Making Treasury Great Again: Covid-19 will put cashflows into the boardroom
A trend that was already under way is set to accelerate as companies realise the importance of better oversight of day-to-day financials.
Corporate treasuries, which were already evolving before the coronavirus crisis struck companies around the world, are set for a quicker shake-up as the providers of goods and services realise that central visibility on cashflow and credit will be vital in a disrupted world.
For years, the treasurer role has been becoming more strategic, with company boards paying more attention to medium- and long-term funding.
However, the demand and supply shock dealt by the Covid-19 pandemic will push more operations into the orbit of the treasurer and other senior executives. Pressure will come from the C-suite and the boardroom for greater and more frequent oversight of the nuts and bolts of operational financing.
A survey conducted in March by the European Association of Corporate Treasurers (EACT), with responses dispersed either side of the full onset of the coronavirus crisis in the region, found that 55% of treasurers considered cashflow forecasting to be their top priority during the next 12 to 24 months.
Treasury, even in large corporations, can be a surprisingly antiquated affair. While digital options for secure operations, such as signing documents, have long been available, take-up of many remains patchy.