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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.

 

THE CHALLENGES OF LIQUIDITY PLANNING AND FORECASTING

| 17-06-2019 | treasuryXL | Cashforce |

For more than a decade, liquidity and cash flow forecasting have remained in the top three challenges for CFOs and treasurers globally. This begs the question: why has this been a perennial challenge for so long? The reason: treasury operations today are, for the most part, a series of unintegrated systems, spreadsheets and silos between groups and other departments.

Companies are often faced with multiple ERPs, many entities, and different currencies. These make the task of managing liquidity a major challenge, not to mention a significant manual effort involving many people. The result: lots of time spent gathering and validating data while still not having a full, transparent view into the numbers. The volume, variety, velocity and veracity of data generated each day has made traditional analysis – using spreadsheets, for example – obsolete. It is just not possible to manually aggregate and analyse that much data with sufficient speed to be able to gain insight, and then turn that insight into action. To be able to do so you need the right set of tools.

WHAT SHOULD A TREASURER OR CFO BE ASKING THEMSELVES?

  • Can you identify all your sources of data that you need to make a cash flow forecast? Eg ERP (how many do you have, are they all on the same instance), CRM, bank statements, trend analysis, manual data (such as budgets).
  • How often do you refresh your short-term/mid-term cash forecast? (Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or I don’t make a cash forecast).
  • How do you ensure no mistakes happen in your data capturing/consolidation?
  • How do you incentivise your subsidiaries? Local subsidiaries and users typically download information from their ERP, and upload in other types of files to HQ, or in SharePoint, or they will just send Excel files from all over the globe to HQ, which means it’s 100% manual. There’s no real alignment of the processes across subsidiaries and no audit trail at the local level.

WHAT TO CONSIDER?

  • Companies should ensure their information is system-based. In other words, they have full integration with their ERP, so they don’t have to manually download data (it should flow automatically).
  • Any augmentation of data should have an audit trail so that, ultimately, the group treasurer can see who did what, and when they did it.
  • Automate the process and deploy alert functionality, such as reminders for subsidiaries to post their local forecast, and for the group treasurer to look for it.
  • Ensure bank connectivity to enable comparison of actuals with forecast figures.

I HAVE THE DATA. NOW WHAT?

With this data, treasurers should now be able to answer these four key questions: what happened; why did it happen; what will happen; and what should be done?

  • Descriptive analytics answers the question, “what happened?” This is the most basic form of big data analytics, and provides a picture of past events.
  • Diagnostic analytics, “why did it happen?” Diagnostic analytics enables you to perform root cause analysis and use that information to prevent future repetition of events.
  • Predictive analytics, “what will happen?” Predictive analytics uses advanced algorithms – often with artificial intelligence and machine learning – to forecast future events.
  • Prescriptive analytics, “what should I do?” Prescriptive analytics tells you what the best steps are to achieve a specific result. Prescriptive analytics requires advanced machine learning capabilities.

 

 

Cashforce develops AI-powered cash forecasting module

| 27-05-2019 | treasuryXL | Cashforce |

CASHFORCE ‘S INTELLIGENT CASH FORECASTING ENGINE HELPS COMPANIES TO CREATE MORE ACCURATE FORECASTS BY LEVERAGING THE POWER OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.

May 22, 2019 New York, NY – Cashforce continues to innovate in treasury digitalization by developing its next generation A.I.-powered Cash Forecasting module, offering accurate forecasting for CFO’s & treasurers struggling to gain better cash visibility and forecasting accuracy. Originally part of a project of the AFTE (French Association of Corporate Treasurers) to disrupt various aspects of treasury, Cashforce got involved to explore how Artificial Intelligence could improve the cash forecasting process. For the initial proof of concept, Cashforce worked closely with a large, globally operating corporate to make this a reality using their financial data.

“While our platform is already globally recognized for providing accurate cash forecasts, we keep on exploring how we can further improve our view on the future. By including A.I. into the mix, we will provide both the CFO, Finance and Treasury departments with even more accurate, efficient and best-in-class cash flow analytics and cash forecasting solutions along with a single version of the truth” commented Nicolas Christiaen, CEO Cashforce.

