Corporate treasury in Asia – opportunities abound

Corporate treasury functions operating in Asia face a number of challenges. The increasingly complex and demanding business environment is putting pressure on businesses in the region. However, this also presents significant opportunities for CFOs and Treasurers to collaborate in transforming their organisations and adding value to the business.

Our survey, covering 117 organisations in 7 countries in Asia, reveals that the challenges facing corporate treasuries in Asia arise in the following areas:

  • Talent management: 54% of respondents are not satisfied with their talent management. Rapid business growth and cross-border complexity mean it is becoming harder for smaller organisations to find the specialised skills needed to manage the growing financial risks in today’s business environment.
  • Cash management: cash and liquidity management are identified as the most important treasury activities. 52% of companies surveyed are not confident of their cash flow forecasting processes. 32% are not satisfied with their cash visibility; and 28% are not satisfied with their cash centralisation.
  • Treasury Management Systems (TMS): 39% of companies rely on Excel spreadsheets as their main treasury management tool. 49% of the companies that are using TMS expressed dissatisfaction with their current systems.
  • Risk management: 50% of respondents are not satisfied with their overall risk management processes. The survey also found a lack of sophistication in current enterprise risk management, and a lack of use of risk methodology, tools and assessment.

In order to fulfill its key role, the treasury function needs to incorporate appropriate technology with best practices for their core activities. The CFO or treasurer can start with quick wins by undertaking cash or risk netting and bank rationalisation, followed by long-term enhancements such as TMS implementation, in-house banking and payment and collection factory.