The attraction of using Excel in improving corporate treasury department efficiency has always been:
- corporate treasury understands what the problem is (unlike IT who have to have it explained to them which can take months/never), and
- corporate treasury department can develop what is needed in days, weeks rather than months or years or never if the IT department is involved.
To combat and solve the rampant use of Excel, TMS solutions were developed for critically important reasons:
- What happens if Excel solution developer leaves/dies?
- Who checks the audit trail of the routine, the procedure?
- Who brings it all together.
But the need for flexibility and speedy development has not gone away, PLUS new technologies are opening up new opportunities.
There are two new technologies which are opening up a whole host of opportunities:
- RPAs (Robotics Process Automation) is opening up opportunities to automate key procedures, e.g. converting file format to make them acceptable in another database
- APIs (Application Programming Interface) to automate communication between different platforms, e.g. between internal systems and bank or Swift protocols.
Operations departments in banks are now recruiting their own ‘coders’, e.g. JPMorgan Arms Coders With Trading Licenses as Quants Advance and Goldman have hired coders in their trading division.
This is happening in corporate treasury departments too.
Corporate treasury department
For the last 2-3 years, an increasing number of corporate treasurers have been hiring staff who are able to write RPA code, rather than recruiting staff who are excellent at Excel and macros. The world has changed, the language is now RPA as well not just Excel, but the aim is the same: take back control, be in charge of own destiny so not having to wait for IT department to understand the problem and then write an RPA.
Now we are seeing corporate treasury departments sending their staff on RPA writing courses. Indeed the treasury associations will need to start offering RPA writing courses.
Even in the new RPA driven world, corporate treasurers are still talking about the delays and non-delivery by their IT departments.
But it is not going to be all coding of RPAs internally by the corporate treasury department, some corporate treasurers do not have enough time or resources to develop the RPA rountines. There are already some examples of small specialist and flexible departments developing RPA code routines fast enough for corporate treasury departments. This must be the route for many departments, but only if the development is high quality and flexible and speedy enough to make a difference.
How to control the wild-west of RPAs and APIs development
One of the biggest emerging issues in IT departments today is how to manage (and control) the development of RPA coding within corporate treasury departments (and many other departments as well). What is needed is a framework and services that are fast and deliver quality RPA coding because, at the moment, the biggest problem corporate treasurers have is getting approval to develop a routine, let alone do the development. It is no good saying wait for us to be ready, corporate treasurers will do it themselves which is what is happening today.
CTMfile take: Development of RPA coded routines and procedures is becoming central to the efficiency of large corporate treasury departments today. The question is: How can this be solved safely and securely?
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