Treasury Today May/June 2020

Published: May 2020



A different way of living

These times are challenging for everyone. But amongst the personal tragedy and heartache, the frustration and anger, every day we can see shining examples of humanity. Those that are on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 – and there are many – reveal to us that, fundamentally, humans can and will pull together to do whatever is necessary, because of – and yes, also in spite of – each other.

Whatever the outcome of this pandemic, we are all part of it. We all have a story to tell, whether we are on the frontline or just keeping out of the way. But the spirit that drives frontline professionals to keep going is entirely human. It is a spirit that is in us all which, if tapped, can drive remarkable results in all walks of life.

Indeed, it does not matter what our calling is; times like these make us reflect on what we do and how we do it. It can bring to the fore that other most positive characteristic of human nature: creativity. And this is an endless proposition that can be applied to every human endeavour, especially as we are compelled into a different way of living for the foreseeable future.

As treasurers, the first calling in the current environment is to protect the business from financial harm. Of course, it’s what treasurers always do, but achieving this in a more effective and efficient way is essential now. The thinking that enables this need never stop; it is good for all times.

In this edition we explore the idea of ‘Remote working: the new normal?’, unravelling what it means now and what it might mean when we have emerged from the restrictions of the pandemic. We also look at other practical matters in our feature on ‘How to support business units effectively’, engaging with something that sits at the heart of all modern treasuries, and which will continue to enhance the role as the strategic partner.

There is a sense that we are all involved now in something transformational. As we play our part in tackling an immediate threat, we can perhaps begin to see how sustainability makes sense in the longer term. In ‘A sustainable treasury – is it...sustainable?’, we look at how treasurers can make a real difference when applying an ESG lens to everyday activities. There’s continuity of this theme in our look at the idea of ‘connected trade’ and how digitalisation not only allows trading partners to operate more securely and efficiently but also more sustainably.

Ultimately, few could argue against the debt we owe to those who are saving lives. We can in part honour their remarkable achievements by making sure we all fully engage with, and make the most of, what we do in our lives, both as individuals and as professionals.

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