• Visit Our Network:
  • gtnews
  • Corporate Treasurers Council
  • AFP Advisors Network
  • CIEBA
The Resource for the Global Finance Profession

Technology Hits Treasury Groups in a Big Way – Finally

  • By Ira Apfel
  • Published: 2013-01-10

Treasury technology was supposed to explode after the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley followed by the push toward globalization and the financial crisis of 2008-09.  But adoption has been slow in recent years.  

This time, it's different. Really.

"There is an explosion of new features and delivery mechanisms because of broader adoption of cloud computing," said Nilly Essaides. "This means both innovative, new delivery mechanisms for existing vendors as well as the emergence of cloud-only services."

The changing environment is why Essaides has written AFP's new CTC Guide to Treasury Technology: The Emerging Landscape. Essaides noted a clear shift at the ERP level as another factor. "Their systems are getting better and more large companies are embracing them as true enterprise-wide solutions so treasury must go along," she said. "Thankfully, it appears that the widely accepted belief that this involved a very substantial trade-off in functionality is shifting. It reflects a broader shift in treasury thinking away from a silo function into an integrated partner to the business units. The technology infrastructure reflects this broader organizational shift."

Perhaps most important, Essaides believes that technology is so prevalent in everyone's lives that treasurers have come to expect it more. "It's a generational shift, a mindset shift. Treasury is not immune to it," she said. "As practitioners gain experience with technology they take that experience into their new position and champion automation projects."

The CTC Guide to Treasury Technology features five case studies of treasury groups grappling with technological changes. One midsized multinational describes its first steps into automation as it happens, while another company discusses its adoption of SAP Treasury. Marriott Vacations Worldwide, Pulte Homes and Blackstone also discuss their technology challenges and successes.

"What's new is easier mobile access to technology from wherever you are," said Essaides. "This used to be a nice-to-have. It's becoming a must-have. For treasury, in particular, this development holds great promise. As our previous Treasury Structures guide illustrated, treasuries are moving toward a more virtual model, with distributed decision-making and execution. They need access to the technology all over the world. Even the ERPs are coming out with remote access solutions."

Even with the new embrace of technology, fundamental challenges remain. "What surprised me was the degree of confusion still existing in the market regarding definition of delivery mechanisms," said Essaides. "The terms 'cloud' and 'SaaS' are thrown around a lot by various vendors but they often stray from official definitions. There's a lot of marketing language out there that can get treasury confused. Some of the distinctions do matter."

To download the CTC Guide to Treasury Technology: The Emerging Landscape, visit ctc.afponline.org/guides. 

Copyright © 2014 Association for Financial Professionals, Inc.
All rights reserved.

You May Also Be Interested In...

Copyright © 2014 Association for Financial Professionals, Inc. - All rights reserved.
AFP, 4520 East-West Highway, Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814, Phone 1.301.907.2862
Follow Us AFP on LinkedInAFP on TwitterAFP on YouTubeAFP Newsfeed