The requirements imposed on treasury positions in companies are becoming constantly more complex. In many SMEs, the CFO position is bolstered by the Head of Accounting. Decentralized organization is everywhere, with little transparency regarding the entire company’s liquidity or even control over outgoing payments. If a company bundles banks and liquidity expertise in a central place in the company, not only does it achieve synergy effects, but a significant contribution will be made to overall corporate risk management.
A particularly challenging aspect is the establishment or, even better, the continuation of treasury activities such as cash management & payment transactions in the M&A context. This is especially the case when it comes to divestments of parts of a company, i.e., carve-outs. Usually in these cases, it is necessary to make the carved-out part of the company capable of having operating activities as a stand alone entity and to do so under immense time pressure. This means that not only should the company have sufficient liquidity, but functioning bank accounts should also be set up. This is a process that can take some time due to the KYC requirements. Furthermore, it is necessary to connect the accounts to the ERP system electronically, or to at least set up an electronic banking solution. If the conditions are ideal, a treasury management system with the necessary modules is introduced right away.
Support in the Implementation and Optimization of Treasury Positions
When a new treasury position or department planned within a company, it is initially necessary to determine the strategic focus of the treasury department. Fundamental rules and guidelines must be defined. The same goes for processes, which must be suited for the tasks, and ultimately the defining of the structural organization. In the area of M&A, for example, there is often only a little time to intensively consider matters such as how to design cash management, currency risk management, netting, cash pooling or bank strategy – to name just a few core treasury matters connected with an in-house bank position. Therefore, for time and capacity reasons companies often simply duplicate established strategy, organization and processes. The opportunity to ask whether the existing form is really the right one is therefore often not used or only insufficiently used.
The same applies to processes that have become routine, often over decades, according to the motto: “This is how we have always done things.” This is typically the case in an organizational environment where employees have worked at the company for many years, and the economic success of the company causes nobody to question the practices. Usually, it is ultimately external factors such as banks or investors asking a question about the structure and organization of processes in the treasury or, in the worst case scenario, a successful scam such as “fake president emails” or “payment diversion,” which finally prompts the treasury department to conduct a review and encourages the company to reflect on its practices.