Six Tips to Protect Your Organization Against Payments Fraud

25-01-2023 | treasuryXL | Kyriba | LinkedIn |

By Bea Saldivar, Global Payment, ERP and Treasury Advisor
Andrew Deichler, Content Manager, Strategic Marketing

Source

 

The Threat of Impersonation

Payments fraud in 2021 was as bad, if not worse, than the year before, according to the 2022 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey. But even though business email compromise (BEC) scams dropped substantially last year, many organizations are still falling prey to them and incurring significant losses.

At the heart of BEC scams and more recent developments like deepfake fraud is impersonation. Cybercriminals use social engineering tactics to develop profiles on company employees or routine vendors, which they then impersonate to dupe unsuspecting people into making critical mistakes.

To identify an impersonator, it’s helpful to know the telltale signs. More than likely, the payment request will be urgent and will attempt to exploit unique circumstances, such as a specific time when employees are out of the office. Additionally, if your organization is making a lot of payments to contractors for a project, fraudsters might attempt to exploit that.

For example, Philabundance, a Philadelphia food bank lost about $1 million due to a successful BEC scam. The food bank was in the process of building a $12 million community kitchen. The accounts payment (AP) team received an invoice from what they thought was a construction company supplier and made a payment.

The Government of Carrabus County, N.C., also found itself victimized by a vendor BEC scam. The county intended to send money to a contractor it had been working with for the construction of a new high school. Through a series of emails that began in late 2018, the fraudsters made requests to update bank information. The county didn’t do its due diligence and ultimately sent more than $2.5 million to the fraudulent account. While over $776,000 was ultimately recovered, about $1.7 million remains unaccounted for.

Common Fraud Myths

When it comes to payments fraud, many treasury and finance departments still get lulled into thinking they are more protected than they are. Organizations may assume that their procedures are infallible or that any lost funds will be reimbursed, but they quickly get a wake-up call when a successful attack happens. The following myths are common.

“We have an approval process in place.” Even the companies with the strictest policies in place can still have a breakdown in processes. Employee ID/password combinations can be stolen. Regional treasury/shared service centers may require fewer numbers of approvals due to limited in-country staff. And companies with multiple ERP systems might have different approval processes—a scenario that is ripe for fraud.

“My bank will cover me.” There is no obligation for a bank to cover any client for payments fraud, unless the bank itself has been breached, like in a bank employee scheme. The bank may still reimburse corporate clients on a case-by-case basis, but don’t bet on it.

“We have cyber insurance.” Many companies assume that if they purchase cyber insurance, that they are covered in the event of a loss. However, if an organization can’t prove that it took all the right steps to protect itself, it’s very likely that the insurance policy won’t cover the loss. Many plans don’t cover BEC scams, for example, because they involve an employee making an error. There have been several legal cases where insurance firms have refused payment and the courts sided with the insurers. Furthermore, even if cyber insurance does agree to pay out, you might still have to pay a high deductible. For some plans, that cost can be tens of thousands of dollars.

What Can You Do?

Fortunately, there are many ways to protect your payments and your data. The following tips can help.

Embrace the cloud. Organizations should embrace cloud technology to secure payments and systems. IT teams know that payments data and connectivity are more secure when hosted externally. However, not all cloud solutions are alike. Solutions like Kyriba Enterprise Security ensure that treasury, payments, and risk data meet internal security policies and international security requirements while providing 24/7, global support.

Align all departments. Your internal IT department, as well as any key areas that touch payment processing areas such as treasury, accounts payable, shared services, etc. all should be aligned with your security policies. With more and more companies allowing remote work, companies must ensure that all employees are using effective protections such as strong passwords, policy controls, multifactor authentication, IP filtering, single sign-on and data encryption.

Automate payment processes and standardize controls. Automation allows organizations to standardize the payment journey from the initial request to the receipt of the payment. Risk lies in the exceptions to a standardized process, i.e., payments made outside of this typical format that provide fraudsters with opportunities. Again, these are usually one-time, urgent payment requests that can come in for things like mergers and acquisitions, legal settlements, emergency payroll, etc.

Enable real-time screening, alerts, and notifications. The rise of same-day and real-time payment systems has increased the need for real-time responses to fraud attempts. Modern fraud detection software uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to screen payments against historical payment data, pinpointing any anomalies.

Implement fraud prevention workflows. Modern payments fraud modules support fully automated, end-to-end workflows for the resolution of outstanding suspicious payments. Users can determine how each detected payment should be managed, enforcing the separation of duties between the initiator, approver, and reviewer of a detected payment.

Know your vendors. Vendors can be a major liability for your company. In some cases, vendors are granted access to their customer’s network credentials. If that vendor’s security protocols are lacking, they can become an unknowing backdoor into that customer’s systems. This is what happened in the infamous Target breach in 2013. Therefore, it is imperative to have a detailed information security questionnaire that can provide confidence in the governance and risk programs that a vendor has in place. Additionally, with vendor BEC scams proliferating, organizations need to make sure that requests for payment instruction changes are verified directly with the vendor before any transactions are completed.

