Top-performing treasuries efficiently fund working capital, deploy liquidity, and identify and mitigate risks. They put in place the fundamental building blocks to perform well in each of these areas, and transition from people-dependency to well-defined processes. They apply technology to automate repeatable processes that would otherwise occupy significant day-to-day time. They also develop data strategies and invest to ensure access to timely, complete, and accurate data. Other companies can learn from this. The analysis and insights presented throughout this study lay a path to achieving high-performance in treasury. Doing so creates value by contributing to a company’s profitability and growth.
Corporate treasurers are reinventing their roles to support business growth while maintaining focus on efficiency, managing risk, and optimizing the use of capital across the entire cash lifecycle. Meanwhile, the emergence of new technologies is changing business models. Digital business models are accelerating the pace of interaction across company supply chains, increasing the velocity of cash, and creating new challenges for treasury management. Technology enables treasury to move from manual processes led by people to full automation. Technology increasingly powers data-led insights. That said, many companies still struggle to set a foundation of strong treasury fundamentals — good cash forecasting, centralized cash and banking, optimized working capital, and effective mitigation of financial risks. This is not without good reason. Many companies face a technology debt. They are plagued with manual processes, poor data, and underinvestment in technology and talent.
In the face of rising expectations and demands from executive leadership, treasurers are seeking guidance to shape their investment roadmap. How do they demonstrate that leadership in treasury matters for the firm? What are the attributes of a leading treasury? What are the steps that treasurers need to take?
This study measures what differentiates top performing treasuries from the rest. Companies that nurture treasury teams to be leaders tend to enjoy better financial performance. Put another way, underperformance in treasury risks diminishing value.
We show how high-performing treasuries ensure efficient funding of working capital, proactively identify and mitigate financial risks, and deploy liquidity to fund company growth. We argue that companies can use the learnings from this study to leapfrog a historically lengthy process of their treasury reaching the top tier. And by doing so, they can accelerate their ability to better support company returns.