Survey: CFOs Want Greater Cash Flow Efficiency

San Francisco (Nov. 5, 2003) -- Few chief financial officers, treasurers, and controllers believe their current cash flow and management processes are efficient, and many cite a strong need to further evaluate the use of corporate payment cards as an effective business-to-business payment solution.

These are the top results of a recent Visa USA study on cash management, which was specifically designed to take an in-depth look at the effectiveness of cash management within today's business environment. 

Key findings of the study revealed that receipt and application of remittances, as well as the daily determination of cash positioning and forecasting, are the most inefficient elements of the overall cash flow process. These inefficiencies were due primarily to a lack of operational integration and labor-intensive administrative work.

The research also showed that corporate payment cards were used by 41 percent of respondents for 20 percent 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 percent believed corporate payment cards were relevant or very relevant for cash disbursements.

48 percent believed they were relevant or very relevant for short-term money management and the collection and application of receivables.

43 percent said cards were relevant or very relevant for cash positioning and forecasting

Results also confirmed the growing need for businesses to develop greater electronic disbursement capabilities. Those surveyed found visibility into payables and receivables, online access to payment and invoice-related details, and automated information reporting with back-end integration to be the most important electronic disbursement capabilities.

Visa conducted its Cash Management Survey through Survey.com and involved the responses of 382 CFOs, treasurers, controllers, and accounts payable/receivable managers from more than 20 industries. The majority (75 percent) had annual sales of more than $50 million per year — of which nearly 50 percent represented more than $500 million per year.

-- Web CPA staff

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