Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi

March 2003

Previous editions

Editorial

Reduce costs or add value

There is much talk about added value these days. Finance and treasury, in particular, can provide added value throughout the organisation if they have the ability and desire to do so. However, most companies need careful housekeeping and a focus on efficient, low cost and safe banking and finance arrangements.

For some, a fundamental and radical re-organisation is vital if the inefficiencies of many years are to be swept away and effective use made of new banking and financing techniques.

Treasury can extend its influence over the whole organisation looking for financial efficiencies and adding real value to the bottom line. Using working capital management pro-actively is one way to reach across the organisation. A high profile project can open up new career paths to those involved – as long as it is successful.

The scope for activity depends on the skills within the treasury and of the treasurer in particular and on the appetite within the company as a whole.

The important point is that there is a fundamental difference between concentrating on achieving a low cost treasury service centre and getting involved in high profile projects to achieve added value. The latter involves incurring costs to achieve greater gains. Both approaches are valuable and are needed at different times.

The most important issue is to understand what your company needs right now and what you can achieve. If the added value project cannot succeed, focus on efficiencies and driving out costs. If not, there is a real danger that you will get stuck, delivering on neither front.

Reduce costs or add value – do not get caught in the middle doing neither.