As every facet of the financial services industry faces the imminent shift to digital platforms, more than one-third of treasury and financial professionals have heightened awareness of the growing risks of fraud and cyber-attacks, shows TD Bank's Treasury Management Survey. Heading into 2017, corporate treasury and finance professionals cite protecting assets, securing transactions and cybersecurity as top priorities.
TD Bank surveyed more than 350 financial professionals at the 2016 Association of Financial Professionals conference to learn more about their concerns and opportunities.
"The transition to electronic receivables and payables can improve organizational efficiency and reduce costs in financial departments, but these moves do create additional organizational risks," said Rick Burke, Head of Corporate Products and Services, TD Bank. "While there are numerous benefits to automating these processes, companies need to work with a trusted partner that will provide tools and insights to help them to protect their data, transactions and company assets."
The Digital Shift
Financial executives' increasing concerns around cybersecurity are merited, as more and more organizations are expected to move to digital transactions. Only 17 percent of respondents said that they have paper-free receivables today, but this is set to dramatically change as 69 percent reported they expect their organization to begin the transition to electronic payments in the near future.
While corporate treasury is undergoing a digital transformation, it will not happen overnight. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they expect it will take between one and two years for their organization to move most receivables from paper to electronic, and 20 percent said it will take three to four years. When the shift does happen, more than half of executives believe it will save 6-15 percent of their departments' work hours, indicating that automation of receivables is worth the investment, saving companies both time and money in the long haul.
The majority of respondents said they expect the implementation of electronic invoicing systems to save their company a significant amount of time, so why aren't all organizations migrating to paperless processes? The results indicate that corporate inertia is a major obstacle.
Approximately two-fifths (42 percent) of respondents believe the biggest barrier to adopting paperless receivables is internal resistance to change as their organization is 'content with the current process'. Other barriers include:
- The lengthy transition time and required IT resources – 24 percent
- Antiquated company infrastructures – 18 percent
- The expense of implementation – 8 percent
- Challenges — and Changes
Although the overarching trend from the survey was growing anxiety around cybersecurity, these professionals have additional concerns, including:
- The strict regulatory environment – 30 percent
- The ability of their organization to adapt to faster payments – 20 percent
- Impending interest rate hikes – 15 percent
In response, organizations plan to invest in cyber and fraud security protections (31 percent) and faster and integrated accounts payable capabilities (26 percent) in the next year. Other considerations include investment management and monitoring systems (21 percent) and mobile/online self-service capabilities (20 percent).
For the full survey results, please visit https://mediaroom.tdbank.com/TDTreasuryManagementSurveyResults .
TD Bank polled finance professionals at the 2016 Association of Financial Professionals Conference held in Orlando, Florida, in October. A total of 353 responses were collected from industry professionals including business end-users and financial and technology services organizations.
About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8.9 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,275 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com . Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US .
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For further information: Martha A. Gaston, APR, TD Bank, VP, Corporate Communications Manager, 856-505-1168, Martha.Gaston@td.com