Safeguarding Your Payments

To mitigate the risk and safeguard your payments, organizations must have a unified solution that connects ERPs, internal and external systems that allows for a secure, end-to-end payment journey. Furthermore, when exceptions occur, protocols can’t be abandoned no matter how urgent the request. Any departments that touch payments need to understand that one slip up can be catastrophic, not only leading to loss of funds, loss of job and reputational risk for the whole organization.

Kyriba is here to help you protect your organization against payments fraud. Learn more here.

3 Ways Liquidity Planning Technology Improves Cash Flow Forecasting Results

03-01-2023 | treasuryXL | Kyriba | LinkedIn |

The treasurer and CFO are today more closely linked to strategic financial objectives for the CEO, ensuring finance teams provide informed guidance on navigating risks and opportunities. This year, a revolutionary practice area and innovative technology is transforming the value of short and long-term cash flow forecasting with more certainty and analytics, empowering finance with a strategic liquidity planning toolset.

By Brian Blihovde
Senior Direct, Product Marketing

Source

The treasurer and CFO are today more closely linked to strategic financial objectives for the CEO, ensuring finance teams provide informed guidance on navigating risks and opportunities. This year, a revolutionary practice area and innovative technology is transforming the value of short and long-term cash flow forecasting with more certainty and analytics, empowering finance with a strategic liquidity planning toolset.

Modern technology solutions are driving value across cash flow forecasting and strategic planning through inclusion of more information from different sources, using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and flexible scenario analysis. These user interfaces, reporting and analytics provide finance with better identification of free cash flow targets, improve EBITDA, and deliver views and analysis of total working capital levels.

Creating Engagement and Clarity in Liquidity Decisions

New technology solutions for liquidity management planning create forecasts and analyses on actuals and planned cash flows to include liquidity instruments from debt to working capital programs. When the combination of cash, planned or committed financial flows (AP, AR, treasury) are used as an integrative planning tool with analytics, decision-making for the CFO is more accurate and based on today’s and tomorrow’s reality. Forecasted transactions originating from purchase requisitions, orders and finally invoices are a much better source of forecasted flows than spreadsheet estimates.

Liquidity planning tools and features created as part of an advanced solution gives finance the ability to see exact components of working capital and cash flow forecasts further out to deliver clarity on whether debt or other sources of liquidity will be too expensive. Identification of the mix of liquidity needed and the availability of planned sources or uses further helps the treasurer plan the intersection of borrowing levels, cash flows and confidence parameters for various scenarios and comparisons. The ability to quickly adjust parameters within a planned liquidity model with established, accurate cash management baselines, makes the job easier and faster for not only treasury and FP&A, but gives the CFO quick strike decisioning on the planned mix of cash and debt to fund operations or strategic decisions.

Achieving Optimal Levels of Liquidity

Global economic volatility continues to impact multinationals across a variety of indices and continued strategies by central banks to slow inflation with interest rate increases translates into significantly increased costs of borrowing. For finance organizations that provide liquidity as a net short-term borrower, it is extremely important treasurers can assess the mix of debt and the most advantageous debt instruments, or working capital programs, available. Treasury teams can directly impact greater overall financial performance by optimizing the cost of liquidity and keeping the right levels of available debt and free cash for investments. Modern liquidity planning solutions create better long-range views of available debt vehicles in cadence with cash and other programs to help prescribe the correct mix of long and short-term borrowing. Identifying where short-term debt has carrying costs over other sources of liquidity while also reducing the number of overall debt instruments (facilities or other lines) reduces costs that affect net earnings. Liquidity tools that incorporate the complete set of debt vehicles coupled with cash and forecasted flows create more ability to lessen reliance on borrowing, reducing and optimizing debt levels – all significant contributors to a stronger EBITDA.

Expanding C-Suite Confidence with Future Analytics

In a recent cash forecasting webinar, 90% of attendees stated that they “lose confidence in their forecasts within three months.” Regardless of a static or rolling forecast scenario, lack of confidence in your firm’s future cash and liquidity levels hinders the ability to fund longer-term, accurate strategic decisions without having more of a backup in the form of higher credit limits available to shore up potential liquidity shortfalls.

The new cash forecasting features and capabilities available in new liquidity planning tools are creating better capabilities to manage longer-term liquidity questions:

As the economy continues to spiral, uncertainty will bring down the values of organizations who are incapable of managing the rate at which volatility impacts EBITDA – a consequence of legacy thinking and systems. CFOs and treasurers who are taking a new tact in leveraging liquidity across the enterprise, are finding success in minimizing impacts to their income statement and have an unobstructed vision for how they can unlock near and long-term growth.

