Cashforce Webinar: Coffee & Algorithms – AI-powered Cash Forecasting

| 23-03-2020 | Cashforce

We would like to highlight the following event, held by our partner CashForce: Webinar Coffee & Algorithms – AI-powered Cash Forecasting.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing today’s landscape. For financial professionals it’s no different. It remains a challenge on how to convert the noise into more clear-cut methods that corporates can implement. In this webinar, held by our Partner Cashforce, a concise conversation is held on using AI in Cash forecasting. Furthermore, the webinar highlights the steps a treasurer should take to establish an effective Cash forecasting process.

Nicolas Christiaen, CEO at Cashforce, will be joined by James Kelly, Group Treasurer at Pearson, who led the project of putting an improved and automated group-wide Cash forecasting process in place. We welcome you to save your seat below!

In this webinar you’ll learn:

• the key concepts of Artificial Intelligence in Cash forecasting

• the 7-step approach to a more accurate Cash forecasting process

• how AI & machine learning can tie this all together

• how Pearson went through this process, resulting in an improved Cash forecast

• which benefits does Pearson yield from this process in these challenging times.

1 CTP and FP&A re-certification credits can be earned for attending this live webinar.

Date, time and registration

Date: March 31st, 2020

Start time: 11am EDT / 5pm CET.

Register here

Is your company struggling with liquidity forecasting?

| 12-09-2019 | treasuryXL | Cashforce |

Is your company struggling with liquidity forecasting?
Find out how you can transform your forecasts from bad to best.

Too much manual effort and too little time for analysis, a statement (too) many treasurers can relate to. According to PwC and their Global Treasury Benchmark Survey, still 87% of treasurers use technology from the 1980s (i.e. spreadsheets) or have a disparate set of ERP systems, multiple bank websites and email. Consequentially, this leads to a lack of visibility and makes it very arduous to answer critical questions like “Is my company over borrowed, underinvested or overexposed?”.

An inability to answer this question not only constrains treasury’s ability to measure its success but could harm the future viability of the company. With automated and accurate forecasts & simulations within reach, this is a clearly avoidable risk.

During this one hour webinar, Bruce Lynn of the FECG and Nicolas Christiaen from Cashforce discuss how to radically optimize your cash forecasting workflows by:

  • Identifying the operating risks by utilizing existing resources
  • Quantifying the benefits to be gained by examining existing “flows” regarding cash, accounting, work, and information, whether across treasury, the business units or other financial parts of the company.
  • Using a step-by step approach to set up an accurate & automated forecast

About Cashforce

Cashforce is a ‘next-generation’ digital Cash Forecasting & Treasury Platform, 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 working capital analytics. 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.

Cashforce is a global company with offices in New York, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Paris & London and provides Cash visibility to multinational corporates across various industries in over 120 countries worldwide.



| 11-04-2019 | treasuryXL | Cashforce |

Cashforce, the global leader in cash forecasting and working capital optimization, and Fides Treasury Services Ltd., the global leader in multi-bank connectivity and communications, have won the Global Finance 2019 Treasury and Cash Management Award for Best Use of Artificial Intelligence in Treasury Management.

The two companies were jointly honored for their efforts to deliver an end-to-end solution that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to provide better outcomes for corporate treasury and finance departments.

“We are excited to be recognized for the work we have done concerning AI-powered cash forecasting,” said Nicolas Christiaen, CEO of Cashforce. “We will continue to invest in innovation to deliver comprehensive tools that help treasury and financial professionals be more efficient and more effective.”

Partnering together, Fides and Cashforce are pioneering new ways for corporate treasurers to connect to their cash-impacting data and leverage bank and ERP data for success. Fides’ multi-bank connectivity solutions in conjunction with Cashforce’s AI-powered cash forecasting module delivers best-in-class cash flow analytics, helping treasury and finance departments quickly obtain and present a single and accurate version of the truth.

“We are proud to receive this honor from Global Finance,” said Simon Kaufmann, Head, Client Relations and Marketing at Fides. “This award highlights the value of coupling trusted technology with cutting edge innovation, and the value customers can receive through strategic supplier partnerships like that of Fides and Cashforce.”

The Best Use of Artificial Intelligence in Treasury Management was a new award category this year. It was open to submissions from providers of treasury and cash management systems, services and technology that demonstrated innovative problem solving and treasury and cash management best practices.


Fides is the global leader in multi-bank connectivity and transaction communications. With the industry’s largest bank connectivity network, Fides helps over 3,000 active clients communicate with more than 10,000 banks globally. Our geographic reach spans 170 countries across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions.

