Perfecting the Cash Forecast

21-06-2022 | treasuryXL | Kyriba | LinkedIn |

 

By Bob Stark, Global Head of Market Strategy

Source



The number one treasury issue that causes CFOs the most potential concern is unreliable cash visibility and forecasts, according to a Nov. 2018 CFO Publishing survey, “3 Key Areas Where CFOs Say Treasurers Need to be More Strategic.”

Every organization talks about forecasting more effectively, but few allocate sufficient people, time, and technology to build an effective program. Understanding the importance of an accurate cash forecast that can be relied upon for key financial decisions is critical to making the right investments in forecasting. While there are many reasons to forecast, such as protecting against currency volatility, there are a few key areas that should be addressed to help CFOs and treasurers further make the connection between accurate cash forecasting and bottom-line financial performance.

So, what is cash forecasting? Cash forecasting, when performed accurately, enables greater certainty of projected cash balances. Longer term investing, reduced borrowing costs, more effective hedging programs and better mobility of global cash, cash positioning is concerned with today and often the next five business days. The purpose is to manage daily liquidity to ensure shortfalls are covered and surpluses are concentrated to earn some yield on excess cash. 

Cash budgeting is performed by finance teams such as FP&A and is more focused beyond one year – although with increased emphasis on free cash flow guidance, the reconciliation of indirect budget-based forecasts with direct cash flow forecasts is increasingly managed quarterly. 

Cash forecasting typically extends cash positioning with horizons anywhere from one week to one year. Forecasting leverages multiple data sources to increase confidence in the projected cash balances so that better cash decisions can be made. The value of forecasting is based upon the value of those better decisions.

So why forecast? Ineffective cash forecasting costs money and impacts shareholder value. A poorly executed program drives a number of negative consequences so it is critical to understand the link between effective cash forecasting and bottom line financial performance. Excuses such as “we’re cash rich” or “interest rates are too low” no longer satisfy investors who demand that cash be deployed or returned to them. Without adequate visibility of forecast cash and where cash needs to be deployed to meet growth targets, CEOs and CFOs risk looking foolish in front of shareholders and analysts. 

The volatility in global currencies shows no signs of abating, meaning that the pressure on CFOs to maintain the value of foreign cash inflows and outflows persists. Companies can experience earnings per share losses from unexpected and unhedged currency impacts or have difficulty in maintaining (let alone increasing) return on cash in a post-Basel III environment. 

Forecasting cash will allow segregation of operational and non-operational cash into time buckets as well as deliver the needed accuracy to allocate cash to longer duration investment strategies. This will help preserve previously realised investment returns or help to find an alternative for cash balances that are no longer wanted by your bank!

Certainty in projected cash balances drives the CFO’s ability to anticipate and prepare for corporate actions and strategic investments. For example, without confidence in cash forecasts, the CFO and treasurer are not relied upon to contribute to key M&A decisions such as providing guidance on the components of cash, debt and equity to calculate a total acquisition cost.

When cash is held globally, share buybacks or dividend hikes are a challenge. Often CFOs find it cheaper to borrow cash domestically than repatriate funds – yet this analysis requires certainty into projected cash balances. Confidence in the forecast is critical to optimize business value; CFOs need an effective cash forecast in order to make commitments on how to reinvest cash to meet organic growth targets. Lack of confidence will lead to unnecessary borrowing or equity financing.

Consolidation of data – Finding the right information and determining the most efficient (i.e. automated) way to integrate it into a consolidated forecast system is key. 

While automation is important, data quality is also paramount to success. When building the forecast, each line item may be sourced in different ways. The source of the information will determine the best way to build the forecast for each line item. For example, many treasury teams prefer to import accounts payable data directly from the ERP while for receivables information they may wish to extrapolate historical data and model using a linear regression. For treasury teams to be effective, it is important that all methods be fully automated and secure so that initial setup, maintenance, and daily execution to build the forecast are easy and can be maintained by the user (and not require re-programming).

