Cash & Liquidity Management
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Cash Management at the Sharp End

by Robin Page, Chief Executive

Cash and liquidity, and finding the right balance between the two, have long been preoccupations of corporate treasurers, and since the financial crisis this has been an even more pressing issue for many. Comments and feedback on our annual Guides to International Cash Management have shown us that they are greatly valued for their useful perspectives in a range of articles written by people at the ‘sharp end’ in this area, and I am delighted to introduce the 2012 edition which I am confident will not only provide answers to troubling questions but also stimulate thought and discussion in treasuries in companies of all sizes.

This year has seen the introduction of a ground-breaking Treasury Technology Assessment Survey conducted by Reval, the results of which are presented in the article by Peter Reynolds, the company’s Regional Vice President for Western Europe. The survey, which included 122 companies in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Nordic countries, gives a very comprehensive overview of the companies’ approach to risk and cash management, use of technology and software as well as treasurers’ priorities for this year.

The Cash Management University now held annually by BNP Paribas is enormously successful and TMI is delighted to publish articles based on presentations made there. Here the bank gives a summary of discussions at one of their workshops last December which was on the topic of payment factories. Senior treasury personnel from a major technology firm and a medical equipment company discussed their experiences of implementing centralised payments, followed by a panel discussion chaired by our editor Helen Sanders.

Mickey Vonckx of the financial software firm Hanse Orga, develops the theme of centralised cash management in an interesting article which describes how by deploying specialised technology “which is ideally fully embedded in centralised ERP systems” such as SAP, corporates can get onto the inside track for efficient cash flow forecasting and the ability to see the overall cash situation, including that of subsidiaries, boosting efficiency and allowing reliable performance analysis of all elements of the business.