Committed to helping corporations optimally connect and interact with their banks for over a century, Fides’ solutions deliver critical multi-bank account statement, payment workflow and reporting capabilities that allow treasury and finance teams to easily, accurately and securely communicate with their banks through any possible channel such as SWIFT, EBICS, SFTP or any alternative network.


Cashforce is the global leader in cash forecasting and working capital optimization, with offices in Antwerp, Amsterdam, Paris, London and New York. We provide cash visibility to multinational corporates across various industries in over 120 countries worldwide.

The Cashforce platform is a ‘next-generation’ cash forecasting and treasury platform, 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 and automated cash flow forecasting and treasury reporting. The platform is unique in its category because of the seamless integration with numerous ERPs and banking systems, the ability to drill down to transaction level details, and the intelligent A.I.-based simulation engine that enables multiple cash flow scenarios, forecasts and impact analysis.


Nicolas Christiaen

Managing Partner at Cashforce



| 26-03-2019 | treasuryXL | Cashforce | Nicolas Christiaen

Cash is often labeled as the lifeblood of an organization as it enables a company to function. However, when it comes to forecasting cash, most companies face various challenges. Afterall, it starts with the uncertainty of the future, but more factors are at play. Decisions about risk vs reward, the essence of business, can be difficult. To learn more about the complexity of the topic from first-hand data, we initiated the first Cash Forecasting Survey together with the Financial Executives Consulting Group. This survey was focused on senior financial and treasury executives. The 225 respondents are active across a variety of industries (manufacturing, energy, retail, telecommunications, health care, …) that range from smaller businesses (35% under $50 million revenue) to big corporations (28% over $1 billion revenue).

This survey aims to dig a little bit deeper into the challenges that companies are currently facing, the underlying causes of these difficulties, as well as possible future trends and technologies that could ease these challenges. The results of the survey will be discussed in-depth during a webinar on the 27st of March, 2019 (11am EST / 4pm CEST). To lift the veil slightly we’ve distilled our top 5 key insights below.


A company’s ability to forecast the future with any degree of certainty is determined by external factors (i.e. competitor’s actions, market conditions such as interest rates and local tax rates) or internal factors (availability of funds, staff available, technology in use, access to data etc.). Regardless of whether one is a pessimist or an optimist there should be very little to argue about the fact that cash forecasting is one of the central pillars of treasury, and therefore has been on the radar for improvement for many companies for a decade. The graph below hints at the current focus: Given the opportunity to rank the most important issues over the next year, “cash forecasting” comes out on top (34%). Furthermore, we see in the answers that there is a big focus on the outcome as such, as well as on improving the current processes that are at play (such as management reporting, upgrading financial systems).



For the past decades, Excel has been integral to businesses everywhere. It’s embedded in countless processes throughout the company, including within finance and treasury departments. While spreadsheets remain popular as a tool to accomplish many tasks, even their users admit that they are error prone. Moreover, maintaining data integrity within spreadsheets can be a cumbersome and manual task since this type of technology was never meant to be an integrated solution to business issues (i.e. data from one spreadsheet almost never flows seamlessly into another spreadsheet).

Nonetheless, as the graphic below lays out, more than 9 out of 10 respondents continue to use spreadsheets for collecting/creating cash forecasts & making comparisons to actuals. 69% of respondents however find the process too time consuming. On top of that, the graph clearly shows that this is the case in all surveyed treasury/finance areas. Overall, we can state there is still a great over reliance on spreadsheets, from cash forecast generation to debt management. Combined, these insights indicate a dire need for a better solution in the area of cash forecasting and treasury management.




The following graph further illustrates how frustratingly long any spreadsheet driven forecast process can be. If we look at the distribution of respondents that spent more than 10% of their resources on creating/updating cash forecasts, we can see that 43% of respondents spend more than 2 hours a day on average on creating/updating cash forecasts. Naturally, with only limited resources available for processing, forecasts will be less than “perfect” until conditions are changed.  Investing in “better” technology has been shown to help the forecasting process, but technology alone (i.e. working faster) is not a substitute for working smarter (i.e. more strategically) as the following survey observation makes clear.



It cannot be said with certainty what the “perfect” allocation of resources devoted to processing vs planning / analysis should be in the forecasting process. As mentioned earlier there is a continued reliance on a disparate set of 1980s technology (i.e. spreadsheets) perhaps because they are easy to use and offer a certain degree of flexibility. However, basing your forecasting on technology that offers little in the way of scenario planning, ability to sum up / drill down through an organization or track change by date, user, etc.  may constrain a company’s ability to measure its success.

