Outsourcing has a really patchy track record. When it is good it can be very good, but when it is bad it can be destructive. Often the problem is when the sole reason for outsourcing is to cut costs using labour arbitrage savings. This can disconnect corporate treasury from the processes and they lose control and understanding of the real exposures. Yet outsourcing repetetive tasks can be done well as Shell case study shows.
Outsourcing whole processes such as hedge accounting, pension fund management and valuations, collection management and payroll can work well.
There is growing evidence that outsourcing / using specialist services to enhance specific activites can work well, particularly for activities that need to bring together large amounts of data or use global data, as the following examples show.
Thomson Reuters Drafting Assistant
A good example of this trend are the enhancements that Thomson Reuters have recently announced to their Drafting Assistant, which adds advanced capabilities for drafting, proofing and automating legal document creation.
With these new Drafting Assistant enhancements, together with Contract Express and Westlaw Form Builder, Thomson Reuters believe that they now provide a comprehensive set of solutions for drafting, proofing and automating legal document creation, streamlining a crucial workflow for the legal profession.
Drafting Assistant for PC, Drafting Assistant on Microsoft Word 2016 for the iPad®, and Drafting Assistant Essential - see USA or UK, provide a full range of solutions that improve efficiency and streamline document drafting workflows, validate citations, and perform other critical drafting tasks no matter where users are or what computing platform they are using. Some features may be specific to geographic regions.
Another example of outsourcing specific activities is DocuSign – the electronic signature and record keeping system - the most widely used Electronic signature system world-wide. It is used - primarily by consumers - by 200+ million signers. Users can sign documents from any device and is more secure than paper.
“The cost savings, speed and convenience of DocuSign have already made a significant, positive impact on our business. DocuSign has paid for itself multiple times over." Claims Ericka Gorman, Alliant Credit Union.
Bringing it altogether
As regulations and other pressures on the corporate treasury department increase, the use of a range of services to automate key activities is going to grow. However, this brings with it the need to bring all the outputs from these services together will become increasingly important. Maybe this going to be the new role for the Treasury Management System?
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