Historically, the mantra of “it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” has served us well in treasury. The sheer complexity of the many functions we may be running means that established structures and procedures are trusted to get the job done, in a way that new tech or platforms aren’t. But the missed opportunities for businesses, from leading-edge AI opportunities to the more commonplace like STP, mean that treasurers need to be wiser to the downsides of failing to act.
Automate to accumulate
The first steps in analysing exactly where automated processes can assist a business are crucial, because adopting or upgrading technology can be costly, time-consuming and distract from day-to-day business.
In all walks of life, technology is an enabler and business should therefore be no different. Each company will have its own challenges for its treasury function. For example, compliance processes may be a particular time burden relative to payments or currency hedging. Whatever the key areas for your business, the balance must be struck between healthy scepticism of emerging technology and boldness to implement a new, innovative, value-for-money initiative.
We only need to look at the rise of cloud solutions in recent years. This technology has gone from requiring significant investment in hardware – and the expertise that goes with this – to simple subscription models from big hitters like AWS at scale across all markets. Conversely, companies may wish to develop proprietary solutions – we worked on cloud-based TMS solution Bellin, which allowed us to automate and acts as the basis for our future strategic development road map. As costs come down and types of solutions become more familiar in to in-house professionals, we can make better-informed decisions about whether external or proprietary solutions can be the answer.