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Finance executives lack technology to make treasuries strategic

Finance executives lack technology to make treasuries strategic

Two-thirds of corporate finance executives expect technology changes in the treasury over the next two years

Companies envisage their treasury groups becoming strategic, but corporate treasurers lack the systems to satisfy the expectations, according to research.

A global study by SAP and CFO Research revealed almost two-thirds of corporate finance executives expect technology changes in the treasury over the next two years, with 16 percent planning "extensive" changes.

Top priorities include optimising treasury processes (44 percent) and upgrading treasury information systems and technology (38 percent). The research was published at this week's International SAP Conference for Financial Services, being held in London.

Twenty-two percent of corporate treasurers said their current information systems support treasury "very well," and many are taking steps to streamline disparate, expensive connections with various banks by "seeking banking partners that can efficiently support their growing role".

Twenty-nine percent of respondents indicated they will seek new banking partners over the next two years, while half will consider a search. Treasurers are seeking a "consultative relationship" with their bank, that provides visibility into cash flow, funding and risk considerations to guide their business decision-making.

As a result 91 percent of respondents are considering increased scrutiny of current and prospective providers over the next two years, and 65 percent felt their company had some or significant room to improve its "communication integration" with banks.

To resolve issues surrounding collaboration and connectivity and to meet the rising needs of their companies, treasurers have begun looking to cloud-based solutions.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they would be early adopters or fast followers of cloud services for banking relationships, yet "looming regulatory and security concerns" have made banks "reticent" to dive into cloud computing.

But survey respondents who said they will need "significant improvement" in their banking relationships are twice as likely to be ready to adopt cloud services.

Sanjay Chikarmane, general manager for the SAP Financial Services Network, said: "The role of corporate treasury is continuously evolving and treasurers are actively seeking solutions to effectively integrate banking partners into their companies.

"Banks that embrace innovative models will be well-positioned to provide a simpler, more standardised experience."

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