Effective Finance & Treasury in Africa event run by EuroFinance | London

23-02-2022 | Eurofinance | treasuryXL |


If your company operates in Africa or is thinking about it, then join us at Effective Finance & Treasury in Africa on March 23rd in London. Now in its 9th year, this intimate event brings together more than 150 senior corporate treasury professionals from leading multinationals – all involved in markets across the continent.

With peer-to-peer learning and knowledge-sharing more important than ever before, join other treasury leaders to debate the key issues, share success stories and gain practical guidance on how to overcome your shared challenges.

From treasury technology to managing liquidity risks, financing strategies, FX, payments and more, the concise 1 day agenda will provide all the information you need to redesign your treasury operations for cost and efficiency, power innovation and support business growth.

Speakers include:

Jan Beukes, Group treasurer, MultiChoice Group Ltd

Omofolake Fawibe, Head of finance, IBS, Danone SA

Ricky Brink, Treasury professional, Siemens SA

Titus Owoeye, Head finance, Fan Milk West Africa

Gain all the tools you need to succeed in Africa in 2022 and beyond.


Registration is open – find out more and register now.




The Evolution of Legal Documents, The Next Step

22-02-2022 | Wim Kok | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |


A fantastic end-to-end digital journey has begun to create a paperless supply chain ecosystem for the benefit of all parties concerned in the documentary (paper heavy) Supply Chain settlements of today.


For this Enigo AB (www.Enigio.com) started at the basis of the current standard, the paper document. A clean sheet of paper!

A large share of the communication in a trade finance transaction is already digitalised. Banks structure customer communication through portals, negotiate via safe e-mail and sign using e-signatures, not to forget SWIFT which has already enabled the digitalisation of many products and process steps between banks. A major obstacle for achieving a completely digital trade finance world has been the requirements to be able to manage and present documents in their original form. Enigio’s focus has therefore been to create a digital document with the same properties as its paper equivalent. The trace:original document is designed to be able to hold all necessary data to execute a transaction and at the same time not being tied to any specific transaction infrastructure. More importantly it can also be managed by anyone with access to a computer and the internet.


How does the solution work? Watch below video:


Following the accelerating momentum (after and pushed by the Covid pandemic), we see changing environment in the banking landscape, which is becoming rapidly more adoptive for transformation, especially digitalisation of the paper heavy trade documentation evidencing import- and export transactions. Both infrastructures, paper and digital documents must co-exist. There will be countries being early digital adopters and others lagging. An infrastructure agnostic digital trade finance document of any type can serve all the aspects of the global digital ambition extremely well. Interoperability can be achieved on different levels and by using different tools. One of the most forceful ways of achieving interoperability is by standardisation of data definitions and data formats. Json Schemas and the trace:original document is a perfect connector to achieve digital interoperability not only between blockchain based trade finance platforms but for all trade finance platforms.

The banks’ lack of investment decisions for end-to-end digitised trade processes impacting their customers have created a large cost effect on corporations.

  • Banks additionally impose costs on their corporate customers as they lack strategic vision on operative and compliance issues. Still manual or dual processes that are partly broken and very costly for all parties
  • Banks also impose costs internally for front, middle and back-office and create compliance risks with manual or partly manual processes
  • Trade finance digitalisation is a strategic issue for a bank and its corporate customers and is undergoing rapid change
  • Many solutions and offerings to choose from but a lack of basic digital standards internally and when interacting with others
  • Cost and risk/AML issues for all parties
  • Bank’s role is to help to prioritise the trade finance short-term initiatives that will support corporate treasuries long-term objectives
  • Banks should be firm with their opinion about coherent direction and help corporates to reduce the uncertainty that comes with trade finance digitalisation.





Footnote: further detail to be found on the website: www.Enigio.com

  • Several whitepapers
  • Walkthrough gallery of (1min.) YouTube videos explaining product usage very clear
  • Modules for bank guarantees, Standby L/Cs, Prom Notes, Bills of Exchange and eB/Ls


Thank for reading and stay tuned!


