Treasury professionals ‘closing the book on the financial crisis’

US financial professionals see the regulatory onslaught beginning to temper, interest rates beginning to rise, economies gaining traction and banks back in the banking business, according to Treasury Strategies.

The Chicago-based bank and corporate treasury consultancy has issued its 2017 report that assesses the state of the treasury profession and key issues on the horizon. This year, over 450 organisations participated in the survey.

“When we consider what our clients and the survey participants are telling us, it is clear we are closing the book on the financial crisis,” the group comments. “Hence our theme for 2017, ‘A New Starting Line’. While many of their priorities are quite familiar, treasury is taking fresh approaches to tackling them.

The top 10 treasury priorities for 2017 identified in the survey are as follows, with the last year’s rankings shown in brackets:

  1. Cash forecasting (1)
  2. Financial risk management, (FX) (2)
  3. Treasury staffing levels and skill sets (8)
  4. Treasury functional organisation (3)
  5. Treasury management systems (6)
  6. Bank relationship management (4)
  7. Best practices (5)
  8. Operational efficiency (10)
  9. Balance sheet optimisation (9)
  10. Bank service fees (-)

The survey also includes treasury’s top 10 benchmarking needs for 2017. Bank service fees, a new category introduced this year, goes straight to the top of the list.

  1. Bank service fees (-)
  2. Financial risk management, FX (3)
  3. Cash forecasting (4)
  4. Centralising or decentralising treasury functions (10)
  5. Best practices (1)
  6. Treasury management systems (7)
  7. Treasury functional organisation (8)
  8. Short-term investments (5)
  9. Treasury staffing levels and skill sets (2)
  10. Banking relationship management (6)

The group notes that treasury groups expect to be coping with financial volatility and uncertainty in 2017, clearly evident in the survey results. “Political climates around the world are fraught with uncertainty. Both trade flows and financial flows are likely to face upheaval,” it comments. “Firms will strive to minimise adverse financial impacts by focusing on cash forecasting, financial risk management, credit access and balance sheet optimization, wrapped together with treasury technology. Such initiatives will also help treasuries align their treasury strategy with overall corporate strategy.”

Further details on the 2017 survey may be accessed here.


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