Retaining Strategic Control When Automating Treasury Management - Kyriba

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http://www.kyriba.com: Figures show an increasing number of smaller and middle-market businesses are automating parts or all of their corporate treasury activities, often to cloud–based software providers.

It is important, however, for treasury departments to retain a sense of strategic control that will allow them to focus on their core activities. The Cash Management Survey by gtnews last year found that the majority of firms questioned said they were moving toward a centralized payment and reconciliation system. Almost 40 per cent were focused on establishing a regional structure, while 24 per cent were moving toward a global structure.

It is not surprising that this trend is growing – particularly among smaller and mid-sized businesses, as automating business processes help them to gain ground against larger competitors. Most firms of this size would lack the critical mass to justify implementing advanced technology that would allow them to create wide-scale integrated business process management systems. However, the introduction of the cloud-based systems has made efficient treasury management automation more attainable for smaller firms.

Automating business processes offers clear advantages to companies, such as reduced implementation costs, lower maintenance and staffing fees. There are also efficiency gains to be made, including operation stability and access to more data protection tools.

With the growing use of specialized treasury management system providers, it is important that corporate treasury professionals retain their control over important strategic decisions. As globalization continues to take hold, many treasurers see their role evolving into more strategic positions, as opposed to the process-driven function they traditionally fulfilled. But how does a treasurer strike the right balance?

Identifying which processes are core and which are not is key here. Non-core processes can easily be automated without compromising strategic control. However, core processes, such as decisions over the level of risk a firm should be exposed to, which banks and suppliers to use and other policy-level decisions, need to remain the message of the in-house treasury department.

Ensuring that all automated processes are fully understood before a specialist is brought in to take over is also an important part of retaining strategic control. Treasurers need to have identified how the process works, along with some key performance indicators and how the process could be improved. Most processes are not automated on an end-to-end basis, and ensuring best practice is maintained throughout all elements of the function that are still managed in-house is vital for effective automating.

With regards to security concerns when appointing a specialist business process management provider, there are far fewer to consider than in the past. Most firms have undergone a rigorous process of establishing security protocols and undertaking due diligence over recent years.

There is no doubt that most corporate treasurers would find their departments would benefit from a degree of automating of non-core processes. Appointing a cloud-based system to deal with processes like accounts payable and basic banking functions may seem to have little impact on a department initially, but over time most will find that their entire focus is realigned. They will discover they fulfill a much more strategic role within the business as a whole and over time, this will also benefit the entire company, in terms of its wider structure and processes.

About Kyriba Corporation
Kyriba, the global leader in treasury automation offers a best-in-class, cloud-based solution that delivers optimized decision-making, minimized risks, enhanced control and compliance and increased operational productivity. Organizations use the award-winning, online solution to automate and better control all their daily liquidity management activities. Kyriba’s on-demand model enables clients to minimize or eliminate the use of spreadsheets and bank portals. The solution meets stringent Sarbanes-Oxley 404 audit trail, workflow, and control requirements while providing seamless connectivity with a multitude of banks worldwide and straightforward integration with 3rd party financial applications.

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Ellie Ardelean
Kyriba
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