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Treasury Is Becoming More Strategic — And Treasurers Know It

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The role of corporate treasurer is becoming more strategic — and the treasurers themselves say they are aware of how their profession is evolving.

New research from the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) released Monday (May 22) found 80 percent of corporate treasurers agree the role has become more strategic in the last three years. The same amount of survey respondents also said the role of the treasury department will continue to devolve and become even more strategic.

“With the extreme uncertainty and volatility in the economy, senior executives with boards increasingly demand more actionable insights from treasurers at a faster rate than ever before, and treasurers have stepped up to the challenge,” said AFP President and Chief Executive Jim Kaitz in a statement. “It’s up to treasurers to maintain their focus on liquidity management, forecasting and financial risk management, while also fulfilling a broader mandate to serve as strategic advisors to their organizations.”

Nearly three-fifths of respondents told the AFP the top reason why their role has become more strategic is because their companies’ senior-level management and boards have begun to pay closer attention to liquidity and risk exposure, demanding that treasurers take on a heightened role to help their firms in these areas.

Cash management and forecasting are also top areas of focus, cited by 64 percent of respondents as top priorities for the next three years.

“As leanly staffed treasury departments take on a wider span of responsibilities, there is a greater opportunity for banks and others serving treasurers to provide robust insights, guidance and tools to help corporate treasurers excel at their traditional and expanding roles,” added Elizabeth St-Onge, partner at Oliver Wyman, in a statement for the AFP’s announcement.

The report emerges just days after analysis from The Wall Street Journal concluded corporate treasurers are most concerned with technology, prioritizing tech and innovation over other events that impact their careers, including Brexit.

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