TIS Coffee Talk

11-07-2022 | treasuryXL | TIS | LinkedIn |

Attend TIS’ coffee talk tomorrow with Joerg Wiemer and Nicolas Christiaen to learn more about how their innovative and cloud-based solution is addressing treasury’s contemporary concerns in the areas of forecasting and liquidity management.

Tuesday, July 12th, 4-5PM CEST



Cash Forecasting & Liquidity Management with TIS

 

Speakers: Jörg WiemerCSO & Co-Founder of TIS.  Nicolas ChristiaenFounder of Cashforce

Date: Tuesday, July 12th, 10-11am EDT / 4-5pm CEST

Session Outline: Today, cash reporting and forecasting functions are still being performed manually by a significant portion of treasury groups, which represents a major pain point for CFOs and business leaders when attempting to make strategic financial decisions. These manual workflows also limit treasury’s bandwidth to focus on other tasks and impact their ability to effectively manage liquidity and working capital. However, the new suite of capabilities developed by TIS and Cashforce (acquired by TIS in Q2 2022) eliminate many of these inefficiencies and ultimately enable companies to gain quick and accurate insights to their financial position based on reliable payments and liquidity data.

Key Discussion Points: In this session, Jörg and Nicolas will:

  1. Explore the treasury industry’s outstanding need for improved cash forecasting solutions and workflows.
  2. Examine the modern challenges of collecting and aggregating the right data together to conduct forecasts.
  3. Showcase how the accuracy and completeness of this data is paramount to the success of treasury’s overall forecasting strategies.
  4. Highlight how a “data-first” approach to forecasting generally results in more accurate and actionable insights.

To better understand how global liquidity management and cash forecasting workflows are being transformed through TIS’ revolutionary data aggregation, analytics, and advanced AI / ML capabilities, use the below link to register.

We can’t wait for you to join us! 


 

Nicolas Christiaen on TIS’ acquisition of Cashforce

06-07-2022 | treasuryXL | TIS | CashForce | LinkedIn |

Would you like more insights into TIS’s acquisition of CashForce? Hear from Nicolas Christiaen, CEO and founder of Cashforce, as he describes the inherent synergies between the two companies and what may subsequently be accomplished as a result of the acquisition.

Watch the video below to hear from Nicolas


 

 

“Our best-of-breed solutions are very complementary to each other: Being that natural synergy”

 

 

 

Nicolas Christiaen, CEO and founder of Cashforce



 

TIS acquires Cashforce, an AI-powered provider of cash management and forecasting solutions.

17-06-2022 | treasuryXL | Cashforce | TIS

 

Revolutionizing Global Liquidity Management for Treasury and Finance

 

Treasury Intelligence Solutions (TIS), a global leader in enterprise payment optimization, today announced their acquisition of Cashforce, an AI-powered provider of cash management and forecasting solutions.

This acquisition will see Cashforce’s leading cloud solution – currently deployed at many of the largest and most sophisticated corporate treasuries in the world – become integrated with TIS’ SaaS payments platform. This unified solution will provide enterprises with an unmatched suite of capabilities for cash management, global payments, and fraud mitigation along with superior connectivity, workflows, and reporting functions.

Over the past few years, TIS and Cashforce have collaborated closely to provide a complementary offering for treasury and finance teams. These efforts were met with immediate success in the market as demand for improved cash management and forecasting tools has risen sharply. Now, TIS’ acquisition of Cashforce presents the perfect opportunity to integrate both products together as part of a more complete offering.

For the thousands of enterprise treasury and finance practitioners who currently use TIS, this acquisition provides access to faster and more accurate cash reporting, forecasting, and working capital management. To date, cash positioning and forecasting are still being performed manually by many treasury groups, which represents a major pain point for CFOs and business leaders when attempting to make strategic financial decisions. However, the robust capabilities provided by Cashforce eliminate many of these inefficiencies and ultimately enable companies to gain quick and accurate insights into their financial position based on reliable payments and liquidity data.

According to Erik Masing, Group CEO of TIS, “Cashforce has been a premier partner of TIS for several years and has contributed significantly to the cash forecasting and management capabilities we offer clients. The acquisition is a natural extension of our business and will allow TIS to further integrate Cashforce’s solution with our platform in order to offer advanced forecasting and data management capabilities to all our clients. This means enterprises can significantly reduce complexity in their global payments and cash management tech stacks by leveraging standardization and transparency afforded by a single, elegant solution.”

