Towards a Triple-A Global Vision
This article was first published in The Treasurer, Issue 3 2023. Find more at The Treasurer Magazine.
By Bob Stark, Global Head of Market Strategy at Kyriba
The future of treasury technology is visual, automated and intelligent data delivered by the widespread adoption of AI, APIs and analytics. The ‘three As’, as we sometimes refer to them, will enable treasurers to harness and regain control of the massive amounts of data that finance teams are exposed to every day. These innovative tools will turn that data into actionable insight, offering treasury teams the ability to execute data-driven decisions.
To understand the future opportunity, one needs to assess the impact that AI, APIs and analytics have on treasury.
Artificial intelligence is most often talked about as a disruptive technology for good reason. The rise of AI is largely because of ChatGPT and the popularity of large language models (LLMs). With ChatGPT’s introduction in late 2022, the mystery of AI evaporated – the black box of machine learning algorithms was replaced with a tool that anyone could understand and use. This has put AI within reach of treasury teams.
In the near term, treasury teams are assessing how to leverage generative AI tools like ChatGPT for greater automation, asking the AI technology to write a payment policy, to structure a multilateral netting program, or asking treasury software to look for data within a report or dashboard.
AI can also be used to improve cash forecasting data as well as detect anomalous payments that don’t align with historical patterns or current payment policies. And there are more use cases to come, where we will see AI offer recommendations and advice for hedging, financing, and how to mobilise liquidity, intercompany and internationally.
Ultimately, AI for treasury will be a fully automated experience, where we only have to ask our software questions such as “How do we meet our free cash flow target next quarter?” and AI will find the answer.
But to unleash the full potential of AI, teams must also embrace APIs and analytics to ensure they leverage data to its fullest.
Unified and secure
APIs unify data enterprise-wide, connecting ERPs, internal systems, external apps, and banking platforms together. They operate in real-time, and also deliver a reliable and secure data journey that customised file transfer routines may not consistently offer.
In many cases, APIs integrate systems that might not otherwise have been connected. The future of treasury technology relies upon APIs to deliver the data, to create a treasury data repository from which AI can be trained and learn.
Analytics are the final piece of the data puzzle. Often delivered through business intelligence tools such as Qlik, Tableau and PowerBI, analytics organise and visualise data to help us find meaning in the terabytes of information facing teams. While technically not new, analytics technology tools remain in their infancy for treasury teams who perceive such dashboards as nicer-looking reports than the ones their TMS deliver on their own. More strategically, analytics empower teams with the ability to understand and solve issues that will successfully drive confidence and reliability in data projections, such as cash and liquidity forecasting.
Leveraging data is the future of treasury. These technologies will be fully embedded within our treasury platforms for a fully immersive treasury data experience. And the best part? The future isn’t that far away.
Bob Stark is global head of market strategy at Kyriba.