An Inside View on European Treasuries
by Robert Crowe, Senior Solution Consultant, Reval
Being a treasurer is challenging today. Treasury's importance and remit are constantly increasing, but staff and budget are limited. The EACT Treasury Benchmarking Survey, conducted by its technology sponsor Reval and TMI, shows how European treasurers resolve this dilemma.
Ninety-two per cent of finance professionals responding to the EACT Treasury Benchmarking Survey this summer consider treasury a key contributor to business success today, and most of them see the function’s importance increasing within the next three years. European treasury departments are addressing an increasing number of regulatory challenges such as EMIR, SEPA or IFRS 13 and their scope is growing into new areas such as commodities, supply chain financing or insurance. However, there is a gap between what European treasurers want to do and what executive managers are willing to sponsor.
Although the treasury department is seen as a vital function to the organisation, only 24% see their staff numbers increasing within the next three years. As this is the case, treasurers will need to make technology investments in order to continue to do more with less. Technology can help treasury in many ways. Automating operational tasks not only takes the tedious daily routines from the treasurer’s to-do list, but it also increases efficiency and control. Treasury´s highly qualified staff can and should contribute more than keying bank account balances and market data into various spreadsheets, faxing deal confirmations to bank and trading partners or copying payment information from one system to another. However, workflow automation is not the only way to increase operational efficiency.
Treasury technology that provides the same, single-version fully integrated software platform across the enterprise captures a company’s cash flows, saves time and facilitates analysis and reporting. Cash, liquidity and risk are made visible across business units, banks and currencies. Reports like global cash positions or KPIs like cash flow at risk (CFaR) can be calculated in real time. This kind of technology provides treasurers with time to deliver on strategic mandates.
As their teams will stay the same, 40% of European treasurers are either reviewing existing technology or implementing new solutions to address the challenges they are facing. Today, mastering operational challenges is most critical to the majority of European treasurers. This is not surprising, as 94% place a high or medium value on treasury technology.
Deal done? Not yet, as 35% of treasurers say that missing budget is the top roadblock to improving existing or implementing new treasury technology. Today, European treasurers are focusing on getting the basics right in cash, liquidity and risk management. As their teams will continue to be lean, they are carefully reviewing processes and technology. Clearly, improving operational efficiency is only the first step, but it goes hand-in-hand with transforming treasury into a strategic partner that continually increases the value it adds to business success.
The EACT Treasury Benchmarking Survey was rolled out in summer 2014 in close cooperation between the European Association of Corporate Treasurers (EACT), TMI and Reval. More than 300 treasury professionals from all industries and regions participated.