 

Three Reasons to Add Real-time Payments to Your B2B Payments Mix

15-12-2022 | treasuryXL | Kyriba | LinkedIn |

If you are reading this, you are likely already exposed to the hype surrounding real-time payments. Whether you believe in the hype or not, it is inevitable that real-time payments will become ubiquitous globally in the near term.

By Rishi Munjal
VP, Product Strategy, Payments

Source

The last two decades have shown that countries with a strong mandate for real-time payments tend to have robust adoption. For example, emerging economies like India and Brazil that have implemented central bank mandates are outpacing developed nations like the U.S in terms of customer adoption.

In 2017, The Clearing House launched the RTP® network, the U.S.’s first real-time payment infrastructure. However, the adoption of real-time payments in general remains low, currently representing 0.9% transaction volume and 0.5% spend, according to the ACI Prime Time for Real-Time report. Specifically, for B2B payments the adoption is even lower. In this blog, I will explore three simple reasons a corporation should consider real-time payments as part of its payment mix. I will stay away from industry-specific use cases, as these were covered in my previous blog.

1. Rebalance your payment mix towards lower-cost and comparable payment types.

While finance organizations strive to keep the costs of operations low, they often only consider direct costs of payments. This practice creates a distorted comparison that can become a reason for inaction. Thus, it is important to measure both direct costs (e.g., provider fees, card interchange, etc.) and indirect costs (e.g., labor, technology, and support costs).

Using industry benchmarks provides a good starting point. The 2022 AFP Payments Cost Benchmarking Survey indicates that the median cost range for sending and receiving RTP® is comparable to ACH and cheaper than wires. Replacing qualifying volume of wires with RTP® can save tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, on an annual basis. You can realize these cost savings without giving up on irrevocability—a key benefit of wires. Kyriba clients’ success stories show tangible cost and productivity gains from such a strategy. If you are receiving card payments, you can save on interchange, which can be as high as 2.5%. With real-time payments, you get instant access to good funds and avoid chargebacks.

Median cost range to pay and get paid

Source: AFP® Payments Cost Benchmarking Survey, 2022

2. Improve cash visibility and liquidity.

Complementing real-time payments with real-time balance and transaction reporting improves cash visibility. This can be especially important if you make a lot of contingent payments. This includes business activities that are dependent on treasury receiving funds. For example, treasury may want to wait until certain funds have been received before releasing a particular payment. Cash visibility can be beneficial if you are being charged intraday credit or your bank does not permit intraday overdrafts.

Wider businesses may also benefit by triggering business activities based on contingent payments. For example, a supply chain team may want to hold on to a shipment until payment is received, accelerating their logistics process. In scenarios that need cash advance or cash-on-delivery, the buyer can make a real-time payment after inspecting the goods. Both parties win. The buyer reduces operational risk, and the seller reduces inventory and improves their working capital position.

With real-time payments, you are no longer beholden to the cut-off times, weekends and holidays. This means that payments can be made as late as possible. So, companies can meet emergency payments to meet any shortfall, and keep lower precautionary balances.

3. Speed up payment digitization and get the most value from your investments in modernization.

Payment processes are complex, and digitizing payments takes time. There are multiple reasons for this. Payment processes for large organizations often involve many roles; initiating, authorizing, and reconciling payments are typically handled by different parties, thereby drawing things out. Approval workflows can also be very complex, involving globally distributed teams. Technology teams may still have direct ownership of managing payment formats and bank connectivity.

When it comes to payment digitization, the U.S. has been behind other countries. Paper checks still account for 42% of payments disbursed by organizations, according to AFP research. The ubiquity of checks, inertia, and in some cases, tradition, continue to hold U.S. B2B payments back.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, payment digitization became even more essential. And since B2B payments are moving away from paper checks, then it only makes sense to complete those transactions as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Real-time payments leverage modern technology, especially APIs, as they transmit data instantly without the need for file downloads. By complementing real-time payments with automated bank account validation and payment policy screening corporates can set aside suspicious transactions for review while all other payments travel seamlessly. The value of payments modernization, including embracing real-time payments, lies in the endless possibilities it will bring to your future business growth.

Conclusion

Don’t dismiss real-time payments simply because they are new. Kyriba offers the most comprehensive coverage of real-time payments globally and we have taken an API-first approach, allowing CFOs and treasurers to inject real-time data-driven decision making into all financial operations. Whether you are an existing customer seeking to introduce real-time payments into your payment mix or a prospective customer seeking to digitize payments and treasury operations, we are ready to assist you in your journey. Contact us today.