Collaboration – Making decisions on the best data to build the forecast also requires determining who to collaborate with to smoothly access that key information. In many cases, treasury does not have direct authority over the people that own systems and/or business responsibilities that offer that data Yet, treasury relies upon this outside information to build a comprehensive forecast, so good internal communication skills are critical to receiving quality information in a timely way. Accounts Payable, FP&A, IT, Regional Controllers all forecast projections for decentralized organizations. Many treasury teams plan, with their CFOs, a top-down collaboration model that builds effective cash forecasting into the team’s objectives and compensation. This draws attention to the forecasting objectives and motivates each team to fulfill their roles.

Measurement – The most important – and often overlooked – step is the measurement of forecast accuracy. Implementing a process to measure forecast accuracy at a detailed level to identify the source of variances is critical to improving quality and ultimately reducing forecast variances. Equally important is implementing a feedback loop – to systems and to people – that ensure that forecast data is improved based on variances that were identified. The feedback loop is especially important when non-treasury resources are contributing to the forecast to ensure that the right behaviors and cash forecast numbers are positively reinforced while opportunities for improvement are well communicated. This is especially effective when feedback is aligned to KPIs and quarterly objectives of those outside of the treasury team.

Key to success – A forecast variance analysis should be detailed with multiple ‘snapshots’ taken. If only a summary picture is reviewed (e.g. how effective was forecasting over a 3-month period) then a lot of the variability is hidden within that timeframe. Measuring daily, weekly, or bi-weekly will help uncover the ups and downs between forecast and actuals that might otherwise go unnoticed. Fortunately, the business intelligence features of a TMS such as Kyriba offers the data visualization and analytics required to offer this level of detail. Cash forecasting is especially important if you are “cash rich” with a high percentage of non-operational cash deposits. Multinationals with significant foreign revenues must forecast better, so they can hedge effectively and deliver cash predictability to their stakeholders. The key to forecasting is flexibility so that you have many options to model the different streams of forecast data. The accuracy of your data will determine if importing, regressing, extrapolating, or other methods of calculations are needed to build your forecast effectively. 

Without measuring forecast accuracy, it is impossible to know if you are good at forecasting. Data visualization helps focus on important variances – whether by category, time bucket, or geography – and isolate what data needs to be improved for future forecasting. ROI of cash forecasting is very high.

In summary, the value of forecasting is driven by what your organization can do with additional cash. The value of cash can be measured by investing longer with higher returns on cash, repaying debt, earning yield from early supplier payments, or investing in new organizational projects. Perfecting the cash forecast means freeing up cash from working capital and directing towards these higher value uses.



REMINDER WEBINAR | The Evolution of Open banking, Connectivity and Real time: How will APIs change the Treasurer’s daily life?

06-06-2022 | treasuryXL | Kyriba | LinkedIn |

Live session | June 14 | 11 am CET

Do you know how to take use of APIs’ benefits for small, medium, and large companies? APIs are a real-time catalyst for providing CFOs and treasurers with a 360-degree perspective of their liquidity management. Discover everything there is to know with our partner Kyriba; our next live session will take place on June 14 at 11 a.m. CET.



Join the panelist discussion to hear from experts in the field

  • Pieter de Kiewit, Owner of Treasurer Search is moderator of this session. With his passion for treasury and his wide industry knowledge he is the obvious person to ask the right questions to the experts.
  • Patrick Kunz, owner of Pecunia Treasury & Finance and highly valued treasuryXL expert. With Patrick’s impressive career within the World of Treasury, you can really say that he lives and breathes Treasury.
    Patrick is performance driven. He is an open minded, outgoing, rational person who is comfortable communicating and convincing on all levels of management. Patrick has worked with both international corporates from all fields of business as well as national non-profit organisations.
  • Félix Grévy, VP Product, Open API and Connectivity, Kyriba
    Felix Grevy has more than 20 years of experience working in Financial Technology and held various roles in product development, sales and product management.
    He has been working on API for the last 5 years, building and launching successful API platforms. He has joined Kyriba in 2020 to lead the API and connectivity strategy

We will go around several questions:

  • Who should, own/build the API; Bank, customer or TMS provider? If a bank builds one should it be open source?
  • How can APIs contribute to accounting or controlling, in situations where there are intraday statements, but accounting is only able to process them with end of day statements? Two-way traffic: API’s for both statements / Camt for instant payments
  • How does the CFO leverage the instant payments vs instant acknowledgement?
  • APIs vs Swift. How do they operate together?

