Written by Paul Tawel
In recent years, the world economy has experienced great turmoil. In 2008, an unprecedented economic crisis followed the “subprime”embezzlement and the bankruptcy of some US banks. This slump precipitated the economy of developed countries into recession. After a brief upturn, a second crisis was witnessed: high debts in euro nations, which caused a sharp unemployment rise in many countries and a slump in global growth. While a recovery appeared to be on the horizon, a sharp drop in the demand for raw material, greatly affected Canada’s economic performance.
Since then, financial markets have been marked by uncertainty. To make things even worst, the economy is continuing its march toward globalization and emerging markets are making the competition among companies increasingly fierce.
All this highlights the challenges faced by companies to survive. Growth in an increasingly precarious environment while facing tougher competition is not an easy task. To grow and prosper, companies need to innovate and reduce operating costs.
From the administrative perspective, managers have no alternative but to consolidate their business operations; that means doing more with less. This includes the integration of information systems and the implementation of new features to ease spending while providing faster and better financial reporting. As their business decisions must often be made quickly, it is imperative that senior managers have access to accurate information in real time.
Treasury departments are no exception. They must make every effort to contribute to the growth and profitability of their organization. To achieve this, they must take advantage of advanced technologies to integrate their cash management operations, streamline their operating budgets and implement the infrastructure for better management of financial risks. In this context, Excel spreadsheets and databases still have relevance but they cannot provide all the benefits that a sound treasury management system (TMS) can offer.
Implementing a TMS is crucial in several ways: without automation, most of the treasury department resources and their work will be allocated to collection, processing and data administration. With a powerful TMS, it is theoretically possible to eliminate these clerical tasks so staff can focus on more profitable and strategic activities for the company.
A TMS that appropriately meets the specific needs of an organization will generate the following benefits:
- Cash management
- Internal control
- Corporate finance
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