Sunshine in the Cloud - Sharing insights on treasury technology opportunities
Chaired by Helen Sanders, Editor
During this roundtable discussion published in association with FIS, two corporate treasurers, Masha Weijers, group treasurer of Futuris, supplier to the automotive industry headquartered in Australia, and Carolyn Maloney, group treasurer of US industrial cutting systems firm Hypertherm, discuss the benefits and experience of cloud-based SaaS (software as a service) solutions in their organisations. In addition, Laura Koekkoek, principal of treasury consulting group Zanders, discusses the wider industry implications.
First, please could you tell us a little about your treasury function and the technology you use to support it?
Masha Weijers, Futuris
Futuris would be categorised as a mid-market company, with a turnover of around $700m, so we have a small treasury team. We have a group treasury function in Melbourne, Australia, together with team members in five countries performing day-to-day treasury activities. Until last year, our treasury processes were highly manual, which created operational risk issues and was very resource-intensive. The business was also growing quickly, and our existing processes and resources were not scalable to the changing needs of the organisation. We were working with 10 banks, and it was difficult to manage these relationships without a treasury platform.
We recognised that the opportunities for mid-market companies to acquire sophisticated treasury technology were changing, particularly with the growth of cloud-based SaaS solutions, which gave us the opportunity to improve our processes and controls. Once we had built our business case and gained CFO approval, we looked at various alternatives. In particular, we needed a scalable, cost-effective solution from a reputable vendor that would not require significant IT and treasury resources either to implement or manage the system over time, and ultimately chose FIS’ Integrity solution. The solution is SaaS-based, hosted in a cloud, and we were surprised at how cost-effective it was to implement, with significant functionality and integration advantages.
Carolyn Maloney, Hypertherm
Like Futuris, we have also started to use FIS’ Integrity SaaS solution over the past year, which we integrate with our ERP in order to streamline general ledger/journal entry processing. We will also be developing an interface with our cloud-based ERP in due course for data warehousing. With FIS’ help, we also produce a cash flow forecast using both Integrity and ERP data. We consolidated our bank relationships about five years ago, and we now have three global banking partners with whom we conduct most of our cash management activities, and we use their electronic banking portals, which are integrated with Integrity.