Improving Payment Processes: Challenges for Treasury Professionals

  • By Joanne Oh
  • Published: 10/4/2022
The Most Challenging Tasks for Treasury Professionals _Header (750 × 250 px)

Improving payment processes and working capital improvements are the two most challenging tasks facing treasury professionals today, according to the 2022 AFP Strategic Role of Treasury Survey, supported by Marsh McLennan. 

Treasury has also expanded its scope to support other functions. At 82% of organizations, treasury supports business continuity planning, and at 67% of organizations, treasury supports enterprise risk management. 

This year, cash management and forecasting are a top priority for 68% of respondents’ treasury departments. Among core functions, the emphasis placed on cash management and liquidity planning, heightened by the pandemic, remains as global issues continue to arise. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, treasury has been more focused on solving internal challenges rather than managing external concerns. 

While soft skills remain most in demand for treasury professionals, the skill gap — i.e., the gap between importance and effectiveness — has widened since 2020 for two important traits: the ability to collaborate and the willingness to be a change agent.

Communication continues to be the most important skill for both senior treasury practitioners and treasury teams, but there is a gap with a larger share of respondents citing the skill to be important and a lesser share indicating that treasury leadership and treasury teams were effective in this area.

Over half (56%) of respondents indicated that their organizations are attempting to curb staff attrition in response to the “Great Resignation.” Actions that respondents reported as being effective in preventing staff from resigning include:

  • Allowing flexible work arrangements (71%)
  • Offering growth opportunities within the organization (53%).
  • Offering better compensation/benefits (51%).

Upcoming Webinar: Treasury as a Business Enabler — Highlights From the 2022 AFP Strategic Role of Treasury Survey. Gain a better understanding of treasury professionals’ unique skill sets, potential skill gaps and the latest trends in applying soft skills within treasury. Register now.

“Against a landscape of global supply chain challenges and record-high inflation, treasury has an opportunity to rise to the occasion and provide sought-after guidance and expertise,” said Jim Kaitz, AFP president and CEO. “Effective communication and collaboration will be critical for treasury departments as they help their organizations navigate the prevailing uncertainty.” 

“Treasurers have faced many hurdles over the past two years from pandemic liquidity issues to pension performance challenges,” said Richard Smith Bingham, Executive Director, Marsh McLennan Advantage. “It’s encouraging that treasurers have ridden this volatility as critical partners in their companies’ resiliency efforts and that they are better prepared to help their organizations manage the considerable risks ahead.” 

The AFP Strategic Role of Treasury Survey was conducted in May 2022 and received responses from 390 treasury professionals. 

View the full survey results on the 2022 AFP Strategic Role of Treasury Survey page.

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