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Apr 01
2011

Caterpillar’s supply chain finance program opens door for others

Posted by dbedell in supply chain financeCash

dbedell

Industrial equipment maker Caterpillar is taking advantage of the Export-Import Bank of the United States’ (Ex-Im Bank’s) new Supply Chain Finance Guarantee to provide receivables financing to its suppliers. The company’s suppliers will have access to as much as $450 million – provided by Caterpillar's bank partner JPMorgan Chase – which is back by a 90 percent guarantee from Ex-Im Bank.

The program from Ex-Im Bank is intended to create greater access to financing for small and medium-sized businesses in the US by supporting SCF programs for export-related receivables. JPMorgan is the first bank to join the program, which will not only help suppliers manage liquidity, but as a consequence will also help strengthen Caterpillar’s supply chain by ensuring that its suppliers have ready access to working capital.

Mar 25
2011

Cracking down on travel (T&E) spend

Posted by dbedell in Technology

dbedell

One of the many areas that companies have focused on for cost-cutting initiatives is spend on travel and entertainment (T&E). Manual T&E management is one of the largest drivers of inefficiency as it reduces visibility, accuracy and timeliness of spend information, according to a survey by Paystream Advisors.

Moving away from manual processes and onto an automated spend management system can help not just large firms with complex T&E spend, but also medium and small firms looking to gain greater clarity into where their costs are in terms of corporate travel and entertainment. Such a system can illuminate how effective travel policies are and where they can be enhanced, travel policy enforcement, and ultimately it can reduce time and money spent on travel spending.

Mar 14
2011

Companies will foot the bill for personal income tax reform

Posted by dbedell in Taxcompliance

dbedell

Companies can expect few incentives to come out of tax reform efforts this year, according to corporate tax specialists, as the Obama administration and legislators focus on how to pay for personal income tax reforms and benefits.

Those companies that held any hopes that the coming year would bring some tax relief will be disappointed, according to corporate tax advisers.

Mar 01
2011

The revenue goldmine of customer data

Posted by dbedell in Technology

dbedell

A cover story on data privacy appearing in the latest issue of Wired magazine has a two-fold message for corporate executives-both within the finance function and outside the finance department.

Not only does it remind us that it is critical to always keep an eye on corporate and customer data security, but it also demonstrates the power of readily-available online information and how it can be harnessed to more effectively market products to customers and consequently build revenue.

Feb 28
2011

Longer tenured CFOs make fewer accounting transition errors

Posted by dbedell in Untagged 

dbedell

Age and experience may indeed breed wisdom, at least as far as CFOs and accounting go.

This is one of the findings of a study done in Australia looking at how well companies manage the shift from national accounting rules to adopting International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Feb 24
2011

Wanted: Greater STP, security in foreign payments

Posted by dbedell in RiskCash

dbedell

Controlling cross-border payments risk is ever more important, as companies deal with volatile FX markets in managing their global ventures. As they reach out to banking partners for help, businesses are demanding better solutions, greater STP, and a focus on security and regulatory compliance.

Companies with foreign interests are increasingly turning to their banking partners to help with risk management in international payments. Plus, they are demanding more from those banks that they choose to partner with on cross-border payments.

Feb 02
2011

Lessons learned from failed foreign bids

Posted by dbedell in mergers and acquisitionsDeals

dbedell

As the US outlook brightens and US companies look to spend some of their hoarded cash on acquisitions abroad, they have many things to ponder and prepare for, not least how takeover rules differ in other jurisdictions.

This came to the fore again recently when two UK takeover targets managed to give their respective suitors—one from the US and one from France—the cold shoulder.

Feb 01
2011

Chapter 11 legal fees skyrocket, but who is responsible?

Posted by dbedell in Risklegal feescomplianceChapter 11

dbedell

The Chapter 11 proceedings of bond insurer FGIC has raised an age-old specter of US bankruptcy events—namely the high legal fees inevitably charged by lawyers involved in such cases and who is responsible for monitoring those fees.

The insurer listed $11.5 million in assets and $391.5 million in debt in its Chapter 11 filings last fall. Since then, the company has been moving forward through the Chapter 11 process.

Jan 31
2011

Netting proposal brings accounting convergence closer

Posted by dbedell in complianceAccounting

dbedell

As a further step along the way towards accounting convergence, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) have a proposal out for comment on netting financial assets and financial liabilities on the balance sheet—also known as offsetting.

When two companies that have a financial relationship (ie owe each other money) list on their balance sheet their rights and obligations to each other in net terms—rather than gross—this is offsetting. This will primarily affect financial firms or companies with finance arms that engage in complex hedging or have big derivatives portfolios.

Jan 28
2011

Procurement gets easier with reporting change

Posted by dbedell in In compliance

dbedell

Procurement cards could become a more valuable tool in the corporate toolbox thanks to surprise changes under IRS Form 1099 MISC instructions for 2011.

The value of procurement card programs have long been a matter of debate. They are often only accepted for smaller purchases and may not be accepted at all, thanks to the heavy fees faced by card network users. In addition, the reporting requirements associated with P-Cards could be quite onerous.

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