Follow the Data, Find $1Million

Follow the Data, Find $1Million

Follow the Data, Find $1Million

Pathway to Recovery® Series

If information is power, data is the key to unlocking that power. Having access to accurate tools that can gather precise data together all in one place is vitally important. Equally important is having the ability to translate that data into reliable action plans. In uncertain times like these, having those tools at your disposal is critical as you chart a pathway to recovery.

cashvest® by three+one® is a financial compass for your public entityIt’s sort of like having a compass, a map, and a GPS locator in your backpack. Should you ever find yourself lost in the woods, those are the critical tools you will need. For municipalities and other public institutions who are trying to navigate today’s financial uncertainty, three+one® has the critical and valuable tools you need. You can never be “lost” if you know precisely where you are and in which direction you should be heading.

three+one® provides public entities just what they need to make sound, information-based financial decisions about their current, as well as their future, liquidity.  Questions that CFOs often ask themselves, such as “How much cash will I need to have available, 6 months or even 12 months from now?” and “Should I be leaving all my municipality’s cash in money-market accounts, or can I put it to work earning higher interest in CDs?” are answered with confidence and conviction when you have three+one®’s tools and team of dedicated professionals at your side.

cashvest® by three+one® is a fin-tech tool on the Pathway to Recovery®One of our clients recently saved over $1 million by trusting our data.  As the pandemic struck and revenue streams became fragile and uncertain, they were considering the option of moving all of their cash into low- or no-interest accounts in order to meet future spending needs. But having access to our cashvest® technology and our highly accurate MC Forecast® projections gave them the confidence they needed to follow their existing investment policy and to preserve and maintain their fixed-income portfolio. As a result, they earned $1 million more in 2020 than they would have, had they not relied on three+one®’s data.

We all seek certainty and predictability. When uncertainty and apprehension strikes—as it has over the past 12 months—we look for a clear roadmap to help us chart the best course moving forward. One sure way to do that is to trust inand follow—the data.  Because just like having GPS, a map, and a compass, three+one® can help you see precisely where you are, and exactly which direction you need to head in order to come out safely on the other side.

Why not give us a call and see why the National Association of Counties (NACo) as well as numerous statewide municipal associations all across the U.S. have endorsed three+one®?  It’s risk-free, too, because if we can’t help your municipality or public institution develop increased earnings and/or find cost-savings that equal or exceed our modest annual fee, you will not be billed for our services.

You won’t find a better roadmap than that.

Financial tools from three+one include cashvest®, MC Forecast®, rfpPrep®, and direct client access to our team of liquidity and cash-management professionals. When combined, these powerful tools provide public entities and higher Ed institutions with the kind of accurate and reliable cash-management data that they need in order to make the best financial decisions for the funds in their care.

The author served for a total of 38 years in local government at the village, town, and county levels, including 24 years as a County Treasurer/CFO responsible for investing public funds. He can be reached by phone at 585-484-0311.

Higher Credit Ratings = Lower Borrowing Costs

Higher Credit Ratings = Lower Borrowing Costs

Higher Credit Ratings = Lower Borrowing Costs

Pathway to Recovery® Series

If your municipality or university is considering refinancing existing debt or borrowing money during 2021, then you will want the bond-rating agencies to recognize your strengths. One sure way to do that is for you to have a precise picture of your organization’s overall liquidity.

Having a cash flow report on hand as you begin the borrowing process is not the same thing as bringing an accurate, up-to-date liquidity analysis.

Cash flow measures the surface, the “ups and downs” and “ins and outs” of daily transactions. A liquidity analysis does much more, measuring the true depths of your entity’s overall financial resources.  Imagine “cash flow” as the waves that roll and swell on the topmost surface of the ocean. The waves may have peaks and valleys, but they do not provide you with a picture of what lies beneath. Now think of “liquidity” as those ocean trenches that descend fathoms deep, all the way to the bottom.  The deeper your “ocean,” the stronger your finances.  The bond-rating agencies recognize that having a precise picture of a public entity’s liquidity can help them determine how much risk to assign to your borrowing.  The stronger your liquidity, the lower the risk and, ultimately, the lower your debt-service charges.

As a longtime County Treasurer and CFO, I participated over the years in many S&P and Moody’s ratings discussions. I can tell you that having accurate liquidity data at your fingertips can help reduce borrowing costs, and ultimately, save taxpayer’s money.

Allegany County (NY) Treasurer Terri Ross, a good friend and highly respected colleague, recently announced that she saved $1.5 million in interest charges on a recent refinancing, thanks to three+one®’s liquidity data!

Our team here at three+one® stands ready to assist your public entity by providing you with a precise measurement of your liquidity.  We have the expertise, the professional staff, and the latest fintech tools to help you present the strongest possible position to S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch Ratings the next time you issue debt.

