Above and beyond: the evolution of corporate treasury technology
As the role of the corporate treasurer continues to become more strategic, technology is helping treasurers go above and beyond the traditional requirements of the job, writes FX-MM’s Rebecca Brace…
The role of the corporate treasurer has undergone considerable changes over the last few years. The financial crisis placed the spotlight firmly on the treasurer’s role in managing areas such as liquidity, risk and working capital, with many treasurers taking on a more strategic and higher profile role within their organisations as a result. This trend has continued to develop in the intervening years: research published last year by Kyriba and the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) found that half of respondents said they provide strategic financial analysis, compared with 39% a year earlier.
Meanwhile, issues such as political uncertainty and the low interest rate environment have continued to present treasurers with new and evolving challenges. “Treasurers govern in a world where markets are alive and largely unpredictable,” comments Justin Brimfield, Chief Marketing Officer in ION’s treasury division. “Nothing in recent memory brings home this point more than Brexit.”
As the role of the treasurer has evolved, the treasurer’s technology needs have also changed. “Treasurers need systems that are easy to use and act like decision support systems,” comments Enrico Camerinelli, Senior Analyst at Aite Group. “Treasurers are more accountable now in their companies about decisions regarding investments and cash positions. They have reduced staffs, so technology should also help them in automating manual operations with easy-to-use applications and intuitive interfaces.”
Against this backdrop, how is treasury technology changing to keep up with treasurers’ evolving needs, and how can treasurers use technology to operate at a more strategic level?
Changing technology landscape
The vendor and solutions landscape has changed considerably over the last few years, explains Andrew Marshall, Managing Director of consulting and solutions provider Covarius. “We’ve seen considerable consolidation of the traditional treasury management solutions (TMS) and providers (ION and FIS for instance), whilst at the same time we have begun to see established technology and data providers (Bloomberg, Reuters for instance) enter the TMS market.”