Cash Management Report 2020

At the ACT Cash Management Conference 2020, delegates, speakers and panellists looked at how the increasing digitisation of treasury promises to reshape the function for the future

New and emerging technologies are continuing to have an impact on how treasurers work – not just in terms of their pivotal strategic and advisory roles at the heart of organisations, but the minutiae of their day-to-day processes in the treasury function itself. Alongside this, technology will enable businesses to develop
new business models and is already enabling the rise of new platform providers that can enhance the underlying client or customer experience. Whether they are utilising software for cash-flow forecasting, harnessing application programming interface connectivity to enhance their payment systems or adopting direct integration of FX capabilities, treasurers have an increasing array of facilities at their fingertips.
Meanwhile, banks and corporates are looking to the fintech sector to boost the client experience. In their own innovation journeys, treasurers are starting to diversify the technology and platform providers they use.
While this watershed presents a number of clear opportunities to raise efficiencies, there are challenges, too – particularly in the realms of scale, stability and obtaining board buy-in for the implementation of new systems. In parallel with those issues, there are varying degrees of understanding within the treasury community about the benefits that new technologies can bring. With that in mind, it is vital for treasurers to source high-quality advice from their banks, as well as third-party providers, to determine if the specific pain points can be overcome. Naturally, no two organisations face the same hurdles based on how
they have decided to structure their treasury teams.
Resilience in supply chains and the effective management of business continuity risks are, therefore, of paramount importance, given the backdrop of macroeconomic uncertainty. Treasurers must do everything they can to put plans in place so that, on those occasions when unexpected challenges do arise, contingencies can be implemented with minimal impact to treasury’s underlying control functions. Maintaining resilience, managing risk and providing advice to the CFO and board are still crucial roles for the treasurer, and those responsibilities are never going to go away.

David Shinkins Global Head of Cash Management Sales, Barclays

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