Source: KPMG Corporate Treasury News, Edition 45, July 2015
Virtually every global player these days uses (or is considering introducing) a treasury management system (TMS) from a provider of standard solutions. One consequence of this strategy, however, is that optimizing the use of the TMS depends not only on the technical requirements placed on the system by the treasury function, but also on the company's objectives in terms of its international footprint, the scope and number of the various processes the system must model, and local requirements with regard to system roll-out. The resultant planning and implementation challenges should not be underestimated.
TMS installations deliver suitable functionality, operational availability and performance to meet the treasury's growing needs for efficiency, transparency and methodological competence. In recent years in particular, constant growth in organizations and operations across different countries, regions and time zones has seen more and more European companies also establish treasury centers in the North American Free Trade Area and northeastern Asia. An increasing number of tasks are therefore being handled by local treasury staff in these regions, and that usually creates the need for integration in or at least links to the existing treasury system landscape.
Especially when setting up a global treasury management platform, integrating a large number of different systems and tools, interfaces and information sources is only one aspect of the work. This aspect alone involves replacing the local processes and IT solutions that predated the roll-out with standardized processes and system functionality. The resultant challenges are themselves often tantamount to a new TMS launch. Differences between countries and the fact that roll-out in one country can often not be mapped 1:1 onto other countries create additional headaches for the units involved: Many standard processes do not have the required granularity (or are lacking entirely) and local conditions need to be assessed. At the same time, the inherent dynamism of treasury activities mean that there are usually too few resources and too few in-house specialists to analyze and evaluate deviations from the existing standard.
What aspects must be considered to ensure that an international roll-out goes through smoothly and successfully?
New technologies such as SaaS and ASP have been making inroads into the TMS market for some time and can significantly ease the challenges described above (or transfer them to the vendor in some cases). In the case of solutions that are operated in house, the bottom line is that professional preparation, careful planning and an experienced project team are the key success factors for international roll-outs.
Author: Nils Bothe, Senior Manager, email@example.com
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