Amy Ferguson, Treasury specialist at Rutherford Cross, discusses trends in treasury and talent in 2022.
As we move into 2022, and as the Covid 19 pandemic transitions into the endemic phase, the implications of the last 24 months for business in general, and specifically treasury, will come more sharply into focus. Several things are unlikely to go back to ‘normal’ as we knew it before, including the preference for flexible working patterns, and the increased digitalisation of key business processes. The implications of these factors among others on the treasury function will be interesting to watch play out over the course of 2022 and beyond.
The Role of the Treasury Function
The role of treasury within organisations is becoming increasingly important as many responsibilities that sit with treasury directly impact many other parts of a business. In a time of increasing pace of change in compliance and governance, as well as geopolitically, treasury departments are required to partner strategically with the operating branches of the organisation.
The need for effective communication and engagement, and a complete understanding of the role treasury has in organisations will become essential. As the business environment continues to change and evolve rapidly, accessing the correct tools and talent will be crucial to ensure success.
Digitalisation and Automation
In the labour-scarce market we find ourselves in, the advance and widespread adoption of technology gives hope to under-resourced teams. For example, the use of digital signatures is widespread, and treasurers are now keen for their banking partners to embrace this type of technology. A report by PwC illustrates the importance of the treasury function leveraging AI, Cloud and blockchain as building blocks for the treasury function of the future.
It is likely that businesses will look to their banks to lead in the development of products and services that will support the digitalisation of treasury tasks. In addition, there is a real opportunity for transforming the role of the treasury function. By automating tasks that when done manually can take days or weeks, treasury functions will have the opportunity to spend time focusing on strategy.
2022 looks set to be the year to transform and move forward with technology to help with the current labour market. The bottom line is that incorporating technology that allows your team to focus on more strategic tasks could in turn impact your ability to retain and attract talent.
According to an article by The Global Treasurer, cash forecasting is an area of treasury that can always be enhanced and improved upon. It is dependent on numerous factors both internal and external, and with the world and businesses still dealing with pandemic repercussions, and factors like global conflict, the rise of new technology, and labour shortages, this will continue to be a priority for treasury functions.
Automation is also likely to impact cash forecasting with widespread use of spreadsheets likely to begin to be slowly phased out by liquidity management tools. However, it will be interesting to see if businesses take this leap and trailblazers may be required.
Accelerating momentum in environmental, social and governance (ESG) will be the result of more businesses focusing on the introduction and implementation of sustainable practices. The majority of organisations are placing ESG issues at the centre of the strategic plans and it will be interesting to see how the treasury function plays its part in this. It is likely that we will see treasury partnering with banks around ESG and considering how supply chains can be brought in line with strategic ESG plans.
What does this Mean for Recruitment?
Recruiting within treasury functions will continue to be competitive, with treasury professionals in high demand and the need for sound knowledge in this space required more than ever before.
Due to the rise in popularity and adoption of flexible and remote working practices, talent pools for roles and businesses will get bigger and candidates will be able to consider a larger number of opportunities when job searching and considering their career than in past years. In turn companies will also have the opportunity to diversify their teams. Treasury leaders will also need to consider how remote teams can run successfully.
I am currently working on a number of treasury opportunities and always open to connecting with treasury professionals. If you are considering your career and looking for your next move, or if you are keen to have a conversation around market trends or opportunities, please reach out to me at [email protected]