Treasury 4.x – The age of productivity, performance and steering

May 2024
2 min read

As businesses continue to face challenges and uncertainty, it’s time to pick up the pace of change. And to do this corporate treasury requires a new roadmap. 

This article highlights key points mentioned in our whitepaper: Treasury 4.x - The age of productivity, performance and steering. You can download the full whitepaper here.

Summary: Resilience amid uncertainty 

Tectonic geopolitical shifts leading to fragile supply chains, inflation, volatility on financial markets and adoption of  business models, fundamental demographic changes leading to capacity and skill shortages on relevant labor markets – a perpetual stream of disruption is pushing businesses to their limits, highlighting vulnerabilities in operations, challenging productivity, and leading to damaging financial consequences. Never has there been a greater need for CFOs to call on their corporate treasury for help steering their business through the persistent market and economic volatility. This is accelerating the urgency to advance the role of treasury to perform this broadened mandate. This is where Treasury 4.x steps in.  

Productivity. Performance. Steering.  

Treasury deserves a well-recognized place at the CFO's table - not at the edge, but right in the middle. Treasury 4.x recognizes the measurable impact treasury has in navigating uncertainty and driving corporate success. It also outlines what needs to happen to enable treasury to fulfil this strategic potential, focusing on three key areas:  

1. Increasing productivity: Personnel, capital, and data – these three factors of production are the source of sizeable opportunities to drive up efficiency, escape an endless spiral of cost-cutting programs and maintain necessary budgets. This can be achieved by investing in highly efficient, IT-supported decision-making processes and further amplified with analytics and AI. Another option is outsourcing activities that require highly specialized expert knowledge but don’t need to be constantly available. It’s also possible to reduce the personnel factor of production through substitution with the data factor of production (in this context knowledge) and the optimization of the capital factor of production.  We explain this in detail in Chapter 4 – Unlocking the power of productivity.  

2. Performance enhancements: Currency and commodity price risk management, corporate financing, interest rate risk management, cash and liquidity management and, an old classic, working capital management – it’s possible to make improvements across almost all treasury processes to achieve enhanced financial results. Working capital management is of particular importance as it’s synonymous with the focus on cash and therefore, the continuous optimization of processes which are driving liquidity. We unpick each of these performance elements in Chapter 5 – The quest for peak performance.  

3. Steering success: Ideologically, the door has opened for the treasurer into the CFO’s room. But many uncertainties remain around how this role and relationship will work in practice, with persistent questions around the nature and scope of the function’s involvement in corporate management and decision-making. In this document, we outline the case for making treasury’s contribution to decision-making parameters available at an early stage, before investment and financing decisions are made. The concept of Enterprise Liquidity Performance Management (ELPM) provides a more holistic approach to liquidity management and long-needed orientation. This recognizes and accounts for cross-function dependencies and how these impact the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow. Also, the topic of company ratings bears further opportunities for treasury involvement and value-add: through optimization of both tactical and strategic measures in processes such as financing, cash management, financial risk management and working capital management. These are the core subjects we debate in Chapter 6 – The definition of successful steering.  

The foundations for a more strategic treasury have been in place for years as part of a concept which is named Treasury 4.0 . But now, as businesses continue to face challenges and uncertainty, it’s time to pick up the pace of change. And to do this corporate treasury requires a new roadmap.  


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