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The ‘One’ Solution of automation – and it’s Obstacles

Digital can also equal inefficiency. A group of experts were gathered to discuss the opportunities and challenges with automation. "One of the pillars is just starting to feel a bit shakey."

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A report from the UK-based fintech Accesspay highlighted how automation in treasury departments is replacing the use of spreadsheets. The Global Treasurer gathered four treasury professionals to discuss the findings.

Organizational challenges when implementing automation

For ages management books have told us that change is congruent with resistance. It is not just within the organization, also the selection of software solutions does not always correspond to the apprehension of what opportunities technology can bring, stated James Higgins, product director at AccessPay, to The Global Treasurer. One example, he points out, is banking portals where digital equals inefficiency. Therefore his starting point was that every product they deliver to treasury automation must include simple setups, real-time information and de-risked buying decisions.

“Feels a bit shakey”

The traditional spreadsheet can be appealing since its so familiar, it has always been there. It can be cumbersome to grasp the width of other software solutions and get stuck in the loop that their usability are fixed and rigid, said Martin Le-May, contract project manager at Eversheds Law Firm, to The Global Treasurer. Further stating that, “I think the major business cases [for automation] revolve around either saving heads, or saving interest payments on overdrafts. One of the pillars of that business case is just starting to feel a bit shakey.”

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Opportunities with automation

The group spoke about becoming ‘bank-agnostic’, meaning to not be reliant on any one bank to provide a banking system. The common fragmentation when running global treasury operations can be challenging. Leaving treasurers with fobs that can give different people access to different systems. In this specific situation, an efficiency enhancer would be to facilitate one system, one process and one log-in, a solution which automation can provide, explained the article.

“From our perspective, [automation] is all about giving the teams on the ground straight-through processing, being able to access their data, put it into the ERP system and process it,” stated Maria Elkin group treasurer at Lloyd’s Register, to The Global Treasurer

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