Corporate TreasuryHow treasury can get buy-in and budget from CFOs

How treasury can get buy-in and budget from CFOs

How can treasury can get buy-in and budget from CFOs when it comes to tech investment. Craig Chapman, Manager at Actualize Consulting explains.

Overall, one of the mandates from CFOs is to foster a centralized and control-proof source of data for liquidity management, forecasting, payments, cash and financial accounting, funding, investments and risk management. Besides the multiple ways that a Treasury Management System (TMS) can add immediate and recurring value to the CFO and Treasurer, the best “new development” in TMS is the affordability. The value of having a TMS has never been as compelling as it is today. Combined with the SaaS pay-as-you-go subscription model, the ROI for treasury technology is very strong today.

But, how do you get the CFO to buy-in and allocate the funds for investing in technology or a TMS?

Formulating your future state vision

At some level, there is always a vision the client is striving to achieve. You have envisioned the final product, but to get the CFO on board, you must align your vision to their finance transformation goals. Why and how an investment in technology is needed must be backed up with data and detailed information gathering. You must build a strong business case that will gain approval for the necessary budget allocations. To formulate an accurate and documented vision, capturing information through questioning primary stakeholders is critical.

One approach is to capture your current state and desired future state once technology has been implemented by business function or process. When defining the future state vision, include all levels of the team in the discussions to improve engagement as well as to understand the underlying reasoning for the decisions made and true deficiencies on the current state. This can also be expanded to capture more technical components such as system administration, integration with other systems, straight-through processing, and system controls.

These are the key questions to ask before presenting your future state vision to the approval of CFOs of the proposed project:

  • How clearly is the future state vision defined and communicated?
  • Is the future state vision shared by all stakeholders and where they involved in crafting it?
  • Have you identified all the key drivers causing this need for change?
  • Is the future state vision granular enough to provide direction when crucial decisions must be made throughout the project?
  • Have you developed a preliminary roadmap and timeline?

Aligning the benefits with the CFO’s goals

The implementation of technology or a TMS provides an organization with many benefits. Aligning the benefits with the CFOs goals is important. They are responsible for proactively managing, implementing improved financial controls, and to ensure effective risk mitigation plans are in place. The introduction of treasury technology is one way to implement such controls, so benefits should follow this theme. While many are familiar with the obvious benefits, sharing the holistic perks that evolve will strengthen your case:

  • Risk mitigation and enhanced control environment
  • Fraud prevention
  • Connectivity to all banks for secure statements & payments
  • Accurate and consistent data, one source of truth
  • Adoption of world-class processes
  • Automation and streamlining of processes
  • Significant time savings to allow Treasury to concentrate on strategic issues
  • Transformation from operational to analytical
  • Regulatory compliance support
  • Stronger business continuity plan
  • Improved data analysis
  • Support automation of business needs and staff engagement
  • Scalability for future growth

Technology is an enabler for global expansion

The CFO plays a vital role in influencing their company’s strategy and growth. CFOs need to transform their finance operations to become a better strategic business partner for their organizations. Entering the international market with a Treasury Management System and a growth agenda designed to support the complexity of a global business while leveraging automation is paramount. The TMS implementation plan should show that the technology can evolve to accommodate and expedite the company’s global expansion plans. By enhancing your global treasury functions, you also gain the ability to:

  • Increase global cash visibility
  • Manage banking requirement and currencies, and risk mitigation
  • Simplify bank connectivity
  • Develop consolidated structures such as Multilateral Netting and In-house Banking
  • Improve payment security workflow and fraud detection
  • Reduce non-value work by eliminating manual processes
  • Reduction in Bank Fees: Bank Fee Analysis and reduction of transactions
  • Achieve optimal long-term structure
  • International remote capability

A final business case should be submitted for approval and should include a cost-benefit analysis. The business case should include all the factors discussed previously: Current State and Future State Vision, TMS Benefits and the ability to support a global growth strategy, and the cost-benefit analysis.

A comprehensive approach is needed on many levels to gain the support of CFOs. Gaining support will eliminate unnecessary stress and energize all phases of your implementation. Continued communication and collaboration help navigate and smooth any bumps along the road of reaching your end goal. The goal is for technology to be an integral part of your Finance departments current and future expansion goals. As your company evolves, so should your technology. 

Actualize Consulting is a professional services firm specializing in business process engineering and technology implementations for financial institutions.

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