Wim Kok

International Business Consultant
Trade Finance Specialist





Digital rules (URDTT) for Trade Finance: Episode 2

10-02-2022 | Wim Kok | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

Episode 2 of our series of educational videos is now available. Please take a look and let me know what you think. Episode 1 is, of course, still available on our YouTube channel.



Trade Advisory Network Limited and treasuryXL Trade Finance experts launched their second episode of a series of free, educational videos on URDTT. There will be 6 episodes in total covering all aspects of the development, interpretation, and application of URDTT in the context of a digital trade strategy. In the upcoming months, you can expect one educational video per month.

What can you expect in the second episode?

Episode 2 of this series of videos focuses on URDTT (Uniform Rules for Digital Trade Transactions).  Subsequent episodes will focus on the use of electronic records, payment obligations and, the role of banks/non-bank financial service providers.

Duration: 11.38 min


Enjoy, explore and develop!

Interested to know more about this topic and the upcoming educational videos? Contact our Expert Wim Kok.


Wim Kok

International Business Consultant
Trade Finance Specialist





Corporate Treasury: 3 ways to prevent fraud risk in one-time vendor payments

09-02-2022 | treasuryXL | Aico | LinkedIn |

Manual payments are somewhat of an outlier among corporate treasury payments. These one-time vendor transactions to companies or private individuals whose details are not in your ERP system pose a significant risk of fraud. They are challenging to track and easy to manipulate in an enterprise environment. This makes them a target for auditors, who want to clearly see you have monitored all points in the payment process where data can be altered. Changing the payment details or falsifying invoices are just a couple of mishandling examples, leading to massive fraud cases like these.

There is, however, a transparent and secure way to handle these payments as quickly and efficiently as the typical accounts payable invoice automation process.

Let’s look at three preventative solutions to reduce the fraud risk.

1. Enforce approval workflows: The four-eye principle.

Much of payment fraud originates in transferring small sums to non-existing vendors, rather than large payments. It makes such transactions much harder to identify and match over a long period.

The so-called four-eye principle is one of the cornerstones of a preventative approach to fraud management and internal controls in general. Having no means to enforce payment approval workflows across the group’s companies with little to no visibility into initiated payments is a challenge many enterprises struggle with.

A software solution to enforce systemic payment approvals is essential. And so is the ability to easily customise these workflows and apply them to the whole company group in line with your internal and external compliance guidelines.

You may want to enforce one or two-step payment approvals based on value or frequently recurring IBAN details. A mandatory requirement to add an attachment of supporting evidence is another possibility. These are just some examples of how a modern software solution like Aico can help you minimise fraud risk effectively.

2. Secure PAIN file creation and bank transfers.

A holistic approach is essential for effectively implementing internal controls against payment fraud. Eliminating 90% of a leak in your boat still leaves you at high risk. So, payment approvals alone will make it harder to start a fraudulent payment, but they won’t secure you from trickery further down the process.

Once one or more people have approved the payment, it will be sent to the bank in a PAIN (payment initiation) file format. The data in the approved payment request should be identical to the one in the PAIN file. Eliminating any possibility to create or alter the PAIN file manually is the single most effective protection in this part of the process. So ideally, PAIN file creation and transfer to the bank should be fully automated.

In the case of the Aico Manual Payments software solution, the system will create the PAIN file automatically in the background using the master data of the approved payment request. Once approved, the PAIN file goes automatically to the bank for the payment without any further human interaction.

3. Automate journal postings.

Verifying the execution of the payment and accounting for it in a compliant way is the last, but not least, important part of the safe payment process. Just as we want to ensure the bank receives the approved payment document, it is equally important to match the returning bank statement with the original payment order.

And once again, an automated process is the safest solution. In fact, at this point, we can also securely manage the accounting by automatically creating and posting a journal entry into the ERP system. Automation here saves us time and ensures that subsequent journals are posted to the correct accounts with the right value matching the master data of the initially approved payment request.

Is it possible to take one more step to safeguard this process?