Financial tools from three+one include cashvest®, MC Forecast®, rfpPrep®, and direct client access to our team of liquidity and cash-management professionals. When combined, these powerful tools provide public entities and higher Ed institutions with the kind of accurate and reliable cash-management data that they need in order to make the best financial decisions for the funds in their care.

The author served for a total of 38 years in local government at the village, town, and county levels, including 24 years as a County Treasurer/CFO responsible for investing public funds. He can be reached by phone at 585-484-0311.

Looking Backward Helps Us to Move Forward

Looking Backward Helps Us to Move Forward

Looking Backward Helps Us to Move Forward

Pathway to Recovery® Series

In order to make forward progress, you have to be able to see and evaluate what is going on behind you. Imagine driving your car and suddenly realizing that your rearview mirror and both side mirrors were no longer visible to you. There’s a reason they describe that perspective as having a “blind spot.” It is because you feel temporarily blinded, despite having already moved beyond those points. Even though you are able to clearly see the road ahead of you, you might still take your foot off the gas pedal or even apply the brakes. Ironically, due to your inability to see what is behind you, your forward progress is disrupted or even brought to a stop.

As we begin the new year and try to envision what the next 12 months might look like, it’s important that—in our careers as well as in our private lives—we rationally evaluate what we may have done right over the past year, as well as what we could have done better. That’s really the only way to make sure that we continue to improve and progress, both professionally and personally.

After having spent many years serving in local government myself, I can honestly say that our public institutions simply do not have the available manpower to spend a lot of time reviewing, evaluating, and analyzing prior performance. In keeping with our “driving a car” analogy, municipalities and other public institutions tend to look forward— “through the windshield” as it were—and they frankly don’t have the staff, nor the time, to be constantly checking those rearview mirrors to evaluate what has already happened. And therein lies the potential “blind spot.”

Here at three+one®, we provide financial tools to help our municipal and higher Ed clients see the whole picture—a panoramic view of the past—as well as a clear vision of the future. Our patented cashvest® technology instantly analyzes hundreds of thousands of past financial transactions; that gives our clients a crystal-clear picture of the precise revenues and expenditures that have flowed into, and out of, their dozens of bank accounts. All of that historical data, when combined with current banking index rates and accurate forecasts of how long that cash will remain in their accounts, provide a sharp, clear picture of how those funds can be used to generate maximum income.

Much like glancing into a car’s rearview mirrors while also scanning the road ahead, with cashvest® in their toolbox, our clients are provided with an accurate picture of the past, while our MC Forecast® projections provide them with a clear and detailed vision of what likely lies ahead. Just as when driving a car, the best way for government entities or higher Ed institutions to move forward is to continuously keep glancing backward.

Financial tools from three+one include cashvest®, MC Forecast®, rfpPrep®, and direct client access to our team of liquidity and cash-management professionals. When combined, these powerful tools provide public entities and higher Ed institutions with the kind of accurate and reliable cash-management data that they need in order to make the best financial decisions for the funds in their care.

The author served for a total of 38 years in local government at the village, town, and county levels, including 24 years as a County Treasurer/CFO responsible for investing public funds. He can be reached by phone at 585-484-0311.

Every Captain Needs a Lookout

Every Captain Needs a Lookout

Every captain needs a lookout to spot trouble ahead…and then help to find ways to avoid it.

There are times when having experts at your side can be incredibly reassuring. You feel confident in the knowledge that there is an experienced team of professionals keeping a watch on the horizon and standing ready to help you navigate troubled waters or any uncharted territory you may be facing. It’s even better if those experts are professionals with whom you have already developed a bond of confidence and trust. Much like how telescopes have evolved into modern radar and sonar, the tools we now use to see financial trouble ahead have evolved as well.

A ship’s captain must be able to rely on his crew and on the latest technology to warn of danger ahead. We can’t always predict when we will need professional advice and support, but when we do, there’s nothing quite like that feeling of real confidence that comes from knowing that the team at your side has the expertise and experience necessary to guide you through the challenges ahead.

You are right to rely on your most trusted experts to provide you with advance knowledge of potential storm clouds on the horizon. After all, being proactive and avoiding problems before they have a chance to develop is a much better strategy than being forced to react during a crisis.

Here at three+one®, we are all about being proactive. With that in mind, we feel it is only prudent to inform public officials that some areas of the country are now seeing auditors focusing in on whether municipalities are maximizing interest earnings, or more specifically, looking at whether they may have missed opportunities to maximize interest earnings. As evidence of this trend, the New York State Comptroller has, just within the past 12 months, issued no less than eight adverse audit reports of local governments that zero in on three key recommendations:

(1)  Local governments are being told to solicit interest-rate quotes from multiple financial institutions for the cash that they have on deposit;

(2)  Public finance officials are being told to prepare monthly cash-flow forecasts that estimate precisely how much cash they have available for investment, and then to determine the maximum time period those funds can be invested; and,

(3)  Municipalities and public officials are being told to use the data that they ascertain through the first and second recommendations to then maximize interest earnings.

