[Guest Post] It’s time to future-proof your treasury career

April 4, 2019 James Hayward

This is a guest post from Carole Berndt, the Senior Advisor to Transition Hub and former Head of Transaction Banking at RBS and ANZ.

The world of work isn’t static. Over the last decade it’s changed arguably more than ever before due to the advent of technology. Today, we use tools and technologies that would have been impossible to imagine only a decade or two ago. And this technology is changing—and will continue to change—the way we do business.

If you’re not preparing for the future, you’re taking a big risk with your career because as the dinosaurs can attest to, evolution is better than extinction.

Corporate treasury is changing

In the world of treasury, integrated global systems have taken the place of local spreadsheets. This shift has seen in-country treasury centers consolidated into regional centers, and sometimes even global centers, eliminating many treasury roles in the process.

There are not only fewer treasury jobs today, the skills required to do these jobs are often very different than what they were a decade ago. For example, as treasury teams use technology to automate processes, many transactional tasks are now automated, and those that aren’t, are often outsourced. So, while yesterday’s treasurer was transactional, today’s treasurer must be strategic and more involved in process design than just transaction execution. They should also be at the forefront of key decisions around technology selection at their companies.

Because of this, today’s treasurer needs to have more skills, ranging from financial structures to process design, and possess a high level of tech savvy. This trend will only amplify as technology continues to deliver new capabilities and opportunities.

Treasurers must not ignore these trends or they risk their department and their career being left behind. They must be mindful of a few key things:

  • Technology, regulation, and geopolitical events will always change the nature of roles
  • Tenure will be replaced by adaptability and skill
  • The ability to transition seamlessly will be critical for business and individuals

The need for new skills

For treasurers thinking about the future there are two aspects to skill planning. The first is to manage the talent needs of your treasury function, the second is career planning for yourself.

Within the treasury function, many entry level jobs are being eliminated due to automation and centralisation. Traditional skills and deep knowledge of the underlying processes are giving way to a dependency on the automation for transaction processing and reconciliation.

Because of this, new talent needs will arise around the utilisation and analysis of data, the design of process flows, integration of vendor APIs, and the associated user experience surrounding how the rest of the organisation inputs and receives outputs from treasury. It is important to be mindful of these changes when talent planning, and treasurers must be open to hiring non-traditional candidates.

When it comes to your own career, assessing and understanding your transition readiness is key. This involves assessing your current skill-set and experiences, followed by a quantitative evaluation and benchmarking of these against the future needs of the function. Once this process is complete, you can begin goal setting and planning for the future.

Getting started

Unsure of where to get started? My advice is to spend a day in a collaborative workspace such as WeWork, see first hand the future of work, the future of business and the excitement of collaboration.

Carole Berndt is the Senior Advisor to Transition Hub, an organization that specializes in preparing professionals for the future of work in the 21st century. Previously, Carole ran Global Transaction Banking at ANZ and RBS. She also held senior positions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citi. To find out more about Transition Hub visit www.transitionhub.com.

Find out what else treasury professionals must be focusing on this year in our 2019 treasury gameplan ebook.

 

About the Author

James Hayward

James is Tradeshift's Editorial Manager and a Content Writer obsessed with storytelling and providing finance professionals with insights and advice on how to take their finance function to the next level.

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