“Many industries are going through a transformation,” said Lia Cao, Head of Payments Solutions at J.P. Morgan, in a podcast focused on current and upcoming treasury trends. “Therefore, the treasurer’s role is also going through a transformation. We see digital solutions adding value almost across the board—it’s critical to supporting the business strategy, and in supporting their navigation through the digital transformation industry.”
Some businesses may just be starting their transformation journey, while others may be implementing sophisticated solutions to niche treasury and payments challenges. Regardless, core to this transformation, treasury departments are streamlining and automating repetitive tasks like manual data entry to help free up time for more strategic priorities. And they’re starting with the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
A wave of digital transformation continues washing across corporate treasury departments and shifting the role of a treasurer to be more of a forward-thinking, strategic business partner.
The ERP is one of the core systems treasury departments leverage daily to perform tasks across the entire business.
However, these tasks are often repetitive, manual and time-consuming. And with cash settlement taking place 24/7, the need for real-time visibility and automated processing becomes apparent. Not to mention the additional challenges of transparency and managing cash positions as businesses become increasingly global in nature.
By automating the ERP, treasury can help streamline core operations, improve accuracy with more straight-through processing, reduce operational costs, enable faster decision making through more real-time information and empower treasury with data to be a strategic advisor to the business.
As businesses embark on automating their treasury processes, they face common challenges. Procuring limited IT resources is a primary challenge. As such, when undertaking any tech projects—such as ERP automation—teams need to demonstrate a strong business case for the return on investment (ROI) which can be challenging to develop.
Additionally, treasury leadership and staff may lack the in-depth expertise to spearhead automation initiatives. Specifically, teams may be unfamiliar with tech innovation in areas like APIs, robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI)—all of which are foundational to eliminating manual processes.
And then there is the general cultural resistance to change. When treasury teams overcome the IT hurdle and develop the necessary expertise to scope and drive automation projects, the staff’s hesitancy to change processes that have worked for years could prevent any successful automation implementation.
When considering treasury automation solutions, flexibility is critical given the resource limitations and differing levels of comfort with tech innovation across teams. That’s why APIs are one digital solution at the forefront of every corporate treasury department’s digitization journey. They can seamlessly integrate into existing treasury platforms like the ERP, provide a streamlined user experience and provide resiliency for future growth.
One example is the J.P. Morgan Treasury Ignition™ plugin, which uses API and file-based connectivity to seamlessly integrate payment and banking functionalities directly into the ERP. (Treasury Ignition™ currently supports Oracle® NetSuite and Sage Intacct ERP systems.) Clients can download and install a simple plugin rather than build a solution with their own resources and technology, which means minimal upfront or continued IT resources are necessary to establish and maintain connectivity.
You now know at high level some of the trends driving treasury automation, why the ERP is a critical starting point, the challenges to automation and why APIs are the leading solution. However, as your corporate treasury teams tackle the top priorities on their digital to-do list—like automating the ERP—you will also face a multitude of solutions, partnerships and strategies.
Amongst all the choices a top trend is that businesses are increasingly looking to bank-fintech collaborations to provide secure, targeted and niche solutions at scale. But that can be tricky to navigate. As you evaluate how to accelerate your treasury’s automation efforts, you don’t need to figure it out all at once or on your own. Connect with us and we’ll help you find the right digital solutions for your business.
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