Visa helps firms improve their cash flow visibility with new offerings

Nurdianah Md Nur

With the belief that business grows when money flows, Visa has partnered four tech companies to offer solutions that enable organisations to have better visibility of their cash obligations.

Visa's 2014 Cash Flow Visibility Index study found that an alarming 92 percent of the leading corporations in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region do not have real-time cash visibility. It was also revealed that half of them do not have 30-day visibility of their cash obligations and 81 percent of them do not have a 60-day visibility.

The lack of cash flow visibility might be due to the low adoption of electronic collection and payable platforms. According to Visa, only 50 percent of the leading companies in APAC were managing their revenues electronically. APAC respondents also claimed that 34 percent of their cash flow operations were tracked manually outside an enterprise system, exposing reports to potential human errors. They also spent about 253 man hours per week manually entering data and preparing cash assessment and analysis reports due to the lack of appropriate tools and systems.

"Real-time visibility and predictability is a must-have for all CFOs and treasurers so that they can make accurate decisions on reinvestments or expansion of their businesses, said Olivia Leong, Visa's head of commercial and prepaid payment solutions for Asia Pacific, in a press release dated 19 January 2015. "However, finance professionals hesitate to source for new solutions [to obtain such data] due to perceived time and resource investment that they believe is required."

To overcome that perception, Visa partnered cloudBuy, Kofax, Invapay and Spendvision to help organisations better manage their financial processes, and address the challenges of visibility and predictability.

Procure-to-pay automation
With cloudBuy, businesses will be able to process procurement data in real-time and receive intelligence to assist supplier management, contract negotiations and renegotiations, and forecasting.  By working with Visa, cloudBuy also ensures that enterprises do not lapse on payment schedules with their suppliers, and that suppliers have better cash flow with shorter payment periods.

Since the solution is on cloud and has been modeled after consumer online shopping sites, cloudBuy can be easily implemented and requires minimal training for users, said Visa.

Automating invoice management  
Kofax enables companies to automate their accounts payable and receivable management processes by integrating its solutions to Visa's business to business (B2B) transaction information. Kofax's solutions include TotalAgility, Kapow, and Altosoft Insight.

With Kofax's solutions, firms will be able to automatically capture details - such as dates, products and service description and amounts -- to enable a three-way match of purchase orders, invoices and payment instructions. The solutions will also provide greater visibility into expenditures, collections and cash flow management by analysing accurate and timely data. The data churned out will also be delivered in flexible formats, allowing it to be seamlessly integrated into a company's enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

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