Treasurers Rate Economy Single Largest Influence in 2003
The slow economy has been the single largest influence on corporate treasurers’ priorities for 2003, according to a survey by Treasury Strategies (TS). Commenting on the findings, Susan Skerritt, partner at Treasury Strategies said: ‘Tight credit markets have raised the importance of effective working capital management and cash flow forecasting processes, and a difficult economic environment has forced treasurers to become even more focused on the efficiencies and controls enabled by well-implemented technological solutions and treasury operating structures.’ The 2003 Corporate Treasury Survey – which took responses from 131 corporate treasurers and treasury executives – also found that nearly one third of all respondents mentioned liquidity as the most significant issue facing treasurers. The survey found that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is a key corporate concern, but one not driven by treasury. It appears that the responsibility for addressing Sarbanes-Oxley lies outside the control of most treasury departments as few respondents identified this as a key treasury concern. But over three-quarters indicated that their companies are very concerned and aggressively responding to the new regulation. Interestingly, while the majority of survey respondents reported having high influence or direct control around banking decisions, they said they had much less influence over customer credit and payment terms, billing practices, capital expenditures, and payables practices. The survey also found that the trend toward centralization is continuing, with cash management, cash forecasting and payables/receivables management tending to be managed at a regional or local level.