B2 Group was delighted to once again exhibit and present at the annual ACT Smartcash Conference held in London this month. ACT boldly put together a programme full of new formats and content to ensure focused discussion on the latest innovations and strategies aiding cash management professionals. The conference comprised over 25 speakers, some 200 attendees, 4 workshops, 8 panels and 2 days of real networking and sharing of best practice in treasury today.

B2 Group’s stand at the conference (pictured above) was hosted by Bill Wrest (Director of Sales and Strategy), and Rima Jalil (Head of Client Deployment), both from our City of London Office. 

We were also very pleased to be invited to present on the subject of working capital management in relation to what best practice really means. B2 Group held two 40-minute workshops for the conference participants, which were followed an interactive session, moderated by Bandhu Das, Head of Cash Management at HM Treasury.

The workshops were intended encourage audience participation, with us posing a problem for the audience to ponder during the session, namley… 

“three wishes to improve WCM notwithstanding revenue and budgets”

…but with the caveat that these “wishes” would have to be tangible, measurable and achievable. To help with the thought process, we also asked participants to consider the following questions:

  1. Is Working Capital Management as efficient as it could be? 
  2. If not, why not? Notwithstanding budget, what would you change if you had “three wishes”?
  3. Technology and regulation, threat or opportunity? PSD2, Blockchain and API integration, security and cyber threat?
  4. Do you feel Banks, TMS  and ERP systems partner with you effectively?
  5. Working Capital Management is underpinned by data management. What barriers prevent you using your data today?

 

 

The subjects raised and questions asked by the audience were too numerous to list in detail here. However, common threads were the issue of resourcing and the question of being able to capture and utilize data in a timely manner and in a preferred format. All the above impacted working capital management, forecasting and reconciliation. In a separate survey some 53 percent of corporates did not feel they got enough support from their banks. Too many treasurers still carry a bagful of tokens around with them every day just to facilitate their multibank sign-on’s and the multitude of proprietary bank systems and formats that they must use every day just to do basic cash management. Seems incongruous in this age of open architecture and API integration but sometimes innovation is more about fixing problems than invention. Wikipedia actually says so by definition. 

Collaboration from true partners and not just software vendor-suppliers is clearly part of the answer, whether it be integration specialists like B2 Group, Banks and ERP system providers. Corporates want innovation but want to feel secure in the knowledge that their collaborative providers are true partners and in it “for the long run”. They also want the same level of relationship management and client service that they would expect from their House-Bank across all their providers and not just a sale and move on mentality.

The workshops were good fun (at least we thought so!), very interactive and thankfully well received. Surprisingly, a lot of treasurers still believe they have to carry that bag of tokens around with them!  The ACT and indeed the B2 Group are looking forward to the Annual ACT Conference in Liverpool, 15/16th May. One for your calendars.

I would be delighted to hear from you and I can be reached on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.