Pulse Check: Is Your Treasury Organization Set to Last?

Written by: Victoria Albovias, Executive Director, Corporate Treasury Consulting, Commercial Banking, J.P. Morgan

While growth opportunities abound for corporations today, treasury operations often remain small and lack the infrastructure to support growth. By taking an in-depth assessment of your treasury’s current state, you can define and implement a strategy for treasury transformation.

Treasury organizations today face considerable challenges to support their respective businesses efficiently while retaining appropriate levels of control. In the face of a dynamic market, constant expansion and new technologies, treasurers must continually assess how well their current structures can support the company in the long term. Treasurers should think about critical components that may not be working as efficiently as they could—and what resources are needed to reach effective and scalable treasury operations. There are three main areas that treasurers should assess for opportunities to improve: cash visibility, efficiency and automation, and control and risk management.

Access and Visibility to Your Cash

Central to treasury’s role in an organization is ensuring transparency and access to the company’s available liquidity. A primary challenge for treasury teams is collecting balance information from different sources of data and efficiently deploying cash across the company. A thorough survey of entities, accounts and cash holdings domestically and internationally is the first step in understanding the efficacy of your liquidity management structures. Some questions to consider include:

  • Where are your banks located and who holds your cash?
  • Who in the company has authority over the accounts?
  • How does treasury access the account data and available cash in these accounts?
  • How quickly is treasury able to determine a cash position domestically or globally?
  • How and where can you deploy excess cash efficiently?

Treasury teams are constantly looking for ways to streamline their accounts and banking partnerships as a first step to improving liquidity controls. Managing many accounts with numerous banking partners can be taxing and time-intensive, so assessing existing account structures upfront can help you manage cash more efficiently in the long run. At the same time, treasury can also look for new technology in the market—through banks and software vendors—that can help facilitate data aggregation and analysis. These efforts can help treasurers centralize their liquidity and realize greater access to real-time data—better positioning them to make smarter decisions for their treasury organization.

Efficiency and Automation

While accounts receivable (A/R) and accounts payable (A/P) are not always within the control of the treasury team, both will be impacted by any strategies the team develops. Efficiency within the order-to-cash and procure-to-pay processes can increase working capital availability, thus driving greater collaboration among the three functions. Treasury’s role as the bank relationship manager provides access to resources that can streamline and even transform how the A/R and A/P teams operate. Some questions to consider internally include:

  • Are there collections channels and payment types that drive inconsistent or exception processes?
  • Are vendors paid via optimal channels and pay types to reduce manual, paper-based efforts?
  • Is the data exchange between the company and banking partners optimized to minimize exceptions?
  • Are tools available to our partners to help them improve their working capital metrics?
  • How does the company’s technology infrastructure help or hurt these processes?

The opportunities here will typically be uncovered through a deep dive with the A/R and A/P teams, leading to a better understanding of where there are manual processes or delays that impact their day-to-day efforts. It’s also critical to gain insight and support from other partners, such as those in information technology, whose own strategy and capabilities can impact these efforts.

Control and Risk Management

In a connected global economy, treasury must take steps to ensure protection from outside threats while at the same time maintaining control of cash and investments. One area treasury must control is counterparty risk, including credit, default, settlement and country risk. From a control perspective, counterparty risk exists across a number of paradigms:

  • Who is holding your cash?
  • How quickly can you access your cash when needed?
  • In the event of a market shakeup, is there a regular review process in place?

Beyond these concerns, the threat of cyberattacks has been increasing rapidly over the years. Millions of dollars are lost each year due to corporate fraud and cybersecurity breaches and, as the holders of cash, treasurers are key stakeholders in this fight. Treasurers are increasingly partnering with IT and other arms of the organization to build safeguards directly into workflows, update and standardize policies and procedures, and educate employees on risks.

Now, more than ever, it’s incumbent upon treasury to be able to identify its challenges and drive toward a structure that is best suited to support its business. New market solutions and technology have created more opportunities to improve visibility, efficiency and controls, and treasury is primed to take advantage of these. A disciplined and thorough review of your current structure is the first step toward making change happen.

Connect with J.P. Morgan at Windy City Summit

Our J.P. Morgan industry experts are excited to be back in person at Windy City Summit. Join us for the following sessions: How the Pandemic Transformed the Future of Treasury, Cybersecurity: Getting in Right (Now), and Demystify Blockchain – Past, Present & Future. Visit the AGENDA page for full session descriptions, dates, times and presenters.

Don’t miss out on this year’s amazing event! Register today.