 

 

For Cashforce, the acquisition means that existing clients can now supplement their robust forecasting capabilities with TIS’ industry-leading payments and bank connectivity features. As explained by Nicolas Christiaen, Founder and CEO of Cashforce, “Giving businesses complete visibility over their cash and liquidity data has always been the core objective of Cashforce. While we have spent years perfecting our capabilities in this regard, TIS has been strengthening their suite of payments, bank connectivity, and cash management tools. When combined, these two sets of capabilities form the ideal solution for global treasury and finance teams to achieve full control and visibility over their entire payments and liquidity architecture – including all entities, back-office systems, and banks.”

With the added capabilities of Cashforce’s solution, TIS now offers a single, scalable cloud platform for clients to address needs in the following areas:

  • End-to-end payment processing and bank statement management
  • Global bank connectivity and financial messaging
  • Real-time cash positioning and liquidity management
  • Multifaceted cash forecasting, cashflow analytics, and working capital management
  • Bank account management and bank documentation management
  • Payment compliance and sanctions screening control
  • Treasury security, regulatory compliance, and fraud mitigation tools

For more information on TIS’ acquisition of Cashforce and the advantages our combined solution will provide to enterprise treasury, finance, and executive teams, contact us at [email protected] or by using the information found on our website.

 

About TIS

TIS is reimagining the world of enterprise payments through a cloud-based platform uniquely designed to help global organizations optimize payments, manage cash visibility, and mitigate risk. Corporations, banks, and business vendors leverage TIS to transform how they connect global accounts, collaborate on payment processes, execute outbound payments, analyze cash flow and compliance data, and improve critical outbound payment functions. With $2 trillion in payments processed annually, the TIS corporate payments platform helps businesses improve operational efficiency, lower risk, manage liquidity, gain a strategic advantage – and ultimately achieve enterprise payment optimization.

Visit us for more information at https://www.tispayments.com.

 

 

 

 

Closing Loops: Connecting FX Hedging and Cash Forecasts

08-06-2022 | treasuryXL | Cashforce | LinkedIn |

 

How one member uses Cashforce to save time and money on FX trades—and helped create an automated hedging process.

Source



One assistant treasurer at a recent NeuGroup virtual interactive session said that her primary project for 2021 is “to make treasury as no-touch as possible.” This is a common theme for treasurers recently, though it’s not always clear where to start. Her first step was to seek potential connections in existing processes and platforms—which led to an overhauled and streamlined process for foreign exchange hedging.
  • The member already was using Cashforce, a fintech that allows deeper analysis of cash flow, to assist in cash flow forecasting, and saw potential in connecting it to Citibank’s CitiFX Pulse platform through the company’s TMS.
  • Through collaboration with Cashforce, Citi and her TMS, she was essentially able to turn the company’s hedging policy into an algorithm that reads the forecast and will potentially execute or propose trades all on its own.

From forecasts to forex. The member said this is only possible because Cashforce can forecast at a high level of granularity. The AT said she was “really lucky” that the tools work together so well.

  • “The forecast at that level of detail is a forecast in document currency,” she said. “And because I can have forecasting at nearly an invoice level, I know what that currency is going to be.”
  • Through the forecast, she said, the company is able to see what its FX position is going to be. “Then if I layer over what hedge I might already have in place, it will be able to tell me what are my gaps,” she said.
  • “The idea is to send it out so that we could auto-trade to fill the gaps below a certain threshold, let’s say 100 grand or less, and review above that just to check the data before we trade.”

A closed loop. Nicolas Christiaen, Cashforce’s CEO, said that, before this project, the member’s process was “very disconnected,” but all it took was connecting the dots.

  • “On the data input side, the ERP, TMS, P&L and bank statements are now put through [Cashforce’s] transformation layer, which results in a cash flow forecast,” he said. “As is very specific in this case, it’s a forecast by currency, by month.”
  • Currently, the company then uploads this forecast back into its TMS for review, and manually executes FX trades based on the company’s hedging policy.
  • “When these hedges are executed, the hedge amounts will pass back into Cashforce via the TMS, closing the loop,” Mr. Christiaen said.

