by Anupam Sinha, Director, Head of Payments Market Management, EMEA, Citi
An important starting point for many companies in achieving financial process efficiency is to centralise processes in a shared services environment.
The role of corporate treasurers has traditionally involved disciplines such as cash management, debt, investment and foreign exchange management. Today, accentuated by the global financial crisis, treasurers have become more actively engaged in the business of seeking financially sustainable business practices, sufficient access to liquidity, and appropriate risk management in line with stakeholder objectives. As issues such as working capital and risk mitigation have been forced to the top of the CFO’s agenda, treasurers have been tasked not only to manage the results of financial processes that comprise the financial supply chain, but also to take an oversight role in the key factors that affect working capital, namely payments and collections.
To fulfil this expanding role, treasurers are increasingly working closely with other departments that support the various elements of the financial supply chain. This is not always easy, despite the benefits of an integrated approach. Inevitably, every department is accustomed to its own processes and technology, and it can be difficult to establish synergies and collaboration unless the advantages of doing so are clearly recognised and promoted at a senior level. To facilitate greater co-ordination, whilst recognising the individual efficiency goals in each department, at Citi, we are working closely with our customers to create holistic solutions from procurement through to payment