The majority of treasurers are satisfied with their treasury management system and believe that their system sufficiently covers compliance requirements. Deficits, especially with regard to fulfillment of current professional requirements, on the other hand, frequently lead to numerous manual activities and therefore only limited satisfaction of users with their core system.
This is a synopsis of the results of KPMG's Treasury IT Barometer, an online survey conducted between September 2014 and the middle of March 2015 among employees in treasury departments of German companies. In this survey, participants were asked to rate the treasury management system used in their company with regard to a variety of professional and technical issues. Their assessment was based on questions or statements in the following areas:
The various responses clearly confirm the impression mentioned above that users are generally satisfied with their treasury management system in individual sub-segments such as compliance requirements or IT system operation. Issues such as change management or transparency and gaining an overview of IT cost relating to treasury were rated neutrally by the vast majority of respondents. However, especially with regard to cost, users should not accept the status quo and strive for optimization wherever feasible within treasury.
The survey participants were much more critical of the areas system functionality, manual effort and future viability. The common link between these issues is their direct daily or future use of the treasury management system. The majority of treasurers participating in the survey clearly are of the impression that:
The main reason for the dissatisfaction with system support expressed in the survey evidently is the high proportion of manual activities in treasury processes. These arise because the systems in question do not sufficiently fulfill the functional requirements of treasury. This results in the risk of error, which in turn leads to dissatisfaction among users and causes additional effort and cost.
The survey did not concentrate on determining the specific sub-segments or individual processes of treasury that are in greatest need of improvement. However, it shows that there is untapped potential in the area of IT support for treasury. It should therefore be worthwhile to investigate this further. Such an analysis should start with process requirements and their current implementation. This could have the consequence that even the treasury management system currently in use may have to be entirely re-examined.
Even if it is not possible in the end to do without manual activities altogether, better use of the treasury management system or a fundamental improvement of IT support for treasury, combined with standardization of these manual activities, will significantly reduce both process risks and cost.
Author: Karin Schmidt, Senior Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
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