The role of the treasurer follows the needs of global finance leaders, who are more and more recognized as the strategic and visionary leader of global firms. Treasurers and treasury management systems (TMS) will evolve to support the growing complexity of demands from finance leaders; the acceleration in regulations attempting to defuse the global financial crisis but ironically adding some crises in the process; and especially in 2015, the unmatched changes in FX, which has put many global corporations in a reactive mode. The road ahead will demand better predictions, faster analysis of “what if” scenarios, and more opportunity for treasury to become a true value creator, both as a strategic leader and also as an income generator for the business.
The continued move towards treasury management systems
The outcome of more companies moving to a cloud TMS system, replacing outdated systems that no longer suit their needs, is a positive for everyone in the industry. Treasurers are mired with routine tasks that limit their productivity. Where corporations will gain the most value from their decision to use a TMS will vary, in fairness, depending on the business objectives and how strategic their finance team is at the moment.
Treasurers are realizing they can add added benefits to their organization with the extra time they have when they adopt a TMS. The top three areas treasury teams can focus on, thanks to more time on their hands, are:
- Reporting accuracy (e.g. cash forecasting)
- Timeliness of reporting (e.g. establishing amount of idle cash earlier in the day)
- Improving treasury performance (e.g. effectiveness of FX hedging programs)
However the time is utilized, TMS solutions improve the strength of the entire treasury team by eliminating manual processes, providing more reliable data, and improving cash management procedures.
With more companies moving towards a TMS, the concern is: are they asking the right questions about why they should add a TMS, or are they just blindly following a trend in treasury? Evaluating TMS functionality is only the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of important considerations that are “below the surface” when partnering with a TMS provider (i.e. client success, bank connectivity options, audit reports (SOC1 vs. SOC2), technology (such as SaaS vs. ASP vs. installed, implementation methodology, etc.). Knowing the pros and cons of each will ensure you make the right decision for your needs.
But what about my job?
This idea that technology evolves and either replaces or enhances a business function is not new and should not be a surprise to anyone. Savvy financial professionals have the opportunity now more than ever to elevate the value of their contribution to the business with the help of technological innovations. So, the areas that computer systems are taking financial jobs are most likely not the jobs that financial professionals really want as they are laborious, mundane tasks. In fact I wrote a post earlier this year which discussed the parts of a treasury team’s work that most people would willingly offload to an automated solution. As we’ve said to our colleagues, once your company adopts a TMS, you might not have the same job, but you’ll likely have a better one.