The key factor in an efficient treasury operation, instead of technology or other elements, is the people, according to the third annual AFP Treasury Benchmarking Survey, released Sunday. Human capital factors such as education and training of key finance personnel play a dominant role in a well-run treasury.
The survey, a joint effort of American Financial Professionals (AFP), IBM and Deutsche Bank, looked for performance levels of participating treasury departments. It analyzed performance by peer group, defined world-class targets (ranking at the 80th percentile), and provided a basis for comparison. Organizations can then use these data to find their own performance gaps and look for viable opportunities to improve.
Thomas Hunt, the director of treasury services at AFP, said in a statement, "Since treasury departments are responsible for keeping enough funds on hand to meet their organizations' operating needs, improvements in treasury department performance can influence the health of an organization. In this survey, we wanted to identify and understand the traits that differentiate the top-performing corporate treasuries."
The previous surveys found that technology didn’t do much to differentiate performance in treasury departments. The focus this year on human capital differentiators found significant impact on efficiency from such factors as education levels and how long staff had been in place, indicating that the area was worth significant corporate investment.