Cash management, visibility and forecasting are the greatest challenges facing treasurers in Asia Pacific according to a new report.

1,350 corporate treasurers told Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) that many companies are operating with a disparate number of bank accounts and currencies, managing numerous bank relationships, and therefore struggling to streamline their financial and accounting information.

A more integrated financial strategy should be the focus going forward, those surveyed said, with 86% reporting difficulties with managing multiple bank relationships and just 38% using automated cash pooling.

Other concerns include Basel III-related liquidity problems, with 61% confessing to lacking awareness of the potential implications, despite the fact that the rules have been known for some years. Since the last survey in 2013, usage of renminbi has risen from 16% settling cross-border trade to 35%.

Peter Wong, the chairman of the International Association of CFOs and Corporate Treasurers (IACCT) in Asia tells GTR that the findings are accurate and that liquidity management continues to provide the main challenge to successful treasury.

“On liquidity, it is definitely a challenge in the Mainland as money supply growth is slowing, along with the transition of the shadow banking and interest rate deregulation,” he says. “Basel III constrains banks in the supply of credit through the 3% leverage ratio. It significantly raises the capital requirement and thus the cost of lending. The liquidity cover ratio discourages banks taking under one month deposit. Hedging costs go up with CVA and compliance cost related to OTC derivative rules.”

Other issues raised by the report, jointly-authored with SunGard, a software company, are technology related. In the past couple of years, there’s been a huge increase in the use of mobile and tablet devices, from 14% in 2013 to 41% in 2015.

Furthermore, almost half of Asia’s treasurers are now operating treasury-specific software, with 52% hoping to leverage technology better to streamline treasury functions.

“By analysing the data in the 2015 Asia Pacific Treasury Management Barometer Survey and through ongoing client interactions, it is clear that corporations in the Asia Pacific region are increasingly focused on integrated treasury management platforms and solutions, which deliver real-time analytics, multi-bank visibility, cash flow forecasting and transaction management across countries, currencies and time zones,” says Ivo Distelbrink, head of global transaction services, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Distelbrink explains that the role and responsibilities of the Asia Pacific treasurer are “changing meaningfully”, and that it is imperative to keep ahead of the curve, technologically, in order to stay competitive.