In response to the weaknesses of spreadsheet driven forecasts many companies over the last decade have implemented a large number of Treasury Management Systems (TMS). Yet, the adoption of a TMS for forecasting purposes has been slow to occur. As the survey results show, more than 9 out of 10 respondents still use spreadsheets for cash forecasting, even when using a TMS. It is a surprising statistic and may indicate that a TMS maybe better at processing (e.g. cash positions, payment execution, cash accounting, etc.)  than at planning / forecasting.



As seen in previous paragraphs, the processes involved in cash forecasting are mostly done manually and with error-prone tools and processes. As a result, companies frequently struggle to foresee unexpected occurrences that impact the livelihood of their business. Bridging these gaps can pose considerable risks and can be very costly to overcome. Consequentially, one would expect companies to put rewards in place for their business units in order to draw out valuable insights when it comes to cash flow. Yet, 3 out of 4 companies don’t reward their business units based on cash flow. Even among the large companies (i.e. revenue > 500MM) only 33% of companies reward their business units based on cash flows. It prompts the question: If cash forecasting ranks as the number one issue, how come it is rewarded as a by-product rather than a focal point?



As the survey shows, cash flow forecasting is an important tool used by businesses to peer into the future and work towards accomplishing previously set profitability, liquidity and risk goals.

Unfortunately, all forecasts will be “wrong” as the future is uncertain and forces companies to navigate through a seemingly infinite sea of scattered data that only increases over time and becomes prone to human error as it accumulates up and down the organization.

Though no forecast will be perfect, any forecast requires a certain amount of dedicated resources (e.g. staff time throughout the company, integrated sets of data and the technology to turn data into information). If too many resources are devoted to processing then there will be less time remaining, possibly reducing the quality of actual decisions made. Few companies should base their strategic decisions based mostly on time left over as it may harm, not benefit the company. Depending on the size of the company, the following trends can be seen:

  • At many large companies treasury departments have taken the lead on cash forecasting by beginning to replace their spreadsheets with more purpose-built applications such as a TMS, but even this type of system appears to have limitations, perhaps because it had its origins in processing transactions rather than comparing alternative futures and lacks real “what if” features.
  • At small to medium sized companies FP & A areas are often responsible for cash forecasting, but, as the survey shows, spreadsheets are not the best forecasting tool and ERP systems contain only historical data that is difficult to extract and project into the future.

There is no definite answer to what mix of resources should be employed to achieve success, but relying on the current mix of disparate technologies doesn’t seem to be the answer. Fortunately, advances in new technology available to users through out a company are paving the way towards a clearer future, one driven by analytics, visualization, automation and transparency of data across an entire company.

Curious about additional findings from our survey? Be sure to register here for the webinar on the 27st of March, 2019 (11am EST / 4pm CEST) where we will discuss these and other findings and learn more about the challenges and solutions of Cash Forecasting.

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Does technology actually help you improve your cash management?

| 31-5-2018 | Nicolas Christiaen | Cashforce |

It is a question that many companies have been asking themselves for the past few years. Innovative, dedicated technologies may be very exciting, but the question remains: Are they worth the investment?

We believe the answer is yes, but understanding the technology & its shortcomings are key to exploiting its full potential. Companies that are missing today’s “FinTech train” might find themselves in precarious situations in the future. They risk becoming relatively less productive and might lack insights that their technology-driven competitors will have. This is certainly true when it comes to Cash & Working Capital Management. Technology is definitely an asset in today’s world, as it can help us driving value from working capital. Interconnectivity has risen significantly, with the surge of in-house banks, cash pooling, POBO, ROBO, etc., forcing treasury departments to keep up with the pace and find ways to manage complex treasury set-ups. On top of that, the number of transactions has grown to such a level that only high-level calculations can be done by humans. Technology helps companies to deal with this magnitude of data and reduces complexity by bringing visibility in companies’ cash flows.

Also, the surge of centralization (look at the number of centralized treasury teams) reduced the number of double tasks and improved the efficiency of Treasury Operations. However, at the same time, keeping treasury connected with the business is becoming the new challenge. In this continuous paradox, technology will prove helpful in connecting both worlds.

However, we need a good understanding of limits & shortcomings of technology too. Today’s systems are capable of calculating expected outcomes & action plans based on a set of parameters. However, technology is not smart enough yet to take into account all parameters (like macro-economic parameters, unexpected events, changes of policies) & and most of all human (= irrational) behavior.

There is a legitimate drive towards using technology, as complexity rises, as is the need for more transparency. Two interesting evolutions are simultaneously taking place: Niche players are betting on making the technology smarter, whilst corporates are getting better at smartly using that technology. There is no reason to believe this will stop in the near future.




