When Covid-19 became a full-blown pandemic in March 2020, many treasury management professionals were caught off guard. They soon realized that the manual-based and ad-hoc way of running a treasury function was no longer valid in a strange new world of remote working and social distancing.
Fast-forward to more than a year later. Treasury management professionals are now on a path to recovery, emerging from a difficult year when their internal processes came under severe test. For some, the Covid-19 pandemic was the catalyst or wake-up call they needed to enhance their operations, particularly in the matter of liquidity management, a function that became even more critical for businesses during the initial economic shock from the global health crisis.
Suggested best practices such as better account visibility through account rationalization became top of mind for treasurers and CFOs looking to reduce costs of managing multiple accounts in various banks. Over the course of 2020, the board of editors at The Asset witnessed companies taking the initiative, deploying a multi-bank overlay module to monitor account holdings in both international and domestic banks without having to log in to several online banking portals, for example.
In China, there was success in setting up cross-border cash pooling structures to make it easier for companies to fund their onshore Chinese operations. Leading liquidity management banks made good use of their ability to interact with financial regulators in the country.
Other organizations improved their account reconciliation by relying on virtual accounts to make it easier for their treasury teams to handle high volume transactions.
Manual processes such as physical cash and cheque collection were seen not only as a costly method of processing transactions but also became impractical in view of Covid-related restrictions.
Digitalization was instrumental for treasuries across the region to address the manual process challenge with increasing reliance on such payment infrastructures as United Payments Interface (UPI) in India and PayNow in Singapore.
While the shift to online platforms led to a significant increase in cyberattacks, financial treasury departments worked more closely with banking partners to monitor transactional data for possible fraudulent transactions. Moreover, the further integration between a company’s ERP (enterprise resource planning) system and its bank’s software via API (application programming interface) connectivity had made it easier for organizations to get a real-time view of their financial operations.
Though the pandemic has been the most traumatic global event in recent memory, it has also offered organizations a chance to build back better and find new ways of doing business.
Over the last few weeks, The Asset has been revealing winners of The Triple A Treasury, Trade, Sustainable Supply Chain and Risk Management Awards 2021. Here are some of the latest winners below.
To see the Best Payments and Collections solution winners, please click here.
To see the Best Liquidity and Investments solution winners, please click here.
To learn more about these awards, please click here.
The virtual awards ceremony for these awards will take place in June 2021.
For more information about receiving the awards, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.