Visa Survey Reveals CFOs Want Greater Cash Flow Efficiency

Monday 3 November 2003 18:23 CET | News

Visa USA has reported the findings of a comprehensive cash management survey that revealed less than 10% of corporate CFOs, Treasurers and Controllers believe their current cash flow and cash management processes to be very efficient.

While identifying clear inefficiencies within existing cash management processes, the study also found a strong need to further evaluate the usage of corporate payment cards as effective business-to-business payment solutions. The survey involved several hundred executives from more than 20 industries responsible for the financial, treasury and cash management decisions of their organizations. It was specifically designed to take an in-depth look at the effectiveness of cash management within todays business environment. Key findings of the study reveal that the receipt and application of remittances, as well as the daily determination of cash positioning and forecasting, were considered to be the most inefficient elements of the overall cash flow process. These inefficiencies were due primarily to a predominant lack of operational integration and labor-intensive administrative work. The research found that corporate payment cards were used by 41% of respondents for, on average, 20% of their total commercial payments. Most respondents demonstrated a clear acknowledgement of the cards value in each step in the cash management process as measured by the following summary of responses: -- 60% believed they were relevant or very relevant for cash disbursements -- 48% believed they were relevant or very relevant for short-term money management and the collection and application of receivables -- 43% ranged from relevant to very relevant for cash positioning and forecasting The findings bring into question the effectiveness of the common tools used today for the collection and disbursement of funds: checks, wire transfers and automated clearinghouse payments (ACH). While more respondents used checks than any other form of payment (81%), 64% of respondents were either neutral or only somewhat satisfied with the tool. Likewise only 39% of respondents were very satisfied with ACH, and just 31% rated wire transfers as providing marginal satisfaction. Results also confirmed the growing need for businesses to develop greater electronic disbursement capabilities. Using data to further improve the cash management process is clearly an ongoing goal for businesses, with respondents rating the following electronic disbursement capabilities to be somewhat important or very important to their business: -- Visibility into payables and receivables (73%) -- Online access to payment and invoice-related detail (70%) -- Automated information reporting and back-end integration (67%) These recent survey results further substantiate findings from previous in-depth best practices research conducted by Visa into actual business processes of large and mid-sized companies when using corporate payment cards. That research revealed leading companies understand that data aggregation and reporting is critical to accomplishing any key activity. They also understand that reporting is not a function of the quantity of reports generated by payment methods, but a function of the ability to integrate and analyze data relative to business performance. These companies are able to generate needed reports by the use of corporate payment cards and use them to share information across the business and track performance to goals. Using checks or electronic payments that lack detailed payment data do not offer these benefits and remain inherently inefficient within the cash management process. About the Cash Management Survey The Visa Cash Management Survey was conducted through and involved the responses of 382 executives from more than 20 industries. Executive roles ranged from: -- CFO and other top-level financial position (168 respondents) -- Treasurer (56 respondents) -- Controller (132 respondents) -- Accounts Payable/Receivables Manager (23 respondents) The majority of res

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
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Payments & Commerce