Status of Real-time Payments Globally

Status of Raal-time Payments Globally

Source: Prime Time for Real-Time ACT Worldwide,2022



Footnotes:

  1. Calculated total cost for issuing a paper check on a per Item Basis (in-house or outsourced)
  2. Calculated total cost for receiving a paper check on a per item basis
  3. Initiating and receiving ACH transaction (internal and external costs)
  4. The median transaction cost for initiating and receiving RTP payments on a per item basis
  5. Calculated cost for sending and receiving wire payments on a per-item basis
  6. Total calculated cost for outgoing payments made (including personnel, IT technology, compliance, audit, etc.) via a card (procurement, T&E, and virtual) per transaction
  7. The internal median cost range for receiving credit card transactions (including personnel, IT technology, file connectivity, encryption, audit, PCI DSS compliance, etc.)
  8. The external median cost range for receiving credit card transactions (including issuer/acquirer/processor interchange, assessment, monthly fees, etc.)

Currency Impact Report October 2022

15-11-2022 | treasuryXL | Kyriba | LinkedIn |

According to a recent Kyriba report, the earnings of North American firms will suffer a shocking $34 billion fall in Q2 2022 as a result of headwinds. When compared to previous quarters, headwinds rose by 3583% since Q3 2021 and by 134% from the prior quarter.

Source

Currency Impact Report

The average earnings per share (EPS) impact from currency volatility reported by North American companies increased from $0.03 to $0.10.

The USD is at a 20-year high, and when combined with volatility and interest rate changes, many corporations have seen their currency risk double or triple, as well as their hedging expenses double.

Kyriba’s Currency Impact Report (CIR)

Kyriba’s Currency Impact Report (CIR), a comprehensive quarterly report which details the impacts of foreign exchange (FX) exposures among 1,200 multinational companies based in North America and Europe with at least 15 percent of their revenue coming from overseas, sustained $49.09 billion in total impacts to earnings from currency volatility.

The combined pool of corporations reported $11.82 billion in tailwinds and $37.27 billion in headwinds in the second quarter of 2022.

Highlights:

  • The average earnings per share (EPS) impact from currency volatility reported by North American companies in Q2 2022 increased to $0.10.
  • North American companies reported $34.25 billion in headwinds in Q2 2022, a 134% increase compared to the previous quarter, and 3,583% increase since Q3 2021.
  • European companies reported a 68% percent increase in negative currency impacts, with companies reporting $3.02 billion in FX-related headwinds.


Brush up on your treasury knowledge? Get our eBook: What is Treasury?

27-10-2022 | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

How can you fast brush up on your treasury expertise, Treasurers, CFOs, Cash Managers, Controllers, and other Finance Addicts? Or how would you describe “What Treasury is” to family and friends? Well, there is an easy solution for it. Download our free eBook here: What is Treasury?

This eBook compiled by treasury describers all aspects of the treasury function. This comprehensive book covers relevant topics such as Treasury, Corporate Finance, Cash Management, Risk Management, Working Capital Management.

This eBook was prepared by treasuryXL based on the most useful best practices offered by Treasury professionals throughout the previous years. We compiled the most crucial information for you and wrote clear, concise articles about the key topics in the World of Treasury.

We took a deeper dive into each of the above-mentioned treasury functions and highlight:

  • The purpose of each named Treasury function (What is?)
  • What specialists do
  • Examples of Activities
  • Summary of Frequently Asked Questions and answers
  • Conclusion

How to receive the eBook ‘What is Treasury’ for Free?

We simply giveaway two presents for you! By signing up for our newsletter you will automatically receive the following in your inbox:

  1. On Fridays, our Coffee Break weekly newsletter will land in your inbox. In this weekly newsletter, we will highlight the whole week full of the latest treasury news within our community.
  2. The 41 pages eBook, What is Treasury?

 

Subscribe, Join, Download and Relax.

Welcome to our community and have fun reading!

 

 

Director, Community & Partners at treasuryXL

 

 

Crisis After Crisis, Treasury Steps into the Advisor Role

24-10-2022 | treasuryXL | Kyriba | LinkedIn |

From the 2008 global financial crisis to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, treasury departments have served as strategic advisors regarding capital structure, liquidity and finance operations. Without the guidance and leadership of treasury management in these critical moments, many organizations would not have survived. But it begs the question—what can companies do on an ongoing basis to best position themselves for when the next crisis happens?

By Andrew Deichler
Content Manager, Strategic Marketing

Source

The Company Vaccine

Treasury is often viewed as a bit of a niche area. Even though virtually every company has some semblance of a treasury department and the function has been around for a long time, many departments outside of finance don’t really know what treasury does. That’s essential for understanding the value of the function.

But as Lee-Ann Perkins, CTP, FCT, assistant treasurer for Specialized Bicycle Components, explained, they suddenly have a wake-up call when a crisis occurs. “During COVID and the financial crisis, treasury became that department that had a chance to shine,” she said. “I think, myself and other treasury folks, used that opportunity to really raise the profile of the treasury department.”

