Treasury innovation is a point of pride at Microsoft. Thecentralized treasury group serves more than 450 subsidiaries in 118countries around the world, managing over 1,300 bank accountsdistributed among 85 different banks. Not surprisingly, cashvisibility is a perpetual challenge. In the past decade, Microsofttreasury has pushed to achieve greater visibility into bankaccounts and subsidiaries' investments.

"We have a very good idea of what and where our balances are,"explains senior treasury manager Dave Piechowski, "but unlike a lotof large treasuries, we don't maintain a single companywidetreasury management system. We've built our own Cash Forecasting& Analytics Reporting [CFAR] solution. And one of the thingswe've been working on, companywide, is maximizing the amount ofinformation that feeds directly from our banks into our ERP[enterprise resource planning] and CFAR systems."

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Meg Waters

Meg Waters is the editor in chief of Treasury & Risk. She is the former editor in chief of BPM Magazine and the former managing editor of Business Finance.