Dollars and Cents: The Evolving Treasury Department
According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, its primary function is to promote economic prosperity and ensure the financial security of the nation. More definitively, the department is responsible for the production of coin and currency, accounting, revenue collection, economic policy and oversight of financial institutions, among many other responsibilities.
Not surprisingly, the role of a treasurer within an organization is similar, but on a smaller scale – managing the cash flow of the business operation. Major differences are how much the role of a treasurer may vary from one enterprise to another and how the purpose of the treasury function continues to evolve in an ever-changing dynamic market landscape. It's no longer just about cash or cash flow. Instead, the role of treasury is focused primarily on currency, and more importantly, digital currency.
In an environment defined by ongoing market disruptions and constantly changing regulations, in addition to real-time and digital capabilities, it's more vital than ever that the treasury function be well defined and structured to adapt to quick change. After all, treasury is the lifeblood of an organization, whether it's fully realized within an organization or not.
The landscape of treasury can be difficult to navigate, but it doesn't have to be. Although there are many moving parts, what's a mainstay is the responsibility of administering the financial assets and holdings of the business. The goal of most treasury departments is to optimize the company's liquidity, use excess cash to make sound financial investments for the future, and reduce or hedge against its financial risks – all within a secure environment.
In order to effectively do so, the treasury function needs an integrated, comprehensive view that enables any treasury or finance staff member to securely obtain a full information download in minimal clicks. These views offer access to a rich set of intertwined financial dashboards and the ability to proactively and reactively do it all in real time.
Times are changing, but the principal role of a treasury department remains the same. The evolution of what is transacted has evolved, but the why remains the same. Dating back to the 1600s, the "cash" being managed was actually comprised of coins. Today, the "cash" being managed is comprised of cash, coin and digital currency. Regardless of the asset type, we will all need more advanced ways to obtain financial data when we want it, how we want it, and with the ability to act on it.
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Interested in learning more about treasury and commercial services? Attend Cash Management Solutions in Commercial Banking at Fiserv Forum, which features several sessions related to commercial banking.