When the unforeseen happens, the focus is often on getting through with as little disruption as possible, relying on hindsight for lessons learned after the fact. But what if you were empowered with insights on the journey through disruption? That’s exactly what Strategic Treasurer did in March of 2020 as organizations had to fundamentally change the way they conducted business.

The corporate treasury consultation firm set out to capture how businesses were responding to the challenges they faced while operating during widespread disruption. The firm developed a recurring survey of corporations and banks, sharing results in real time to empower organizations by identifying trends and tactics to inform their decision-making processes.

To help with that endeavor the Treasury Coalition was formed. A collaborative group of more than twenty treasury organizations worked together to encourage businesses to participate in the survey series and then shared the results with finance and treasury audiences around the world.

From the beginning, SmartPayments has reported on the individual survey periods. You can start reading that series here for a historical view of the detailed responses. But now after a year of intelligence gathered from businesses of all sizes, spanning across industries from all corners of the globe, it’s worth looking at some of the overarching themes that emerged over the past year. For these insights, Strategic Treasurer again enlisted members of the Treasury Coalition to share observations in a new eBook on what treasury and finance professionals need to know as they move from ‘crisis to recovery’:

AP and AR Digitization – over the last several years we’ve seen growing interest in the digital transformation of B2B payments processes. The advantages of automated payables are clear – improved efficiencies, better visibility into cash flow, and stronger security – but many organizations still face barriers to making that transition, including how to prioritize automation among many other competing projects. However, the pandemic’s push to remote working and contactless transactions has put AP and AR process transformation front and center again. This is accelerating adoption interest.

Cash Forecasting – business process innovation isn’t limited to just payables. During a time of such uncertainty, detailed visibility into cash position is critical for treasurers faced with making decisions in an unfamiliar environment. Turning to the latest technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, is helping decision-makers analyze and interpret data rapidly and accurately, giving them the confidence to lead their organizations through the disruption and beyond.

New Priorities – while the pandemic has served as a catalyst for the adoption of new payment processes, forecasting tools, and fraud prevention tactics, it’s apparent that innovation is here to stay. As businesses slowly move into the recovery phase and away from the immediacy of just keeping operations going, the focus will naturally shift to evaluating newly adopted technology and refining the controls in place. This is where strong partnerships with banks and fintechs will prove invaluable.

Fraud Prevention – the past year saw an exponential rise in financial fraud as criminals exploited the vulnerabilities exposed by newly remote workforces often using unsecured devices. This was especially damaging for organizations that still relied heavily on manual payment processes. However, even those deploying payments modernization tactics faced an increase in threats. This has served as a reminder that the constant reevaluation of prevention measures is necessary for the ever-changing business landscape.

For a deeper dive into these trends and a full analyzation of the 12 month results cycle, download the full report, Leading from Crisis to Recovery and discover what’s next to come.

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Posted by Germaine Lang

Germaine Lang is the Managing Editor of SmartPayments with a strong creative and technical writing background across many industries. She also works to engage customers and relate their experiences with vendor products and services, positioning them as innovative thought leaders.