In addition to the smart workflows and powerful automation, the Aico Manual Payments solution will also archive the entire activity log and documents related to the specific payment. This extra mile of effort will significantly simplify the audit process and help to identify any irregularities.

About Aico

We help enterprises simplify financial close and record-to-report (R2R) accounting processes. The result is less manual work and faster period-end financial reporting with the assurance of compliance and data accuracy.

Our software platform includes solutions for the key R2R processes – Account Reconciliation, Closing Task Management, Journal Entries, Intercompany Invoicing and Manual Payments.

Unique real-time integration to multiple ERP systems brings increased automation levels and reduces IT system complexity to our customers.

With teams and a network of partners across EMEA, we deliver high-complexity projects for enterprises with a global footprint.

Visit aico.ai for more information about Aico.

Visit Aico resource library for eBooks and webinars on R2R and financial close best practices.

Join us on LinkedIn.

Digital Payments Transformation for 2022

24-01-2022 | treasuryXL | Kyriba | LinkedIn |

By Bob Stark, Global Head of Market Strategy

Instant payments, payments fraud, and pandemic-led digital payments transformation projects have changed the B2B payments journey for CFOs and CIOs. IT teams recognize that new connectivity methods, such as APIs, are required to integrate their ERP platforms with banks, neobanks, and non-bank payment channels while finance departments are seeing the value of new options for instant payment delivery, including Venmo, SEPAInst, and The Clearing House’s Real-Time Payment network.

While the way payments are transmitted from ERP and treasury systems to beneficiaries is clearly modernizing, internal audit and governance teams are instructing finance and IT counterparts that their legacy payment processes are introducing operational risk. Combined with real-time payment settlements, older payment workflows are increasing the possibility of irrevocable mistakes, or worse, fraud. Payments transformation is the answer.

As with any payments project, the first question to be answered is: what is the desired business outcome? What measurable value can be quantified? Generally, for payments transformation initiatives there are three value drivers:

  1. Reduced bank and transaction costs
  2. Improved efficiency
  3. Reduced likelihood of mistakes and fraud

Reduced Bank and Transaction Costs

For many organizations, a digital payments transformation means they can reduce the reliance on expensive payment methods. Checks are a perfect example, where the total cost of ownership is reduced by 50% or more because of the immense internal processing and reconciliation times to send and receive checks.

Same Day ACH – fueled by recent increases in transaction limits – and real-time payments are becoming less expensive alternatives to wire payments, driving down the cost to remit faster payments. Further, payment-on-behalf-of (POBO) models allow for payment in local currencies, reducing currency translation costs, while also introducing the opportunity to net multiple payments to like suppliers and consolidate multiple payment systems into a single payment hub.

Most importantly, bank connectivity can be fully outsourced, which extracts immense cost from IT budgets, where ERPs and other internal systems were connected through hard-coded FTP scripts or reliant on expensive internal SWIFT infrastructures. Whether banks support APIs, FTP, regional networks, or SWIFT, payment connectors from ERPs and treasury to bank are pre-developed with tens of thousands of bank payment formats built into the product to eliminate any custom development to current platforms or when migrating ERPs to the cloud.

Certainly, reducing IT’s role in bank connectivity will save hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, especially when considering the banking industry’s harmonization of bank formats to XML ISO 20022. This initiative, alongside banks’ movement to APIs, would mean years of redevelopment by IT teams to rebuild protocols and formats from ERP to the bank. Payment hubs make this a non-issue, slashing costs while simultaneously eliminating time to market bottlenecks.

Improved Efficiency

Efficiency takes many forms, but the most obvious is the automation of manual processes. Legacy processes require unnecessary time to initiate, approve, review, validate documentation, confirm the authenticity of payment requests, screen for additional compliance requirements (e.g., OFAC screening), and log in to multiple systems to send, confirm, and reconcile payments. For smaller organizations, this can be dozens of hours per week; for larger organizations, the productivity improvements are valued in the $100,000s.

