Treasury’s Strategic Influence Growing, but Still a Gap for Corporates, Finds Kyriba / ACT research

June 2, 2014

Top concerns for the treasury team include global trade, economic change, FX risk and lack of visibility into liquidity and cash forecasts

LONDON, May 14, 2014: Treasury teams are taking a more active role in financial strategic decision-making, but their advice isn’t sought enough on corporate growth and development initiatives, according to research conducted by Kyriba and the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT). The survey of nearly 300 treasury professionals sought their feedback on a wide range of topics, ranging from technology use to strategic initiatives, and key initiatives and risks for the coming year.

The research showed that almost seven in 10 treasury professionals contribute data and analysis for strategic decision-making, and six in 10 are involved in working capital management. However, the treasury team’s counsel is still not widely sought in major corporate initiatives. Only one in five provides input for market expansion, with just 18 percent providing input toward M&A activity.

Global trade and the recent economic challenges are top of the list of treasury teams’ concerns when it comes to the biggest risk factors. Half of all treasury teams see FX risk as one of their three biggest risk factors, closely followed by lack of visibility into liquidity and cash forecasts. However, the type of risk factors varies dependent on the type of platform used. For example, more than 40 percent of treasury teams who primarily use spreadsheets view them as one of their top risk factors, compared to just 15 percent who use a dedicated treasury platform.

“The treasury team is certainly becoming more involved in bigger strategic decisions, but is seems that its influence and analysis still does not play the needed role in major initiatives outside the finance department,” said Andrew Burns, director of Kyriba UK. “One reason for this could be that treasury is undervalued for the impact its deep financial insight can have on these major programmes. In the 17 years I’ve been in treasury, I’ve seen significant strides in it becoming a more strategic function, but this research highlights there is still ground to cover. As companies continue to move toward Proactive Treasury Management, treasury can automate and streamline a range of daily tasks and focus its efforts on driving value across the business as a whole.”

“This research offers an interesting insight into treasury teams today, and echoes many concerns that we hear from our members,” said Colin Tyler, chief executive of the Association of Corporate Treasurers. “Treasury certainly has the potential to be a huge driver of value across the organisation, and we see it as an area that has considerable untapped potential. Treasury departments have the ability to provide detailed analysis that can have a real impact on a wide variety of corporate decisions and initiatives. As a group, we need to better understand and communicate the value that treasury can and should deliver.”

Please cite Kyriba and the Association of Corporate Treasurers when citing the research, and provide links back to