Little drives self-reflection more than a crisis. The recent financial turmoil has prompted corporate treasurers to reevaluate not just policies but such operational issues as how they measure available cash and the reliability of their liquidity, working capital and risk management practices.

Banks have long sought to advise corporate clients on how their treasury operations compare with competitors' and how to improve them, but mostly on an issue-by-issue basis. "Our clients were telling us there wasn't anything that did a deep-dive into treasury operations as an entire practice area," says Ron Chakravarti, managing director in Citibank's global liquidity and investments unit.

So Citibank's Global Transaction Services division began a six-month analysis of diagnostic methodologies and questions to ask corporate customers about their treasury operations, and created Citi Treasury Diagnostics. It piloted the service to 20 large clients and then another 150 in third quarter 2009. By year-end, Citibank anticipates another 500 will have taken the plunge.

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