While liquidity and cash flow management has always been a core function of the corporate treasury department; the (ongoing) liquidity freeze following the global financial crisis of 2008 has underscored the importance of optimizing the efficiency of these systems and processes. This is the case at all levels of commerce, though it is particularly important for multinational corporations (MNCs) that have more complex liquidity requirements and are frequently afflicted by systemic and structural inefficiencies as a result of their geographic spread.
Unsurprisingly, this unprecedented focus on the importance of liquidity management optimization has led to the evolution and expansion of the role of the corporate treasurer. Although still responsible for the day-to-day cash management needs of their organizations, many treasury departments are now evolving from operational units into strategic divisions, meaning that treasurers are being increasingly encouraged to take greater responsibility and even play an important part in improving the bottom-line. For the vast majority of treasurers, however, this rise to prominence and expansion in remit coincides with a depletion of fiscal – and perhaps also human – resources.
As a result, today’s treasurer is under growing pressure to ‘do more with less’, which has put enhancing operational efficiency at the top of the corporate agenda.