A step further. With the proposed system that the member has designed with Citi, the company could include its hedging policies as a rules-based program in CitiFX Pulse that can read this forecast.

  • It would then “put in place the instruments used for the hedges for the thresholds that need to be taken into account,” Mr. Christiaen said. “Which ultimately results in a proposal.”
  • The chart below demonstrates the vision: As the data feeds into Cashforce, which outputs a forecast, that forecast is reviewed by the member and uploaded to CitiFX Pulse, which can automatically execute or propose FX hedges.

Constant change. Automation is “an awful lot to bite off,” the member said, and recommends starting slow on this kind of process:

  • The first step is to test what systems you already have. “A lot of us have pockets in the organization of different systems that can be leveraged. Some of them can’t do what they say they can or aren’t quite what you need—but sometimes you get lucky, as we did.”
    • She said it is also an opportunity for treasury to work with fintech partners to build exactly what it needs.
  • Collaboration and clear communication with IT is “super important,” which she learned the hard way. “Despite really clear instructions from Cashforce on the size of server we would need, [IT] gave us a quarter of that size and we now need a bigger size,” the AT said.
  • She warns that, although automation opportunities are promising, it’s not always smooth sailing. “Be aware of the opportunities, but also be aware of the work: automation is doable but takes an awful lot of time.”
  • “As the business changes, the structure changes as well,” she said. “The only constant within treasury is change.”

Article originally published by Neugroup here.


 

 

Forecasting Through Disruption

11-05-2022 | treasuryXL | Cashforce | LinkedIn |

 

Despite the disruption to customer behaviour brought by the Covid-19 crisis, Pearson developed a consolidated forecasting process that has enabled it to speed up invoicing, accelerate £60m in cash flow and meet its 2020 targets.

Source



Cash flow forecasting has long been recognised as a major challenge for corporations – and learning company Pearson, which has over 20,000 employees and reported sales of £3.4 billion in 2020, is no exception. “One of the challenges with forecasting is to understand what your assumptions are when producing the forecast,” explains Group Treasurer James Kelly. “When you’ve got lots of people producing forecasts independently, and then consolidating them, you need to have a consistent approach.”

Getting people to produce a forecast on time can be difficult, while treasury teams often spend precious time pursuing clerical accuracy. And as Kelly adds, “it is important to have enough detail in your actuals to really understand whether the hypotheses that were ventured in your forecast have actually come to pass.”

Forecasting during a pandemic

The latter is particularly important in times of uncertainty – and few things are as unpredictable as the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. For many organisations, the crisis meant that cash flow forecasting became significantly more challenging overnight, not least because disrupted customer behaviour meant that forecasts based on historical sales patterns could no longer be relied upon.

For Pearson, with the company’s professional test centres forced to close due to lockdowns, a major challenge came in the form of refunds that had to be issued to customers for tests that had been booked in advance – a situation that was complicated by the differing ways that customers could respond. Some rebooked straight away; some requested an immediate refund, and others waited for a couple of weeks before requesting a refund. And when requesting a refund, customers could either apply to Pearson directly, or request a refund via their credit card companies. All these different scenarios impacted the company’s short-term modelling.

The path to better forecasting


While the challenges were considerable, Pearson’s treasury had already been on a journey to more effective forecasting before the pandemic began – indeed, the automation of cash forecasting formed part of a treasury and cash management optimisation project that won a EuroFinance Treasury Excellence Award in 2019. The company subsequently adopted Cashforce’s AI-powered forecasting system, and continued to work on improving its processes. However, when the pandemic started it was clear that a more comprehensive approach was needed.

“What was interesting about Covid was that some of the basic models that we built around predictable cash flows broke,” Kelly comments. “We were able to keep using some of our models for things like payroll – but on the receipt side, a lot of things that had previously been predictable now became unpredictable.” What this meant was that the forecasting ability of the system almost became redundant – “and the benefits of the solution became more about hypothesis testing, and as a consolidation engine that allows you to build different scenarios.”