In addition to manual payment initiation and processing, internal collaboration between payments and treasury teams adds complexity that can be better managed. Too many organizations leave excess cash in bank accounts as they lack real-time visibility into payment amounts. This inefficiency is magnified as payments are remitted faster (or even in real-time), meaning cash managers can no longer fund payments the next day. Payables, receivables, and treasury teams must have complete data unification to minimize the amount of cash allocated for working capital. One client, HCSC, reported reducing working capital from $4.0 billion to $25 million by automating internal and external cash visibility.

Fraud Prevention

With 90% of CFOs reporting in 2021 that fraud was the same or worse than it was in 2020, CIOs are collaborating with CFO counterparts to build increased resilience to payments fraud. The initiative goes by different names – payments compliance, payments governance, fraud prevention – the effect is the same. Organizations need to transform their processes to “catch up” to real-time payments. There are four critical tenets that form the base of every payments governance and compliance program:

  • Standardization – The key to eliminating unauthorized payments – even if accidental in nature – is to ensure a standardized set of controls that prevail without exception. Controls could include payment approval scenarios, extra layers of authentication, procedures if approvers are remote and/or unavailable, and specific actions if modifications to the payment are required. The organization’s payment policy should be digitized and enforced by the payment hub software to ensure these controls are consistently applied.
  • Real-Time Payment Screening – Many organizations require payments to be screened against sanctions lists and bank account validation databases prior to sending those instructions to the bank. A simple exercise to verify that the bank account belongs to the intended payee should be part of every payment journey.
  • Digitized Payment Policy – The organization’s payment policy should be digitized for real-time compliance checks. Examples could include payments being made outside of approved countries, the first payment to a new bank account, irregular payment amounts, etc. Every payment should be screened in real-time so that any non-compliant or suspicious payments can be stopped and quarantined in real-time to be reviewed by authorized approvers. As payments continue to diversify across multiple channels (e.g. wires, ACH, checks, real-time) and become more real-time, organizations cannot rely on treasury staff scanning every payment in real-time; nor can they expect their banks to be the last line of defense.
  • Artificial Intelligence – Machine learning is perfectly suited to provide an additional layer of protection by instantly determining if a payment is an anomaly against historical payment patterns. Machine learning algorithms are easily trained using structured payment data from an existing treasury system, ERP, or payment hub to find irregular payments that should be further reviewed. This can be done individually or within payment batches to minimize the impact on the settlement of payment runs.

Additional reading: 15 Minute Guide to Payment Hubs

While fraud prevention is oftentimes the leading requirement driving payments transformation projects, other benefits including outsourced connectivity, enterprise liquidity visibility, process standardization, and multiple cost reductions should not be overlooked as these features will likely pay for the payments project with a lightning-quick ROI. And fortunately, transforming payments can be a large, collaborative project or select capabilities can be implemented incrementally, increasing the value and risk protection within weeks.

Digital rules (URDTT) for Trade Finance: What, How and When?

10-01-2022 | Wim Kok | treasuryXL | LinkedIn


Watch Episode 1 of a series of free, educational videos focusing on Uniform Rules for Digital Trade Transactions (URDTT)



Trade Advisory Network Limited and treasuryXL Trade Finance experts launched their first episodes of a series of free, educational videos on URDTT. There will be 6 episodes in total covering all aspects of the development, interpretation, and application of URDTT in the context of a digital trade strategy. In the upcoming 6 months you can expect one educational video per month.

What can you expect in the first episode?

This first episode focuses on the background to the decision to create a new set of rules for digital trade transactions and provides definitions of some of the most important terms. Subsequent episodes will focus on the use of electronic records, payment obligations and, the role of banks/non-bank financial service providers.

Duration: 19.20 min


Enjoy, explore and develop!

Interested to know more about this topic and the upcoming educational videos? Contact our Expert Wim Kok.


Wim Kok

International Business Consultant
Trade Finance Specialist





Currency Volatility Is A Catalyst for Response by Treasury

15-12-2021 | treasuryXL | Kyriba | LinkedIn |

The Q2 2021 Kyriba Currency Impact Report showed a strong tailwind for many US corporates driven in large part by the strengthening of two main trading currencies for many US corporates, EUR and GBP.

