Technology in Treasury


Treasury Technology

Technology allows treasury professionals to handle financial data more efficiently and accurately. The ability to access, analyze and share large amounts of information quickly decreases the risk of making a mistake. And the ability to leverage external resources, such as SWIFT, market rate providers and online portals, greatly increases transparency.

Technology also makes collaboration with different departments and external partners, such as vendors and banks, easier. That said, as technology use increases, so too does the need for vigilance regarding security and safeguarding against cyber threats and fraud.

The Role of Technology in Treasury


The Role of Technology in Treasury

Technology has become indispensable to treasury management. Data is key to making informed decisions, and technology provides needed visibility of cash and risk. As finance serves as the central hub for the collection of information streams within a company, it is the responsibility of treasury to seamlessly integrate with other operational areas, such as accounting, payables and receivables, thereby connecting the various systems, solutions and data sources.

Treasury professionals also use technology to automate routine tasks, which frees them up to focus on strategic initiatives. In fact, technology can help manage the full range of treasury’s responsibilities, from calculating the daily cash position to implementing financial risk management programs.

When treasury shares the insights gained from data analysis and effective cash management practices, it helps build stronger relationships across departments and business units, as well as external stakeholders. This collaboration not only optimizes working capital but also positions treasury to be viewed as a valuable partner who guides strategic business decisions and fosters growth.

Types of Treasury Technology Solutions


Types of Treasury Technology Solutions

Treasury professionals use a wide variety of technology tools that offer different features and capabilities at different price points. This allows treasury teams to pick and choose based on their specific needs and budget constraints.


Spreadsheets are still one of treasury’s essential tools for organizing and analyzing crucial data, mainly because they're inexpensive, widely available and easy to use. However, there are some downsides. Security can be an issue due to limited encryption, and there's always the risk of errors in formulas or logic that could affect the accuracy of the data.

It's also hard to track changes effectively or maintain good version control, which can lead to confusion. And spreadsheets don't always integrate well with other software, making data sharing less efficient. Plus, they often lack the dedicated IT support and maintenance that specialized treasury software offers, leaving them more susceptible to data corruption or formula problems.

While spreadsheets are great for simple analyses, using them for complex tasks involving data from multiple sources can end up being more costly in terms of time and potential mistakes.

Bank Portals and Online Banking Solutions

Bank-provided solutions largely come in the form of online or mobile banking services, making them highly convenient and easy to use. However, using them often involves ongoing fees, which can add up when there are multiple users or usage is frequent.

The main problem with relying solely on bank-provided solutions is that they’re limited to one bank. So, while some platforms can pull in data from multiple banks, the ability to initiate transactions or perform inquiries usually remains tied to the specific bank's system. This can be a challenge for treasury operations that may be working with multiple banks. All the different platforms, each with different security measures and interfaces, can make their workflow more complex.

Specialty Software

There are also a number of specialty applications designed for treasury management, including investment software, escheatment tracking tools, trading systems, bank fee analyzers, budgeting and forecasting software, foreign exchange management tools, market data analytics, and payment-specific applications like payment aggregators. Additionally, communication and connectivity solutions assist in managing interactions between treasury departments and their partners, such as banks, ensuring ease in collaboration and data exchange across platforms.

Treasury Management System (TMS)

Most treasury management systems provide comprehensive features beyond multi-bank access, including tools for managing debt, investments, FX, letters of credit, bank communications and risk. Their ability to integrate directly with internal accounting and financial systems creates continuous data flow; however, this expanded functionality typically comes with a higher cost and often necessitates internal IT support for implementation and configuration.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System

ERP systems are advanced software packages that connect different parts of a company into a unified platform, integrating data and streamlining operations. They offer a single processing hub for accounting and finance tasks, reducing the need for multiple software solutions. A lot of ERP systems also include a treasury module that allows direct bank connections for payment initiation, account reconciliation and in-house banking functions. While this built-in integration with financial applications is convenient, implementing and maintaining ERP systems can be costly and require substantial IT support.

Types of Treasury Technology Platforms


Types of Treasury Technology Platforms

Treasury professionals have access to a range of technology solutions that can be delivered through various platforms or architectures, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Installed Client/Server Solution

Known as an installed system, individual computers are linked to a central server through a network and share a common database. This ensures everyone has access to dependable information and simplifies integration with other systems like accounts receivable and payable. Plus, with an installed client/server solution, multiple users can access it at the same time.

The software resides on the company's server (on-premise) and can be customized to meet specific company needs; however, updates require installation on the server and the adaptation of any modifications to the new software version.

Enterprise Technology

Enterprise technology is like a big-scale version of the departmental setups you might be familiar with, but it's designed to meet the IT needs of entire organizations. Everything is controlled centrally — systems, applications and security measures — to ensure consistency.

Companies using enterprise technology usually have an in-house IT team that is in charge of security, backups and data management policies, which determine the computers, software and data that are allowed on the network. While these tasks and oversight are sometimes outsourced, the technology still belongs to and operates on the company's equipment.

While you have the benefit of centralized control, enterprise technology can be expensive. Plus, it might be challenging to get specific IT resources quickly due to the competing needs of different departments.

Cloud or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Solutions

The delivery of solutions through hosted or cloud environments (off-premise), known as Software as a Service (SaaS) or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), means the vendor runs the application on their platform, and users access it through their devices. SaaS software is highly configurable, allowing users to personalize input screens and reports. And the vendor handles software updates, maintenance, backups and disaster recovery.

Typically billed based on usage or per-user fees, there are sometimes additional charges based on transaction volume or specific services/modules used. While ongoing fees may be higher, there are usually no upfront costs for software or hardware, and users avoid the effort of installing new software versions. Vendors also manage interfaces with third parties, such as banks, even after software upgrades.

Technology Policies


Technology Policies

Several policies apply specifically to treasury technology, focusing on end-using computing and TMSs.

End-User Computing Policy

An organization's end-user computing policy is typically managed by the IT department and provides guidelines designed to mitigate the risks associated with personal computers, laptops, mobile devices and other portable equipment. While IT provides the oversight, it’s important for treasury to collaborate with IT to address specific concerns and resolve technology-related issues before they escalate.

The end-user computing policy has a range of topics, including:

  • Password protection
  • Permitted use of company and personal devices (including "bring your own device" policies)
  • Software version control
  • Backup procedures
  • Data integrity
  • Fraud and cybercrime prevention (like identifying phishing scams)
  • Antivirus requirements
  • Off-premise data controls
  • Acceptable email and internet use
  • Documentation of user-developed software and spreadsheets

TMS Computing Policy

Unlike general end-user computing policies, an organization’s TMS computing policy (and those related to other treasury-specific software) are typically owned and managed by the treasury department due to the fact that they are accessing financial assets and bank accounts.

Key concerns addressed by a TMS computing policy include:

  • Access to treasury systems
  • Enforcing password requirements for secure authentication
  • Segregation of duties and Sox Controls to prevent unauthorized transactions
  • Reconciling treasury activities with accounting records
  • Backup and recovery procedures
  • Business continuity plans
  • Managing on- or off-premise access and use of treasury systems
  • Fulfilling reporting requirements

Learn More About Treasury Technology


Learn More About Treasury Technology

Read the TMS Buyer’s Guide to learn about the latest technologies and trends, which will help you make the right decision when it comes time to choose a TMS for your organization.

Read the 2023 AFP and Zanders Whitepaper: The Future of Corporate Treasury Teams to learn how to build a treasury function that thrives in a digital-first world.

Read the AFP Treasury in Practice Guide, Identifying Treasury Value: Automation, Machine Learning, AI, underwritten by Kyriba.

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