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Treasurers bemoan cash-flow forecasting, says survey

Accurate cash-flow forecasting still provides a headache for corporate treasurers and is prompting a drive to non-traditional short-term investments such as money market funds, according to a survey conducted by BDRC for ABN AMRO. Over four-fifths of respondents to the survey said cash-flows could be reasonably well-predicted over a time period as short as two-to-three days, but the predictions start to lose accuracy as the time period is extended. The causal factors include account receivables, payment timing and non-centralised cash management.

Term deposits account for almost half of treasurers' short-term cash with current accounts taking up a further 20%. But the survey also notes a growing appetite for money market funds (over half the respondents use them) and high yield current accounts, used by 12% of respondents.

"In an increasingly competitive global environment, corporate treasurers strive continually to balance risk and efficiency," comments Phillip Lindow, executive director of liquidity management at ABN. "Our research sends a strong message to providers of liquidity management services. Corporate treasurers want access to flexible investment options that can optimise returns (interest and yield) without compromising liquidity or increasing risk."

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