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Avoiding the cash crunch

There’s a lot at stake for businesses when it comes to paying suppliers on time and, as a survey from Concur shows, not everyone is good at keeping up to date. Chris Baker issues a call to action.

It’s often said that financial management is mainly about avoiding surprises. These are usually surprises that surface as a result of inaccurate forecasts, cash flow disruptions or unexpected expenses. The good news for financial managers now is that technology can be harnessed more easily than before to eliminate surprises from a company’s balance sheet. Activity that was once invisible to finance officers can now be tracked, processes can be shortened and decisions can be made based on data-driven insights, not just reams of numbers.

But payment processes may not be the area that first spring to mind when reviewing financial risk and stability of cash flow. After all, a payment is cash out of the business and there are intuitive reasons to manage payment cycles to keep cash in the business as long as suppliers will permit. But payment processes are sometimes not as easy to control as we would like.

This is an extract from the Finance & Management Magazine, Issue 240, February 2016

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