With the onset of the pandemic, each business produced a high, medium and low sales forecast, which the treasury team used to build its own set of forecasts. While this exercise was initially carried out using Excel, the treasury’s Cashforce-based 12-week forecast demonstrated good levels of accuracy, as well as integrating with key group systems. As such, the system was selected as the basis for the new approach to producing short, medium and long-term forecasts in 16 categories, later expanded to include 120 subcategories.

Building a map of cash flows

By combining this data with information from the company’s ERP system, Pearson has been able to generate detailed reports, test hypotheses and converge its low, medium and high scenarios, thereby building a detailed map of what is happening with cash flows.This proved useful early in the crisis when predicting how many customers would opt to request an immediate refund and re-book later. After initially modelling a range of scenarios, Pearson then used data from the first week to narrow the range. “Overall, we saw a significant proportion of customer request refunds in the first two weeks, mainly through their card companies,” comments Kelly. “We then started to see a stabilisation. By the end of the year, advance bookings were back to their normal level, with significant pent-up demand for many tests.”

Pearson’s functional currency is GBP, so with considerable variability in the company’s US profits another question was how to use the forecasting information to hedge currency risk. Again, this drew upon the low, medium and high scenarios: forward contracts were used to hedge committed or highly probable foreign currency flows for the low scenario, with collars and options used to provide protection for the medium and high scenarios.

Benefits of the project


Pearson has seen numerous benefits as a result of its enhanced forecasting process. Preparing forecasts centrally has freed up significant time for the operating companies, as well as enabling forecasts to be updated daily, instead of weekly or monthly. And Kelly notes that forecasts are now significantly more accurate than they were in 2019, despite uncertainty relating to the pandemic.

Further, Pearson has been able to use insights from the forecasting process to drive better performance in its working capital metrics – in particular, lower DSO, lower variability in DSO, and faster invoicing speed. These initiatives accelerated over £60m of cash flow in 2020, enabling Pearson to achieve its objective of delivering operating cash flow of over £300m, despite the pandemic.

Above all, the crisis has acted as a catalyst for Pearson to rethink the nature and purpose of forecasting. As Kelly concludes: “Whether the forecast is right or wrong becomes less important than understanding why it’s right or wrong. So the game we were playing wasn’t to get the forecast right on any particular day, but to have a good understanding of the business over time – which then enables you to get it right.”

Pearson will be presenting at the 30th anniversary International Treasury Management Virtual Week from Sept 27 – Oct 1. Registration is free for corporate treasurers. Click here to find out more and reserve your place.

Register free


 

 

The Treasury Dragons vs Cash Forecasting | Best-of-breed Cashforce

14-04-2022 | treasuryXL | Cashforce | LinkedIn |

 

Have you seen the Treasury Dragons vs. Cash Forecasting session yet? Watch the replay now to learn which cash forecasting solution is right for your business. This session is for treasurers who want to enhance their cash forecasting but aren’t sure which technology will work best for their company. In this session, Nicolas Christiaen compares and contrasts best-of-breed Cashforce with alternative options.



ABOUT THIS EVENT

Cash flow forecasting is the process of predicting the flow of cash in and out of a business over a period, generally the responsibility of the corporate treasurer. An accurate cash flow forecast helps companies predict future cash positions, avoid cash shortages, and invest any surplus cash to generate extra income.

Generating an accurate forecast involves collecting information from multiple sources. It’s often still a manual process using spreadsheets and multiple bank downloads. However, today, there are many solutions available which can automate and streamline cash flow forecasting for corporate treasury.

This Treasury Dragons online session on Tuesday, April 5th 2022 at 3:00 PM (BST) looks under the hood of these cash forecasting systems in a live Q&A with real corporate treasurers.

Among the solution providers we’ll be featuring are:

This is the latest in a series of online debates in which treasury technology firms present their solutions to our ‘Dragons’ – and to you.

In short, sharp presentations you will see the highlights of each treasury-enhancing system on offer – and then the solution providers will face some challenging questioning from our panel of treasury tough nuts.

It’s the fastest way to get up to speed on what’s really on offer.​


 

Nicolas Christiaen

Managing Partner at Cashforce

 

 

2022: A new start?

21-12-2021 | treasuryXL | Cashforce | LinkedIn

Nicolas Christiaen of Cashforce looks ahead to a year of challenge and opportunity for treasury. 