Registration

Discover everything there is to know about APIs and how to unify data in a single platform to deliver key insights.

Register today for the next event on API and its advantages.

 


LIVE SESSION | The Evolution of Open banking, Connectivity and Real time: How will APIs change the Treasurer’s daily life?

27-05-2022 | treasuryXL | Kyriba | LinkedIn |

Live session | June 14 | 11 am CET

How to benefit from the advantages of APIs, for small, medium, or large companies?

APIs are a key work in Treasury Management Systems and the link to multibank platforms. APIs are a catalyst in real time to grant CFOs and treasurers a 360 view of their liquidity management.


Webinar June 14, Kyriba and treasuryXL


Join the panelist discussion to hear from experts in the field

  • Pieter de Kiewit, Owner of Treasurer Search is moderator of this session. With his passion for treasury and his wide industry knowledge he is the obvious person to ask the right questions to the experts.
  • Patrick Kunz, owner of Pecunia Treasury & Finance and highly valued treasuryXL expert. With Patrick’s impressive career within the World of Treasury, you can really say that he lives and breathes Treasury.
    Patrick is performance driven. He is an open minded, outgoing, rational person who is comfortable communicating and convincing on all levels of management. Patrick has worked with both international corporates from all fields of business as well as national non-profit organisations.
  • Félix Grévy, VP Product, Open API and Connectivity, Kyriba
    Felix Grevy has more than 20 years of experience working in Financial Technology and held various roles in product development, sales and product management.
    He has been working on API for the last 5 years, building and launching successful API platforms. He has joined Kyriba in 2020 to lead the API and connectivity strategy

We will go around several questions:

  • Who should, own/build the API; Bank, customer or TMS provider? If a bank builds one should it be open source?
  • How can APIs contribute to accounting or controlling, in situations where there are intraday statements, but accounting is only able to process them with end of day statements? Two-way traffic: API’s for both statements / Camt for instant payments
  • How does the CFO leverage the instant payments vs instant acknowledgement?
  • APIs vs Swift. How do they operate together?

Registration

Discover everything there is to know about APIs and how to unify data in a single platform to deliver key insights.

Register today for the next event on API and its advantages.

 


The Role of APIs in Strategic Cash Forecasting

19-05-2022 | treasuryXL | Kyriba | LinkedIn |

 

By Andrew Deichler, Content Manager and Strategic Marketing

Source



Cash forecasting has undergone some substantial changes over the past couple of years. While forecasting has always been important, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted just how critical it is, and why CFOs are prioritizing it more than ever.

In a recent webinar, Bob Stark, global head of marketing for Kyriba, and Lisa Husken, value engineer at Kyriba, discussed the current and future state of strategic cash forecasting. When exploring the data, one key point became clear—APIs are the key to more accurate cash forecasts.

How Forecasting Has Changed

Prior to the pandemic, many organizations with high idle cash balances might not have prioritized forecasting, Husken noted. However, once the pandemic hit, as well as other issues that followed like supply chain disruptions, even cash-flush companies quickly saw the important role forecasting played in their liquidity strength.

Risk management has also become more of a focus in the pandemic era as macroeconomic factors impacted FX, interest rates, the supply chain, and inflation. This prompted a shift from organizations generally producing one cash forecast to looking at multiple scenarios for cash and liquidity. “The ‘what-if’ scenarios became increasingly important,” Stark said. “It’s not like they didn’t happen before… but everyone became intrigued by [scenario planning] come 2020.”