In the case of the pandemic specifically, companies relied on treasury to immediately get them into a better liquidity position and procure PPP loans if needed. “Treasury was the department that ran with those projects,” Perkins said. “We have the relationships with the banks, and we understand the importance of covering liquidity and covering covenants.”

Much of what treasury does is forward-looking—constantly future-proofing the organization. And in crises like the pandemic or the current supply chain shortage where cash is paramount, the C-suite looks to treasury to make sure the company can withstand future shocks. “I think, along with the heads of accounting, finance and tax, treasury has become known as our own department that can provide useful answers to the C-suite,” Perkins said. “During COVID, I made this analogy that the treasury department should really be the ‘prevention’ department. We want to be the vaccine that’s out there to prevent you from needing the medicine in the first place.”

But for the vaccine analogy to really be accurate, shouldn’t treasury already have that voice as an advisor? There will always be another crisis around the corner, but if companies are already listening closely to what treasury has to say, they might be able to weather those events much more efficiently than if they were asking for treasury’s advice at the last minute.

Building Strategic Relationships

Perhaps the most important relationship a treasurer can have in an organization is with the CFO. The CFO is typically the one that represents finance (and treasury by extension) in meetings with the CEO and the board. But if a treasurer has a good relationship with the CFO, that CFO may bring the treasurer into those conversations, explained Jim Gilligan, former assistant treasurer for Evergy and currently senior vice president of MFR Securities. “If you have a CFO that recognizes the strategic value of treasury in those executive discussions, then that goes a long way towards becoming a strategic partner,” he said.

The treasurer’s personality and skill set are also important factors in this regard; treasurers shouldn’t just hope the CFO notices them. “If you have a personality that allows you to interject yourself in those sorts of strategic discussions, then that could help to get you a seat at table,” Gilligan added. “If you’re not that type of personality or your CFO does not necessarily recognize that specific skill set, then you’ve got to find a way to get yourself noticed.”

Getting noticed by the CFO and senior leadership isn’t easy. Treasury professionals can establish themselves by adding value in other areas of the business that they may not typically have much interaction with. For example, payment processing is handled through customer service at many companies. Customer service representatives may not be aware of some of the new payment rails and capabilities that have cropped up in recent years, like real-time payments. By getting involved and helping customer service adopt some of these new payment methods, treasury can show a lot of value, Gilligan explained.

Treasury can also better establish itself by developing relationships with the operational teams and inserting itself in the annual budget process, explained John Dourdis, CTP, a corporate treasurer most recently with Conair. “Say, ‘I want to be part of that.’ Because I think that gets a lot of attention with regard to CEOs and COOs,” he said. “That’s important to give yourself that visibility that treasury isn’t always going to have.”

Dourdis noted that, whatever the company’s business might be, treasury is not going be top of mind for operations. But operations and the C-suite might look to treasury sooner if it inserts itself in the budget process. And that can lead to treasury being involved in other areas, like the forecast update process.

Treasury would also be wise to get involved in 12-18-month strategic cash flow forecasting. CFOs have been prioritizing this area in recent years but have mostly relied on FP&A to do so, while leaving treasury to handle short-term forecasts. Treasury departments should reach out to FP&A to see how they can help in the process. With treasury’s overall proven track record of developing accurate forecasts, both FP&A and the CFO may welcome their input.

Treasury departments can also help companies with large debt burdens as interest rates begin to rise. With the era of inexpensive debt coming to a close, organizations could face strict enforcement of loan covenants. Treasury’s knowledge of covenant compliance and forecasting should help immensely in this regard; a bank may agree to amend a loan and add new covenants if financial projections are strong.

Strategy and Technology

Technology can play a key role in helping the treasury department establish itself further. With the latest treasury management software, team members can spend less time doing manual work and more time contributing strategically.

Easton Dickson, vice president and global treasurer for Bain & Co., believes that technology can improve the situation drastically. He has observed treasury teams spending copious amounts of time reacting to daily operations. And with a company as big as Bain that operates in over 40 countries, that means that any day of the week, treasury may have to resolve a mini-crisis in any part of the world, while maintaining its ongoing M&A activities, due diligence, etc.

“Operationally you’re bogged down,” he said. “And so, I think whatever we can do to streamline and automate processes will make it so much easier because it’s freeing up time.”

Those times of crisis typically shine a light on areas where companies need to sharpen their edges. “Maybe you’re underinvesting in technology and relying too heavily on manual processes,” explained Dana Laidhold, treasurer for Nasdaq. “You realize, now we need to move faster, and we’ve got tons and tons of people running manual processes that could be automated.”

But often in those chaotic moments, it can be too late to course correct. A treasury department that suddenly needs to provide liquidity positions to senior leadership on a weekly or even daily basis is going to be sufficiently challenged if they are relying solely on Excel. And at that point, there’s also no bandwidth to begin a treasury management system implementation project.

