The October U.S. employment report released last week depicted a healthy job market, indicating that the Federal Reserve may finally start to raise short-term interest rates. For treasurers, a Fed move would signal a whole new ball game in which rising rates could affect their borrowing, short-term investing, and currency exposures.

"Most companies we see are not prepared for a rising-rate environment," said Anthony Carfang, a partner and director at consultancy Treasury Strategies.

The change in Fed policy will come as a shock after eight years of low interest rates, Carfang said. "How many people inside of a corporate treasurer's office even remember what it was like when interest rates were 5% or 6% or 7%, and what kind of things you had to do to run your cash, and how important your cash forecasting was, and what you used on your treasury workstation to get that right?"

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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.