If there is one constant in business, it’s the fact that change will always happen – whether we like it or not. And the past half decade has seen more transformative disruption than much of the previous half century. Markets, models, economies – all have seen seismic shifts. And that’s before we were hit with a global pandemic.



It doesn’t take a soothsayer to predict that the coming year promises to throw up a whole new set of challenges for treasurers across the UK. How they address those challenges may determine how well positioned their businesses are to capitalise on the eventual recovery.

Clearly, the volatility that has characterised the previous two years isn’t going anywhere. What we have seen is that, while many treasurers and their teams have adapted to the new world we are now living in, COVID-19 is not over yet and there is a constant flow of new variables. COVID variants emerge periodically, and the different approaches to containing the virus will continue to cause volatility in the markets.

It’s fair to say that the treasury teams most likely to prosper in the coming year will be those that have not only demonstrated operational transformation or transactional excellence, but those that have also focused on continual improvement and the nuts and bolts of treasury activities – whether that means reviewing risk management processes or implementing new technology.

There’s little doubt that there remains the potential for further disruptions in global supply chains, which will inevitably bolster the demand for more visibility into cash. So, what will that mean for treasurers? From the conversations we’ve had with our clients across a range of sectors, our belief is that scenario analysis will continue to be top of mind for treasury teams over the next 12 months as new macroeconomic variables drive the need for multiple forecasts.

 

Technology for treasurers

 

The key to surviving the uncertainty will be to adopt technology that fits acute needs within a treasury’s view and then to implement it. On the adoption side, it amazes us that in 2021 we still see critical treasury processes and information housed in spreadsheets.

The good news is that the funds available for ‘Office of the CFO’ software as a service solutions (including cash management, treasury and forecasting solutions) have increased and are still growing. Even better is that ‘best-of-breed’ solutions, which typically have lower barriers of entry, are surging, as the ‘one-size-fits-all’ type of solution is shown to be excellent in some areas but simply not viable in others.

Finally, it is also worth noting that the longer we have to live with COVID-19, the more normal it will become to acquire technology in front of a computer screen (rather than meeting face to face).

On the implementation side, internal IT processes and architecture alignments are still a roadblock to implementing even niche solutions. The reason is simple: there is not enough IT capacity, due to a general lack of IT skills in the marketplace. A war for IT resources results in increased internal costs and pushes out project time frames. Digital transformation programs, while beneficial in the long term, seem to guarantee that business users of technology won’t realise tangible benefits for many months. Therefore, more focus should be put on quick wins or proof of concepts and building further from there.

While there are certainly challenges to adopting and implementing technology effectively, the need for visibility (and the automation to support scaling that visibility up), security, validation and auditing has not decreased. We feel that the above will continue to drive conversations with treasury technology providers.

Ultimately, treasurers occupy a unique position: they are, in many ways, the first line of defence in protecting businesses from the headwinds that can buffet them in stormy times. We firmly believe that by adopting the right approach to technology investment, they will continue to play their vital role.


 

Nicolas Christiaen

Managing Partner at Cashforce

 

 

Announcement | FIS is partnering with Cashforce to bring best-of-breed cash forecasting abilities to its TMS system

08-11-2021 | treasuryXL | Cashforce

Our partner Cashforce is excited to announce that FIS has launched a new cash forecasting and working capital data analytics solution: FIS Cash Forecasting with Cashforce. FIS Cash Forecasting with Cashforce complements and integrates with FIS Treasury & Risk Mgr (Quantum & Integrity edition) and gives organizations the ability to forecast their cash position & FX exposure more accurately for the short & long term.

FIS is enabling mid-market and enterprise companies to manage their cash more effectively, overcoming the existence of
fragmented data, disparate workflows, limited transparency into root-cause analysis and the inefficiency of manual
reporting. With the launch of FIS Cash Forecasting with Cashforce, organizations will gain the ability to forecast their cash
position more accurately for the near term and into the future.

“The solution leverages deep insights into working capital drivers and all the power of artificial intelligence to turn
educated guesswork into specific, reliable predictions,” said Nicolas Christiaen, CEO of Cashforce. “With out-of-the-box
ERP connectivity and the ability to feed forecast data into FIS Treasury and Risk Manager – Quantum Edition and FIS
Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition, management teams are empowered to generate more timely reporting and
organize their workflow to streamline the cash forecasting process and sharpen decision-making.”