“I hope finance leaders have learned, having gone through the Great Recession and the pandemic, that it’s really important to think ahead,” Laidhold said. “It’s so much harder to backpedal than it is to build smartly along the way.”

It’s therefore incumbent on the treasury team to communicate to senior leadership what insights it needs to deliver and the right technology that can make that information more accessible and accurate. Treasury should vocalize the problems that it may need to solve in the future and whether it will need greater capabilities to do so.

Laidhold hypothesized that there might be a question that doesn’t need to be answered currently, but somewhere down the line it could become important. And there’s a type of analysis that treasury would need to do, but it doesn’t have the data or technology to do it yet. “So how do we plan today to be in the position to be able to do that? I think it’s myopic to assume that whatever situation you’re in now you’re going to be in forever,” she said.

Taking Action

The treasury department needs to be proactive if it wants to be seen as a strategic partner outside of times of crisis. That means adding value wherever possible, establishing strong relationships with senior leadership and other departments, and making the business case for technology that will improve its efficiency. Crises are happening more rapidly. Companies will be in much better shape for the next one if treasury is already at the table, providing necessary insights.

Learn More:

  1. AFP Treasury in Practice Guide: Treasury Opportunities in Strategic Cash Forecasting
  2. eBook: Perfecting the Cash Forecast


Eurofinance remains THE event for corporate treasurers | By Pieter de Kiewit

12-10-2022  treasuryXL | Pieter de Kiewit | Treasurer Search  LinkedIn

 

Throughout covid times the organizers of Eurofinance remained active and were able to create interesting web-based events. Still, general opinion in last weeks’ event in Vienna was that there is nothing like the live thing. The programme was packed with interesting content, the event floor with interesting companies and visitors.

By Pieter de Kiewit

Communication leading up to the event and the venue, the Wien Messe, radiated experience in events of this size. The numbers of representatives and visitors were impressive. Luckily, the venue is big enough to not nerve the visitors who have to get used to large crowds again.

The programme was spread out over the very large room for plenary meetings, five large rooms for parallel session with presentations & panel discussions and “open rooms” on the trade floor. Key note speakers like Guy Verhofstadt and Goran Carstedt were able to enthuse with stories beyond the scope of treasury, others covered topics about treasury technology, both practical & visionary and treasury organization, for example about my personal favourite, the treasury labour market.

For many, the trade floor was easily as interesting as the content. Visitors gained market information, for example preparing for a TMS selection and implementation. Also reuniting with old treasury friends and getting to know new ones, was relatively easy during well catered breaks. Some of the visitors created new legends during the Thursday night afterparty that is not covered by this looking-back-blog.

As treasuryXL ambassador I visited the various partners of the platform present and received positive feedback on the event. So Cobase, Kyriba, TIS, CashForce, Nomentia, Refinitiv and CashAnalytics, we hope to see you again in Barcelona again and welcome a number of new ones.

 

Hasta luego,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

Pieter de Kiewit

 

 

5 Steps to Automate (and Optimize) Your FX Risk Management Program

03-10-2022 | treasuryXL | Kyriba | LinkedIn |

Companies of all sizes and industries with FX exposures are being impacted by global trade complexities. New dynamics are putting CFOs and treasurers’ FX strategies and their ability to explain results to the test. Automating an FX management program provides numerous advantages. Diminishing the need for manual involvement frees corporate risk, treasury, finance, and accounting teams from sourcing information manually from multiple systems, compiling and uploading it into spreadsheets and finally attempting to put all of this into a management report that is timely.

By Brian Blihovde
Senior Director, Product Marketing

Source

Companies of all sizes and industries with foreign currency exposures are being impacted by a number of global trade complexities. For many, supply chain disruptions, interest rate, and price index increases are taking a toll on profitability. For many others, the impact from increased foreign currency headwinds is becoming the glaring reality unveiling weaknesses in FX risk management programs. CFOs are having a more challenging time predicting income statement impacts in both directions: favorable and adverse; neither direction is good, particularly for publicly traded enterprises. New dynamics are putting CFOs and treasurers’ FX strategies and the ability to explain results, to the test. Using leading practices supported by leading solutions helps CFOs and finance leaders overcome these challenges of reliance upon manual, spreadsheet-based workflows.

Whether your organization is starting, advancing, or reassessing your individual FX risk programs, there are levels of benefits, value and success metrics tied to how exposed and how uncertain your levels of fx risk management are. For instance, are you able to identify exposures, aggregate and categorize them? Are those balances generated from automated journal entries or is there a manual component? Across your systems, how well are market exchange rates used and applied across the ERP, GL, procurement, billing, or FP&A modules? How often? Finally, and probably one of the most overlooked attributes, how long does it take and the number of staff who participate in attempting to gain access to even a partial picture of your FX risk? How efficient is the draw of FX data? Ultimately much effort is put into converting that data into information and what do the lags in the timeliness of the information you, as CFO are using to make decisions? The answer lies in a company’s ability to invest in technology and process transformation that can stem from that investment.

