4 ways to equip yourself for the future of finance

March 20, 2019 James Hayward

You’ve probably heard that technology is disrupting every aspect of treasury, transforming the profession you work in at breakneck speed. But is this really true for you? Or does your day-to-day business look pretty similar to the way it did a decade ago?

A recent study by the Association for Finance Professionals (AFP) finds that despite all the talk of new technology disrupting the treasury profession, there has been little action. In fact, there’s been only a “minuscule adoption” of innovative digital solutions by treasury teams.

Why is this? According to the AFP’s findings, treasury teams suffer from a knowledge and skill deficit in technology. They are often lean, staffed by just a handful of skilled finance professionals who are focused on managing the financial health of the company, leaving little time to invest in technological education.

That being said, if your treasury team doesn’t utilize new technology, there is a real risk you’ll find it harder and harder to be that strategic partner you want to be. So what can you do to supplement your first-rate cash and risk management skills with in-depth tech knowledge?

Here are a few ideas:

Be curious

The best way to start learning about new technology is to develop an interest in it. Read articles, watch videos, and download webinars. Take the time to look at how financial technology (FinTech) companies are creating cutting edge tools to simplify your day-to-day. Maybe even arrange a meeting or two. For example, we would be more than happy to talk to you about our AI tool, Ada, and our thinking around blockchain.

Take a crash course in tech  

Why not enroll in a technology course if you fancy a more formal approach to learning? Many of the world’s leading universities now offer these courses which provide technical and practical insight into the technologies shaping the future of finance. You’ll also get to network with like-minded people.

Bring in top tech talent

As a busy treasury professional focused on maintaining the financial health of your company, you might not have time to commit to a formal course. So why not bring the knowledge to you? Some of the world’s leading treasury teams are bringing in technology and data experts in-house. They can build a technology roadmap for you, lead implementation projects, and be a source of technical knowledge for the rest of the team.

Just try it out

Sometimes the best way to learn is to just give it a go. So, why not play with blockchain, build an app, or learn how to code in your spare time? You can build your skill set and become more familiar with how different technologies work under the hood. Some treasurers are already reaping the rewards of this approach. For example, Kirsty Dent, Treasury Analyst at Brisbane Airport Corporation, explained in a LinkedIn post how basic coding skills have enabled her to automate treasury processes at basically zero cost.

Let’s get started

You can’t ignore the value new technology will bring to your treasury function. Eventually, you must say goodbye to the spreadsheet and those legacy databases. Yes, there’s an inherent risk that comes with change. So give yourself the best possible chance to succeed by getting to know the technology you’ll be using sooner rather than later. And let’s turn your treasury into the digitised value-adding department you know it can be.

Find out what you should include in your 2019 Treasury Gameplan.

 

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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