Cash Management review – Fitting like a glove

| 18-01-2021 | Bas Meijer |

Can you remember when your current Cash Management structure has been set up? Probably at a point in time when there was a refinance, additional funding need or when a new treasurer came on board. The world is changing, your clients and their behavior are changing, therefore probably your Cash Management environment needs changing.

Unfortunately these changes are not automatically translated and implemented into your Cash Management setup. And as not every bank is the same, some banks cannot provide the Cash Management setup your corporate needs.

Reflecting the Cash Management needs every 3-5 years is a good habit. Solutions are evolving, banks are changing their focus & pricing can be renegotiated. But the most important goal is that the Cash Management setup should fit your corporate like a glove, not too big, an certainly not too small.

TreasuryXL has multiple experienced Treasures with up-to-date knowledge and experience, who can help your organisation to achieve these  goals. Maybe your corporate is ready to take the next step, or your Cash Management infra structure is outdated. Is there need for automation, independent banking portal, TMS or market data provider?

From experience this review brings a contribution to the bottom line. But not only in money, also in speed and accuracy. With new tooling your current choices can be reviewed in time, which helps you to make the next steps down the road. The Treasury Department is never static, and should always adapt to the changing environment. Make sure that your Treasury function, how big or small, fits like a glove to the needs of the corporate!

 

Bas Meijer

Treasury Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Treasury: Can it Tackle the Cash Forecasting Challenge?

05-01-2021 | Cashforce | treasuryXL |

Several decades ago, Excel was invented to process/model inputs and generate outputs. Today, it is still by far the most used technology to generate a cash flow forecast. However, as we strive to achieve better forecasting accuracy rates, our desire for automation and the seamless processing of FX hedges, liquidity borrowings and deposits have underlined the need for more effective modelling and increasingly powerful data processing.

The good news is that we’re at the forefront of that digital treasury revolution, or so-called ‘Treasury 4.0’. This means:

  • Leaving the manual-driven Excel jungle behind us and adopting an automated, data-driven forecasting process
  • Automating decision-making based on logic (rules that are within corporate policies), which will drive our liquidity and FX hedge usage

THE CASH FLOW FORECASTING CHALLENGE

Last year, multiple treasury surveys from sources including the Association for Financial Professionalsthe UK Association of Corporate TreasurersPwC and Citi, concluded that cash flow forecasting remains the primary challenge for treasurers today.

What are the headaches behind the process? Why is it so difficult for a corporate treasurer to generate an accurate cash flow forecast? And do we currently have the opportunity to solve this challenge?

The cash flow forecasting challenge consists of multiple underlying process complexities. The aim is to create an accurate cash flow forecast that helps us to make optimal FX and liquidity decisions.

What is accurate? You could write a book about cash forecast accuracy, since accuracy levels are totally different when comparing forecasts between different industries, time horizons, cash flow categories etc. When we forecast with a time horizon of five years, the accuracy levels are, of course, nowhere near as precise as when we forecast something just a few days in advance – and more reliable data is available. Depending on the goal, the treasurer will need a specific form of accuracy.

In addition, cash flow forecast data, together with the forecast assumptions/used models, need to come together in a well-coordinated process. Other challenges lie behind this process, including a disconnect between different data sources/systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and treasury management systems.

Furthermore, there are myriad data-related issues to contend with including: concerns regarding data quality inside these multiple systems; the sheer volume of data to be processed; the need for granular and/or high-level data; and whether reliable external data can be found to be used to further improve the model.

Finally, aligning and coordinating forecasting assumptions between the different company departments is a time-consuming exercise. Imagine pulling all these assumptions from both HQ and local levels into an Excel model. No easy task.

 

FIG 1: THE CASH FLOW FORECASTING CHALLENGE

Fig 1: The cash flow forecasting challenge

SO, WHAT HAS CHANGED?

Solving the cash flow forecasting challenge is easier said than done. Nevertheless, today treasurers can leverage several available technologies that, if used together intelligently, can tackle the described challenges head-on.

First, when we think about the goals and the accuracy levels that treasurers want to achieve, we can use different models to calculate those, such as accuracy heatmaps. Second, when we consider the data (ERP and non-ERP) required to run these cash flow forecasts, we can rely on big data engines, advanced extract, transform and load (ETL) processes, and application programming interface- (API) and non-API-based connectors that create an easy data flow into forecasting models. We have ways to analyse data quality as never before and we can set up a reliable work flow process to obtain assumptions from the decentralised business units all the way up to HQ level. This generates a cash flow forecast while keeping the granular detail.