Automating the FX Management Process

Diminishing the need for manual involvement or onerous workarounds, frees corporate risk, treasury, finance and accounting teams from sourcing information manually from multiple systems, compiling and uploading into spreadsheets and finally attempting to put all of this into a management report that is timely. The giving them more time to analyze information, track exposure trends and proactively seek out other opportunities to eliminate risk. Ultimately, automation transforms how treasury professionals are perceived within an organization, allowing them to be seen as a key resource in strategic planning. The implementation of an FX management program provides numerous advantages, but the three high-level areas for the entire finance organization and business divisions exist:

  1. A complete picture – Gain a clear understanding of how currency is impacting the entire organization and create reports to analyze exposures in real time
  2. Maximum control of the business – Gain confidence in data quality and exposure accuracy to be able to detect underlying details that are not obvious in manual spreadsheet environments
  3. Informed business decisions – Incorporate historical business cycles, trends and the business insights gained from having detailed data to make better hedging decisions and drive better FX management results
  4. Growth and Scalability / Integrating M&A – business expansion, in the form of acquiring new business units and attempting to run consolidations on them is hard enough. Automation through leading technology can help take advantage of acquisitions and eliminate delays in synchronization from outlier processes or legacy mismatches in risk policy

FX Risk Management Automation: Implications for your Organization

The use of technology does not merely indicate that the application of technology will result in system integration and process automation. Yes, this is one of the starting blocks of taking good processes and creating time-saving opportunities to generate better decision-making with cost-savings optimization. One focus of FX Hedge Management optimization will involve operational cost savings, but another focus should be on taking more of a role in assessing overall strategic success of your hedging through currency pair correlated VaR analyses and scenario analyses. Having more analytical power from technology automation can speed access to better information on your overall cost of hedging foreign currency risk.

Evaluating your FX Risk Program Operations

When evaluating your FX management programs, organizations should consider which of the following aspects of their FX workflow requires better efficiency and effectiveness:

  • Data collection automation can eliminate manual time spent on the collection of exposure data and enable teams make better decisions based on the most accurate information
  • Calculation and analysis of exposures automatically determines the impacts of rate changes, identify impacts that surpass materiality thresholds, and pinpoint accounting or posting issues
  • Hedging and trade preparation processes are pre-proposed from exposure information to ensure corporate decision strategy or policy application and trades are automatically prepared for submission following hedge approval
  • Compliance automation enables the standardization of compliance practices and ensures that documentation contains historical audit trails for reporting purposes
  • End-to-end workflow automation eliminates manual processes and human error for an improvement in both efficiency and security

Expanding Analytical Capabilities

Technology solutions should undergo assessment for various capabilities that are part of leading analytical aspects of the FX Risk program. For instance, portfolio VaR analyses can help companies create portfolio views or dive into targeted gross/net exposures while considering the cost of a hedge across specific currency pairs, portfolios. Automation for running simulations helps determine top hedging scenarios that your risk managers can analyze to determine what currency pairs to hedge and what the resulting net exposure and portfolio value at risk will be. Access to automated dashboards and FX business intelligence gives your treasury and finance leaders the ability to Identify strategies to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of your exposure management and hedging programs across specific parameters and filters. If you cannot choose various exposures, legal entity slices, or currency selections, you are not optimally running an automated or efficient FX program. Finally, FX trade desk workflow automation and confirmation capabilities for the back-office is often under-estimated as entering and executing FX trades is part of operational or physical workflows attributed to the program. However, the implications to generating entries, integration to trading or confirmation platforms makes this an integral part of FX Risk processes.

5 Steps to Create an FX Automation Roadmap

The goal is the create a plan and roadmap to optimize and transform the way your finance organization collects, analyzes, aggregates, and mitigates risk from foreign currency exposures. One suggested approach is to work with FX Advisors to help you understand where you are and how to get there. As always, having a plan, success measures tied back to value drivers helps programs succeed.

FX Improvement Steps Objectives, Guidance
1.
Identify Systems, Sources of Exposures
Often, there are a wide array and extensive network of foreign currency denominated transactions; and extremely unlikely to be creating offsets that could qualify as natural hedges. The inventory of systems in an extensive matrix is a very good starting point.
2.
Assess Integrity of your FX data, GL accounts, & source postings
Once the system landscape is understood, how well are the controls on your ERPs, ancillary systems and manual transactions coming from sub-ledgers? Are your financial statements subject to shifts from erroneous transactional impacts?
3.
Select and deploy technology targeting automation
Consolidating technology platforms into one risk management platform, allows finance organizations to save significant, material cost amounts and increase profitability from merely being accurate in their hedging activities. Fully automating your FX management program with technology, which entails modernizing data collection, exposure consolidation, calculation and analysis, and hedging recommendations, ensures an organization is operating in step with current FX best practices.
4.
Target a full, end to end solution
Your technology solution should provide for:
  • direct ERP data extraction and aggregation
  • exposure and risk analysis generation
  • automated risk transfer
  • VaR correlation analytics and scenario analyses
  • trade execution connectivity to banking portals and trading platforms using state-of-the-art, highly secure SaaS solutions
5.
Customizable, Flexible Business Intelligence
Reporting and dashboards create relevant and valued analytics at your fingertips with real-time speed and automation.

