EBam is coming and treasuries need to start preparing now by rationalizing their bank account structure and getting software to organize data and embed administrative processes, says consultant Craig Jeffery, managing partner of Strategic Treasurer in Atlanta. "If you use more than seven banks and more than 100 accounts, you probably need technology tools to manage the accounts," Jeffery says. "It's time to set up procedures that will make you ready for eBam," the standardized electronic bank account administration message set that SWIFT will make available later this year.

"With many banks and accounts and no software, you're wasting time and putting your company at unnecessary risk," he adds.

Viacom uses about 130 accounts at three or four banks domestically and 393 accounts at 44 banks globally, so account administration is a big chore there. Until last April, it was all done manually. "Like most companies, we were shuffling paper and sending it everywhere," says international treasury manager Jenifer Pedersen. Then Viacom switched to software from Speranza Systems and saved "a humongous amount of time," notes Brooke Tilton, director of treasury operations.

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