Corporate treasurers have seen their role expand in recent years, moving beyond managing currency or interest rate risk. Now, treasurers are seen as strategic to company goals and have been given the power to match.
A poll of treasurers finds most consider open banking and the Revised Payment Services Directive not directly affecting their jobs, but this could be a missed opportunity. "Maybe open banking could give us better cash pooling, cash distribution and spend analysis as we would have access to all bank accounts in one environment," said Albert Hollema, group treasurer at Endemol Shine Group.
A lack of communication between systems supporting banks, vendors and suppliers is a major obstacle to the adoption of intelligent trade finance. "Going digital end-to-end in this new world demands that banks look beyond digitizing their own enterprises and develop business models that support digitalization and interoperability across the diverse corporate digital ecosystem," writes Biji John, product manager, trade finance, at Finastra.
The Securities and Exchange Commission should standardize disclosure of environmental, social and governance information by publicly traded companies, a group of institutional investors and state treasurers said in a petition to the SEC. Standardized data could play an important part in the review of companies' risk management and long-term performance, some of the petitioners said.
Many companies are assessing the possible impact of changes to revenue-recognition compliance by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. The new standards will affect small and large firms. "The standard is very complicated, and one of the things that we recommend to our clients, that either have a loan or plan to get a loan, is that the banks are going to be looking for a level of confidence and comfort in what they're getting from the company," said Deloitte's Mark Davis.
Small banks and credit unions can share resources in the fight against money laundering, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Treasury Department and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency say in a joint statement. Banks that collaborate are still responsible individually for compliance.
Businesses in the UK are bracing for a "no-deal" exit from the EU, a scenario in which the UK would abruptly be left out of the EU's single market. Brexit is increasing supply chain costs for UK firms, and increasing costs for personnel are expected.
Robotic process automation, often used for repetitive tasks, is moving into the core finance function. Here is a look at the efficiencies this technology can deliver and how companies can make the most of it.
Distributed ledger technology has the potential to transform trade finance by streamlining complex, paper-heavy processes that have defied digitization. Distributed ledgers and blockchain could bring transparency, and speed up transactions. Banks have taken the lead in digitizing letters of credit using distributed ledgers.
Multinational companies have built up high levels of cash but accessing it can be a challenge due to tax considerations and other factors. "There has been a build-up of cash from a defensive standpoint, and there hasn't been any need to deploy that cash urgently because debt has been so cheap," said Mark Smith, head of global liquidity for global transaction services at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Treasurers are tasked with repatriating these cash reserves.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Global Transaction Services (GTS) business provides comprehensive global treasury solutions across the breadth of the working capital cycle, including liquidity management, payments and receipts, commercial card, foreign exchange and trade and supply chain finance. With a history spanning more than 230 years, GTS services thousands of clients - small businesses, mid-size companies, large corporations, financial institutions and public sector entities - in more than 200 countries and 140 currencies.