In the midst of COVID-19, Strategic Treasurer brought together leading finance and financial technology providers, to determine the pandemic’s impact on treasury and financial organizations – the Treasury Coalition. The Coalition launched the Global Crisis Monitor, a weekly survey delivered to treasury and finance professionals around the globe, the results of which provide ongoing visibility into the impact of COVID - 19 and its effect on the industry.
For background, Strategic Treasurer is made up of a team of experienced treasury specialists with expertise in technology, risk management, working capital as well as other cash management and banking operations functions. It serves as an advisor and consultant to executive treasury teams and conducts several industry research projects annually. SmartPayments.com spoke with Executive Director Craig Jeffery about the catalyst behind the Global Crisis Monitor.
“I’ve seen the financial industry experience many significant events that require organizations to adapt to significant changes in a short amount of time,” said Jeffery “These events were always followed by a postmortem after the crisis and we often find ourselves wishing we could do more analysis and measurement during the event. When COVID-19 hit, we wanted to do something different and find a way to capture the impact in real-time to help practitioners navigate through the crisis today.”
Treasury professionals have a need to stay on top of disruptive world events because they need to look ahead to secure capital liquidity. When there is a panic situation or a disruption in cash flow, there are typically a lot of actions happening quickly for treasury professionals. They have to make quick decisions about the future of their organization by asking tough questions such as: “Can I secure more liquidity?” “Do I have to draw down my lines?” “Are we prepared with an extra month or two of cash on hand?”
Unfortunately, these disruptive situations can sometimes expose areas where organizations are unprepared at a foundational level. This can lead to a lack of visibility into global accounts, payment processes that aren’t buttoned-down and inadequate forecasting or risk management.
“What’s interesting about this situation, in comparison to the recession of 2008-2010, is that the upheaval due to COVID-19 was almost immediate and there wasn’t an underlying weakness to the economy – it came about because we had to stop daily business interactions across many industries due to health concerns,” explained Jeffery.
The key to recovery, he believes, will be how quickly the businesses that were not impacted in a significant way can get business back up to normal levels. Second, it will be important to gauge what kind of long-term damage this will have on hard-hit industries like hospitality and travel, and how that’s countered.
“As COVID-19 continues to evolve as an emerging humanitarian crisis, it’s become one of the few events where the financial industry, even competitors, can get together and work towards a common goal. That’s why we formed the Treasury Coalition and launched the weekly Global Crisis Monitor survey,” said Jeffery.
The survey is deployed weekly to banking and finance professionals around the globe. Participation is geographically widespread, and a broad level of roles, from C-level executives to mid-level managers to professionals spanning the breadth of treasury and finance.
The ongoing survey is intended to provide real-time insights while the world is in the midst of this unprecedented situation. Hopefully, the data gleaned from the survey will help organizations and professionals weather future events by giving them the information quickly. Information that may help influence critical decisions. Sustaining business requires visibility, a clean payment process, adequate liquidity and a solid business continuity plan.
The week-over-week results will indicate shifts in priorities and focus as the situation evolves – serving as an indicator of what’s around the corner. For instance, a top concern the first week of the survey was getting prepared for massive remote work-from-home efforts, while the second week shows us it was cross-training staff in order to strengthen layered contingency plans.
How You Can Help
To be a meaningful resource, the Treasury Coalition needs consistent participation week-to-week from those in the treasury and finance trenches. To add your voice to the results, take the survey here. Bookmark the link and check back every Thursday for a new question set. Check back weekly, as SmartPayments.com continues this series and provides real-time results of the Global Crisis Monitory survey and the impact COVID-19 is having on the industry.
Week 1 and 2 Result Summaries
- March 18-24 survey highlights infographic
- March 18-24 full survey report
- March 25-31 survey highlights infographic
- March 25-31 full survey report
For further insights into the payments industry and beyond, subscribe now to SmartPayments.com and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and topics. You can also check out The Payments Podcast, where experts weigh-in on real-time factors impacting the payments industry.