In previous blogs, I’ve addressed several key topics that are critical for the Office of the CFO, including Working Capital Management, a Global Approach to Cash, and leveraging In-House Cash Management.
In-House Cash Management Reduces External Bank Accounts, Improves Visibility and Boosts Productivity
All companies need to carefully manage their cash in order to ensure that sufficient funds are always available to support business operations, however, in today’s global enterprises, it can be difficult to maintain clear visibility and management of diverse cash repositories. This can be especially challenging when subsidiaries and other operating units maintain separate external banking relationships within their regional or local environments.
I’ve previously touched on related issues in blog posts on Working Capital Management and the need for a Global Approach to Cash Management. In this post, we are going to take a closer look at another key tool which is called In-House Cash Management.
If you are a CFO or treasury executive in a globally diverse company, then you're probably already aware of the complexities regarding cash management across multiple business units in many different countries.
Working capital is the lifeblood of most organizations and, as such, it needs to be watched closely and managed in a comprehensive, real-time, and proactive manner.
All finance departments must manage working capital to keep their business operations running, while maintaining the agility to support the strategic goals and growth objectives of their business. Working capital management and optimization are key to assuring a business can maintain production, cover the cost of wages and supplies – and also have enough liquidity on hand to service their short-term credit obligations.
Any gaps are likely to be filled by external capital – usually at a higher cost than internally available funding. Being able to accurately measure and manage working capital, and avoid expensive external financing, can provide companies with an important competitive advantage.
Most CFOs use working capital as a key indicator of the operating health of the business. They focus on questions such as: Are we collecting our bills in a timely manner? Are we taking all the discounts that we are entitled to? Are we carrying too much inventory in our warehouses?
These basic metrics all have a direct impact on liquidity. However, the answers to these key working capital questions are inherently dynamic and constantly changing.
Choosing Treasury Solutions for Sustained Success: Understanding the Trade-offs of Standalone vs Integrated Approaches
Treasury functions are not easily isolated from the rest of operational applications that are typically spread throughout an organization – nor should they be. In fact, almost all treasury processes can benefit greatly from becoming more integrated with other business processes.
However, all too often, companies are enticed by the promises of standalone treasury and risk management applications that claim to be inter-operable but fall short of providing true seamless integration with core ERP business and finance applications.
The strategic importance of treasury has been increasing steadily in recent years, thereby leading to a proliferation of new capabilities from both standalone application vendors and broad-based ERP/finance systems providers.
Companies are also coming under more pressure from shareholders and regulators to increase their transparency and improve financial performance. These expectations are leading to significant changes to the treasury functions as activities are increasingly being centralized.
At the same time, most companies are experiencing more complexity with regard to changing compliance requirements, diverse global operations, regional and local regulatory mandates, international trade and foreign currency issues, geographically diverse banking relationships and escalating risk factors in the financial arena.
So, the key question that now arises is “what is the best approach for both today and for tomorrow?”
As public companies have worked over the past two years to comply with new ASC 842 and IFRS 16 leasing standards, they have taken a variety of paths to achieve the initial compliance requirements. Depending on each company’s specific requirements and the extent of their lease portfolios, their journey to compliance may have been comprehensive or might have taken a limited approach with a “path of least resistance” philosophy to minimize disruptions.
However, those companies that took a limited approach using standalone solutions or spreadsheets are now discovering they’re stuck in a dead-end with regard to integrating and optimizing lease compliance within their overall business operations.
As the leading experts in SAP Leasing Solutions for ASC 842 and IFRS 16, we've seen it all and we know what works. Integration can be hard. Data validation is required far more than you expected and reporting is anything but a snap, especially if you need data from your ERP as well as your leasing solution.
Most companies are continuously dealing with pressures to keep up with changes in their external marketplaces, competitive landscapes, customer needs, and investor expectations. These external issues are also driving internal pressures to improve efficiency, productivity, agility, security and enterprise-wide alignment and integration.
People are hard-wired to recognize and interpret faces with amazing speed, accuracy and attention to detail. Even as infants we quickly learn to know our own parents’ faces and to differentiate them from strangers’ faces. Throughout life, the ability to automatically pick up on subtle facial cues and to “read” the meaning behind them are critical factors for streamlining complex social interactions and enabling rapid decisions such as friend vs. foe, and cooperation vs. opposition.
Imagine if you met someone without a face. How would you even begin to interact with them?
Well, that’s how most CFOs and other C-level executives feel when they hear the term “Financial Transformation” without a way to clearly visualize what it means.
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Whether you’re a CFO or a financial controller, you know how much time and effort you and your team spend deep in concentration to get your monthly accounting figures to balance. Your accounts payable and accounts receivable work doesn’t get much attention unless things go wrong, but all the time you need to stay on top of your tasks to keep things running smoothly.