If you read almost any treasury thought-leadership article, you’ll see that one of the biggest pushes from corporate treasury is to become more strategic and proactive. Although everybody knows that this is a priority, there are still many who are in the very early stages of transforming their organization from a reactive, transaction-oriented function to one which delivers value across the business.
We asked 24 treasury experts, from banks, consultancies, analysts and leading brands worldwide, to give their guidance on what treasury teams can do to turn their treasury function into one that is proactive and creates value across multiple levels of the business.
Over the coming weeks, we will look at some of the various ways that treasury can become more proactive, based on these experts’ guidance. The first area focuses on thinking more strategically. So, how can treasurers become more strategic in their approach?
Jim Kaitz, president of the Association for Financial Professionals, says treasurers have been mandated with acting more strategically in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis, and this has led to a change in the definition of the treasurer’s role, and that “treasurers will have to ensure highly effective and efficient treasury operations to fulfill the requirements of the “new” treasurer.”
Treasuries’ distribution of time is also critical. According to Laurie McCulley, principal at Treasury Strategies, a key challenge that many teams need to overcome in the quest to become more proactive is simply that much of their time (and energy) is spent on low-value, operational activities, which should either be moved to a shared service center or automated. She says that “In a more proactive, strategic treasury, the pyramid is essentially flipped so that much more time is spent on strategic activity and much less on treasury operations.”
Even for those treasuries who have taken the steps listed above to become more proactive, it’s still essential that they can understand the overall value to the business that treasury can offer, so that the can play this advisory role. In fact, Bob Stark, vice president of strategy at Kyriba, says that “If treasury doesn’t understand its value, then it’s not going to be part of an elevated discussion.”
To read more of these essays, as well as those of other leading treasury consultants, analysts and practitioners, download the mini-ebook, Taking Treasury from Reactive to Proactive: Think Strategically.
Kyriba will also be hosting a webinar, From Reactive to Proactive: Real-World Solutions for Becoming a Strategic Treasury, on July 30th at 11am PT / 2pm ET, which discusses some of the issues addressed within this ebook. The webinar will feature speakers from both banking and corporate treasury, and will be moderated by Kyriba’s Bob Stark. It will include practical advice, followed by a lively and interactive panel debate on how treasury teams can become more proactive and strategic.
Stay tuned for the next blog, which will discuss how a proactive treasury means managing risk.