Presenting to the boss can be daunting for the rest of us, but for treasurers there’s that extra pressure to show you’ve dotted every i and crossed every t without boring the board to tears with an overload of technical details. What’s more, you have to be ready to field questions on everything from compliance to cash flow to laying the groundwork for major strategic developments in your organisation, all at the drop of a hat.
So how to make sure you’re ready to give a slick and compelling account of treasury’s activities that inspires your CEO’s confidence – and ambitions for the company’s growth?
The key is to ensure you have a firm grip on your C-Suite’s priorities, a clear strategy to bring them to fruition and the tightly run ship you need to make it happen.
Let’s start at the beginning. You want your colleagues to leave the meeting with a clear snapshot of your operations and activities, and this means message discipline. Keep it simple, streamlined and clear.
Remember that you’re not here to talk about treasury in depth, you’re here to show how you’re furthering the goals of the organisation and ironing out the wrinkles along the way.
If your CFO and CEO are keen to free up funds for new investments or M&A activities, for example, make your efforts to facilitate this the focal point of your presentation.
How are your forward projections when it comes to cash and liquidity, funding, financial covenants? Is your trading on track? Are there any compliance, late payment risk or cash flow issues on the horizon that might complicate plans further along the line? What are you doing to improve cash visibility? How are you centralising and consolidating your treasury operations? What are you doing to cut costs and waste, and to make your operations and processes more efficient and responsive?
The Board don’t want to hear about the complex technical processes you have to employ to keep everything ticking over. They want to know what you’re aiming for, how close you are and whether they need to brace themselves for any setbacks. Your presentation should reflect your treasury setup: sleek, focused and fuss-free, highlighting the most salient issues with clear, engaging visuals, uncluttered slides and the hard numbers the team needs to plan ahead. If you’re providing supporting reports, these should be tailored to your audience, goal-orientated and 100% treasury-jargon free.
Most importantly of all you need to be able to improvise – and that means having the most important numbers and insights at your fingertips, and making sure they’re precise and up to date. Floundering for an answer when you’re put on the spot about the financial health of any part of the business is not a good look for a treasurer. You need to have it all in hand, ready to handle any off-the-cuff questions about FX or interest-rate risk, or how you might manage debt and equity funding to facilitate company growth.
This also means that your treasury operations should be supported by a top-notch tech solution that facilitates accurate reporting and allows you to retrieve, calibrate and analyse vital data fast. You’ll benefit enormously from having clear systems and processes in place that maximise the efficiency and productivity of your department, avoiding duplicated work and minimising the risk of error. The better oiled the machine, the more the board will trust and rely on you to be the engine that drives their aims forward.
This isn’t about justifying your activities, it’s a chance to raise the profile of treasury and strengthen your ties throughout the organisation.
Want to learn more about transforming treasury into a strategic powerhouse in your company? Click here to download your FREE eBook, How to Choose a TMS that Will Supercharge Your Growth.