According to PwC’s 2021 Global Treasury Survey, cash and liquidity management – together with funding and capital
structure – are the top two priority topics for treasurers and CFOs. In fact, nearly one third (32%) of respondents to the
2021 FIS Readiness Report indicate that they are investing in digital technology to improve cash visibility.

FIS Cash Forecasting with Cashforce is responding to that need, helping corporations overcome the problem of
fragmented data by consolidating information from ERPs, AR/AP, procurement, sales, treasury management and other
systems while leveraging pre-built connectors that ensure a seamless flow of high-volume, granular data. Smart
forecasting logic creates highly accurate forecasts to evaluate different scenarios, analyze impact and calculate
forecast/actuals variance. Collaboration across the organization is simple with easy-to-define workflows that result in an
enterprise-wide forecast that can be consumed by treasury.

“We wanted to find a partner that could complement our treasury management solutions with an AI-driven cash
forecasting solution to help solve our clients’ forecasting challenges. I am happy to say Cashforce is that partner,” said
Steve Evans, senior vice president, Product Management, Corporate Liquidity and Insurance at FIS. “And because the
solution is SaaS-based, it is easy to implement and maintain – enabling treasury departments to focus on running their
treasury operation.”

 

Request a demo

 

About Cashforce

Cashforce is a ‘next-generation’ Cash forecasting & Working Capital Analytics solution, focused on automation
and integration. Our cloud-based software enables corporates to unlock their data and create smarter decisions,
saving time and money. By integrating internal & external company data (ERPs, TMS, data lakes etc) and
processing them through machine learning techniques, our software provides insight into cash flows & working
capital, automates manual and cumbersome treasury tasks and enables AI-powered-scenarios. Cashforce is
used by midsize to large corporates and has users in over 120 countries. To learn more, visit www.cashforce.com. Follow Cashforce on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About FIS

FIS is a leading provider of technology solutions for merchants, banks and capital markets firms globally. Our employees are dedicated to advancing the way the world pays, banks and invests by applying our scale, deep expertise and data-driven insights. We help our clients use technology in innovative ways to solve business-critical challenges and deliver superior experiences for their customers. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, FIS ranks #241 on the 2021 Fortune 500 and is a member of Standard & Poor’s 500® Index. To learn more, visit www.fisglobal.com. Follow FIS on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (@FISGlobal).

 

 

 

Partner Interview | CEO Nicolas Christiaen about how and why they built Cashforce NextGen, the ‘next generation’

05-10-2021 | treasuryXL | Cashforce

 

Why did Cashforce create the ‘NextGen’? What’s the vision behind this great concept? We have asked CEO Nicolas Christiaen 10 questions regarding the creation of the NextGen platform.

Find out why Cashforce created NextGen, what makes it unique and what solution the platform offers to treasurers.

Introduction Nicolas

Nicolas Christiaen is the CEO and Co-founder of Cashforce, an industry leading cash forecasting and working capital insights system. Nicolas has an extensive background in finance analytics, cash management and cash forecasting. He has led the effort to bring Cashforce to multi-national firms in distribution/retail, manufacturing and logistics/services industries. Nicolas uses his experience to drive both product development and thought leadership within Cashforce, resulting in a user base that benefits, not only from the system, but also the best practices that helped design it. Prior to Cashforce Nicolas worked as a management consultant at PwC and was a serial entrepreneur, founding two other software companies. He is frequently a guest speaker in the FinTech community and you will often find him on panels at international treasury conferences.

 

Introduction NextGen

Cashforce is a “next generation” cash forecasting and working capital analytics solution focused on automation and integration. By using Cashforce’s cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, corporates can unlock the potential for their data to help make smarter decisions, saving time and money in the process. Cashforce can consume a large variety of data, process that data using machine learning and get insights into cash flows and working capital. Cashforce NextGen eliminates the manual and cumbersome treasury tasks around cash forecasting, enabling its users to take advantage of AI-powered scenarios and a strong workflow for distributed treasury teams. The Cashforce system serves mid-to-large-sized corporates and is currently being used at over 70 companies and as many countries.