Complimentary CTP Exam Review Course at Windy City Summit

The quality and variety of continuing education sets Windy City Summit apart from all other treasury and finance conferences. With more than 80 sessions, Windy City Summit has something for everyone, no matter where you are in your career. Every year, one of the most valuable offerings is the CTP Exam Preparation Course, included at no additional cost for registered attendees! 

Study with Your Peers for the CTP Exam

If you are looking to advance your career and planning to take the CTP Exam, the Windy City Summit offers a CTP Exam Preparation Course for professionals based on the Essentials of Treasury Management, 6th Edition. We recognize, as do most treasury professionals, that the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) designation is the benchmark of competency in the treasury and finance profession.  To achieve this credential, you must take the CTP exam, which is 170 multiple choice questions based on the concepts and experiences basic to cash/treasury management. We want to CTP candidates successfully pass the exam, so Windy City Summit offers nine specific sessions taught by Dr. DJ Masson. These sessions provide valuable education and insight on taking the exam, including an overview of CTP math, detailed handouts for each session, and tips to overcome the “fear factor” for CTP candidates.

Past attendees have glowing reviews for the CTP review sessions and Dr. Masson:

  • “I attended the CTP prep courses and DJ Masson was great!”
  • “This was my first time attending the Windy City Conference. I am considering taking the CTP exam. I thoroughly enjoyed the sessions especially the CTP ones. The professor was fantastic! I do not have a negative thing to say about the education sessions.”
  • “I attended to sit in on the educational track for CTP Exam preparedness and found instructor D. J. Masson very informative and engaging.”
CTP Exam Preparation Course Details

We are committed to career advancement and professional development. The CTP Exam Preparation Course is available to registered attendees of the 2022 Windy City Summit and included as part of the conference registration fee. The course will be taught by D. J. Masson, MBA, Ph.D. and CTP, President of The Treasury Academy. Additionally, you get access to online support, streaming videos, additional notes, and two sample tests.

Download Session Descriptions CTP Exam Review Course

CTP Exam Important Dates

Deadline for June 1, 2022 – July 31, 2022 Window

Application Deadline: April 27, 2022

The CTP designation is considered a benchmark in the financial profession. If you are already a CTP, earn CTP, FP&A, and CPE credits when you attend Windy City Summit. So, don’t delay and REGISTER TODAY! 


If you have any questions about the CTP Exam Preparation Course or earning continuing education credits for your CTP certification, please contact us.

The Last Word

Written by: Laurel Egan Kenny, Turningpoint Communications

In the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we were forced to cancel Windy City Summit 2020. We could not move forward, however, without affording our gracious speakers the opportunity to have their voices heard on compelling industry topics at this unprecedented moment in history. We have decided to pass along our speakers’ thought leadership to our members, sponsors, exhibitors, and would-be attendees in the form of our first-ever “The Last Word” document. We hope our constituents will find this document provides insights into our speakers’ areas of subject matter expertise – and closure before we move and look forward to 2021.

The results of the “The Last Word” compilation were as diverse and varied as our speakers themselves: from professional development to treasury industry-specific mandates to regulatory requirements to faster payments. Some of our speakers even provided insights into freeing up cash and evaluating legal documentation in the wake of a pandemic.

Inside “The Last Word” document, find quotations from multiple perspectives about:

  • Modern Treasury metrics
  • Focus on maximizing cash flow and liquidity and minimizing risk
  • Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, and Application Programming Interfaces
  • Cybercrime and fraud
  • International treasury management and global trade
  • Faster payments: same day and real-time
  • Relationship management for internal business partners, including Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable
  • Getting back to basics with investment and risk management policies
  • Industry mandates
    • ISO 20022
    • Transition away from LIBOR
    • FASB Hedge Accounting
  • Personal branding and career advancement using LinkedIn


As always, our speakers are our industry advocates and present best practices. It is important to follow up with individual speakers for more information about products and services. While we cannot provide speakers’ contact information, we encourage you to use LinkedIn to search for speakers. Please note, speakers’ companies are included with their names.

Thank you again for your support during these tough times. We feel strongly that better days are ahead. Mark your calendar for Windy City Summit 2021 at Navy Pier from May 18-20, 2021. In the meantime, we will be once again seeking thought leaders on hot topics. The coming weeks and months will bring new ideas and insights, so too will our industry-leading presenters. Also, for interested speakers, be on the lookout for our Call for Proposals coming out soon!

CLICK HERE to download and view all nine pages of the “The Last Word.”

To sign up and receive updates on the Windy City Summit, please submit the form below.

