Trinity congratulates on the 25th anniversary of the Verband deutscher Treasurer e.V.!

Part 1: The Development of Treasury Management since 1997


It was often accountants or employees of banks who were entrusted with the task of securing and managing a company's liquidity because of their previous knowledge of finance. Quite often, however, and especially in small and medium-sized businesses, the management itself took care of the issue because financial circumstances in Germany were (and are) always treated very confidentially. If someone had successfully built up a company over many years, it was difficult for this person to place the management of finances in outside hands.


However, the task of checking bank statement items and balances often became so extensive in growing companies that it was quickly handed over to the accounting department. In multinational companies, the reconciliation of individual accounts was decentralised in many cases whereas the overall overview of the financial situation remained with the management. Accordingly, to plan future liquidity, one had to rely on information from many different sources and one's own intuition. Missing or incorrect information easily led to wrong decisions.


New forms of financing and financial innovations to hedge interest rates and currencies or to invest money made professional financial management increasingly complicated and overburdened both business managers and accountants, especially since they also had enough other tasks. So it was time to counter the banks' specialists with some on the corporate side.


Since there were no treasurers yet and the job description was not clearly described, borrowings were often made from credit institutions. Bankers switched to the corporate sector, but some accountants also found interest in the exciting job and expanded their knowledge of electronic banking, cash and risk management on their own.


These pioneers soon realised that they could make their job more pleasant by acting in solidarity. They needed a lobby, on the one hand, to assert themselves against the great power of the credit institutions and, on the other hand, to make the representatives of the management in their own company aware of the importance of their position. The latter was especially necessary in order to get the corresponding budgets approved for setting up a functioning workplace. Initially, it was a matter of introducing a multi-bank-capable electronic banking system and switching from accompanying signed fax order to electronic signatures, but in larger companies cash and treasury management systems with numerous integrated modules for recording and managing all the company's financial transactions soon came into use. Trinity's viable solutions were already in high demand 25 years ago.


Manager-led companies, in particular, recently featured a chief financial officer alongside the CEO as the person responsible for finance, who was allowed to put together a treasury team. In some companies this was a one-man show, in others there were several front, middle and back office positions. Such departments had to work efficiently and were initially readily established as profit centres. Due to high interest margins and transaction costs, potential savings had to be realised. Subsequently, bank connections worldwide were checked for their necessity and the number was reduced to a minimum.


Finally, consideration was given to how further costs could be saved through efficient process design, e.g. by merging similar activities in shared service centres. The central retrieval and reconciliation of account information and the execution of payment transactions for all companies became the goal of sometimes very elaborate projects, which only led to the desired success if sufficient expertise was available when the specifications were drawn up.


The "Big Four" and other auditing firms formed special teams to advise corporate treasury management, and in some cases even founded companies that were primarily concerned with selecting the right financing strategy, process design, supporting software systems and even taking over sub-tasks of financial management in shared services centres.


Corporate treasury experienced a real boom in the early 2000s, which also attracted foreign treasury system providers. National and international conferences and trade fairs brought together CFOs, corporate treasurers, financial and credit institutions, software providers and other specialised service providers.


Treasury management systems developed in Germany, like Trinity TMS, were few and far between. Most solutions came from the USA, Great Britain or France and not infrequently missed the needs of German treasurers, as e.g. file formats for account information, payment orders, technical communication and authorisation procedures differed from country to country and did not allow harmonisation without costly conversion from one format to the other.


Before the SEPA launch in 2014, all German credit institutions had agreed on a uniform DTA standard for payments and the SWIFT MT940 format for account statements and had created a practicable and secure communication and authorisation standard with EBICS (Electronic Banking Internet Standard) and electronic signatures - but the neighbouring countries mostly stuck to their national procedures and data exchange formats.


With the help of the Association of German Treasurers VDT e.V., which was founded in 1997 in the same year Trinity Management Systems GmbH was established, its members have been able to discuss problems and in many cases develop solutions. The mixture of experienced corporate treasurers, committed young financial managers, representatives of universities, software providers, consultancies and credit institutions has formed a competent and powerful lobby for the interests of treasurers in Germany, which supports their interests not only in Germany but also beyond its borders.


Trinity has been a supporting member since 1998 and also actively supports the association through personal commitment and continuous exchange of knowledge. We are pleased to celebrate the 25th anniversary together with the VDT e.V. this year and wish the Association of German Treasurers only the best and continued success for the next 25 years!


For this purpose, Trinity has been offering customised "private cloud" installations in German data centres for years in order to relieve the burden on customers' IT resources while at the same time complying with EU data protection directives and the DSGVO.


Trinity TMS is developed and maintained in Germany with a lot of know-how. Enquiries from customers are answered by Trinity itself, so that a personal relationship develops between our employees and users. The German team is supported by a project office in the Netherlands, as many companies based in Eastern and Western Europe are now part of the Trinity clientele.


Trinity has shown continuity for 25 years and will continue to do so in the future. Customised, experienced, faster and personal.




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