In today’s business environment, every cost is being scrutinized – and as much as possible – reduced. As a result, if you are not regularly selling your “value added,” your treasury department is in danger of being treated like a “shared service.”
In other words, if you don’t quantitatively demonstrate treasury’s contribution to senior management, the function will be viewed only as a cost center, receiving less and less support over time.
To illustrate my point, here’s a small case study about a conversation with a senior corporate treasury professional I know well, shortly after he started at a new, expanding, multi-billion dollar company.
This individual told me he was happy and excited in his new corporate treasury position. In his first 4 months in the job, he had already saved the company over $1 million!
My friend was, however, was frustrated, as the CFO wanted to proceed with a treasury department reduction that had been planned prior to his hiring. Senior management believed that a new treasury management system could replace a treasury analyst. My friend believed that losing a person would make it harder for him to continue to be able to generate the sorts of savings he had already realized.
When I asked my friend if he had communicated to management what he had accomplished, he said, “No.”
My friend was clearly missing the chance to put himself and his department in the spotlight. If he doesn’t use the savings he has already generated as part of his justification for maintaining his headcount, then he is doing himself a disservice. With the new treasury technology taking on routine tasks, there is an opportunity to have the analyst work on future strategic initiatives that contribute to the bottom line.
My friend is not alone. I’ve had dozens of conversations with innovative treasury professionals who have put themselves in similar situations.
On the other hand, I’ve learned of treasury people who are communicating their contributions and gaining recognition within their companies. These discussions led me to write a white paper entitled “8 Things Strategic Treasurers are doing to Avoid Back Office Oblivion”.
The paper delves into the problems and opportunities in treasury, with examples of how treasurers can become more strategic and proactive. If you’d like to learn more about my findings, you can download the paper here: https://bondandcompany.com/resources/.
After reading it, we’d love to hear any stories you have about recent successes (or frustrations) in communicating your added value, either internally or externally. Have you been recognized by the Alexander Hamilton Treasury Excellence Awards, sponsored by Treasury & Risk magazine, for example?
Feel free to call me at: 203-221-3233. Or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.