Third – and we are only scratching the surface here – several machine learning models and algorithms are now at our disposal. These can be used to build and optimise cash flow forecasting models, so we can indeed solve the forecasting challenge in a reliable way.

Finally, armed with the right tools, the salient question is: what can we actually do with the cash forecast? We call it Cash Flow Forecasting 3.0: automating the decisions that are based upon the cash forecast (investing excess liquidity, performing a particular hedge, etc.) or the so-called post-forecasting decision-making engine.

By combining technologies we can not only automate manual and repetitive tasks, but effectively integrate the systemic data with human expertise and algorithmic trends from historic data. Add to this the use of recommendation engines and intelligent insights, and the interplay of data inputs can generate enriched decision support. Apparent visualisations and scenario analyses can offer a clear view of actionable results that treasury and management can use in their decision process. Reliable technology that enables people to make high-caliber decisions; this, we believe, is the true power of digital.

 

 

About Cashforce        

Cashforce is a Cash Forecasting & Working Capital Analytics platform for corporates, focused on analytics, automation and integration. Cashforce connects the Treasury department with other finance / business departments by offering full transparency into its cash flow drivers, accurate & automated cash flow forecasting and treasury reporting. The platform is unique in its category because of the seamless integration with numerous ERPs & banking systems, the ability to drill down to transaction level details, and the intelligent AI-based simulation engine that enables multiple cash flow scenarios, forecasts & impact analysis.

 

Interim Treasurer: Cost or revenue?

| 15-12-2020 | Bas Meijer |

Temporary staff in general is looked at as ‘too expensive’ . When turnover is showing headwind, or management is under pressure by internal- or external stakeholders, cost saving is the first instrument management uses.

Agreements with expensive temporary staff is ended and fixed employees are asked to go the extra mile. This is not the case for all financial expertise.

The interim Treasurer is a good example. In the past 20 years I have experienced that interim Treasurers are able to create value to the company, and add contribution to your bottom line. In some assignments this was 1-2% of the turnover.

In general the interim treasurer should be able to have a rate of return of 3-6 months, based on a 1 year assignment. The revenue will not be limited to this 1 year assignment, but last much longer. I have experienced a much shorter period, up to 4-6 weeks.

Are you interested in cost saving, and attribution to your bottom line? Do not just let your expertise walk out of the door, but hire an interim treasurer for an analyses on the potential cost saving for your organisation. You’ll be surprised what an added value an interim treasurer can bring to your organisation.

 

Bas Meijer

Treasury Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

To Hedge or not to hedge – The Natural hedge myth

| 30-11-2020 | Bas Meijer |

Corporate firms have the primary objective to be profitable. From a Treasury perspective, the main goal is to increase cash and add value. Nowadays, an increasing amount of Corporate firms engage in international business. Therefore these firms can be exposed to unrelated business exposure, such as interest rates, FX and commodities pricing depending on the business model pursued.

How do you deal with potential orders with these kind of exposure? I have seen companies going bankrupt because they did not (fully) hedge their potential orders and applied the wrong instruments.

Exposure differentiation

In order to hedge, the distinction must be made between the type of exposure:

  • A committed exposure: invoices, signed orders
  • An expected exposure: unsigned orders, expected budget

Both types of exposures need different products to be eliminated. Do all exposures need to be hedged? No. Transactional exposures should be fully hedged. Internal loans or hidden equity not always. In general, equity is not hedged. Internal loans depends in the way these are structured. In which currency is the loan granted, what are the cash flows etc. This is tailor made.

Natural Hedge & Holistic Hedges

The Natural hedge myths: there is only a natural hedge if the cash-in and cash-out are in similar currency and at approximately the same time, and applicable to transaction exposure only. This means that there is hardly any natural hedge.

Finally the holistic approach: some providers are selling holistic hedges. In general these are based on statistical studies. Holistic hedge approach adds uncorrelated exposure to the corporates, with the goal to lower the total exposure. In the world of statistics there is always room for error. When using this approach, the corporate firms should be aware of this. Not only the board, but also the auditors. I have seen enormous errors on this approach, resulting in not eliminating the risk but increasing the risk.

Cost of hedging

Is hedging expensive? No. There are many different ways to hedge the exposures, and there are many different providers to do this. Some of these are too expensive. Use a Treasury Specialist to analyse the cost of hedging and come up with alternatives. The Treasury Specialist has a high rate of return and attributes to the bottom for years to come.

More important is to quantify your exposures. The exposures are not limited to the cash flow only, but can also be embedded in your processes. Using a Treasury Specialist will lower your cost of hedging, assures that your organisation hedges the correct exposure with the right instruments, can massively attributes to the bottom line and protect you of becoming tomorrow’s news.

