Working capital management became a focus during the recession as banks' retreat from lending pushed treasurers to look for internal sources of funding. It remains a key consideration for treasurers even as the economy regains speed.

"Working capital management continues to be a high priority for treasurers to maintain an important competitive advantage and as a critical buffer against uneven global growth," said Jim Volkwein, head of trade finance and cash management for corporates, Americas, at Deutsche Bank.

Volkwein pointed out that working capital, "through the cash conversion cycle, is a transparent measure—that is, viewable to the market and reflected in a company's share price.

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Susan Kelly

Susan Kelly is a business journalist who has written for Treasury & Risk, FierceCFO, Global Finance, Financial Week, Bridge News and The Bond Buyer.