April 30, 2013
Survey by Kyriba and the Association of Corporate Treasurers reveals treasury teams want to provide deeper insight, but still spend most time and effort on core operational tasks
LONDON – May 1, 2013 – Almost 50 per cent of companies are still dependent on spreadsheets to manage their cash position and forecasting, according to a survey of more than 250 treasury professionals conducted by Kyriba, the leader in cloud-based treasury management solutions, and the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT). As a result of the often-unreliable data and lost productivity of companies relying on spreadsheets – estimated to be over three weeks per person, per year compared to those using treasury-specific applications – treasury teams are unable to provide the level of strategic analysis and input that they strive to deliver.
The survey showed that, while the majority of respondents view their role as primarily operational, almost half of all treasury professionals want to provide a deeper level of strategic input into the broader decision-making process. A similar number also stated a wish to have access to more robust technology to perform their roles.
The research also provided deep insight into treasury teams’ current tasks and future priorities, and highlighted how risk management and regulatory compliance have become the primary concern for major enterprise treasuries. While cash management is the primary daily task for treasuries as a whole (78 per cent), the percentage drops as revenues grow. Amongst companies with over £10 billion in revenues, the number of respondents who focus on cash management drops to 57 per cent, with 68 per cent concentrating on risk management. Similarly, these largest companies are almost twice as likely to be focusing future efforts on issues such as risk and compliance that smaller companies’ treasury teams, who are primarily concerned with effective cash management and forecasting.
“It’s clear that many corporate treasury teams are looking to take a more high-level role within the organization,” said Rémy Dubois, EVP and managing director, EMEA at Kyriba. “Treasurers are certainly providing deeper analysis and counsel and undertaking more strategic tasks than before. However, it’s clear that many of them are still not driving new initiatives for creating real value. For many treasury teams, the cash management tools they use – most often spreadsheets – simply don’t allow them the time nor provide them with the deep insight needed to make these high-level recommendations. Treasurers’ frustration with the status quo is clearly demonstrated by the fact that almost half of respondents want to upgrade the technology they use to perform their daily tasks.”
“This research has offered some very interesting observations about the way that treasurers work today, and will be a useful tool for treasury teams to benchmark their roles and productivity against their peers,” said Colin Tyler, chief executive of the Association of Corporate Treasurers. “In particular, although spreadsheets are a low-cost tool for treasury management, it certainly seems like a false economy for many companies. By relying on manual bank reconciliation and data entry instead of automating these processes, treasury teams are spending significantly more time on everyday cash management, leaving them unable to devote their time and expertise to make a real impact on their organisations.”
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