The implementation of new technology into traditional banking services can be difficult for some CFOs and treasurers. Moving systems to the cloud is said to be more efficient and cost effective and TreasuryXpress the US vehicle of Box & Automation Solutions (B.A.S) has recently launched a new SaaS Cloud-based TMS system. Treasury Insider talks to Thomas Leitch, Business Development Vice President at TreasuryXpress about his experiences as a treasury management system provider, what challenges he has faced and how he sees the treasury landscape evolving in the future.
What makes Treasury Xpress different to other treasury management system providers?
Although TreasuryXpress (TX) is a new player in the TMS market, we are powered by B.A.S, who design and develop cash management solutions and we have been able to learn from B.A.S, which has over 8 years of experience in the industry. We consider ourselves the first fully SaaS cloud-based system and because of this, we are able to do what our competitors cannot with regards to functionality, cost and implementation. What we are trying to do is give corporates full functionality through SaaS and by SaaS I mean the cloud. This means there is no heavy implementation and the client will go live almost instantly. This is what makes us really different, as we provide a full global TMS which covers all the aspects of treasury but is available on the cloud, without implementation fees and a low cost base.
What benefits do treasury management systems offer financial professionals?
Looking at the AFP survey that was released last month, more than 70% of corporates with a TMS said cash visibility was “good to very good”. This demonstrates that using automated processes improves cash visibility and enables the treasury department to spend more time on systems or projects that increase value for the firm. Treasurers can know cash positions to the minute using a TMS and they have full control of their cash and financial planning moving forward. 75% of companies that are worth under $250 million do not have a TMS and we want to provide financial professionals at all levels of revenue with the ability to improve the core function of treasury with better forecasting, cash visibility and bank management, and as those small companies grow, they will have the competitive edge of having a TMS system versus just Excel.
What struggles have Treasury Xpress faced in trying to modernise treasury management systems?
Having B.A.S as a foundation has helped us be aware of what works and what doesn’t and what the corporates really want in regards to whether it is automatic reporting, customisability or any of our other functions. We haven’t struggled because we’ve started from scratch and we wanted to build the most modern TMS out there, which I think we’ve achieved. 70% of our workers are developers, so we have a huge focus on developing the new TMS to the best standard for launch and moving forward.
What do you think about installed treasury management systems being the most popular model in comparison to SaaS and ERP?
We recognise that the client, not the region, ultimately decides what delivery method they prefer, so that is why we offer both a fully cloud based system (TX) and an implemented system, C2Box. Also, there is no difference in the product technically speaking apart from the two delivery systems. Installed TMS are the most popular model on average, globally sitting at 54%, however, there are large differences across regions. The US percentage of installed TMS is the lowest globally at 38%, compared to the highest percentage in the EU at 63%. With the availability of full, cheap and easily implemented TMS, we should see the figure of SaaS numbers grow. The ERP system figure should stay the same however, the TMS that are implemented or hosted in the future will have to work in conjunction with existing ERP systems to provide companywide clarity on internal processes.
What challenges are treasurers facing today?
Companies that future proof their treasury departments with enabling technology provide a roadmap for success, better working capital management and the ability to be more proactive in a business climate that is often volatile and ever-changing with regulatory changes and political unrest. The political and regulatory landscape keeps evolving which causes ever increasing problems for treasurers and they need to plan ahead and not only look at how regulation may directly affect them, but also how it affects their banking relationships as this may effect cost of borrowing. Treasurers are being required to become the nerve centre of the company, whilst managing full time roles, which can be a real struggle for a number of treasurers. Technology when utilised correctly can alleviate this problem.
How have recent regulations affected treasury management systems?
Regulations such as Basel III and Dodd Frank affect the liquidity ratio that the banks need to keep to lend which creates problems for corporates, especially if you need a lot of working capital to borrow from the banks. Corporates have to look at what regulations are out there, review what is going on internally with their processes and streamline or change them in order to stop borrowing from banks. Corporates should also be looking at their banking relationships a lot more often because banks could ask for something in return for the credit line given which might change the working capital flow from the bank.
How do you see the treasury landscape evolving?
Specifically in the US, we are looking very closely at the creation of a faster payments system. We are hoping that with an affordable technology, we can move companies off the Excel sheet and with a system like ours, they can become an essential partner to other companies. The biggest hurdles that stop treasurers from adopting a TMS are costs, customisability and implementation which are eradicated by our system.
What are the company’s plans for the future?
TX is now live and ready for corporates to start using. We will be attending AFP Denver, ACT Dubai and AFTE in Paris this year and we aim to continually improve, develop and extend our offerings. Our target is to become leaders in treasury management systems globally and be pioneers in the technologies that corporate treasurers want.