1. Speak to your business partners about how they can help you
Banks and fintechs offer many ready-made solutions that treasurers can adopt without any major disruption to their business, and often at minimal cost. It’s best to start with the low-hanging fruit – such as automating payments and reporting and using online banking – and progress from there.
2. Open your mind to the possibilities
There’s no need to be deterred from using technology simply because you don’t personally understand how it works or you can’t code: treasurers aren’t expected to build the solutions themselves. What’s more important is that they have an open mind to how the technology could benefit both the treasury and the wider organisation.
3. Re-evaluate treasury’s role
Treasurers need to ask themselves what the purpose of treasury actually is in a truly digital world in which everything occurs in real time and small or huge exposures can be managed identically. How should treasury responsibilities – and the treasury policy – be updated to reflect the digital, on-demand environment?
4. Recognise where manual processes still work well
It’s important not to go too far. Companies shouldn’t feel as if everything needs to be revolutionised with technology immediately. If a manual process works and is in fact more efficient than using multiple trade platforms, treasurers shouldn’t feel compelled to switch to a digital workflow simply for the sake of it. It may be worth waiting for a better platform to emerge down the line.
5. Set out the business case and bring the right stakeholders on board
Just because a treasurer can see value in a system or tool, it doesn’t mean management necessarily will too. The treasurer is an instrumental figurehead in the company, and needs to bring all the right stakeholders together – from procurement, to IT, to legal – to create a strong value case that extends beyond treasury and makes sense for the business as a whole. This is a particularly important consideration when the firm needs to make an upfront investment in infrastructure, because it might take some time before the company sees a return on its investment.
6. Implement a phased plan
A common pitfall when embarking on a digital journey is to do too much at once. Long-term vision is needed, but a phased roadmap is essential to turn the vision into reality. Small wins should be celebrated and the plan should be reviewed along the way for any additional sources of improvement that could be made. Business continuity should also be front of mind at every step of the plan.
7. Embrace continuous improvement
A digital treasury journey has no ultimate destination – the end goal will change in line with how the organisation evolves and with new technologies that become available along the way. While a plan is important, digital treasury transformation is an ongoing process that requires a mindset of continuous improvement.