Data-Driven Decision-Making

Given the focus on risk and the necessity to explore multiple potential scenarios, today’s treasury functions are focusing heavily on data-driven decision-making. Organizations have more data than ever before, and they need real-time access to it in order to make strategic decisions. And the only way to facilitate that is through APIs; “You can’t become more data-driven without actually having integrated platforms with APIs,” Stark said.

While many organizations view APIs as connectors that allow companies to access their banks and real-time payments, they have much greater potential. They have the ability to unify data, bringing information together into one, composable system, Stark explained. They can take a company’s system of record (the ERP), merge it with a treasury management system, and also bring in data sets from other internal and external sources, such as purchase requisitions, purchase orders, invoices, sales forecasts, etc.

With such expansive capabilities, it’s plain to see why APIs are the perfect tools for forecasting. A survey of over 800 finance executives by IDC and commissioned by Kyriba revealed that 88% of them are prioritizing APIs this year. That’s because CFOs understand that APIs can unify forecast data across their organizations so that they can make better decisions. They are demanding more precise cash forecasting and liquidity planning.

And they are right to demand it, because at the moment, they don’t have the insights they need. The survey also revealed that currently only 15% of finance leaders leverage real-time data to drive insights, and only 25% of finance teams reliably forecast cash and liquidity beyond one month.

Husken noted that those two data points go hand in hand. Reflecting on her previous role as a treasury practitioner, she noted that once forecasts go beyond 4 weeks, their accuracy tends to be 50% at best. “If you don’t have access to that real-time data, then you’re not utilizing the most up-to-date information,” she said. “Then how could you be as accurate as you could be going out further than four weeks.”

Better Forecasting Rewards

Improving the forecast would provide treasury and finance teams with more confidence to capture higher yield, which is desirable in a rising interest rate environment. With the insight strong forecasting provides, some Kyriba clients have been able to decrease the amount of cash they commit to working capital on a both short-term and a long-term basis and divert it to higher-yielding activities.

For example, through improved forecasting with Kyriba, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) was able to reduce working capital holdings by nearly $4 billion. The health insurance company was then able to make more strategic investment decisions earlier in the day, resulting in a 5% increase in investment returns. Short-term returns grew by $40 million, while long-term returns have seen an increase of $140 million.

Looking ahead, treasury teams may reap even higher rewards as interest rates increase. The culmination of data that APIs facilitate will create better forecasts, enabling organizations to put cash on the balance sheet to the best possible use. Borrowing will get more expensive as interest rates increase, but APIs can vastly enhance the decision-making process.

Listen to the full webinar here. And for even further insights, download the AFP Treasury in Practice Guide, Treasury Opportunities in Strategic Cash Forecasting.



Effective API Strategies Go Beyond Banks & Payments

21-04-2022 | treasuryXL | Kyriba | LinkedIn |

 

By Brian Blihovde, Senior Director, Product Marketing

Source



Bank Connectivity is Only the Beginning of the Transformation Journey

CFOs looking to optimize their processes and systems view APIs as a gateway to enterprise-wide liquidity and the organization’s financial capabilities and health. Finance transformation starts with bank connectivity, leading to real-time decision-making, but the opportunities do not stop there. Bank connectivity and payments help finance deliver more complete, real-time information to all parts of the business. This is the benefit from composable financial systems and design. CFOs, treasurers, and their IT counterparts must all collaborate, consider and plan how transformations continue to drive impacts beyond bank connectivity for all of finance and business units as well.

Finance and the business units to include manufacturing, warehousing, inventory, sales, and distribution all comprise enterprise-level functions contributing important strategic decision-making information. APIs should be used to drive transformation, resilience of data, efficiency, and real-time reporting. Strategic liquidity decision-making will improve once IT and finance can collaborate.

