CFOs challenged by liquidity and cash management
In these uncertain times, the main job of treasurers and CFOs is to ensure their businesses have the cash flow to meet day-to-day obligations and working capital to meet changing business challenges and opportunities.
It’s no wonder, then, that 54% of CFOs cite liquidity and cash management as a major challenge, according to the Corporate treasury management manual, produced by PYMNTS in collaboration with Red Hat, Infosys Finacle and Intel.
Read more: Corporate Cash Management: banks put CFOs in charge of cash management
âIn the context of the pandemic, where it has created a new kind of paradigm in terms of working remotely, being able to have a clear, real-time view of what is happening with your cash flow in several banks, several companies and several geographical areas prove to be extremely important â, Rahul wadhavkar, head of treasury at Infosys Finacle, said PYMNTS. “And we expect this [cash visibility] not only remain a top priority for treasurers, but [also] to get more attention.
Visibility, control and powerful tools
These decision-makers need real-time visibility and control over a growing range of bank accounts, and they need powerful tools that can help them make projections in times of uncertainty. Indeed, more than two-thirds of Treasury officials plan to increase their investments in digital technology in areas such as real-time treasury, artificial intelligence (AI) -assisted security and predictive analytics.
Innovations in cloud computing and application programming interfaces (APIs) have the potential to bring bank-level operations to the C-suite and enable real-time forecasting that outperforms static models .
âFor cash flow forecasting, the implementation of advanced analytics, including machine learning techniques using recent and relevant events and data from the bank’s collective customer pool, enables corporate treasuries to expand. ‘dynamically identify monthly cash flow patterns and seasonal and cyclical variations, instead of just relying on historical data patterns’, Vincent Caldeira, Chief Technologist, APAC (FSI) at Red Hat, said PYMNTS.
Tools to manage multiple payment flows
These tools allow businesses to manage multiple payment streams from a wide variety of sources, including digital channels, such as e-commerce sites and platforms. This is important because payment flows are diversifying as businesses expand into digital and B2B retail channels.
They can enable real-time payments and cross-border transactions while taking into account currency risks. Payment security is also a critical part of digital cash management solutions, with companies deploying AI and other advanced machine learning to detect and counter fraud threats.
“In the area of ââcash collection, predictive algorithms trained to identify potential settlement risk based on past payment behavior of customers allow corporate treasurers to identify, manage and mitigate these risks more early to optimize their cash conversion cycles, âCaldeira said.
Holistic systems that can be easily integrated
Major technology vendors offer these services not as stand-alone applications, but as holistic systems that can be easily integrated into enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
Real-time reports with crucial data points can be made available seamlessly on call, so that whenever someone wants something, their treasury system or ERP system can pull that data from the banking system. .
âWe are already seeing this happening in some places, thanks to API technology and the open banking philosophy,â Wadhavkar said. “To be able to do it successfully [is] amazing from a corporate treasurer’s perspective.