It’s not typically treasury’s job to think about the future. That’s usually left up to the FP&A guys, right? Well, that mindset needs to change.
At the end of February, the AFP Conference Planning Task Force met in Washington D.C. to sift through the host of session proposals we received for AFP 2018. I was chosen to lead the Treasury Management track, and if one thing struck me about the proposals, it’s that so many of them were forward-looking.
THE SORTING PROCESS
Believe me when I say that we had our work cut out for us. Obviously, when you receive nearly 200 session proposals and you need to pick the 60 best ones, it’s going to be a tall order. But it was especially difficult this year due to the sheer quality of so many proposals. Trust me, I’ve been doing this a long time, and the submissions we received this year were fantastic. And a key reason for that was because so many treasury practitioners simply aren’t content to focus on the way they’ve done things in the past. This year’s submissions, collectively, were about confronting the future.
As a result, our group had many discussions around major changes that could have an impact on treasury. One session that was selected, “Riding the Tide of Change”, looks at how several multinational companies like Coca-Cola, Priceline Group and BlackRock are responding to corporate tax reform. Since much of what is happening with tax reform has yet to be implemented and determined, many treasury departments are still mulling what they will do in terms of netting, pooling and in-house banking opportunities, especially for entities outside the United States. This session should help provide them with some clarity.
The group also focused on many of the new emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) and what they could mean in the future for treasury. One session, “Artificial Intelligence in Corporate Treasury: Added Value?” seeks to demystify AI for attendees, as well as help them devise a strategy for using it. Another session, “Can a Bot Do Your Rolling Cash Forecast?” will delve into the specifics of how bots have the potential to play a pivotal role in cash flow forecasting.
As evidenced by this year’s submissions, practitioners are constantly thinking about what’s next and how to prepare for that. Treasury professionals have the opportunity to be true agents of change, and this year’s Treasury Management track aims to help you do just that.
For more insights on this year’s Treasury Management track, check out an exclusive interview with AFP 2018 Planning Task Force member Saumya Mohan, Americas Region Treasurer for Tesla, here.Download the AFP 2018 brochure to see the sessions and speakers covering treasury, payments, risk and more this November in Chicago.