At the latest SAP Conference for Treasury Management, whose upcoming North America event is happening soon in Chicago, more than 250 leading treasury and risk management professionals from all industries answered a few questions that summarize what is top of mind for them and where they are in their digital transformation journey.
A few interesting insights came up from this survey that I’d like to share.
What is your highest priority for the months ahead?
Improving efficiency using innovative technology got the highest amount of support. The ongoing effort of many to better centralize and harmonize their data on a common platform is a necessary step towards broader use of innovative technologies like machine learning. The pace of business requires more agility and the simplification and automation of legacy processes that are preventing treasury teams from thinking and acting more strategically.
In addition, in an acquisitive environment where cash needs to be tightly managed, many companies are looking into modernizing their cash-management system and adopting solid analytics on top of it. This will serve to give them a real-time view of their cash positions with more accurate forecasting capabilities.
What outcome do you value the most in a treasury system?
When asked what outcome treasurers value the most in a treasury system, 34% answered that they value the ability to automate treasury processes and have their teams focus on more strategic tasks. A trend is emerging: Treasurers still spend a lot of time running repetitive tasks that they believe can be better automated, such as processing payments, managing their bank relationship, and looking for cash or liquidity data scattered throughout their company, to name a few.
Tied up in those daily routines, treasurers have a hard time coping with increased expectations by their board to gain a holistic, updated view of the business or collaborate with other parts of the business to support larger, company-wide transformations.
What are the intelligent technologies you’ll most likely be using in the future?
Following a similar trend, machine learning and predictive analytics are the highest-priority technologies for treasurers in the near future. Machine learning, together with complementary capabilities like robotic process automation, is used to automate repetitive tasks. Predictive analytics are now embedded in modern finance systems to provide a forward-looking view of the business, allow simulations of future scenarios (like M&A), and make treasury professionals more proactive.
What financial risks are you most concerned about?
When asked about the most concerning financial risks treasury professionals are planning for, a large economic bubble bursting seems to be top of mind for them. Such a gloomy yet realistic outcome would have consequences far beyond treasury for companies. A more collaborative mindset is required by all parts of the business. In addition, a strongly upgraded visibility into the business is paramount to making the best decisions today to navigate more difficult conditions in the future.
With more automated, proactive systems at their disposal, treasurers should be able to play a key role in this journey.
The next SAP Conference for Treasury Management is happening November 4-6, 2019, in Chicago. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience the latest treasury and risk technology innovations. Network and connect with SAP executives, partners, and peers in a friendly atmosphere. Learn about their journey to become intelligent and connected treasury organizations. Register today!