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US CFOs admit that they are not prioritising treasury management

A CFO Research Services survey - in conjunction with their sponsor Kyriba - of 150 senior financial executives in the USA found that:

Source & Copyright©2018 - CFO Research Services

Interestingly in the survey CFOs:

  • Listed themselves as a problem (many corporate treasurers would agree)
  • Accepted that the complexity of financial structure was the most important and complexity of risk profile also impacting
  • Admit that higher priority is placed on other corporate/finance functions
  • Consider corporate culture does not value treasury
  • Believe that there is a lack of C-suite recognition of key treasury issues.

This list of challenges is an indictment of:

  • The whole corporate treasury profession, including the treasury associations, who have clearly failed to sell themselves and their contribution to CFOs
  • The quality of the corporate treasury staff
  • CFOs for imposing too complex financial structures.

Three key areas of need: risk, cash and working capital management 

The report goes on to say, not surprisingly, that treasurers have a vast opportunity to do better with respondents thinking that corporate treasury needs to do a better job in:

  • supporting risk management (43%)
  • cash management (40%)
  • working capital management (35%)
  • payments, liquidity management and data visualization (25%).

The areas that cause the CFO respondents the most concern are:

Source & Copyright©2018 - CFO Research Services

There was, as you would expect with a report sponsored by Kyriba, a plug for replacing spreadsheets with full corporate treasury management systems.

Improving working relations with CFO

When asked what was the one thing that corporate treasurers should do to develop a better relationship with their CFO, 50 of the 116 survey respondents who answered, focused on improving transparency and communications.

The report finishes with, “The bottomline is that CFOs are looking to treasurers to be partner who doesn’t create problems for the enterprise, but rather helps to prevent them, quickly identify them when they do arise, and then solve them - protecting the organization from loss. Even more, CFOs want a partner who can accelerate the organization’s growth, unlocking opportunities that in the past might have been overlooked.”

CTMfile take: The comment about corporate treasurers being a partner is spot on, but how is the corporate treasurery profession going to improve their relationship with the CFOs?

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