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Lack of real-time data plagues cash managers

The biggest challenge for corporate treasurers is a lack of real-time data and reliance on manual processes, according to a survey of 200 treasury professionals. The survey's report, Understanding today's corporate treasurer, was conducted by Temenos and Ovum and targeted corporate treasurers from all regions.

Many lack real-time data

More than a third (35 per cent) of all corporates said that a lack of real-time data availability is a significant operational issue for them. This figure rises to 42 per cent for companies with more than $10bn in revenues. The problems of not enough real-time data on cash positions and over-reliance on manual processes are illustrated in the graph below:

Key findings of corporate treasurer survey

Some of the survey's key findings were:

  • Only 13 per cent of multi-national corporates can see their global cash position in real- time – creating a clear challenge to effective cash and liquidity management. At the same time, only 45 per cent are able to view more than half of their global cash position in real time.
  • The accuracy of cash forecasting is a critical issue – 35 per cent of corporates highlight this as a key challenge in executing their responsibilities, with subsequent impact on their ability to identify and manage risk.
  • Manual intervention in key workflows is a problem for all corporates, but particularly the largest – among those with revenues of $10bn and above, 39 per cent identify a reliance on manual processes in key workflows as an important challenge.
  • One size does not fit all for corporates – 52 per cent of corporate treasurers would consider moving their lead banking relationship to a provider with a better fit for their needs.

Top priorities for treasurers

Almost one-third (31 per cent) of the treasurers said that liquidity management is their top priority in the coming 18 months. Other top priorities named by the survey's respondents include: FX risk focus (17 per cent), accurate forecasting (16 per cent) and a complete view of cash positions (14 per cent). The following table shows that managing liquidity, cash visibility and managing risk are the core focus areas for corporate treasurers.

Temenos's Darryl Proctor, product director, transaction banking, said: “In addition to economic and FX pressures, the impact of regulation in the banking sector (such as Basel III) has forced changes in strategy. At the same time, the retrenchment by some of the largest corporate banking providers from some regions and territories has added to the inherent complexity in managing cash across multiple banking partners.”

The survey results also showed that three-quarters of corporates in two regions are interested in blockchain to reduce their trading risks. It also highlighted that many European treasurers think that some banking activities will be moved away from the UK following Brexit.

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