In business, not everything is in black and white. While there is technology to heighten transparency of business processes like cash flow, FX risk and other financial aspects of the job, the accuracy, accessibility and actual use of those tools is far from a sure thing.
In this week's Data Digest, we look at the latest statistics on the parts of the enterprise that could sneak up on corporate money managers. From hidden fees in B2B payments to unforeseen risks from political and regulatory changes, corporate treasurers, CFOs and other financial executives may not be seeing the whole picture.
100 million LinkedIn accounts may have been compromised, a statement from the popular professional networking social site said last week. So, while cyberthieves now have major access to account information for these professionals, LinkedIn apparently didn't see this coming, highlighting yet again the need for robust data and cybersecurity solutions within an enterprise.
$300,000 in hidden fees can hit travel companies when paying suppliers, according to analysis from eNett. The figure represents hidden costs of a travel firm with about $10 million in annual spend, researchers noted, and demonstrates the up to 3 percent in hidden costs B2B payments can pose for these payers. Researchers explained that these hidden fees are more likely to occur in cross-border transactions as B2B travel companies fail to account for — or simply don't have visibility into — supplier default, FX costs and unexpected surcharges on payments.
100% cash visibility is unattainable for corporate treasurers, found a new report by Kyriba. The treasury management firm's annual survey found not a single financial professional surveyed believed they had complete visibility into corporate cash positions. Less than 60 percent stated they had visibility of up to 80 percent of their corporate cash. It doesn't mean treasurers are flying blind, but with more responsibilities piling up on these executives, increasing insight into cash positions will likely only become more difficult, researchers said. Plus, Kyriba found, while the list of responsibilities grows, treasurers are not prioritizing risk and fraud management, suggesting these execs are also operating with a lack of transparency into their exposure to cybercrime.
25% of corporate treasurers have prepared for a Brexit by hedging against risk, Greenwich Associates reported last week. A survey of corporate treasurers across Western Europe found that, while about half believe a U.K. exit from the European Union could actually happen — and that the majority of them believe it would lead to disorder and potential volatility — these executives are not implementing safeguards to protect against any negative consequences of a Brexit, researchers found.
25% of corporate treasurers replied "none of the above" when naming their presidential pick, analysts at Financial Times found last week. The publication spoke with 16 lobbying groups representing nearly 100,000 major U.S. corporations to gauge their political preferences. While Donald Trump was not named as their top pick, the Republican candidate was not considered the worst option for these professionals, either. Democrat Hillary Clinton was chosen, by a nearly two-to-one ratio, over Trump as treasurers' top pick for the presidency, while her top Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, was cited as the worst possible option. But with so many treasurers admitting they are undecided about their choice, it is far from certain how the elections will ultimately shape up and how its outcome will impact corporate America.
20% of Eastern European businesses are concerned about trade risk, said Atradius in its Eastern European Payment Practices Barometer report, published last week. The reason? Three major markets in the region — Czech Republic, Turkey and Poland — each exceeded the regional average of 20 percent for the portion of B2B invoices that are more than 90 days past due. Researchers said exposure to trade credit risk in this region has increased by 19 percent compared to the year prior. With the value and volume of invoices — both domestic and international — on the rise across Eastern Europe, analysts highlighted the crucial need of risk mitigation and forecasting solutions for corporations. Greater visibility of risk exposure could help lessen the impact of late invoice payments.