Just over one third (34.4%) of treasury leaders see improving the efficiency of treasury using innovative technology as their priority for the months ahead, followed by getting better visibility of cash position and cash forecasting (22.2%), according to SAP’s Digitalist Magazine.
The need to streamline and automate the ability to process payments (17.8%), better connect treasury with the other parts of company’s operations (13.3%) and a desire to automate and simplify bank management and relationship (12.2%) were the other priorities pointed out by more than 250 leading treasury and risk management professionals from all industries at the SAP Conference for Treasury Management in Amsterdam earlier this year.
When asked what outcome treasurers value the most in a treasury system, 34% answered that they value the ability to automate treasury processes and have their teams focus on more strategic tasks. There is a trend that treasurers still spend a lot of time running repetitive tasks that they believe can be better automated, such as processing payments, managing their bank relationship, and looking for cash or liquidity data scattered throughout their company, to name a few.
Tied up in those daily routines, treasurers have a hard time coping with increased expectations by their board to gain a holistic, updated view of the business or collaborate with other parts of the business to support larger, company-wide transformations.
Other outcomes that treasury leaders value the most in a treasury system, according to the insights, are ‘Get end-to-end visibility of business with a single source of truth’ (18%), ‘The ability to run business in real-time’ (11%) and ‘A quick and smooth adoption enabled by an intuitive user experience’ (5%).
Future technologies for treasurers
Machine learning and predictive analytics are the highest-priority technologies for treasurers in the near future, since 35.4% and 30.8% of treasury leaders feel these will be the intelligent technologies they will most likely be using in the future.
Machine learning, together with complementary capabilities like robotic process automation, is used to automate repetitive tasks. Predictive analytics are now embedded in modern finance systems to provide a forward-looking view of the business, allow simulations of future scenarios (like M&A), and make treasury professionals more proactive.
21.5% treasury leaders see themselves as Treasury Disruptors and say they will be using them all. Other technologies mentioned were blockchain (10.8%) and smart assistants with voice recognition (1.5%).
Most concerning financial risks
When asked about the most concerning financial risks treasury professionals are planning for, a large economic bubble bursting (42%) seems to be top of mind for them. Such a gloomy yet realistic outcome would have consequences far beyond treasury for companies. A more collaborative mindset is required by all parts of the business. In addition, a strongly upgraded visibility into the business is paramount to making the best decisions today to navigate more difficult conditions in the future.
With more automated, proactive systems at their disposal, treasurers should be able to play a key role in this journey.
Second most concerning financial risk, mentioned by 18.7% treasury leaders are ‘A hard BREXIT with unpredictable consequences’ and ‘A trade war heating internationally’. Other risks were ‘Sharply rising interest rates’ (12%) and ‘War erupting in the middle east impacting oil prices’ (8.7%).
For more such insights, register today and don’t miss the unique opportunity to experience the latest treasury and risk technology innovations at the next SAP Conference for Treasury Management is happening November 4-6, 2019, in Chicago, where The Global Treasurer is a media partner.