Thanks for reading, comments are welcome!

 

Bas Meijer

Treasury Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

TRAINING: PSD2 & Open banking: impact on the financial ecosystem and new challenges

| 23-11-2020 | Francois De Witte

On December 16th, our Expert Francois de Witte will present a Webinar in collaboration with Febelfin-Academy, regarding PSD2 & Open banking: impact on the financial ecosystem and new challenges.

This training program prepares participants for 2 major challenges of the upcoming years in banking: PSD2 & Open Banking. This will have a major impact on the financial ecosystem and will create new challenges.

The goal of this training course is to:

  • Make participants aware of the ways PSD2 & Open Banking affect banks and other players in Europe;
  • Understand the impact of the technical requirements with a focus on strong customer authentication;
  • Outline the risks and responsibilities of the involved parties within the new regulatory framework;
  • Understand the impact of Open Banking APIs (Application Programming interfaces;
  • Understand the impacts of the PSD2 & Open Banking the financial ecosystem;
  • Evaluate the risk and opportunities created by PSD2 & Open Banking the banks and the new players;
  • Determine action plan for your company.

Target Audience

This training course can be followed by multiple target groups:

  • Managers of a banks/PSP’s/Fintechs involved with the payments and digital strategy
  • Product Development Experts (payments)
  • Service providers involved with Open Banking
  • Corporate Treasurers
  • Compliance officers

Prior Knowledge

Advanced: offers practice-based applications to complement the theoretical knowledge already acquired through the “basic level” courses (in-depth learning).

There is no specific preparation required. For persons who are less acquainted with PSD2 and payments, some pre-course reading material can be made available.”

Program

This training program prepares participants for two key challenges of the upcoming years in banking: PSD2 and Open Banking.

Part I: PSD2 and Open Banking – overview:

  • PSD2: Scope and Basic Principles
  • XS2A (Access the Accounts)
  • New Players: AISP and PISP
  • SCA (Strong Customer Authentication)
  • Consent and SCA
  • Requirements for the Banks and TPPs
  • Timetable
  • Trends in Open Banking

Part II: Open banking architecture: Implications for banks and the New Players

  • XS2A: Risks, Responsibilities and obligations of the related parties
  • XS2A: Availability Requirements
  • Setting up the SCA in Practice
  • SCA: Optimization of the Exemptions
  • Security requirements ensuring consumer protection
  • Addressing the fraud and cyberattack risks
  • Technology: building interfaces – APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)
  • European initiatives to standardize the interfaces
  • Practical aspects – Role of Aggregators
  • Group Exercise

Part 3: PSD2: Potential impact on the market and next steps

  • Global impact on the market – New Players
  • Impact on the Payments Landscape
  • Impact on the Cards and Digital Payment Instruments
  • Impact on the Merchants and the e-commerce
  • Impact on corporates
  • FinTech Companies: ready to disrupt banks?
  • Implication on the Digital Banking Strategy
  • The new role of competition and cooperation
  • Action Plan for Banks and New Players
  • Group Exercise

Practical information

Duration: One day training

Date: December 16, 2020

Hours: 9AM-5PM (6 training hours)

Location: This training will be given online

Additional information: This training course will be given in English

Pricing: Members (€510), Non-Members (€610), Partner BZB (€510)

REGISTER HERE

Online Open Evening, 19 November: Treasury Management & Corporate Finance by VU Amsterdam

| 12-11-2020 | VU Amsterdam |

Are you up for the next step in your career? Would you like to further develop your knowledge, skills and professional view on this fast changing world?

That’s why we invite you to join our Online Information Session on Thursday, November 19th 2020 from 19.00 – 20.00 hrs. Get inspired by our teachers and programme director and ask your questions during a livestream Zoom session.

REGISTER HERE FOR THE ONLINE INFORMATION SESSION

or

REQUEST THE BROCHURE ON OUR WEBSITE

We are looking forward to welcoming you at Online Information Session.

 

 

 

Cashforce webinars on hot Treasury Topics | Anytime, Anyplace, and Anywhere

| 09-11-2020 | Cashforce

Cashforce is a smart cash flow management and cash flow forecasting platform for working capital intensive businesses. Cashforce is unique because it offers full transparency into what exactly drives the cash flow of complex. Over the past months, Cashforce has presented a few interesting Webinars on the following topics:

  • Working Capital Management
  • Treasury
  • Artificial Intelligence & Cash Forecasting
  • Supply Chain Management

Missed these Webinars? Don’t Worry.