Kyriba’s FX Advisory Services professionals give you leading practice advice and guidance in identifying, assessing, measuring, and implementing positive FX Risk Management results across your people, processes and systems. Learn how to improve and transform your FX Risk Management profile into more predictable and effective hedging results

Learn more about Kyriba’s leading FX Risk Management solution and our FX Advisory Team today. Reach out to our team of FX Risk Management professionals at: [email protected]



LIVE SESSION | My Treasury Career Development & How the Register Treasurer education contributed

29-09-2022  treasuryXL | Treasurer SearchLinkedIn

 

Are you thinking about how you can shape your treasury career and in need for inspiration? There are plenty of education opportunities, but in what education will you invest?

 

 

You are invited to join our next Live Session. Registration is Now Open for:

𝐌𝐲 𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐲 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐫 𝐝𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐩𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 & 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐑𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐓𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐫 𝐄𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐮𝐭𝐞𝐝

There is no standard career path for treasurers but one can learn from the choices and developments of the successful ones.


In this webinar two graduated Register Treasurers will share their stories:

  • 🌟 Jurgen Wessel RT is interim Head of Treasury of SHV and has experience in a variety of international companies at HQ and treasury hub level.
  • 🌟 Frank van der Hoeven RT van der Hoeven used to be a banker, moved to the corporate side and currently is Treasury Manager at IMCD, well-known for many successful acquisition and integration processes.

They will tell you about how they moved between various stations and will pay special attention to the added value of their post academic degree: The Treasury Management and Corporate Finance programme (RT Programme) at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam).

 

 

Everyone is welcome to this webinar. This webinar is extra relevant for those who consider joining the RT programme.

🌟Moderator: Pieter de Kiewit of Treasurer Search

🌟Duration: 45 minutes

 


We can’t wait to welcome you next week!

Best regards,

 

 

Kendra Keydeniers

Director, Community & Partners

 

 

 

 

Where did the treasury applicants go? | By Pieter de Kiewit

19-09-2022  treasuryXL | Pieter de Kiewit | Treasurer Search  LinkedIn

As treasury recruiters, we should know enough about corporate treasury to do intakes and screen candidates. Also, we should know the latest about what’s happening in the field of recruitment and so we read the publications of Geert-Jan Waasdorp of The Intelligence Group. I would like to share his latest, very interesting article and build the treasury connection.

By Pieter de Kiewit

Labour market pressures are not equally distributed among all employers.

I left a link if you want to read the full article but this is roughly what he says. There is a huge growth in people working since before covid. In parallel, there is a huge decline in active applicants. This pressure in the labour market is not evenly distributed among all employers. The ones that can find new employees can do so because of a strong employer brand and increased investments in own or external recruitment. Also, they are willing to decide quick and offer a better package.

So what does this mean if we project these findings on the corporate treasury labour market? My personal observation is that treasury staff is, on average, less driven by the company brand and more by the job content than candidates from other job types. We learned this working for clients like Tesla and Nike. Employer branding specifically towards treasurers would also be hard, I cannot envision a corporate recruiter promoting his manufacturing company at Eurofinance.

How to adapt?

The obvious low-hanging fruit is that the hiring manager, already at the start of the process, has to organise and choose a mindset in the following: being able to decide quickly, from fewer candidates than before, and offering more than the old standard. Even highly skilled recruiters sometimes underestimate these aspects over time.

The judgement if the internal recruitment team is equipped to tackle the search or whether an external one should do the job – we, Treasurer Search – I will not elaborate on here. What I do want to mention is another obvious source that can be opened. For some of us that are considered a paradigm shift: bringing treasury talent in from abroad, from within the EU or even sponsoring a work permit. I am aware that some of us consider this topic highly political. What I can tell, both from our own organisation, as well as from successful placements with our clients, that this can be a very successful solution. In the Dutch labour market already the majority of candidates placed by us is non-Dutch. This is not a plea to open the borders and not be critical. Regretfully we have examples where this solution did not lead to success as coming to The Netherlands can be hard for the new employee. But also locally found candidates can fail in their new job.

My conclusion is that indeed, the world is different, as is the labour market. And given current demographic developments I do not expect a shift back. Luckily there are solutions but we will have to accept the consequences and cannot lean back. Those that do will shrink and go extinct.

Good luck in your search,

Pieter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

Pieter de Kiewit