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Asia Pacific treasurers prioritise improving cash visibility

Anuradha Shukla | June 6, 2013
Key finding from a survey by SunGard and Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Transaction Services.

Treasurers in Asia Pacific are prioritising improving cash visibility over the next 12 to 24 months, according to a newly released Asia Pacific Treasury Barometer survey.

Sixty percent of the respondents from the inaugural Asia Pacific Treasury Barometer survey by SunGard and Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Transaction Services (GTS) identified improving cash visibility as a primary area of focus.

The other key priorities for treasurers in Asia Pacific over the next 12 to 24 months are yield enhancement and interest expenses; cash concentration; rationalising bank accounts; and mitigating counterparty risk.

Forty-four percent of the respondents cited yield enhancement and 17 percent cited enhanced risk mitigation structures as their key focus areas for the coming months.

About 44 percent of the treasurers and treasury professionals said they will devote more attention to cash concentration and 38 percent identified rationalisation of bank accounts as a key priority.

Unsatisfactory cash flow

Treasurers identified cash flow forecasting as a major challenge in the Asia Pacific region and a very small percentage (14) said they are completely satisfied with their cash flow forecasting processes.

The survey was conducted in the first quarter of 2013 and respondents represent companies across 14 industries across Asia Pacific. About 66 percent of respondents agreed that they don't utilise treasury tools for cash flow forecasting.

Thirty-five percent identified inaccurate sales targets and projections; and 23 percent said limited availability of resources as the factors that inhibit accurate cash flow forecasting.

Sixty-nine percent of treasurers and treasury professionals across both emerging and developed markets depend on spreadsheets to run their treasury management operations. Twenty-six percent of treasurers prefer Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and 23 percent favour in-house systems.

"Sophistication is developing in treasuries across Asia Pacific, but plenty of work remains. Encouragingly, corporations are committing themselves further to improving cash visibility, enhancing yield and concentrating cash priorities," said Ivo Distelbrink, head of Global Transaction Services, Asia Pacific, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "In anyone's language, these are extremely positive developments for the larger treasury management space and trends that play to our global strengths as a leading treasury management solution provider." 


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