The Polish Corporate Treasurers Association (PCTA) held its 30th annual meeting in a small village, Jachranka near Warsaw, where PCTA Members focused on the most important topics of treasury in recent times.
More than 150 treasurers from major Polish and international companies, along with numerous PCTA Partners from banks and financial companies, participated in a two-day treasury conference with the motto: "the treasurer's energy." The motto that PCTA chose was intended to show that recently, at a time when we have less meetings and more constraints, there are still, in the treasury teams, many urgent tasks and important topics related to the businesses of our corporations - and thus there is great energy for action, probably even more than before. Making the PCTA all the more pleased that such a large group of conference participants took advantage of the meeting.
PCTA members, Partners and invited guests had the opportunity to learn about the latest trends on the treasury world and find out all the news from the financial market, establish and deepen contacts with our Partners, exchange professional knowledge and information, both during the workshop sessions and presentations.
During the first day all attenders were engaged in the workshops prepared by PCTA Supporting Partners with paying attention especially to:
XML allows you to separate page content from business logic and presentation requirements. By specifying the content of a document separately from its formatting, XML makes it easy to reuse document content in other applications or another presentation environment. One of our Partners assists treasurers by giving them technology tools linked to ERP systems that allow them to automate many key treasury processes. This time he presented what the solutions for changes to XML will look like, under the title: "XML is coming...". The company - Partner, indicated that the changes in xml will be significant and it is worth preparing for them now. Cooperation between treasurers and IT specialist are needed.
One of the partners presented "What is the most dangerous place on the Internet" and "Can a refrigerator connected to the Internet pose a threat", i.e. familiarized us with the current dangers and traps that await us when we use the computer and the Internet. A very practical and interesting presentation related to online security, dangers and methods of protecting ourselves from them, has made us realize that the danger is ourselves and our acts, i.e.: our forgetfulness, forgetting to change passwords, leaving saved passwords in any place, displaying our photos on the computer, entering various websites, not cleaning cookies, fooling ourselves into thinking that we are talking to real people online, fooling ourselves into thinking that we see what we see online.... It is important to be aware of the dangers around us and to approach online activities with a lot of patience, calmness and attentiveness.
Where one of the banks, presented that there are many financing projects where bank is a partner in the green investments financing (e.g. case studies related to financing by issuing "green bonds"); there are many interesting project on the marked but it is important that it is worth learning about various examples of green financing due to not only the example of real financing but regarding the indicated conditions to be met by companies with this form of financing; An interesting fact was that the Bank employs environmental engineers and ecologists for such projects, which significantly helps to understand the expectations of clients implementing financing in environmental areas.
The workshop groups of a dozen people were able to learn about and discuss issues related to ESG topics, regulatory requirements, market expectations and corporate strategies. The Bank's second workshop panel was also related to ESG topics and focused on supply chains.
The Bank described how many factors need to be considered in these turbulent times to ensure an uninterrupted supply chain, including:
Liquidity as a dynamic vehicle for growth and to create the goodwill. The workshop presented tools for a digitizing processes related to handling liquidity and supporting treasurers in their daily work. It is noteworthy that, despite many tools of this type on the market, there is still potential to satisfy treasury. New solutions follow the market trends and requirements of treasury teams. It should be taken into consideration that the more treasuries specify their requirements, the more they will be able to be satisfied. There are still a lot of elements that can be automated in treasury but we, treasurers need to share our experiences with companies that will develop solutions for us.
The time of pandemic and geopolitical threats shows that treasurers need non-standard solutions in the field of factoring financing; we have noticed that especially small and medium companies need to implement factoring solutions as an additional part of financing, even green one. Factoring program where there are 3 parties benefit from the solution (supplier, bank, beneficiary-recipient) in particular, becomes a solution that is simple to adopt operationally and financially easier to organize and of course becomes cost-effective; Green factoring solutions that contain ESG elements are also becoming more and more popular, and therefore they are more willingly adopted by "so far unconvinced entities”.
The second day was filled with interesting presentations of the Content Partners.
The meeting on Friday started with a morning session on: "Who, when and why uses factoring?". Responding to the question, we considered intriguing problems and bold decisions of entrepreneurs using factoring, all based on a case study. The second aspect addressed by our Partner was to find an answer to the query "How to work less and achieve more?" i.e. a project called: "Lean management, waste elimination and process improvement," launched by the Bank for their employees. The Bank presented how to manage both: human resources and perform certain activities in a well-organized way in a productive manner: quick and effective meetings, clearly defined expectations, ongoing and systematic control of the goals achievement. And all these with a great attentiveness and attention to mutual relations among employees.
During the presentation part of the meeting, we also focused on topics such as:
The topic is important because it is related to the changes that will take place in Poland after the WIBOR index is no longer published. This topic concerns all treasurers both professionally and privately. The Partner presented how complicated and complex is the process of changes they are working on. The WIBOR index, which is the basis for calculating mortgage interest rates and generally used on the interest rates calculations, will be replaced by another index. According to the law, if there is no indicated replacement for WIBOR, the new index will be the POLONIA rate calculated by the NBP.
The presentation time of our partner, a consulting firm, was devoted to the topics of tax reporting, changes in tax law and the topics that follow on the Treasurer-Tax Office line. The second very actual topic was related to the plans of the implementation of e-invoicing (KSeF in Poland) solutions in large entities. From January 1, 2022, Polish companies will be able to use e-Invoices. This will be one of the acceptable forms of documentation of sales in addition to paper invoices and already existing in business, electronic invoices. Poland is the fourth country in the European Union which implemented the e-Invoice. Entrepreneurs issuing the e-Invoice will receive a VAT refund much faster. So, during this session of PCTA meeting we received a tax map which is useful for every CFO, CFO and Treasurer.
The 30th PCTA Professional Meeting Treasurer’s Energy [Energia Skarbnika – in Polish] was not only about presentations and workshops on the financial problems and economic situation, but also – referring to the motto: treasurer’s energy - about managing your life energy.
The mindfulness trainer we hosted told everyone how to take care of our own health, intellectual resources and harmony between work and private life. We received interesting presentation on the mindfulness titled "To be or to dream" that inspired many of us to reflect and calm down, while the proposed exercises allowed us to take a moment to breathe.
The other non-financial topic during the PCTA meeting was the painting passion of our friend treasurer Dominika. She told us about her inspirations, the artistic techniques she uses, and what it is like to be a full-time corporate treasurer-artist. We were very happy that we could take an advantage of the lectures on her great passion.
By Aleksandra Filipowicz Ph.D, Secretary, EACT and Board Member, PCTA