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Although spending was constrained in 2008 and 2009, corporate brass happily paid for anything that protected the bottom line and strengthened risk and liquidity management. Now the focus is on using automation to cut costs out of high-volume, work-intensive activities like accounts payable, accounts receivable and payments, reports Maggie Scarborough, managing director of FinServ Strategies in Baltimore. Companies want to streamline to the lowest cost possible. Subscribing to hosted or shared services has taken much of the cap out of capex, allowing automation without busting budgets, she notes.

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