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How Cash Forecasting Automation Drives Corporate Treasury Success

What you’ll learn

  • The new-age skillsets for treasurers to be successful.
  • How the treasury department has changed over the years.
  • How the treasury department can evolve its roles to align with the changes.

What does success look like for the modern-day treasurer?

Over the last few decades, corporate treasury has transformed, leading treasurers to take data-driven approaches and focus on driving value in business. Treasurers need to embody a wide range of skills to succeed in today’s environment, such as:

  • Strategic and innovative mindset:
    • Embrace a strategic mindset to set business objectives and priorities
    • Identify potential risks and opportunities
    • Impart insights to the C-Suites and, when applicable, board members
    • Implement best practices to maximize value
  • Business acumen:
    • Have an appetite for continuous learning to stay ahead of the curve
    • Understand financial statements, core performance measures, and current and future business requirements
    • Keep up with the latest industry trends to manage finances properly
  • Relationship management:
    • Manage and maintain good relations with key internal and external stakeholders
    • Have excellent communication skills, including people skills and soft skills
  • Data savviness:
    • Possess strong data skills to identify adverse scenarios and estimate their impact proactively
    • Analyze data and makes confident decisions based on facts rather than interpretations
  • Agility:
    • Have a sound knowledge of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, RPA, and Blockchain
    • Utilize new technologies to drive process improvements

How has the treasury department changed?

Initially, the treasury department could do with basing their decisions on intuitions and past experiences. But, as businesses grow in complexity, the role of the treasury department needs to constantly evolve to support rapid growth. Market fluctuations such as inflation and the pandemic have led to a surge in changes in Libor rates, customer payment behaviors, supply chain, and stocks. Sticking to age-old methodologies and systems for corporate treasury management can be unrewarding during such uncertain times. Though digitalization of treasury’s landscape is helping treasurers draw real-time insights, they also need to revamp their skillsets to reap the benefits from technology.

Training your treasury team to fit the new role

Treasury teams should upskill their roles and responsibilities from clerical work to informed decision-making at the CFO’s office. The treasury department is responsible for the following tasks:

  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • Funding, fundraising, and sales management
  • Cash-flow forecasting
  • Reporting
  • Exposure analysis
  • Internal controls and regulatory compliance
  • Invoice approvals
  • Working capital management
  • Investment and debt management
  • Cash management
  • Covenant and counterparty limits
  • Payment execution and monitoring
  • Trade finance

Despite being responsible for a myriad of tasks, the corporate treasury team usually runs lean. Hence, treasurers need to explore technologies that can help in overcoming daily challenges. The treasury team needs to upskill their roles in the following ways:

  • Treasury analysts: Shift their focus from manual and repetitive work, to process improvement and reporting. Therefore, they need to hone their analytical skills and tech-savviness.
  • Treasury managers: Manage team KPIs and improve productivity. Therefore, they should hone their communication skills to be a process specialist.
  • Treasurers: Modern-day treasurers need to be proactive in making decisions, minimizing risks, and focusing on advancing their business to gain a competitive edge. Therefore, they should embrace a growth mindset, business acumen, strong communication skills, data savviness, and agility to adapt to the changing environment.

Humans+machines are the key to bringing success to an organization. Here’s the 4E framework that treasury should adopt to be future-ready:

1. Embrace: Be technically sound and embrace change.

2. Evaluate: Evaluate skills regularly and critically analyze if they are fit for the present and the future.

3. Empower: Develop a new set of skills and work with the latest technologies.

4. Educate: From webinars to online training, educate yourself to learn about upcoming technologies.

Adapting to the ever-changing world of treasury

A survey of treasurers by the European Association of Corporate Treasurers in 2021 cited cash flow forecasting as their topmost priority (63%), followed by the digital transformation of treasury (43%) and managing risks for FX, interest rates, and Libor (33%). Since the treasury department needs to stay vigilant and handle risks proactively, they need to focus on technologies that can safeguard their business and fuel business growth.  Manual data gathering from disparate systems is time-intensive and error-prone. Furthermore, the use of spreadsheets to create cash forecasts hinders cash visibility and cash forecast accuracy. Thus, treasurers need to rely on a technology that supports:

  • Automated data gathering
  • Seamless integration with multiple systems
  • Automated and accurate cash forecasting
  • Granular cash visibility
  • Track customer payment behavior and market fluctuations
  • Easy data updates

AI-enabled cash forecasting software meets the above criteria, frees up the manual workload, and enables treasury to focus on high-value tasks.

How to use HighRadius’ cash forecasting software to drive overall department success

HighRadius’ cash forecasting automation software provides the following benefits to fuel treasury’s success:

1. Increased forecast accuracy: Since data is gathered straight from the data sources and consolidated automatically, the scope of human errors reduces. Customer-specific variables and external factors such as raw material price fluctuations are captured to increase the accuracy of the sales forecast. Additionally, the AI-based software uses a closed feedback loop model that compares the historical and current results and makes adjustments to the forecasts to increase cash forecast accuracy up to 95%.

2. Improved variance analysis: The dashboard and drill-down capabilities increase granular visibility into cash flows. Thus, treasurers can analyze the variance between the forecasts and actuals for different currencies, cash flow categories, regions, and durations. Variance analysis enables treasurers to improve the efficacy of cash forecasts and reduce variance over time.

3. Accurate scenario analysis: Since seasonality, trends, and fluctuations are captured in the solution when making adjustments in the forecast, treasurers can analyze various scenarios and understand their impact on the business’ cash flows. This helps implement decisions proactively. Moreover, the solution supports performing cash forecasting frequently to manage short-term and long-term liquidity.

4. Informed decision-making: With automated reporting, easy and continuous data access, treasurers can implement data-driven decisions on time for managing capital, risks and improving corporate treasury management.

Automated cash forecasting software is easy to implement and does not require a large learning curve. However, the software needs to be fed with accurate and real-time input data to get the desired results (GIGO).

Schedule a demo today to learn more about HighRadius’ cash forecasting solution and its features.

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The HighRadius™ Treasury Management Applications consist of AI-powered Cash Forecasting Cloud and Cash Management Cloud designed to support treasury teams from companies of all sizes and industries. Delivered as SaaS, our solutions seamlessly integrate with multiple systems including ERPs, TMS, accounting systems, and banks using sFTP or API. They help treasuries around the world achieve end-to-end automation in their forecasting and cash management processes to deliver accurate and insightful results with lesser manual effort.