August 3, 2017

Survey: Role of treasury is on the rise



For retailers, it’s clear that cash management and other treasury functions are becoming more and more important every year. Without a strong, efficient corporate operation and stores that follow suit, your products and customer service can’t shine through – no matter how strong they are.


Increasingly, the same is true across all industries. According to the 2017 AFP Strategic Role of Treasury survey, 80 percent of finance professionals agree that the treasury function will be playing a greater strategic role three years from now than it does today.


In the past, the treasury department of most businesses was focused mostly on cash management. Today, it’s much more. While 64 percent of survey respondents still cite cash management and forecasting as a key area of focus for their treasury departments over the next three years, quite a few other factors contribute to treasury’s expanded strategic role. According to survey respondents, these include:

  • The current importance of liquidity management (68 percent)
  • More closely monitored financial metrics (49 percent)
  • A more holistic view of the organization (35 percent)
  • Technology and automation enabling a focus on higher value-added work (35 percent)


Across the board, corporate treasury and cash management functions are trying to do more with less, under increasing scrutiny and pressure to perform. AFP suggests one of the best ways to adapt to these changing expectations is through simplification of day-to-day financial management responsibilities.


In retail, the benefits of automating currency management processes at stores and at corporate are numerous and, as those who have already implemented automation can tell you, undeniable, including:

  • Comprehensive visibility of cash accountability at all stores
  • Greater control over cash flow by reducing idle cash in stores
  • Better governance of fees charged by third parties like armored car services and banks


So why hasn’t everyone moved on from manual processing and reporting? The survey results show the following as key challenges in determining adoption of new technologies:

  • Cost and business case
  • Identifying technologies that effectively support corporate needs
  • Integration with other technologies
  • Ease of use to support decision making
  • Ensuring and selecting reliable provider


With the right technologies, however, these concerns can be alleviated. If you’re in treasury, start by sitting down with members of your corporate team from operations and loss prevention to discuss how technology could improve productivity.

  • Are they using a solution that would be helpful for your department? Is there a solution that would meet the needs of multiple departments at once? A single platform ensures that communication and collaboration about issues are swift.
  • How does reporting speed affect your ability to deploy cash assets? Investigate solutions that report in real time so you can eliminate costly delayed reporting.
  • Do you have comprehensive visibility of metrics that are important to your treasury team? Being able to view cash on hand or track deposits by store helps you govern currency management better at the corporate level.


Treasury departments aren’t just crunching the numbers these days. You’re playing an active role in the battle to keep your enterprise competitive. Finding a way to streamline processes and reporting is imperative in that mission.



Image: iStock