Here is your opportunity to watch all these recordings:

✈️ Working Capital Management – Navigating Your Company Towards Brighter Skies 

💰 How Treasury Is Dealing with The New Normal 

☕️ Coffee & Algorithms: An AI-powered Cash Forecasting

📦 Building a Resilient Supply Chain 

 

Make sure to subscribe to their NextGen newsletter 📧 as well to stay informed on their new platform🚀 and upcoming events: https://lnkd.in/dbCiCmQ

KYRIBA Global Summit

| 07-10-2020 | treasuryXL | Kyriba |

We are excited to invite you to the first ever Kyriba Global Summit, a free virtual event bringing together treasury, finance and IT teams from around the world to discuss their successes and the latest innovations in cash management, payments, bank connectivity, FX risk management and working capital management.

Hear successes and stories of transformation from some of the most recognized companies in the world with a globally diverse group of speakers.

REGISTER HERE

About Kyriba

Kyriba empowers CFOs and their teams to transform how they activate liquidity as a dynamic, real-time vehicle for growth and value creation, while also protecting against financial risk. Kyriba’s pioneering Active Liquidity Network connects internal applications for treasury, risk, payments and working capital, with vital external sources such as banks, ERPs, trading platforms, and market data providers. Based on a secure, highly scalable SaaS platform that leverages artificial and business intelligence, Kyriba enables thousands of companies worldwide to maximize growth opportunities, protect against loss from fraud and financial risk, and reduce costs through advanced automation. Kyriba is headquartered in San Diego, with offices in New York, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai and other major locations. For more information, visit www.kyriba.com.

Cashforce Webinar: Building a Resilient Supply Chain

| 05-10-2020 | Cashforce

We highlight the following event, held by our partner CashForce. Webinar: Building a Resilient Supply Chain

Over the last couple of months, many companies faced quite some disturbance value chain. During this session we unpack some of the trends and possible solutions towards building a resilient supply chain.

In this webinar, we will share how companies can define a new strategy to overcome this pressure on liquidity.

We are very proud to welcome the following speakers:
Nicolas Christiaen, CEO & Co-founder at Cashforce
Steven Lenaerts, Head of Product Management Global Channels at BNP Paribas
Brian Shanahan, Founder of Working Capital consultancy Informita

Date, time and registration

Date: Tuesday, October 13th 2020

Start time: 1pm-2pm CEST

Register here

Cashforce is advancing cash forecasting innovation with the launch of its “Cashforce NextGen” platform

| 28-09-2020 | Cashforce | treasuryXL |

Cashforce has announced it is launching “Cashforce NextGen”, their new software platform, leveraging years of experience in delivering data-driven cash forecasting. With this new platform Cashforce wants to lower the barrier of entry for cash flow forecasting by introducing real-time data processing, a more intuitive user experience, enhanced scenario building capabilities and more AI-powered-algorithms. Cashforce NextGen will be launched in Q1 of 2021.

“Through years of experience in cash flow forecasting at organizations with various complexities, we’ve learned that the perfect solution should be able to adapt to the client’s maturity in order for them to scale their cash flow forecasting process at their own pace,” says Cashforce CEO Nicolas Christiaen. “Our NextGen platform will allow global & local users to start forecasting using an easy workflow and then perfect their process gradually using system integration capabilities, real-time data processing and smart alerting functionality. Simply said, Cashforce NextGen will deliver a swiss army knife for modern day cash forecasting.”

Current Cashforce users are also excited about the upcoming NextGen platform. “Thanks to Cashforce, we are able to analyze a lot more data at a higher quality than we had ever been able to before,” says James Kelly, Group Treasurer at Pearson. “Cashforce boosted our cash forecasting process with AI-powered algorithms and scenario-building capabilities generating significant savings in annual borrowing. With the NextGen platform, I’m most excited to use real-time data to improve the accuracy of our scenario models even further.”

The NextGen platform is being built in conjunction with clients and prospects (through an Early Adopter Program), top-tier treasury advisory firms and global cash management banks. The first rollout is scheduled for early 2021. Find more info on Cashforce NextGen and its launch!

 

About Cashforce        

Cashforce is a Cash Forecasting & Working Capital Analytics platform for corporates, focused on analytics, automation and integration. Cashforce connects the Treasury department with other finance / business departments by offering full transparency into its cash flow drivers, accurate & automated cash flow forecasting and treasury reporting. The platform is unique in its category because of the seamless integration with numerous ERPs & banking systems, the ability to drill down to transaction level details, and the intelligent AI-based simulation engine that enables multiple cash flow scenarios, forecasts & impact analysis.