactions are put into another pool that are now “Accounting Entries.” These can be reviewed, modified, and re-status-ed. Once those Accounting Entries are “Final”-ized, they are automatically swept into the Treasury Journal and posted to G/L.

Financial Gateway

By contrast, Financial Gateway is blessedly simple. It dispatches ACH payments  that’s what the gateway does. Checks are not handled by Financial Gateway. System checks are created by the A/P module and directly sent to the BU’s bank using the PositivePay file format (which differs between banks). Manual checks are, of course, printed.

Note: SBCTC generally does not use “Wire Transfers.” Wire transactions are very fast but are costly. ACH is relatively ‘slow’ but free.

ACH payment transactions come from A/P, T&E, and P/R. They are displayed on one page called Payment Dispatch in ctcLink. The page has a *lot* of ways to filter information so you can focus your attention on the payment transactions that you want to work with.

The user selects the payments to go out, confirms their security, and the payments are assembled into an ACH standard format file. The file is moved to our Axway server where it is then transferred to the BU’s bank.