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Multi-nationals display a lack of confidence in cash-flow forecasting

Following a survey undertaken in 2003 by GTNews, the online global resource provider, only 26% of senior finance professionals expressed a firm belief in their ability to accurately forecast their up-coming cash flow positions.

The figures are surprising, considering a total of 92 per cent of survey respondents said they attach a 'high' or 'very high' level of importance to accurate cash flow forecasting. Barely a quarter reported that reality matched aspirations - only 26 per cent stating cash flow forecasting accuracy was 'high' or 'very high' within their own organisations.

Treasurers cite poor system integration, lack of internal communication and inadequate collection policies as just some of the key areas that are exasperating the problem. They also admit difficulties in getting business units to understand the importance of cash flow forecasting.

Historically, inter-departmental tasks such as cash flow forecasting, lack a common cohesive purpose between treasury departments and out-in-the-field business units - the latter primarily focused on client sales, rather than cash flow analysis.

Survey respondents revealed that there is now very little difference in the reporting cycles for domestic and foreign operations, perhaps the result of improvements in communications technologies, including use of the Internet.

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