Both currencies strengthened steadily through Q2 2021, but currencies have since retreated through Q3 2021, setting up a return of relatively strong headwinds for the Q3 earnings season.

Euro-US Dollar Rate
British Pound-US Dollar Rate

As we look forward to Q3 and Q4 currency impacts, it is very likely we will see increased levels of negative currency impacts for North American and European corporates as a result of continued business activity expansion combined with the return of a stronger USD and general market uncertainty. The recent impact of the newest COVID variant, Omicron, has also added a new level of uncertainty-driven volatility and questions about how businesses and central banks will respond.

Beyond the general level of market uncertainty there are a few other economic and operational challenges that are adding to the complexity of managing currency risk and liquidity.  With inflationary conditions starting to take hold in the US and other parts of the world, Treasurers and CFOs are having to contend with increasing supply chain costs. In addition, the supply chain disruptions are increasing the uncertainty of business operations. Many treasury teams are far less confident in their long-term cash flow forecasts which has many reconsidering their hedging and liquidity needs.

How are Corporate Risk Managers responding to the currency markets and supply chain disruptions? 

Treasury teams are faced with a complex set of variables in the current market environment. Their long-term cash flow forecasts are less and less reliable due to uncertainty related to supply chain disruptions. The disruptions are impacting both the supply side and the revenue side of the forecasts. There is increased uncertainty around both the value and timing of supply chain cash out flows. On the revenue side, there is also uncertainty around the value and timing of future inflows as manufacturers are having a hard time getting products on the shelves. In addition, the currency markets are adding to the complexity as the USD is strengthening or at least holding strong against a broad basket of currencies.

As a result, many treasury teams are re-focusing on the things they can control. Daily and even intra-day cash position monitoring is the norm now and combining that with an increased focus on FX hedging for working capital positions on the balance sheet are critical best practices to ensure treasury teams have the right amount of cash in the proper currency at the right time to cover vendor and supplier payments and ensure they maintain a strong liquidity position as they ride out the supply chain storm.

Another challenge FX risk managers are having to contend with is the by-product of improper posting of multi-currency transactions within their ERP system(s). When volatile currency markets are creating significant directional moves in various currency pairs, it often uncovers multi-currency accounting posting mistakes as well as missed exposures. This missed exposures and improper accounting postings can results in very surprising results that often create significant FX losses. The most frustrating aspect of these types of FX impacts is that they are entirely self-inflicted.  With proper Exposure Data Integrity Analytics and robust and dynamic exposure capture processes, these self-inflicted currency impacts can be anticipated and avoided.

Ultimately, Treasury teams that can monitor and manage their liquidity and working capital FX exposure in a single integrated platform have a distinct advantage in the current market.


Trade Finance for Treasurers

23-11-2021 | Wim Kok | treasuryXL | LinkedIn

The current global trading environment has exposed new complexities and heightened risks associated with international trade, notably through Covid 19. Following the latest studies (* ADB) the global trade finance gap grew to an all-time high of USD 1,7 trillion. Especially for SME sector (being hardest hit) the availability of bank liquidity and credit is increasingly under pressure. As a result, the playing field of international trade needs greater focus on understanding and mitigating risks and making use of new opportunities in the accelerating digital world of Trade Finance.

“Following the latest studies (* ADB) the global trade finance gap grew to an all-time high of USD 1,7 trillion.”

The ability to quickly access cost-effective financing when and where it is needed is key for also treasury departments. The new challenges and rapid changing finance landscape prompts many Corporate Treasurers to re-educate themselves and/or seek specialized expertise from trusted advisors, identify new and reliable alternative funding sources, streamline their digital journeys and current (internal) processes to achieve additional efficiency, transparency and cost reduction.

