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Tag >> biztech
With money starting to once again flow back into the technology space, investors are keen to get in on the ground level of new technology–and find that next Facebook or Google.
They are, of course, investing with caution. However, one of the key mechanisms that has long helped fuel such development has been the incubator model–where entrepreneurs can enter an intensive incubator program, get access to potential funding, and valuable education and advice to help them move along a start-up idea.
Submitted by Caleb Newquist, republished from Going Concern, Accounting News for Accountants and CFOs.
Without net neutrality there would be no Facebook, no YouTube, no internet
giants that started in the dorm room of a couple of college kids.
Okay I take that back. Some of the ingenious and daring internet ideas that have changed the world as we know it would still exist, and possibly in the form that we now know. But quite possibly not.
It is time to update and standardize cash reporting formats, according to a survey by the Association for Financial Professionals.
It found that a vast majority of companies want to see the Banking Administration Institute (BAI) cash reporting format—which is used for everything from bank account information reporting to controlled disbursements to lockbox or receivables information reporting--standardized across banks. The format is used for current-day or previous-day information reporting from banks.
The recent financial crisis has taught companies innumerable lessons, and one of the biggest is their reliance on banking partners—not just for funding but also for providing critical data needed to understand a company’s own liquidity and risk picture. As such, companies will become ever-more selective about their banking partners, and will expect more from those partners.
Even though sources of funding are unchanged, banks will be asked to be more proactive and entrepreneurial in their approach to service large corporate clients, according to a report from consultancy Celent.
With Intel’s announcement this week of record quarterly profits—the highest in its history—companies are once again growing their IT budgets and investing in new or updated technology. But given still-tight lending markets and the desire to make best use of liquidity, that spend will be highly targeted on projects with quick return-on-investment.
Intel reported revenues of $10.8 billion this quarter, garnering gross margins of 67 percent and $0.51 earnings per share. According to the company, much of their growth was driven by corporate investment in new hardware as companies look to replace outdated servers, PCs and the like.
Companies are still looking to improve automation in financial processes, but their main goals are changing, according to a benchmarking survey conducted by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP). The AFP survey found that companies are not seeing the reduction in man-hours that was once touted as a key benefit of automation. However, other objectives are being achieved.
Survey respondents said that automating functions often gave little or no reduction in hours spent by employees in managing that process. In fact, many functions took the same number of hours–or full-time equivalents (FTEs)–as manual management. For example, financial risk management, and managing debt and investments all required an equal amount of FTEs whether the process was manual or automated.
The National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) has okayed new rules covering mobile payment transactions to be cleared through the ACH network. This could make the mobile payment option more readily available, more secure, and more amenable to US companies—which would be particularly useful for those finance executives that travel extensively and spend time in areas without fixed or wireless Internet access.
NACHA is one of a number of global payments industry governing bodies to develop rules and infrastructure for clearing and settling mobile payments. The European Payments Council is also at work on a set of guidelines to handle m-payments under the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA)—the EU’s framework for standardizing regional domestic and cross-border transactions.
US corporate and financial treasury system supplier Wall Street Systems announced earlier this month that it has snapped up rival City Financials--further consolidating the treasury management system (TMS) marketplace and reducing the options for companies looking at sending out an RFP for treasury technology.
The buy-and-integrate approach has long been a hallmark of the TMS space. In fact, few of the biggest-name providers from 15 years ago are still around – aside from Wall Street Systems, SunGard, and IT2. A number of upstarts have since entered the market—such as Kyriba—and some have entered and been bought out—like FXPress.
With board of directors exercising increased oversight of treasury operations and cash management in the wake of the financial crisis, companies have been looking for more detailed, and regular, information from their banks. But the crisis has made it more difficult for banks to provide it. Even before banks ran into difficulties, some companies found timely data from their partners hard to come by as a result of outdated bank systems. Acquisitions during the last decade often resulted in disparate systems cobbled together piecemeal. And deals spurred by the crisis have led to more of the same.
Many US banks are now looking to new technology to bring together information from across their organizations to meet clients’ needs. However, most have little budget for the purpose and are counting on outside vendors to provide technology that supports their treasury business. Many are going so far as to have vendors provide their entire platform. That is reflected in the fact that most of the top 60 US cash management banks use on average anywhere from three to eight technology vendors, according to a recent survey by consultancy Aite Group. The largest banks have many more than that.