Capitalize on your Thought Leadership

Written by: Laurel Egan Kenny, President, Turningpoint Communications

Treasury professionals don’t appreciate how much knowledge and experience they possess. I have been on a mission to help treasury leaders express their thought leadership to benefit customers, junior staff, communities and the treasury management industry. Thought leadership is the result of capitalizing on the talent, experience, and passion inside your business, or from your community, to get in front of a defined target audience on a particular topic in a compelling way – and on a schedule that works for the presenter/writer and receiver. Ira Apfel, Editorial Director of the Association for Financial Professionals defines thought leadership as, “Articulating your experiences in treasury and finance as original, innovative insights to further your profession, your employer and your career.”

Industry publications provide opportunities for whitepapers, byline articles or other features. So too does social media – namely blogs, vlogs, YouTube, LinkedIn Articles, Wikipedia. A conference provides a great opportunity for an expression of thought leadership. A call for presentations allows thought leaders to offer up their subject matter expertise. Windy City Summit is one example of a conference at which treasury leaders can present their ideas. Why present at the Windy City Summit? It’s Simple! Showcase your thought leadership to Chicago and beyond-based treasury and finance professionals.


Don’t believe you are worthy? Don’t believe your expertise is worthy of sharing? Think about your experience.

  • Present a case study, success story, timeline of events
  • Discuss best practices
  • Present ideas for innovation, change, efficiency, productivity
  • Answer frequently asked questions
  • Discuss successes, failures


Still don’t believe anyone wants to learn from you? Think about this! According to Ira Apfel, the national AFP relies on outside authors to contribute:

  • 418 articles, 1,024 pages, 500,000+ words for its quarterly international publication+
  • 140 Sessions at its annual conference


Windy City and other larger regional organizations require support from outside contributors to produce:

  • 40 to 90 conference breakout sessions
  • 6 to 12 educational meetings a year


So, have we convinced you that your thought leadership is needed? We will soon be sending out the Call for Presentations for the 2021 Windy City Summit.

Who is your Treasury Hero?

Written by: Laurel Egan Kenny, President, Turningpoint Communications

When I think of heroes, sure, I think of Wonder Woman and The Incredibles, but, when it comes to MY heroes, I think of cape-less people who inspire me to be the best version of myself. I have people like that in the treasury world.  They are my mentors, supporters, educators, my inspiration. The world of treasury management is a small one, with colleagues serving 10 to 30 years or more, moving from one role to another and from one employer to another – even one region to another. Career paths are often well defined and chronicled, with insiders well aware of colleagues’ roles – present, past and future. Connections are essential if one is to maximize a treasury management career. I hope my industry colleagues are lucky enough to have admirable colleagues who, support, educate, mentor and inspire.  Do you have these “actors” in your treasury management life? Why not call them out or call them up today to say thank you today?

A mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor. Do you have someone like this in your life? My mentor, Patricia Mullin, Cambridge Trust Company, took me under her wing, as I got my start in treasury management at State Street corporation’s Global Cash Management division in 1998. As a very young professional, I was charged with building out a marketing discipline which required a great deal of content development for executives and clients – not an easy feat, when the world of treasury management was foreign to me. Patsy took me aside, took me to lunch, and took the time to not only tell me, but show me, how treasury worked – and how our solutions solved operational problems our customers were facing. Decades have passed and Patsy still answers my calls for ideas, clarification and even a request to present or train with me. She remains my calming force, motivator, educator.

A supporter is a person who approves of and encourages someone. Do you have a supporter with no agenda in your life? My supporter, Lee Ann Perkins, Assistant Treasurer, EON Corporation works 1600 miles southwest, but is never very far – always reachable – here for me – and most of the time, I don’t even need to ask. She is always willing to help, no matter the ask or the task – whether presenting, serving as a panelist, starring in a webinar, providing treasury perspectives. She always has a kind word and is often the first one to like just about anything I post on LinkedIn. She also has a great sense of humor, pranking me on occasion. Her smile is infectious and she welcomes new experiences. She is an industry leader, champion and advocate.

An educator is a person who provides instruction or education; a teacher. Do you have someone who passes along his/her intelligence, experience, without judgement?  My educator, Raymond Vines, has served in a corporate treasury leadership capacity for 30 years. His perspective is invaluable to me. He also has a great way of explaining highly complex ideas in layman’s terms, and no question is ever “dumb.” Ray is never short on opinions on just about anything – and never afraid to share those opinions! He shares his treasury goals, realities, his wish list so I feel like an insider into the corporate practitioner side of the business. This comes in handy as we train together, bringing a day in the life of a treasury team to treasury teams from back office to front line professionals.

