A shortage of skilled and experienced back-office treasury staff is an increasingly common challenge faced by CFOs and Treasurers. While it’s relatively straightforward to teach new staff what and how to do things, gaining a deeper understanding of the ‘why’ of the treasury back-office role takes time and experience — and is fundamentally linked to how well staff do their job. This understanding leads directly to the ability to prioritise, make good decisions, and understand the downstream effects of their actions.
The impact of off-shoring
Bank operations and settlements teams used to provide a healthy pipeline of experienced people into the marketplace, but this is no longer the case. Many local banks have moved back-office functions offshore, typically to Asia and India.
Increased efficiency through automation is a clear step forwards. However, the lack of experienced back office people has resulted in many corporates using their Shared Services or Accounts Payable teams to manage settlements systems and processes. When non-Treasury people carry out these roles without an understanding of the importance of settling treasury products, payments are often missed or paid late. These lapses can cause significant issues in company governance and can negatively impact on covenants that corporates hold with their banks. Both these downstream effects create unforeseen risk. Savvy treasurers understand this risk but feel they have no control over teams that sit outside of the treasury function and lines of reporting.
Can out-sourcing fill the gap?
So, how can treasurers get back in the driver’s seat? ETOS can help. All our staff are trained treasury operations experts with strong product knowledge and operational risk awareness. Our focus is 100% on operations — it’s what we’re good at. We don’t get distracted by advisory, transactional functions and large company bureaucracy. We can use any treasury system and currently work across many different TMS’s on behalf of our clients. We also pride ourselves on our attention to detail, ensuring top quality and error-free delivery to our clients.
Our people are seasoned professionals who are proficient in all treasury back office products: Interest rates – Swaps, Cross Currency Swaps, FRAs etc. Debt – Bilateral Facilities, Commercial Paper, Bond Issuance, USPP, MTNs, Convertible Notes. Foreign Exchange and Commodities – Forwards, Options, Collars, Fuel, Carbon, Electricity. Hedge Accounting – Documentation, Effectiveness Testing, Methodologies.
If you’re suffering from a shortage in back office skills, don’t just take our word for it. At ETOS, we’ve got an established track record supporting some of Australasia’s best-known businesses.