Nicolas Christiaen

Managing Partner at Cashforce


Cashforce: Treasury year-end meetup

| 04-01-2018 | Nicolas Christiaen | Cashforce | Sponsored content |

Onderstaand een kort verslag van ons Treasury year-end meetup-event van eind 2017. 

Tim (Jonk – Thomson Reuters) en Martijn (Duijnstee – Cashforce) trapten af met een (uiterst!) korte terugblik op 2017 want alle ogen waren eigenlijk al gericht op het progamma waarin de 3. Top-challenges 2018 voor corporate treasurers de revue zouden passeren.

Nicolas (Christiaen – Cashforce) gaf inzicht in wat er bij komt kijken om, in 6 stappen, een daadwerkelijk nauwkeurig en geautomatiseerd 1. Cash forecasting-proces in te richten. No more Excel!

Bart-Jan (Roelofsz – HERE Technologies) kwam letterlijk net uit ‘de vlieger’ uit Chicago stappen en kon gelijk door naar het podium waar hij een bijzonder aansprekende presentatie gaf over 2. Financing in het algemeen en de transitie van bedrijfsactiviteiten en opbouw van het Treasury en Finance Team in een snel groeiende organisatie. Top!

Alex (Goraieb – Thomson Reuters) nam het stokje over en gaf ons meer dan een kijkje in de wondere wereld van 3. Risk Management. Een wereldreis in de achtbaan van volatiele markten en valuta, via de onderliggende techniek van trading in grote posities naar een lesje ‘hoe selecteer ik de beste bank’. Well done!

En toen was het snel! naar de borrel want in het kader van ‘Act Global, drink Local’ stond het Ijndejaarsbier van Brouwerij ‘t Ij koud en op fust te wachten, en wat had iedereen toch een dorst gekregen…

Tijdens de borrel werden er meerdere robbertjes uitgevochten tijdens de Kick-off 2018 games op de Cashforce-voetbaltafel.

Voor hen die er waren, dank voor jullie komst en voor hen die er niet waren: volgend jaar een nieuwe kans want wat ons betreft zeker voor herhaling vatbaar!

Nicolas Christiaen – Managing Partner at Cashforce

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Re-inventing treasury workflows: Smart Treasury

| 3-8-2017 | Nicolas Christiaen | Cashforce | Sponsored Content |

While the role of the treasurer is changing, it becomes increasingly challenging to maintain the current workflows and simultaneously take on new demanding tasks. One of these often manual and time-consuming tasks is risk management. As seen in, among others, this year’s Global Treasury Benchmark Survey of PwC, the registration and management of financial instruments stands among the top 3 challenges on the agenda of the surveyed treasurers. In this article, we take a more in-depth look at possible optimizations in some key treasury workflows.







Example FX management workflow

Hedging your FX exposure risk made easy

A common problem is the lack of visibility on the existing (global/local) FX exposure risk.
In order to calculate the FX transaction risk, transactional data from the TMS & ERP systems need to be consolidated effectively. Typically, this happens to be a (very) painful exercise. With Cashforce, however, using our off-the-shelf connectors (for ERP & TMS) and our full drill-down capabilities, you have all FX exposures at your fingertips.


FX Exposure Management – Current positions & exposures


But there is more to it. Imagine that linked to your FX exposure, an automated proposal of the most relevant FX deal would be generated to properly hedge this risk. A grin from ear to ear you say?

FX Exposure Management – Suggested hedge


And what about forecasting FX exposures? It’s now all within reach!

FX Exposure Management – Future positions & exposures


Whether you choose to take on an intercompany loan, a plain vanilla FX forward or another more exotic derivative product, chosen deals could then be automatically passed on to your deal transaction platform, to effectively execute the deal without any hassle. After execution, deals will automatically flow back into the system. Consequently, a useful summary/overview will be generated to effectively manage all your financial instruments.

Workflow integrated cash forecast

Finally, integrated cash management

New financial instruments / deals will generate a set of related cash flows. Ideally, these are directly integrated in your cash flow forecasts. In Cashforce, this data is automatically integrated within the cash flow forecast module, and will be put into a dedicated cash flow category. Learn more one how to set up an effective cash forecast in this article or this webinar.

Cash flow forecast overview


The analysis possibilities are now limitless, thanks to the ability to drill down to the very transactional-level details. The real number crunchers strike gold here: the analysis features open doors to unlimited in-depth analysis and comparison of various scenarios (E.g. the simulated effects of various exchange rate movements).