INTERVIEW

1. Can you remember your “A-ha!” moment that made you realize Cashforce NextGen needed to be built?

Yes, I can remember it well. We were working on a proof-of-concept exercise with a huge dataset, imagining ways to manage this large amount of complex data. We have always tried to challenge ourselves to look for ways to do things better. Our technical team of UX and system performance specialists began laying out the case to use the latest technology to provide, not only the functionality, but also the scalability and performance we would need to meet projected commitments and fulfill the product vision. The team did a fantastic job and really showed me the “art of the possible”. That did it for me and we immediately switched gears to figure out how we could make this happen.

2. What critical issue does the Cashforce NextGen immediately resolve for the treasurer?

Right now, treasurers struggle to provide their stakeholders with accurate forecasts. This is due to the difficulty of consolidating data into one place, and dealing with complexities like intercompany payments, various payment behaviors and overdues. Treasury practitioners want to be able to drill into the data and to use the output to make important decisions from “how much excess cash do I have to invest for the short term?” to “how much cash will we have in three months when our planned acquisition closes”? It is hard to do that when your forecast is sub-par. Cashforce helps you pull data from every location where it resides so you can start with a complete picture. Then we layer our analytics on top of that, so that you have a clear picture of what is coming in and going out. The result is that the forecasted cash positions become meaningful enough that you can incorporate them into strategic plans.

3. How does the new platform differentiate from the other players in the market?

Cashforce began its journey from a working capital analysis point-of-view and we built our cash forecasting capabilities on top of that by linking to ERP systems. This had the effect of enriching the quality of the forecasts that we could generate and made them more useful. The ERP connectors themselves are a large differentiator: they ensure a seamless flow of granular, system-based data. This creates a fully transparent view into cash. On top of that, Cashforce applies smart forecasting logic (including AI-based algorithms, P&L-to-Cash logic, payment behavior analysis…) to build highly accurate and automated forecasts for the short, mid & long term. An intelligent simulation engine allows the Treasury department to evaluate different scenarios, analyze their impact and calculate the forecast/actuals variance.

4. Can each ERP system work with the Cashforce NextGen also when you work with multiple ERP’s located in different countries?

Yes, we have many clients that use Cashforce to pull in data from multiple ERP’s. Sometimes it is different instances of the same ERP, and sometimes it is a different ERP altogether. Either way, we configure Cashforce to pull in the needed data automatically, so that the end-users can start using the system with the data already loaded.

5. What is the biggest challenge you experienced while creating this new platform?

When you are trying to build a really remarkable product, there is always a tension between the ideal vision, the dream state, and what development can realistically deliver to meet market and client expectations and keep our overall momentum. On top of that, the pandemic struck while we were in the middle of our efforts, and this put an enormous strain on our timelines, productivity and ability to collaborate in real-time in the way you need to make something special. Doing that through web meetings can slow things down quite a bit, but luckily we already had a solid plan, an established process and an effective line of communication. This enabled us to keep going and now that we are moving back to normal, we are positioned to get out there and show what NextGen can do.

6. What is, in your perception, the biggest benefit of working with Cashforce NextGen?

As we brought Cashforce NextGen to market, we found that several benefits jumped out to our clients: Time-savings, Money-savings and the ability to use knowledge of your current and future cash positions to elevate forecasting to a strategic level. Many of our clients need to actively manage cash to invest or borrow properly, as needed and to make acquisitions. But they are using old tools and forecasting modules that simply didn’t give them what they needed. With NextGen, we have the highest degree of automation, the best workflow, the latest AI and machine learning models to improve forecasting and it all sits in a great user interface that is so easy to use. Sorry to not say one benefit, but the truth is the benefits are many.

7. What is the overall feeling of your customers about NextGen?

Our customers are very excited about the new product, just as we are. Prior to development, we made sure to meet with our clients, share the vision and gather their feedback, especially pain points. It was a great feeling when we went back to them to show our first demonstration of NextGen, you could feel the excitement in the air.