The use of Trade Finance solutions via (mostly standard and “old”) banking products goes way back in history to the golden age (Bill of exchange and promissory note financing). Our TreasuryXL expert Wim Kok can guide and advise you on the roles of banks and other key players, including emerging Fintech providers, insurers and alternative providers. It is essential for the Treasury department to address the needs and or pain points of the company select the most appropriate solution or partner to solve the problems or make use of new opportunities.

To give you an idea of ​​the regular trade finance products that are available to facilitate trade, we list the instruments below.

Why is Trade Finance so Important to Corporate Treasurers?

  • Obtaining liquidity using risk mitigation and financing options from international trade transactions
  • The role of banks in trade finance products (risk mitigation / financing and transaction processing)
  • Obtaining insight into the various trading conditions (Incoterms), the additional securities (title of documents, warehouse warrants) and credit insurance principles

Below is a brief overview of the most commonly used trade finance instruments, i.e.

  • Documentary Letters of Credit (import, export), Stand-by LCs, Guarantees and Indemnities.
  • Documentary Collections (CAA, CAD) – Bills of exchange and Promissory notes. Obtaining liquidity through discounting the instruments (with or without recourse).

Besides the classical trade finance banking products liquidity techniques such Receivable Finance or the Factoring of complete debtor portfolios (with or without credit insurance) are also frequently in the industry.

Your TreasuryXL trusted advisor Wim Kok is available for advice on the use of the various trade finance products or techniques.

Whereas the majority of trade finance products are (mostly) standardized and in international accepted format that are subject and adhere to the various international rules issued by the ICC** to name a few: UCP 600, ISP98, URDG758 and Incoterms etc.


Wim Kok

International Business Consultant
Trade Finance Specialist






*The global trade finance gap grew to an all-time high of $1.7 trillion in 2020, a 15% increase from two years earlier, as the pandemic heightened economic and financial uncertainties and devastated global trade, according to the latest Trade Finance Gaps, Growth, and Jobs Survey, released today by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

**ICC Headquarters 33-43 avenue du Président Wilson 75116 Paris, France Tel: +33 (0) 1 49 53 28 28 Fax: + 33 (0) 1 86 26 67 44 Email: [email protected]


Changing priorities of corporate treasurers post-pandemic

| 15-11-2021 | Eurofinance | treasuryXLLinkedIn

More than 18 months have passed since treasury professionals around the world had to leave their offices at short notice due to the escalating covid-19 crisis. In April 2021, EuroFinance carried out a survey to find out more about the different ways the pandemic has affected treasury professionals. Alongside the adoption of remote working, the subsequent report highlights treasurers’ accelerated adoption of digital technologies, and the contribution that treasurers make to board-level decision-making during a crisis.

What are the key takeaways from this report?

  • The importance of cash flow forecasting has been underlined by the crisis. Almost three quarters of treasury professionals have increased their focus on cash forecasting during the crisis, while 54% plan to prioritise cash forecasting in the future.
  • Cash management and liquidity management remains a top priority for treasury professionals. Seven out of ten said cash management/liquidity management was a top priority going forward.
  • Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation. Alongside the rise in remote working, treasury teams have increased their adoption of robotic process automation (RPA), APIs/cloud, machine learning/AI and virtual accounts/in-house banks.
  • Treasurers have been more involved in board-level decision making during the pandemic, with 39% of treasurers saying they are more involved since the crisis began.

Want to see the full report?

Download here



Kyriba Fact Sheet – Payment Errors & Compliance Violations

27-10-2021 | treasuryXL | Kyriba |

Payment errors and compliance violations cause significant losses for businesses of all sizes. Fraud alone cost companies more than $42 billion last year, according to PwC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey.

The repercussions are wide-ranging, from arduous public disclosures and legal fees to reputational damage. Some are the result of attacks by elite cybercriminals, while others are simple mistakes made by careless or inexperienced employees. Kyriba’s Payments Fraud Solution delivers confidence that payment fraud attempts, errors and policy violations are captured, identified, and eliminated, saving your organization time, effort, and money.

Have a read of Kyriba’s Fact Sheet to learn more about payment errors and how Kyriba can help you.