by Helen Sanders, Editor
The past two years have thrown up some popular themes in treasury: manage risk, preserve liquidity, reduce costs and increase efficiency. But there need to be more than platitudes and policy revisions to achieve this: treasurers also need the tools to turn goals into reality.
Lack of technology is a frequent complaint amongst treasurers, with both banks and software vendors often bearing the brunt of client criticism. But are these complaints fair? In very many cases, I would say not. There are plenty of reasons why the tools a treasurer needs to tackle the particular challenges s/he faces may not be required. It may be that the functionality genuinely does not exist. Ten years, or even five years ago, this may have been a valid complaint, particularly when working with smaller banks or vendors. Today, I continue to be surprised at the number of treasurers who are not really aware of what the banking solution, treasury management system (TMS) or enterprise resource planning tool (ERP) that is sitting on their desk can actually do, or what other capabilities may be available from their banks or vendors. Instead of functionality simply not being available, there are more likely reasons that the functionality a treasurer needs is not accessible:
i) The necessary technology does exist, but not at a cost that can be justified for the volumes involved or priority of the requirement;