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In mid 2007, as Google’s treasury team began to establish foreign currency hedging operations and revise its portfolio investment strategy for cash balances, the company determined a need to forecast its worldwide cash generation in more detail. With rising foreign revenue, Google had to cope with rising foreign exchange exposures throughout the world, in particular its European operations.

To better hedge those exposures, Google modified its forecasting models to forecast cash flows 18 months out by currency. The project required a multifunctional approach. For example, the sales finance team committed resources to develop the long-term revenue forecast by currency. “We had forecasted revenue by country, advertiser or Web site but never by currency before,” says Axel Martinez, assistant treasurer. “We use the same statistically driven forecasting methods, but now we have a different take on the data.” The tax team was also involved in translating how Google’s tax structures would affect future cash generation.

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