The audit reports are available online at: osc.state.ny.us/local-government/audits

We live in an era when public officials are expected to make the most of every taxpayer dollar entrusted to them. It would therefore be prudent to assume that additional cash-management audits of local governments are presently underway across the country.  Likewise, it would be prudent for all local-government levels to prepare for the possibility that they may be next on the list of public entities that could face this kind of scrutiny. The days of public entities being allowed to have cash sitting in one local bank—or of letting their funds remain dormant in low-interest accounts without regularly searching out better opportunities—are clearly over.

Here at three+one®, we are experts in liquidity maximization and cash management. While we are based in New York State, our many satisfied clients span all regions of the country. We are confident that any auditor would find our clients’ cash-management and liquidity-investment practices to be second to none, and we have the results that prove it. We would welcome the opportunity to be your trusted advisor as well.

cashvest by three+one uses data & technology to maximize the value of your cashOur team of professionals can help you spot potential storm clouds on the horizon long before they become a problem. And we have the latest financial technology at our fingertips with which to help you navigate the safest course forward. When you are the captain of a ship, it’s comforting to know that you have trusted professionals standing beside you at the helm, and that your team of experts has the latest technology and tools at their disposal.

The author served for a total of 38 years in local government at the village, town, and county levels, including 24 years as a County Treasurer/CFO responsible for investing public funds. He can be reached by phone at 585-484-0311 or through our website at https://threeplusone.us.

Fintech tools from three+one® include cashvest®, MC Forecast®, and rfpPrep®, all of which provide public entities with the kind of accurate, reliable cash-management data that they need in order to make the best financial decisions for the funds in their care.

Reevaluate Your Baskets

Reevaluate Your Baskets

Pathway to Recovery® Series
Sometimes, You Have to Reevaluate Your Baskets

We all know the old adage cautioning us not to put all of our eggs in one basket. That saying has survived all these years because it imparts a great deal of financial wisdom in just a few brief words. We can all appreciate that simple logic, yet there still may be times when we become a bit too comfortable or complacent with the assortment of baskets that are available to us.

If you serve as the CFO of a county, town, city, public education institution, or public authority, then you are responsible for a lot of “eggs.” In order to protect and effectively manage the assets that are in your care, you need to have at your disposal a diverse and strategic selection of “baskets” in which to deposit the funds for which you are responsible.

Though protection of principal is certainly the primary goal, earning the highest-available interest on those dollars is also a very important consideration. One size definitely does NOT fit all when it comes to banks, money-market accounts, CDs, municipal pools. and the range of interest rates they offer on any given day. The most successful public sector CFOs are being proactive by seeking out the most advantageous interest rates for the funds in their care. That can mean earning an additional 25 or 50 basis points on their available cash. Higher interest earnings directly equate to increased revenues for your public institution.

As municipalities struggle to deal with new economic challenges, we are seeing more and more public-sector CFOs being asked to find additional non-tax revenue streams. One way to do that may be to add more banking options and more investment choices to your portfolio. That simple strategy will provide you with two direct benefits: first, it adds more baskets in which to diversify (and thus safeguard) your eggs. And second, having more baskets to choose from will give you a wider variety of options when selecting the one that offers the highest-possible return for the specific timeline that you expect to have those funds on deposit.

You may also be aware that, in some states, financial-oversight agencies are looking more closely at whether the municipalities under their jurisdiction are being too passive when it comes to cash management. Even in this low-rate interest environment, some CFOs and their legislative boards are being criticized for not proactively soliciting interest rate quotes in order to maximize the value of their cash. It’s no longer good enough to just park most of your cash in a money-market account or pool and then stop looking for other (perhaps better) options. Public entities are also being required to prepare cash-flow forecasts in order to determine the optimum amount of funds that they have available for investment right now as well as in future months.

Having access to precise liquidity data allows CFOs to know how much total cash they have on deposit. By using forecasting models, they can also determine when that cash will be needed.  This creates a clear window of opportunity that can be used to maximize the interest earnings on that cash, and to deposit it over the longest possible timeline. Reliable forecasting opens up the possibility of using 6-month, 12-month, or even 18-month fixed-rate CDs and US Treasuries to lock in higher earnings for longer time frames. In this era of extreme scrutiny of all taxpayer-funded organizations and government agencies, employing proactive cash-management techniques and liquidity-analysis practices is simply good policy.

We already know not to put all of our eggs in one basket. Now we have reliable, accurate fintech tools to help us evaluate all of the available baskets, and to then select the ones that best serve our particular public entity’s needs.

The author served for a total of 38 years in local government at the village, town, and county levels, including 24 years as a County Treasurer/CFO responsible for investing public funds. He can be reached by phone at 585-484-0311 or through our website at https://threeplusone.us. Fintech tools from three+one® include cashvest®, MC Forecast®, and rfpPrep®, all of which provide public entities with the kind of accurate, reliable cash-management data that they need in order to make the best financial decisions for the funds in their care.