Aron just concluded a product demo for treasury management technology. He shared with me some interesting findings. I was inspired to quickly share these findings he thought others might believe interesting. This is what your treasurer peers are thinking relating to the future technology requirements. Let me know if you are in the same boat.
They described what they want to do:
Aggregate external sources of financial data. They have multiple banks around the world. They want to access all of their banks, on one platform, to see their cash position and run consolidated, customized reports. They see inclusion of investments (i.e. money funds) as important. They need to report on money market funds as “cash” for their financials. They need to include money market fund trading in their approval/workflow to ensure controls are followed uniformly.
Integrate with internal data repositories, shared with internal subsidiaries. They need to export payments data from their ERP, reconcile payments with imported data from their banks, import the reconciled payment data into their ERP. Their top priority is putting in place customized workflow controls, accessible via email and share compliance reports with management and auditors.
Automate manual repetitive processes. They want to automate payments, the workflow to approve the payments, the reconciliation of payments and the entering of the reconciled payments into their ERP.
Analyze their data in a way that can be shared simply. They want to use BI to visualize the variance between their forecast and actuals. They want to see if they are in within limits for accounts, issues, issuers, counterparties, countries and currencies.
Optimize their cash. They want to improve their cash flow forecasts so they can free excess cash invest, pay down debt, etc.
They described what they require from a vendor:
SOC Certified, E&O Insurance, Cyber Insurance, Fidelity Bond ensuring against fraud and embezzlement.
Their treasury department is a cost centre. The choice, if there is any budget at all, is to buy technology or just to hire another person to continue with the existing manual process of logging onto multiple banks, downloading to Excel, normalizing the data, etc. Their concern is treasury does not get adequate I.T. support so the technology can’t be installed.
They need to access their treasury technology on their mobile devices. They can’t be fumbling around for RSA Keys to log on to approve a payment when they are waiting for their plane to take off.
They did not want global, 24/7 service…with service reps answering the phone and reading canned solutions from a manual.
They wanted their service reps to understand treasury and respond to their needs with a sense of urgency.
This is what I think:
Today, treasury departments live in a pressure cooker of deadlines, constrained resource, and cost, security and regulatory requirements. At the same time, treasurers want to be seen as strategic and deliver the anywhere, anytime answers to questions and access to data that the business expects of them. Somehow, treasurers must deal with this pressure as well as an increasing number of data sources and repositories and still deliver real-time insight and knowledge into the cash position of the organization, while optimizing cash and investment management costs and returns.
Typically, treasury departments depend on spreadsheets, logging into a multitude of accounts and systems, email and poorly defined manual processes to understand and manage the organization’s cash position and investments. This leaves them on a tactical treadmill, struggling with operational challenges like visibility and speed, living with compliance exposure such as account access and audit reporting, and settling with poor utilization of the limited resources they have, stressed employees and lack of time to drive strategic insight.
Why shouldn’t managing corporate treasury be as easy as online personal finance? What if you had a Treasury Services Marketplace that aggregated all of the accounts, systems and data you needed to manage cash and investments and finance operations? And what if that solution was free to acquire and deploy because it was funded by your cash deposits? And why not get this as an online, always on, secure and mobile friendly experience?
Then you’d have the access, visibility and insight you need to optimize your organization’s cash position, answer questions and make decisions quickly, accurately and strategically. You could then act and be seen as a strategic contributor to the organization’s bottom line. You’d be known as the “Oracle of Cash” within the organization.
Simon Lynch is the owner of Treasury Talent
Treasury Talent is a specialist treasury talent provider solely focussed on the treasury market with offices in Sydney covering Australia, Singapore covering Asia, and San Francisco covering California and the USA. To make contact firstname.lastname@example.org