eLearning For Treasury Management And FX
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The Benefits Of eLearning For Treasury Management And FX

As any business grows, so does its assets and responsibility. The financial strategy of an organization actually gets increasingly complex and vital as it grows because the stakes are higher. Its capital structure gets more complex, its assets become more diverse, and so on. In particular, with more overseas sales, companies find themselves with a growing stack of foreign currency, not knowing exactly what to do with it and when. Treasury management and FX are very specialized subjects, and eLearning is playing an increasing role in them.

Why Does Treasury Management Matter?

With 70% of economists forecasting a US recession and potentially a global crisis by 2021, treasury management is about to become a highly in-demand role. Being able to ride the economic waves of defaulting companies, such as a credit crunch and a lack of business confidence, is a difficult task. But this is essentially at the core of treasury management—keeping assets safe, liquid and minimizing risk.

Unsurprisingly, the globalization of our interconnected economy is making treasury management a real issue for medium-sized businesses, where it was once mostly a concern for multinationals. The reason for this is because SMEs used to be domestic companies with domestic clientele, but this has gone out the window with the developing supranational state of the EU. More and more firms rely on overseas customers and relocating abroad. Even casual product flipping on Amazon now requires you to be on top of FX. You don’t want to rely on the extortionate Amazon currency conversion rates when you receive your revenue.

The Role Of eLearning

As a result, eLearning changed the game of treasury management. Whilst even an experienced economist may struggle to lay out a good strategy for preserving a company’s assets, it’s nevertheless becoming increasingly accessible. Keeping assets liquid and hedging currency using swaps or forwards is something you need specific, specialized training in. This was a pain for a long time. Sure, large companies have asset management departments the size of 10 SMEs, but smaller firms would struggle to do this in-house.

With the developments in the eLearning industry, it is now much easier to microlearn our way into becoming specialists. At management level, you want experience, but the team underneath can't be highly efficient in what they begin training on. There’s no need for them to cover half of the stuff that a 3-year training program or qualification lays out for them. Instead, management can allocate employees into different areas of niche learning, which saves a lot of time and money.

This is the biggest reason why outsourcing treasury management or FX hedging is no longer necessary for FX companies. Whilst it was a money-saver in the past because you could hire and fire them as and when appropriate, in-house eLearning means that a small team can acquire a great deal of understanding in a short period of time. This doesn’t mean by taking shortcuts, of course. It’s important not to let this unravel into putting a company’s assets in jeopardy because you’ve put junior employees who have undertaken a couple of unverified online courses in charge of hedging foreign-held assets. Officially recognized eLearning courses are recommended, such as ACT or CIPFA, when training for such an integral role in a company.

Or the SMEs could develop their own eLearning resources for their employees. This way, they can help shape learning to be as relevant to the company as possible. For example, when quizzing and testing employees on their learning, they can use real-life examples relevant to their work, such as using examples of the current assets of the company itself. This is a very effective learning technique, and although it may take significant amounts of time to develop the syllabus, it’s possible to outsource segments of it whilst retaining a vision over the course as a whole. Language and cultural barriers, however, should be taken into account upon any outsourcing of eLearning content.

On-The-Job Training Vs. eLearning In Finance

Those who are skeptical of eLearning will often argue that the only real way to learn how to perform a job role well is to do it and learn along the way. This is most certainly a key part of employee development, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be facilitated with educational courses along the way.

The issue with on-the-job training is that, if you start this process with zero specialized education, you’re taking every word from your mentor as gospel. Well, in many instances this may be good enough (perhaps engineering at a factory, for example). But the thing with finance is that it’s constantly evolving. If you go into a treasury or FX position with some education behind you, it’s likely that you too have value to offer to the mentor, who may not have considered some contemporary strategies.

Of course, the sweet spot is to have both. In fact, senior mentors themselves should also be benefiting from occasional eLearning, which is often overlooked. Online courses are usually the most adaptive and up-to-date resources out there, so there could be a surprising amount of content that is new to even the most established of the staff as well as, of course, cementing the content they are already aware of.

This is proven to be a fantastic way to re-engage employees too. Frequent learning helps employees feel more fulfilled and that their jobs are giving them meaning. Frequent achievable challenges can help keep employees motivated in their role at a company. This is often a bit of an issue in finance because many get sucked into the notion that they’re only in this line of work because it pays well, forgetting that they enjoyed financial management when they were studying it.

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