As an example, Cashforce’s ‘Buffer-algorithm’ will back-test its current Cash flow forecasting model and re-apply these results onto the current model. In addition to the application of smart logic such as customer & vendor payment behavior, this will result in much more accurate forecasts. Companies will be better able to predict the cash outcomes and avoid surprises.

Mark O’Toole, Head of Cashforce for the Americas, commented “By including a feedback loop into the forecast algorithm, Cashforce is able to accurately predict customer payment behavior, unexpected invoices, growth, seasonality and the like.”

After this first release, Cashforce is already working on a next version of the A.I.-driven forecast, by looking at more complex patterns. Several methodologies are currently being explored, ranging from basic methods such as time-series to more complex concepts such as deep-learning and neural networks. At the same time, client feedback is coming in and this gives Cashforce a lot of inspiration on where to improve and what proposition is bringing more value.

As a ‘next-generation’ Cash Forecasting & Working Capital analytics platform, Cashforce helps finance and treasury departments save time and money by offering accurate cash flow forecasting & flexible treasury automation and significant working capital improvements. Cashforce is unique in its category, because it allows users to drill down to the transaction level details and the system integrates seamlessly with ERP systems & banking systems. In addition, an intelligent simulation engine enables companies to consider multiple cash flow scenarios and measure their impact. As a result, finance and treasury departments can be turned into business catalysts for cash generation opportunities throughout the company.

Cashforces’s innovation around big data & analytics for cash management and liquidity has made them unique by bridging the gap between the CFO, finance and treasury.

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.

 

Cashforce and smart cash forecasting

| 03-04-2018 | treasuryXL | Cashforce |

As stated in our last blog, on Tuesday 27th March 2018, treasuryXL attended a seminar in Amsterdam organised by TIS about optimizing cash flow. The last speaker at this event was Nicolas Christiaen, mananging partner at Cashforce. They are a fintech leader in Cash forecasting & Treasury solutions for corporates. They took the opportunity to explain to all the attendees what their product is and how it works. In this article we shall attempt to provide an insight into what we learnt.

Cashforce focuses on automation and integration within cash forecasting and treasury management systems. They connect the Treasury department with other departments within a business – offering full transparency into the cash flow drivers, resulting in accurate and efficient cash flow forecasting. They also offer a flexible forecasting method which we shall explain later.

Forecasting is a subject that can cause irritation within a company. It requires different departments to collaborate on a regular basis and provide consistent information which needs to grouped together to present a complete overview of the expected cash movements for the agreed time period. This input encompasses accounts payable, accounts receivable, procurement, projects, HR, treasury etc. All this information needs to be presented in a consistent format so that everything can be aggregated. Problems arise when data is not delivered, or delivered too late, or inaccurate.

The solution would appear to be a single method to extract all the relevant data from all the relevant databases and systems and to have this incorporated together with the correct running opening bank balances.

Cashforce have developed a platform that links into all the aforementioned databases and uses the agreed metrics within the different departments to arrive at a forecast. This leads to an integrated platform driven by your own systems. As the data parameters have been mapped and agreed beforehand, this means that it is possible to drill down to a very granular level to predetermined transaction details. This means you can go from the comprehensive level to overview per account, per client, per accounting group as the original chart of accounts has been embedded into the platform.

Included with the platform is a special functionality that takes into account the actual dispersal from a particular client and allows you to see how they actually performed as opposed to their agreed performance. These metrics can then also be used to adjust the forecast to the past behaviour of all component parts from the chart of accounts, enabling a forecast to be presented that reflects the actual results from the past.

It becomes possible to drill down on every single aspect with the forecast and interrogate an individual item. Furthermore, it is possible to make adjustments to the forecast and see the results, whilst also giving a data trail showing what changes were made and by whom. The ability to review different scenarios, whilst still retaining the original data, makes this solution unique from the standard cash forecasting systems.

This can lead to greater understanding of the drivers within a company’s cash, good visibility of the behaviour of an individual counterparty, more accurate ability to determine when additional funds are needed, together with the potential to map the effects of changing individual items and seeing their outcome to the complete forecast.

In conclusion, this is an original solution to an age old problem for cash management.

treasuryXL would like to thank Cashforce for illustrating their solution at this seminar. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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