ACT Conference Review: The Age of Treasury – Evolution or Revolution?

At the ACT Annual Conference, over 600 finance professionals from every major industry and from all career levels met in May in Manchester to review what´s challenging treasury and how treasury is adapting.

Uncertainty Challenges UK Treasurers

Finance professionals in the UK face a lot of uncertainty. There is uncertainty about Scotland´s future, the UK´s participation in the European Union and the recovery of the European economy. The conference´s keynote by NATO’s former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Sir Richard Shirreff, looked at uncertainty from a broader perspective, talking about geopolitical risks at Europe´s periphery.

In addition to uncertainty within the UK and macroeconomic challenges, regulatory changes were discussed among the delegates. While SEPA and Basel III are disrupting the payment and banking environments, best practices are still being established for regulations like EMIR, Dodd Frank or IFRS 13.

Evolution of Treasury

Facing ongoing market and regulatory uncertainty, treasurers in many UK businesses have the chance to step up to support their companies as strategic advisors. "Treasurers are now having more exposure than ever to their boards and those boards are accepting more and more of the advice and guidance offered by treasurers," says Peter Matza, Engagement Director at ACT.

Working closer with the decision-makers, treasury´s scope is shifting and many UK treasurers are looking for ways to increase efficiency in their daily operations to gain time for the strategic analysis and reports their boards ask for.

"Most treasuries are changing slowly, choosing an evolutionary path. However, cloud technology has the power to speed up treasury transformation and revolutionise finance and business operations," says Mark Johnson, Managing Director EMEA at Reval.

Technology for Revolution

Many UK finance functions already have a treasury system in place. In most cases, the technology has been implemented years ago and has never been updated because many treasury teams have avoided the pain of time-consuming upgrades.

Using an outdated treasury system often leads to broken processes, manual workarounds and investments in specialist tools to cover missing capabilities. As a consequence, processes slow down and highly-qualified finance staff go back to keying in data manually as automation decreases.

"Instead of moving backwards with old technology, UK treasurers should break free from manual work and update issues," comments Johnson. "Cloud technology has the power to bring a revolution to treasury by streamlining broken processes, integrating disparate systems and arming global finance teams with the analytical tools and reports they need to drive business success."

As change will continue to challenge treasury, we will find out at next year´s ACT Annual Conference whether UK treasury professionals choose the evolutionary or revolutionary path to transform their treasury in order to stay a reliable partner to their businesses.

Read our Fact Sheet on the Reval Cloud Platform for Treasury and Risk Management to revolutionize your treasury – now!