8. Can you give us an outlook on the product developments and tell us a bit more about your vision?

Cashforce’s vision has always been to save time and money for finance and treasury departments. Over the years, we have accumulated expertise around different approaches to short- mid-and long-term forecasting, connectivity with different ERP’s and TMS’s, designing sustainable workflows and integrating technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. We want to leverage this knowledge alongside future-facing technologies, such as APIs, to create a new platform that is state-of-the-art and capable of consuming billions of transactions in real-time. However, we don’t plan to stop at consolidation and analysis of the data. We are working with our clients to build out the system to take the “next action”in their treasury processes. By linking with trade execution platforms and Treasury Management Systems (TMS), Cashforce will be a decision-making engine that drives our customers’ workflows.

9. The world is always changing, how does Cashforce stay one step ahead of its competitors?

The treasury world is always changing and will always be changing. It’s up to us to change with it and keep up with shifting consumer needs. Companies that focus on the past tend to stay in the past. So you must know what technology is out there, what is possible, what is available, what works and what doesn’t. For example, AI and machine learning will become ubiquitous and woven into the fabric of finance and treasury. That is why we want to lead the charge to use new methods and new technology. The better informed our clients are, the better prepared they will be to handle these changes as they happen.

10. Looking back on your Cashforce career, what is ‘the thing’ you are most proud of?

I have had the opportunity to work with some very talented people at Cashforce. I am most proud of our ability to create an environment that empowers our people to be as successful as they can. To see these talented people bring Cashforce NextGen to life has been an amazing experience.

 

 

 

Helping Hand: Using Cashforce to Manage Growth Through M&A

24-08-2021 | treasuryXL | Cashforce

How one treasurer used Cashforce technology to improve forecasting and support growth.

When one treasurer saw that his team was getting too bogged down managing the company’s dozens of bank accounts across 25 entities, he sought out an automated cash management system, but he had a concern: the company is continually growing through mergers and acquisitions, and in the past, new accounts made everything muddy.

  • The process of integrating a new entity and any accounts it brings along can be cumbersome—and who knows if their ERP would even be compatible with the automated solution he chooses?
  • He said that Cashforce, a cash forecasting and working capital analytics solution that can work with multiple ERPs, was the answer. “Cashforce’s ability to take feeds from multiple ERP systems was big.”

New accounts, new problems. 

Before turning to Cashforce, the treasurer had significant capital committed to grow the business through acquisitions. He only had two or three people managing this aspect, and he said the company’s TMS offered little assistance.

  • “Cash is our lifeline,” he said. “To me, the most important thing is knowing how much cash we have and where it is.
    • “We’re not over-leveraged, but we’re leveraged,” he said, so finding a cash management solution that provides quick access to every detail was crucial.
  • But the treasurer said his company doesn’t expect accounts that come with newly acquired companies to work with its preexisting ERP system. Cashforce, which can take data feeds from new ERP systems, was the key.
  • “We needed a cash management solution that integrated with our current ERPs and future ERPs to be able to feed data into the tool,” he said.

Feel the force.

Because Cashforce can take those inputs, the treasurer said it could work. But would it actually save enough time, and free up cash through efficient management of working capital? The solution, he said, had four clear advantages that made cash forecasting “a lot more accurate” in just six months:

  1. Ease of use, with data visualization tools that teams can use without having to dig into reams of numbers.
  2. The ability to drill down into the data into transaction-level detail.
  3. The ability to take these now automatically generated data-driven insights to management instead of spreadsheets.
  4. The ability to view daily bank positions.

Feel the force. 

Because Cashforce can take those inputs, the treasurer said it could work. But would it actually save enough time, and free up cash through efficient management of working capital? The solution, he said, had four clear advantages that made cash forecasting “a lot more accurate” in just six months:

  1. Ease of use, with data visualization tools that teams can use without having to dig into reams of numbers.
  2. The ability to drill down into the data into transaction-level detail.
  3. The ability to take these now automatically generated data-driven insights to management instead of spreadsheets.
  4. The ability to view daily bank positions.

Bonus: data literacy.

 An added “unofficial” benefit of Cashforce that the treasurer added was change management—the opportunity to get a once data-hesitant team to embrace the possibilities offered by analytics.

  • Though he wasn’t intending on using Cashforce to manage credit and collections, through encouraging his team to dig into the data, “one of the biggest advantages is I got my C&C manager to give me a much more accurate forecast.