FinTechSystemsThe common denominator: the must-consider-aspects of a treasury management system implementation

The common denominator: the must-consider-aspects of a treasury management system implementation

When it comes to implementing a treasury management system, they have more in common than at first sight.

When it comes to implementing a treasury management system, no two projects are alike. Every potential customer who approaches us comes with different requirements, expectations and framework conditions. Yet they are all taking the same strategic step to move forward with a professional, largely standardized treasury management system. So, if no two projects are the same, what is their common denominator?

Let’s start by asking who implements a treasury management system. Some companies have small but established treasury departments who seek to optimize their workflows by getting system support. Others are in the process of setting up a treasury department– either from scratch or after a merger – and want to start off on the best possible footing in terms of technology. Sometimes, companies have a very segregated, stand-alone treasury function, removed from other departments and with its own front, middle and back office.

The opposite scenario to this is the “part-time, all-around treasurer” who is also in charge of accounting and various other financial responsibilities. This is a somewhat simplified sample of the different approaches to treasury, translating to customer-specific requirements in a treasury management system.

Each project is unique and is not just new to the customer, but also to the consultants guiding the team through the implementation. However, there are also common elements that underpin every treasury management system implementation.

Processes

No matter how big or small the company and their treasury setup – everyone needs processes that make for effective work. System support is vital in a modern and challenging business environment. However, any system is only ever as good as the process framework it is embedded in.

You need workflows that enable you to leverage a system’s full potential, otherwise, you are looking at lost data and talent. Of course, you need to know your processes when you want to select and implement a software solution. In turn, the treasury management system can inspire and facilitate processes in the way it operates. It should be as easy as possible for you to use the system to maximum effect simply based on its functionality.

Project management

What this means for the implementation process is that it is vital to evaluate and scope existing processes before introducing the new system. This way workflows can be adapted or set up where required – which necessarily involves at least a minimum amount of project management.

This is another common denominator of system implementation that transcends company and treasury setup and requirements. Every treasury management system implementation project benefits from project management and the corresponding documentation.

Questions such as: What are my current processes? What are my desired processes or maybe the current state-of-the-art processes? How can I transform the existing process and adopt changes? How can I translate requirements into the system? How do I define priorities?

These need to be answered before the actual work with the system can kick off, and the need to answer them unites all companies. What you need is a future-proof system that is so well embedded and documented that anyone can start using it anytime.

Multiple stakeholders

The fact that no one, not even in the smallest companies, can act completely independently when it comes to implementing and using a treasury management system, also unites them. The work treasurers do always impact other departments, other stakeholders and ultimately the entire company.

Consequently, they can’t operate in isolation and it is important to get other departments and stakeholders on board before, during and after the implementation. It can help to have a neutral “mediator” in the person of the consultant, and it is also important for your system to facilitate this collaboration and to enable the easy sharing of information and processes. Because no matter what the specifics of your treasury requirements, the results need to benefit all the right people.

So far, we have looked at a number of overarching framework requirements that apply to virtually every company implementing a treasury management system. But there are also more treasury-specific aspects we come across in nearly all projects, one of them being cash visibility.

Cash visibility

Every company, without exception, always needs to know where their money is. This is a non-negotiable requirement for every treasurer and for every treasury management system and is often a huge challenge before a system is in place. You need group-wide, easy and real-time access to reliable data; there is simply no treasury management that could do without. Introducing a treasury management system that helps to achieve this is on every treasurer’s list who has ever had to contend with the tedious and unreliable process of manually gathering data and battling with excel sheets.

Digital contract management

System-based, “non-excel” contract management is also stated on virtually every treasurer’s list. For decades, they have had to deal with slow, exhausting and error-prone manual processes to report on deals and keep track of upcoming settlements, interest fixings or else. Manual contract management has no place in a modern treasury environment, and it should have a place in every treasury management system.

Cash positioning and forecasting

Just as every company needs data that provides cash visibility, every treasurer needs to have access to a system that enables her or him to put this data to optimum use. It is, therefore, another universal requirement to have an efficient means of establishing the daily cash position that then allows treasurers to project the company’s cash needs and to evaluate the liquidity position. From cash positioning to long-term forecasting – these are points every treasurer has come to expect to be covered by their treasury management system, regardless of the specific setup of their company.

While companies and treasuries are diverse and unique, there are still issues and requirements in connection with treasury management system implementation that are of importance to all companies and that transcend customer specifics. These are the common denominators that should shine in every implementation project, ultimately forming the basis for all other requirements.

 

 

 

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