As the Treasury prepares to purchase toxic assets from ailing institutions, the office of the chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued some timely “clarifications on fair value accounting” on September 30. The agency gave a green light to “management’s internal assumptions” as a measure of fair value: “When an active market for a security does not exist, the use of management estimates that incorporate current market participant expectations of future cash flows, and include appropriate risk premiums, is appropriate.” In another accommodative clarification, the SEC noted that the “results of disorderly transactions are not determinative when measuring fair value.” So the fog obscuring these tainted assets remains.
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The increasing adoption of virtual card payments by accounts payable departments has created an unexpected complication for suppliers: more friction in the processing, posting and reconciliation of payments and receivables. The root of the problem is that most suppliers rely on a manual approach to processing e-mailed virtual card payments. Suppliers are forced to balance their organization’s need for operational efficiency and control with rising customer demand to pay with a virtual card. But a new breed of technology enables suppliers to process virtual card payments straight-through, addressing the needs of buyers and suppliers. This paper details the growth of electronic business-to-business (B2B) payments, shows how manual approaches to processing virtual card payments cause friction in accounts receivables, describes a way to process virtual card payments straight-through, and highlights the benefits of frictionless payments.