From the May Special Report issue of Treasury & Risk magazine

All Eyes on Cash

The push to improve cash-flow forecasts continues as companies gain visibility and push out their time frames.

Faster and farther seems to be the motto for treasurers these days when it comes to cash-flow forecasting, as companies work to achieve more timely visibility into their cash positions and extend their cash forecasts over a longer time horizon. Treasurers are getting a helping hand from advances in technology, including the cloud, and better ways to connect with their banks.

“In terms of optimizing cash forecasts, treasurers have been constrained by a couple of different things: one, the tools they’re using, and two, the difficulty in consolidating global information,” said Andrew Gelb, North America head of Treasury and Trade Solutions for Citi. “There are a range of tools, and there are a range of connectivity options as well, that enable better cash forecasting than perhaps would have been possible a few years ago.”

Visibility

One challenge for treasurers is knowing as quickly as possible what’s happening in the bank accounts they have around the world.

Longer Looks

Cindy Murray, Bank of America Merrill LynchCindy Murray, head of Global Treasury Product Platforms and eChannels at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, says companies are extending their forecasts to look farther into the future.

Technology

Companies that want to fine-tune their forecasts can turn to technology for help, and there are signs that they’re increasingly willing to do so. While businesses have been reluctant to untie the purse strings for such projects in recent years, the Treasury Strategies survey showed 35% of respondents this year say they expect to implement new cash management technology, up from 30% in September 2012 and 25% in September 2010.

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