An inspirer is someone who fills another person with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Ginger Gidden, Senior Vice President, Treasury Management Sales, Wells Fargo, inspires me. She epitomizes grace under pressure, eloquence and intelligence. When others send a text, Ginger picks up the phone, delivering good or bad news in context. This style has earned her trusted advisor status among her clients and as a result, she engages in deeper conversations with these clients – and gets her job done more efficiently and effectively than most people I know. As an industry advocate, Ginger is not afraid to share her experiences (with the appropriate levels of confidentiality, of course), presenting with me at national and regional treasury management conferences.

An Experience You Can’t Afford to Miss

Written by: Windy City Summit


Treasury professionals of all experience levels are invited to attend the Windy City Summit to maximize their potential, streamline processes and strengthen partnerships to excel in treasury management.  Windy City Summit is one of the largest treasury and cash management conferences in the country.  We consistently offer outstanding education, the newest tips and trends in the industry and an exhibit hall full of treasury management experts with information that benefit attendees and their companies.

We have three amazing featured speakers this year who will offer valuable knowledge that can be applied to your business and personal world.

TERRY SAVAGE: Author and expert on personal finances, the economy, and the markets. She was named a Top 5 Speaker of the year by Speakers Platform. She also frequently appears on TV and radio programs.

JOHN STOSSEL: Host @ Fox Business Network, is a 19 Emmy Award-winning journalist who has been honored 5 times for excellence in consumer reporting by the National Press Club.

ALAN ZWEIBEL: An original Saturday Night Live writer and best-selling author. Alan has won Emmy, Writers Guild of America and TV Critics awards. He is an author, playwright, screenwriter and producer.

This year Windy City Summit added the Technology Track to our breakout sessions including presentations on fintech, digitizing B2C payments, faster payments, blockchain and more.  We have 100 educational sessions to choose from including CTP exam review classes at no additional cost.  We are also an affordable way to earn continuing education credits for CTP, CCM, FP&A (Association of Financial Professionals), C.P.E. (Illinois Board of Public Accountancy) and AAP (NACHA).

We are also excited to announce the new Learning Lounge in the exhibit hall featuring short sessions on the latest innovations in treasury management.  These sessions will be another opportunity to earn continuing education credits.  While in the exhibit hall, attendees can speak with more than 60 exhibiting companies to review their products and decide which one will be the best solution for their company.

As you can see, Windy City Summit is planning an incredible meeting right here in Chicago offering affordable education and the chance to network with more than 1,000 treasury professionals and the best companies in the industry. This year’s summit is more than a conference, it’s an experience you cannot afford to miss. Register today!


Set New Records for Payables Speed and Efficiency

Submitted by: Wells Fargo

The cheetah. Track and field star Usain Bolt. The bullet train. All hold amazing records for speed.¹ With the U.S. launch of faster payments, your transactions can achieve new milestones in speed and efficiency, too. In November 2017, it took just three seconds for a Real-time Payment to move funds between two U.S. bank accounts.²

In an era when “now” has become the new normal, all types of faster payments — Same Day ACH, Zelle®, push to card, and Real-time Payments — can help you stay relevant with your customers, suppliers, and employees. However, with all the buzz in the market, moving beyond the hype to actual implementation can seem daunting.

Fortunately, it’s not difficult to accelerate your transactions, improve your efficiency, and strengthen your key relationships. Many “faster” methods are easier to deploy than you may expect, and require little technical integration.

Replace checks and boost satisfaction

Accounts payable disbursements make the perfect starting point. One quarter of these payments still occur by paper check, adding operational costs and hampering customer experience. Consumers, in particular, prefer electronic payments, ranking their satisfaction with receiving checks at an abysmal 4.4 out of 100.³
Numerous customer and supplier disbursement opportunities exist, across industries and audience segments:

  • Merchandise returns at retailers
  • Tax refunds by government entities
  • Claims payments from insurance companies
  • Loan proceeds from lenders
  • Settlements from law firms
  • Rebates and incentives from businesses
  • Supplier invoices for just-in-time inventory

Even employees can benefit. Faster payments can speed reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenditures, facilitate bonus compensation, or pay temporary workers at the end of a shift. In the gig economy, companies that hire contract workers find immediate payments differentiate their brands in the market.

Choose the right methods for your organization

A thoughtful planning process will ensure success. Follow these steps to move forward with confidence.

