The pandemic and subsequent shift to remote working has seen a significant change in the way treasurers are using technology.
Covid has really accelerated the transformation to digital, meaning many of the time-consuming jobs that used to be performed manually, such as cash forecasting, are now automated.
Quite simply, technology such as AI and Machine Learning have become a necessity rather than a luxury – and the industry is waking up and realising it.
In a recent survey by Treasury Dragons, 45% of those interviewed said they will spend more on treasury technology in 2023 than they did this year.
As well as saving time and money, this new technology is also enabling treasurers to mitigate risk, reduce errors, analyse large volumes of data at speed and helping to detect fraud.
Below, I look at some of the key technology trends that we are already seeing, and will continue to see, in 2022.
Using RPA to automate processes
RPA, or Robotic Process Automation, is a software robot that mimics the behaviour of humans.
Like AI, it is commonly used in treasury to automate labour intensive, manual operations.
As well as increasing efficiency and productivity, RPA also helps improves cash visibility.
This means that treasury teams can easily access data without the need needing to spend hours looking through different spreadsheets and portals.
RPA also helps improves accuracy, performs repetitive tasks and transfers data from one system to another.
In addition, it can also assist with invoice data, reconciliation processes and credit collection, as well as gathering information on bank statements, FX exposure and cash flow forecasts.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
I couldn’t write this without mentioning the importance of Artificial Intelligence to the future of treasury.
AI refers to machines that are programmed to learn from existing behaviour and solve problems.
It is already being used by many organisations to automate processes and speed up things like cash flow planning, cash forecasting and hedging.
This is hugely valuable as accurate cash forecasts help CFOs make key decisions on borrowing, investing, acquisitions and risk management.
As well as making it easier to manage risk, it can also reveal discrepancies in payment activities which makes it easier to flag up unusual data and help prevent fraud.
Cloud-based TMS and SaaS solutions
The demand for cloud-based Treasury Management Systems (TMS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) treasury solutions is really starting to rise.
A cloud based TMS is a solution that is fully stored and accessible in the cloud from any location with an internet connection. What’s more, there’s also no limit to the amount of data you can store.
It also eliminates the manual tasks around cash forecasting,
Treasury Management Systems (TMS) are becoming increasingly popular for centralised and accurate cash flow management as well as other tasks.
Some of the benefits of using APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, include less errors, faster processes, time savings, increased productivity and enhanced security and decision making.
These interfaces allow third-party providers to access financial information and develop new apps and services.
This can help the treasury department monitor all their transactions without having to actually contact their bank or pay for banking fees.
Additional advantages of using APIs include the ability to retrieve real-time data from financial accounts and reconcile transactions.
Using APIs to access bank and internal systems can improve the consistency of cash-flow forecasting information, especially when combined with RPAs.
According to a recent Euromoney survey, 57% of corporate treasurers anticipate they will use APIs to help with cash forecasting and cash management going forward.
Machine Learning (ML)
Machine Learning is another emerging technology that simplifies and reduces the time needed for forecasts.
It helps treasury teams analyse large volumes of data from various sources to automate forecast generation and improve accuracy.
Machine learning also helps an organisation optimise cash management by identifying how much working capital it needs.
Predictive Analytics is another area I predict will continue to see rapid growth in 2022 and beyond.
Treasurers can use predictive analytics to perform a variety of tasks include cash forecasting, payments, receipts and fraud.
By using historical data to capture trends, it then creates a model which can use current data to predict what will happen next, which is key to staying ahead of the game.
So, there you have it, my list of the top corporate treasury technology trends for 2022!
When considering all the above, the role of IT in treasury management cannot be underestimated either.
It’s vital to have an IT team who are not only on board, but also have the capacity and know-how to implement and integrate the technology.
Thanks for reading – and I’d love to hear your thoughts!