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Treasurers have more strategic role but still struggle with core tasks - survey

A survey by Kyriba and the UK Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) has found a mixed picture of increasingly strategic roles for corporate treasury, together with continuing challenges in global cash visibility and fraud.

The annual survey announced the following findings:

  • Treasurers are at a much greater risk of fraud, with six out of 10 treasury professionals (62 per cent) saying they had been actual or attempted targets of internal/external fraud (up from 43 per cent in 2015). Those that had suffered from fraud, identified losses of up to $2.5m through single incidences
  • Treasury responsibility for group liquidity management is increasing, including investment and borrowing has grown from 67 per cent in 2015 to 84 per cent in 2016.
  • Treasurers are taking on a more strategic role within their organisations, with half of respondents noting that they provide strategic financial analysis, compared with 39 per cent a year ago, while 30 per cent are acting as counsel to the executive team (2015, 24 per cent).
  • There is increasing focus on reporting and cash forecasting, with 70 per cent of treasurers in 2015 saying they were responsible for cash position reporting and forecasting while in 2016, this increased to 84 per cent.
  • Thirty-six per cent of companies use spreadsheets, burdening small treasury operations with manual tasks, which can lead to error, inefficiencies and lack of controls.
  • Visibility over global cash positions remains a problem and the survey highlighted that no one has 100 per cent cash visibility. Even more worrying is that fewer than 60 per cent said they have visibility over 80 per cent of global cash.

The survey polled 332 members of the ACT from companies of all sizes and geographies.


CTMfile take: These findings confirm that treasury is taking a more strategic role within the organisation but there are clear challenges that treasurers still need to focus on, namely the risk of fraud, the use of spreadsheets and manual data processes, as well as, in some cases, poor visibility of global cash positions.

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