17-01-2023 10:35

Why treasury automation is the future

In the latest e-Forex podcast, Matti Honkanen, Head of Next Gen FX at Nordea, reflects on the latest trends in treasury technology and automation.
Matti Honkanen

How can companies get started with automating their treasury processes? Nordea’s Matti Honkanen gives some practical advice in the latest e-Forex podcast hosted by journalist Larry Levy.

He notes that the direction and pace of digitalisation can differ widely from one treasury department to another.

“The apparently slow average pace of change masks treasuries that transform themselves in an extraordinary fashion, and others that almost stay still,” Honkanen says.

Listen to the e-Forex podcast here. 

Becoming a strategic player

Recent surveys of treasury and finance professionals by Nordea found that many have the ambition of becoming more strategic. Nevertheless, quite of few of them struggle to make that ambition a reality. Honkanen emphasises that the only way for treasuries to become a strategic player is by becoming more efficient.

“Only by freeing up your time from the mundane, routine tasks are you able to focus on the strategic issues. And only if you are able to use the majority of your time on strategic considerations inside your department will you have the chance of becoming a major strategic actor on the corporate level,” he adds. 

Honkanen encourages corporate treasuries to go all in on digitalisation. This will allow them to increase both their productivity and strategic importance. Even if, according to Nordea’s research, corporate treasuries are not often considered leaders of the digital transformation in companies, nothing prevents them from taking such a leading role.

“When the treasury digitalises their home turf, they become a natural role model for the rest of their organisation,” Honkanen says.

When the treasury digitalises their home turf, they become a natural role model for the rest of their organisation.

Matti Honkanen, Head of Next Gen FX at Nordea

Master of the automation tools

Treasuries will be expected to do a lot less back-office work in the future. Honkanen explains, “The reason is not that the amount of the back-office work will decrease. Quite the opposite. But since there are plenty of back-office tasks that are not strategic by nature, but rather quite repetitive and straightforward, they have a great potential for automation.”

Anyone who has automated a process knows that this does not mean the humans suddenly disappear, Honkanen notes. 

“No – smart and hard-working employees are still high in demand. They need to point out the tasks that can and should be automated. They can control and adjust the processes. In the best case, the current back-office workers will be the ones that learn to master the automation tools and this way increase their own productivity,” he says.

Find out the top 10 reasons to automate your treasury workflow.

Listen to the e-Forex podcast here. 

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