The financial turbulence resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of a good treasury management system (TMS). And achieving data visibility at the touch of a button has helped treasurers to act strategically throughout these challenging times. But are all TMSs created equal? And is functionality everything when it comes to vendor selection? Michael Juen, Chief Customer Officer, BELLIN, explains why personalised TMS advisory services might be just as valuable as technical capabilities.
Eleanor Hill, Editor, TMI (EH): First of all, how do you feel corporate treasurers are coping with the fallout from Covid-19? What’s your general impression of their digital readiness?
Michael Juen (MJ): Honestly, I have a slightly biased view as to how corporates generally are coping, because our clients were well prepared. We’ve had wonderful feedback from treasurers saying how our software is helping them through the current crisis, with complete cash visibility being their top priority. So, even if there are still operational challenges ahead, their systems are robust, secure and deliver the insights they need.
That said, there are clearly challenges for those without a TMS in place, or without the right TMS. Treasurers are left wondering how much cash is available and where? They are also struggling to get a complete picture of available credit facilities, and to map cash outflows relating to short- and medium-term borrowings. Without this visibility, companies are unable to make well-informed decisions, which could lead to a sub-optimal crisis response strategy.
EH: You mentioned the importance of selecting the right TMS provider. But aren’t vendors just delivering more or less standardised functionality these days? What differentiates them?
MJ: There is some truth in the assertion that functionality is reasonably comparable across vendors. The difference lies in the depth of relationship between the corporate and the system provider – and whether this enables system functionality to be leveraged to the full.