Press Releases

Survey: COVID-19 Crisis Has Pushed Treasury to the Forefront

The 2020 AFP Strategic Role of Treasury Survey finds that organizations are prioritizing liquidity and cash management, elevating treasury’s role.

September 9, 2020 -- Bethesda, Md. -- The COVID-19 crisis has underscored the importance of treasury’s role in the organization, according to the 2020 AFP Strategic Role of Treasury Survey, supported by Marsh & McLennan.

Fully 83% of treasury professionals said they believe there has been a significantly greater or greater value assigned to treasury throughout the COVID-19 crisis. As organizations have required solutions and answers to managing liquidity and other challenging cash management issues, they have looked to treasury for resolution.   

Looking ahead, two-thirds of respondents (68%) believe the perceived value of the treasury function will continue to be of greater or significantly greater value to the organization. Despite the slight drop-off, this data suggests that the treasury function will continue to play a prominent strategic role once the crisis ends.

The results were drawn from nearly 260 treasury and finance executives. Full results are available at www.AFPonline.org/strategy. For any press queries, please contact Melissa Rawak at mrawak@afponline.org.

Some Key Findings:

  • During the pandemic, treasury leaders appear to be falling short in their communication skills. Respondents believe leaders will continue to lack the requisite communication skills over the next three years.
  • During the coronavirus crisis, significant competency gaps exist for treasury teams in the areas of prioritization and organization, communication, and analytical skills.
  • Two-thirds of treasury professionals believe that in the next three years, treasury-specific technology will be critical or very critical to the success of treasury organizations.
  • Seventy percent of treasury professionals agree that their organizations will be using treasury-specific technology to achieve objectives.
  • Two-thirds of organizations have fewer than 10 staff working in their treasury department. As expected, the higher the revenue of the organization, the more treasury staff they have. 

“Organizations are placing a greater emphasis on liquidity and cash management during the COVID-19 crisis than they have over the past three years,” said Jim Kaitz, president and chief executive of AFP. “Treasury is the gatekeeper of those areas. Much like they did during the Global Financial Crisis, companies are trusting the treasury function to provide guidance amid unprecedented circumstances.”

“The COVID-19 crisis has presented treasurers with a unique opportunity to take a leadership position within their organizations,” said Richard Smith-Bingham, Executive Director of Insights, Marsh & McLennan Advantage.  “C-Suite executives are increasingly looking to them to provide counsel on a range of decisions beyond finance and across the broader context of employees, customers, and suppliers for both the near and the long term.”

About AFP®
Headquartered outside of Washington, D.C. and located regionally in Singapore, the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) is the professional society committed to advancing the success of treasury and finance members and their organizations. AFP established and administers the Certified Treasury Professional and Certified Corporate FP&A Professional credentials, which set standards of excellence in treasury and finance.


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