Drill-down to the transaction level


Using our big data engine, the delivery of rich and highly flexible reporting is facilitated. It’s fair to say that the typical SQL server (which currently 95% of the TMS systems use) can’t hold a candle to this. Through an advanced ‘self-service’ interface, users can drill down completely into respective amortization tables, historical transactions and effortlessly create customized reports and dashboards. We’ll talk more about why we believe Big Data engines are crucial for any Treasury software in our next blog.

Integration with ERPs & payment platforms

Next to this, Cashforce will automatically generate the accounting entries (in the format of your ERP/accounting system) related to your deals. The appropriate payment files will be generated in a similar fashion.


As might be clear after reading this article, we strongly believe that integrated data flows & a Big Data engine are the foundation of a new type of Treasury Management System that runs like clockwork and can serve effective treasury departments, but also renewed finance/controlling/FP&A departments.

You are curious to hear more about effective treasury management? We’ve recently recorded a webchat on how to set up an efficient cash flow forecast process.

Nicolas Christiaen – Managing Partner at Cashforce

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Cash forecasting 2.0

| 8-3-2017 | Nicolas Christiaen | Cashforce | sponsored content |

Cash forecasting has been a hot topic in 2016 and it looks like it will keep this status in the years to come.  As Cash Specialist, I’m frequently asked about my vision on this subject. About a month ago, I presented my thoughts to an audience of Group Treasurers & CFOs at the ACT Smart Cash conference in London. During the Q&A, I was asked an intriguing question: “How does a cash management platform, such as Cashforce, differentiate itself from old school Treasury Management Systems in terms of cash forecasting?”

TMS vs. Cash Management/Forecasting platform

Classic Treasury Management Systems (TMS) are focused on inputting, maintaining & managing complicated financial instruments and managing bank connectivity. In other words, they focus on cash optimization from the treasury side.
Cash management & forecasting platforms, on the other hand, focus on cash optimization from the business side. Hence, they typically connect to a company’s ERP systems, in which you’ll find 90% of the company’s cash flows.
And guess what, it’s this refreshing vision on cash optimization that is now attracting the attention by more and more Corporate Treasurers worldwide: they call it “connecting treasury with the business”.

Difference No 1: Transparent cash forecasting

With a classic TMS, a Corporate Treasurer will typically consolidate cash forecasts from the different OpCo’s,  which are already consolidated from the underlying business transactions. So, there is no drill-down available into the business drivers, no assurance on the quality of the data/input/manipulations. This blurs a treasurer’s view on what’s actually happening on the business side, taking away the cash visibility into the company’s different OpCo’s.  Full drill down isn’t offered by a classic TMS due to two main reasons:

  • It is simply not designed for carrying millions of transactions on a daily basis, while cash management/forecasting solutions use a ‘big data’ approach and have built-in engines to process millions of transactions daily.
  • Connecting to each single ERP requires deep knowledge of each of these systems (to avoid long implementation times) and traditionally, Treasury Management Systems didn’t have a need to develop these connectors.

 Difference No 2: Collecting the data in a smart way

One of the pain points often linked to Cash Forecasting, is the lacking ability to merge all relevant data and apply smart logics to it. Indeed, it might be a challenge to connect to all data sources and, at the same time, to do this in a smart way. At Cashforce, our reaction to this issue is twofold: A smart logics engine takes care of the forecasting algorithms, while easy connections to ERPs and other systems (like HRM, CRM..) ensure the continuous supply of rich data.

Defining and applying smart logics are often a challenge to overcome and have an enormous impact on the accuracy of the cash forecast. For example, well-defined smart logics help you to better estimate actual payment times and hence improve the accuracy of a forecast. A TMS system often lacks this powerful ability and has no built-in smart engine for forecasting rules.

Difference No 3: Cash saving from the business instead of treasury optimizations

Finally, driving action from forecasts should be the main objective. Intelligent simulation engines enable companies to consider multiple scenarios and measure their impact. This gives users the power to report on cash saving opportunities and compare options to ultimately pick the better one. As a result, finance departments can be turned into business catalysts for cash generation opportunities throughout the company. In contrast, Treasury Management Systems are not designed to perform complicated business-driven cash simulations.

Complementary or Competitors?

New, often innovative cash management platforms, like Cashforce, are complementary to a TMS and tend to bring a lot of value in working capital intensive businesses. They are complementary, as they have a different focus: Treasury Management Systems look at the entire treasury spectrum in order to improve treasury processes. Cash Management/Forecasting platforms start from the business and want to enable finance departments to become a strategic partner on one of the key growth indicators, cash. On the other hand, for smaller companies, these platforms might be a good alternative for an often expensive TMS, when only limited financial instrument management functionality is required.

Nicolas Christiaen

Managing Partner at Cashforce