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No doubt, a year ago, there were days when Roger Shannon, assistant treasurer of Brown-Forman Corp., probably could have used a shot of Jack Daniel’s to help him through the day. Back then, the $2.4 billion distiller and distributor of wines and spirits, including the popular whiskey, was still using what Shannon described as “Stone Age” tools to manage working capital and make cash forecasts. All of Brown-Forman’s 16 separate subsidiaries were forced to re-key bank information into cumbersome spreadsheets for daily cash positions, manually reconcile accounts and post account-receivable receipts from paper bank statements.

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