Build your use cases. Start by prioritizing specific audience segments: key suppliers, retail customers, or contract employees, for example. Then, clearly define which transactions will be eligible for faster payments. Creating guidelines upfront — for dollar amounts, approvals, and other parameters — will ensure organizational support and a smooth implementation.

Pinpoint your need for speed. Even within the category, different levels of “faster” exist. For example, Real-time Payments arrive in seconds, while Same Day ACH transactions settle within 24 hours. Review the options available, then match the right speed to your business needs.

Assess your requirements. Evaluate the information needed to execute the payment, the remittance data you want to transmit, and whether these choices require updates to your accounts payable or ERP system.

Zelle transactions, for example, move with only the recipient’s email address or cell phone number, while push to card routes funds with the payee’s debit card number. Same Day ACH requires a bank account and routing number, but uses the same process as traditional ACH transactions. Remittance formats also vary by payment method. Reach out to your bank for complete details and support with technical resources.

Take an agile approach. Whichever method you choose, consider launching with a pilot project. Starting small helps you get up-and-running fast, demonstrate value quickly, and build support for a full-scale rollout.

Lastly, remember that speed is just one part of the equation; audiences today expect both immediate and effortless. To truly transform your payment experience, you may need to adjust your finance processes as well as payment velocity.

For example, what’s required to onboard a new supplier? Does the process take several days and multiple forms? Does payment type default to checks? As you embrace faster payments, take a holistic look from your audience’s perspective. Even small changes will make a substantial impact.

For more information, contact your treasury management representative.

1. Guinness Book of World Records, www.guinnessworldrecords.com/products/books/superlatives/fastest
2. PYMTS.com, “Real-Time Payments Successfully Gets Through Its First Test Drive,” November 14, 2017
3. PYMTS.com, “Disbursements Satisfaction Index,” Q2 2017

New Treasury Technology Track

Written by:  Robert Chan, CDK Global, 2019 Windy City Summit Program Chair

The Windy City Summit is excited to announce a new track of sessions available at the 2019 meeting.  The Treasury Technology track will feature sessions on Innovative technologies in the treasury and financial industry that create new and improved financial services for companies and users.  Some examples include FinTech (APIs, process automation, artificial intelligence, computer software), disruptive technology, POBO/ROBO, blockchain, digital wallet, cryptocurrency, cybersecurity, machine learning, robo-advisers, etc.

Technology can help treasurers simplify and streamline their day to day tasks but there is also a concern as to how new FinTech will impact treasury jobs. The Windy City Summit will provide educational sessions to help attendees utilize the assistance technology provides while managing any risks associated with it.

We are rolling out this new track in our Call for Presentations which opened on October 15 and will close on Friday, November 30.  Have you implemented one of these new technologies at your company? Can you help your colleagues choose a software to maximize their ROI?  Do you have a case study to share?  We welcome your submission to the Call for Presentations and look forward to many robust sessions in this growing and evolving area. Call for Presentation Guidelines are located here.


Transition – Taking Good to Great

Meriam-Webster defines transition as a change from one concept to another. Transition defines the Annual Windy City Summit as a change from good to great. 2018 was an amazing year of first-time opportunities for all in attendance at the Windy City Summit. From the new technology lounge, to the introduction of one day passes, to the new Risk Management Track, the opportunities were bountiful.

As we reevaluate 2018 and start our transition into 2019, we are transforming from good to great.

While 2018 gave us a new website with a great look and feel, 2019 kicks it out of the park by bringing Windy City Summit followers a new sleek looking logo and a website that is amazingly user friendly and easy to read on all electronic devices. Windy City Summit has taken the words “user-friendly” and kicked them up more than a few notches, check it out for yourself here.

2018 introduced the Technology Lounge which received rave reviews, this area offered attendees headshots, charging stations and space for unlimited networking opportunities.  The Technology Lounge is expanding in 2019 and will give you the chance to learn more about the newest FinTech products and services through the Tech Tips sessions provided by sponsors and exhibitors.

There are many exciting learning opportunities and even more time for networking with peers in 2019.  A Technology Track has been added to our line-up of sessions.  We have added the Learning Lounge, with 25-minute sessions to create more dynamic learning opportunities for all while giving you even more ways to earn CTP credits.  Networking has always been an important part of the Windy City Summit experience and this year we are bringing back the Opening Reception in the exhibit hall on Tuesday evening.

We are keeping many of the new offerings from last year.  2019 will offer knowledgeable speakers, 1-day passes, abundant networking opportunities, free CTP prep courses, great food, and a mobile app and social wall that keeps attendees in the know! Windy City Summit is excited for the Annual event and can’t wait for you to see everything we have planned.