How Technology is Helping Treasurers
The profession of treasurer has changed significantly over the last 30 years. The days when treasurers managed a company’s treasury alone on their PC – often on a spreadsheet, independently from the rest of the company’s information system – are now long gone.
Today, treasurers work in a connected world where the notion of virtually real-time operations is omnipresent. They must manage real-time market information, electronic trading, relationships with banks and counterparties, subsidiaries, etc., both inside the company and its information system and with external contacts.
Globalisation and the digital and technological revolution have profoundly changed the needs and working habits of treasurers. Today, certain modern treasury management systems (TMS) provide functionalities to enable collaborative work, ensure information is unique, separate tasks and mandates, centralise and improve visibility of cash positions, assist in decision-making, and enable electronic signatures, as well as virtually instantaneous exchanges and infinite reporting possibilities. However, many large companies still do not take advantage of these tools and continue to use outdated technologies in obsolete software packages.
Many group treasury departments still use a variety of software packages each managing a limited functional perimeter. These packages are interlinked with varying degrees of efficiency, resulting in a greater administrative workload, difficult maintenance operations, and even the need to re-enter information concerning certain operations. Other groups have opted for more integrated solutions which are now technically outdated, difficult to implement and that end up costing a lot to use over time. Finally, some companies have chosen more modern solutions, but the technical design of these systems limits their use and makes them too rigid.
What treasurers dream about:
- Standardising their treasury management system in order to have a solution based on a single repository and database. The solution must cover all the components of the trade: front, middle, back office and associated risks, cash management (including payments), treasury accounting operations (cash and trading), bank communication, reconciliation of market transaction confirmations, management of standard and electronic bank mandates (eBAM)
- Easily integrating the solution into the company’s general IS while limiting (or even completely removing) the need for IT developments to manage the interfaces
- Making it easier for subsidiaries to access to the solution thanks to simple deployment (no more local installation)
- Guaranteeing the total security, confidentiality and traceability of data
- Moving closer to real-time management and ‘zero paper’ by automating tasks as much as possible (straight-through processing) and having configurable workflows that fit exactly with the processes
- Simple administration and maintenance to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO).
TMS - Single repository and database