Legacy Systems Don’t Exist with New Data Unification Strategies

CEOs and CFOs are finding it harder to justify an entire re-do of their systems landscapes. CFOs should not look at their systems as “legacy” as API integration can take data and transform it into information and expanded decision-making capabilities. This API-driven unification of data from systems available and stored within various databases and systems across the organization. Legacy is an outdated concept when leading-edge, comprehensive APIs are introduced as technology enablers.

Information, today, is compiled, rationalized, and optimized with APIs regardless of the source system or application; definitions of “legacy” are not relevant any longer. CFOs and finance leaders make decisions with aggregated data transformed into business intelligence repositories from the information they have today and at reduced timelines with leading APIs.

Doing More with Less: APIs Beyond the Bank

Treasury and finance can do more when they use a vendor with integrative API capabilities beyond payments and banking alone. Integrating procurement, ERPs, GLs, and other third-party systems delivers the data unification needed for a comprehensive decision-making platform. Today, APIs go beyond banking and payments for integration across:

  • Investment Portals
  • FX Trading Platforms & Hedge Management
  • Market Data Providers
  • Supplier Services (for Working Capital Programs)
  • Security Profile and Governance Management

Taking Next Steps

To obtain better, and more accurate access to finance information, APIs link the systems used to compile and compose this data into an automated and real-time systemic process. When synchronous ERP, ancillary and core treasury systems collectively feed into the strategic cash flow forecasting process and BI dashboards, the result is a comprehensive view of mid and longer-term flows equaling less effort, more insight and better decision-making.

Enterprise views of cash and liquidity begin with bank connectivity as it provides the needed access to payments, cash and liquidity availability and should always be real-time. However, it is not the end of the story; today’s organizations require more prescriptive, forward-looking capabilities only delivered with information flows like procure to pay and order to cash cycles from the entire unified financial landscape. These holistic, API-integrative systems can generate the business information and intelligence needed to quickly make better decisions and speed the success of today’s organization.

To learn more on how new leading APIs are becoming the standard for how finance and treasury become more than information stewards, but rather catalysts and centers of excellence for better strategic decision-making for their greater organizations – www.kyriba.com.



When Is the Right Time to Move to APIs?

23-03-2022 | treasuryXL | Kyriba | LinkedIn |

By Andrew Deichler, Content Manager, Strategic Marketing

Application programming interfaces (APIs) have the potential to revolutionize the treasury and finance function. But when is the time to move to APIs, and when is file transfer protocol (FTP) still sufficient?

Let’s explore the use cases for APIs and when it is appropriate to begin using them. We’ll also look at areas where FTP is still sufficient.

Source



API Use Cases

Largely viewed as conduits for faster bank connections, APIs allow systems to exchange data faster. Unlike FTP, APIs do not require any kind of file download to transmit information; users have instant access to the data they need.

Major ERP providers are working with API developers to embed APIs into their workflows so users don’t need to take any action outside the ERP. For example, Kyriba is working with SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics and others on API connectors. And Kyriba users can also integrate APIs into their ERPs on their own with our plug-and-play solutions.

APIs have nearly limitless potential. They can facilitate an open ecosystem that enables third-party developers to build applications on top of the API provider’s platform. Through such a platform, corporate treasury and finance departments can expedite the flow of data. Kyriba’s Open API hub, launched in 2021, is an online marketplace of real-time connections to apps, data, and new products and services that inject data-driven decision-making into every financial operation.

APIs offer treasury and finance many capabilities that they haven’t had before, such as the power to “un-batch” payments. Rather than relying on batch processes that transmit at several pre-determined times each day, APIs allow payments to be initiated from treasury management systems and ERP systems as needed—even in real time. In fact, real-time payments require the use of an API because payments can’t be transmitted instantly if a file needs to be downloaded.

Furthermore, APIs can also un-batch reporting, allowing organizations to manage cash continuously and in real-time. Just like batch payments, batch reporting is constrained to set times each day. APIs allow treasury and finance teams to receive intraday liquidity updates as needed, improving the ability to position, reconcile and invest cash. And immediate visibility into cash also allows companies to vastly improve forecasting.

FTP Isn’t Going Anywhere Just Yet

All that said, FTP isn’t dying out just yet. Banks and technology solutions providers that are managing open platforms are not replacing legacy formats with APIs; rather, they are offering them as a complement to these formats.

Furthermore, the rollout has been slow; most banks are not using APIs in live production yet. And the ones that do mostly offer them for certain real-time services—meaning that multiple connectivity options are needed to fully support a treasury and finance team.

But even if you have full API capabilities, they may not be appropriate for every type of data transfer yet. Generally speaking, FTP is better for large bulk transfers of data, while APIs are preferable for smaller, more specific transfer needs. And even though APIs can virtually eliminate the need for batching, some organizations may not see a need to end the practice—and they’ll need FTP to do that.

Lastly, FTP has been around for many years, making it compatible with legacy systems. Unlike API connections, which require that systems on both ends support the technology, FTP only requires that the appropriate file format be used. So, FTP won’t require any major conversions for your software. In other words, if the status quo is working for your organization, you may not see the need to make any changes right now.

API and SFTP Capabilities

In many ways, APIs bring key advantages over a file-based approach, such as an immediate response from banks and the ability to receive new data and notifications in real-time. But for the time being, flat-file technology is still very much in use.

Fortunately, Kyriba users don’t have to choose one or the other. Kyriba connects to 600 global banks on behalf of our nearly 2,500 clients using a variety of connection protocols, including APIs and FTP. So regardless of whether your bank and ERP are set up for APIs or not, Kyriba can ensure that you’ll have the right connectivity for your organization.

For more information on APIs, view our API WhitepaperFact Sheet and Infographic.


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.

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.

 

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.

Kyriba Unlocks Access to $15 Trillion Payment Network with Launch of Open API Platform

25-10-2021 | treasuryXL | Kyriba |

Kyriba, a global leader in cloud-based finance and IT solutions, today announced the launch of its Open API Platform to enable composable technology solutions for CFOs, CIOs and Treasurers, and accelerate the next generation of finance innovation. Kyriba’s Open API Platform streamlines the creation and connectivity of new applications for the company’s trusted network, which connects 1,000 banks, manages over a million bank accounts, and processes over 200 million payments worth 15 trillion USD annually.

The Open API Platform is accessible through Kyriba’s newly launched Developer Portal, which connects fintech developers to Kyriba’s 2,000+ global corporate clients who have integrated Kyriba into their treasury processes, enterprise payments systems, and ERP platforms.

 

“Kyriba Open API Platform will radically unlock fintech innovation for enterprise CFOs and their CIO counterparts,” said Boris Lipiainen, CTO of Kyriba. “Beyond simplifying and accelerating bank and ERP connectivity, fintech developers will bring new apps to the Kyriba network and empower the next generation of financial technology.”

 

APIs are transforming the way Finance and IT consume and integrate data and are the gateway to delivering real-time services, artificial intelligence, and composable digital finance solutions for CFOs and CIOs. According to Gartner® research, “Gartner predicts through 2024, 50% of financial application leaders will incorporate a composable financial management system approach to their solution selection. Gartner defines a composable architecture as one where highly modular applications can be composed and recomposed to deliver capabilities and outcomes that keep up with the rapid pace of business change1.”

 

“Kyriba’s Open API Platform eliminates the need for internal IT teams to deliver a patchwork of custom interfaces and RPA bots to satisfy the growing need for hyperautomation,” said Félix Grévy, VP of Open API and Connectivity at Kyriba. “Our Platform enables Kyriba clients and our network of development partners to accelerate product innovation and deliver composable technology solutions to eliminate fraud, mitigate risk and optimize enterprise liquidity.”

 

For more information about Kyriba’s Open API Platform, visit Kyriba.com or the Kyriba Developer Portal and listen to their webinar APIs:The Catalyst for Real-Time Treasury.