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Risk Specialist @ DSG

Nieuwegein, Utrecht – Fulltime Read more

How to develop the ultimate Cash Flow Forecast

| 29-06-2020 | Cashforce

Cash flow forecasting has been called many things in literature. Ranging from the cornerstone of a finance & treasury department to the lifeblood of any organization; it’s fair to say cash forecasting is vital to get an accurate prediction of an organization’s health. Cash forecasting, at its core, is simply identifying all the various in & outflows over a given period in order to analyze and compare those estimations with your actuals. However, in reality, it’s not that simple and a lot of challenges arise in getting an acceptable end result, especially when complexity increases i.e. multiple systems, entities, currencies, etc. Additionally, it doesn’t stop at regularly getting the right information in a timely and efficient matter. Setting sensible assumptions and providing contingencies that offer flexibility in case of unexpected events are a few quintessential things to consider. Improving your forecasting results is more than relying on hard data, but bears fruit in the synergy of art and science. Don’t know where to start, or how to fill in the blanks on further optimizing your current process? Then follow this checklist.

1. Set your goals & requirements – getting to the why – decide:
  • Why are you creating a cash forecast?
  • Do you want to perform an indirect or a direct cash forecast e.g. focus on short term (direct) or longer-term (indirect), or a combination of both
  • What does successful (output look like? (formats, visuals…)
  • If you would like to combine both, choose how the reconciliation would work?
  • What level of granularity do you need?
  • What KPI’s will you be measuring?
  • Who will be the main users of the reports and analyses? (operational vs strategic or both)
  • Who will be contributing to generate the forecast?
  • How will the different contributors and users consume the outputs?
  • What other stakeholders will use the forecast? (e.g. shareholders)
  • Will you recognize forecasting performance? (e.g. remuneration)
  • What are your main cash flow drivers? (how do you define your business model?)
  • What will be the main process-steps?
  • To what extent your staff will be involved in the process? (vs. technology doing the work)
  • In case of exceptions, can the process be sidestepped? If so, what happens then?
  • What controls will be put in place?
  • Who will be in charge of setting up the process? (internal/external)
  • Who will be the main owner of the process?
  • How often does the data need to be updated?
  • How will data quality be ensured for new inputs?
  • What process will be put in place to clean the current data?
  • How will you flag and treat mis-allocated cash flows?
  • What will you use as a reporting currency?
  • How do you treat currency differences?
  • What data sources are most relevant for the forecast and what data you want to take into account:
    • Systems holding your (actual & future) payables and receivables?
    • What formats are your bank statements in? (MT940, BAI, EBICS, CODA…)?
    • Financial planning data. e.g. FP&A / budget / planning tools?
    • Do you have any Treasury & financing data, e.g. interest & FX payments on ongoing deals, residing in, e.g. a Treasury Management System or spreadsheets?
    • Do you need to take any other data into account, e.g. in data warehouses, other specialized systems for leasing, salaries, projects, etc.?
    • What manual input do you require? To what level?
  • How will you get the above data into the forecast? Is it possible to automate these processes?
  • How many forecast horizons do you want to define?
  • What cutoffs would you put in place to split the horizons?

How would you divide the short-mid- & long-term components of the forecast, see (e.g. different per data source below:)

An example of Cash forecasting horizons & their sources

  • What cash flow categories do you want to use?
  • Is there a template you can use as a basis of cash allocation categories, e.g. your current ERP, etc.?
  • How will you treat the unallocated transactions/cash flows?
  • Setting up accuracy feedback loops, e.g. regularly comparing actuals vs forecast & reviewing for improvement
  • Choosing which algorithms / logic – based on business drivers – can be integrated into your model to improve the forecast
  • Decide which contingencies to build in, e.g. revenue/cost/currency/… assumptions

Evaluate how you will you compare with and integrate industry best practices, e.g. staying up to date with the latest technology/peers/…

While creating an accurate cash forecast is not rocket science, getting an effective reporting process in place certainly requires a well thought out and reproduceable plan. Defining the who, the what, the when and the how is both a quantitative and qualitative exercise in building out a forecast. This checklist shows you how to combine the art and science of cash flow forecasting to get it done.

Recap of the SCF Forum and Awards event 2019

| 23-12-2019 | by treasuryXL |

On the 28th November 2019, treasuryXL attended the SCF forum Europe 2019 in Amsterdam – an annual event. Here is our review of the day.

So, what is Supply Chain Finance (SCF)?

It is a series of processes, both financial and technological, designed to improve business efficiency and reduce financing costs by providing bespoke short-term funding solutions for both buyers and sellers, with a view to improving and enhancing working capital and liquidity for both buyers and suppliers.

There are three parties involved – buyers, suppliers and financial providers. Traditionally, banks acted as the provider of funding but, with the advent of fintech other non-bank firms are also offering solutions.

The ultimate purpose of SCF is to improve the cashflows for both buyers and suppliers.

Participants included banks, fintech, academia, together with companies that use SCF solutions such as DFDS, Airbus and Jumbo supermarkets.

The forum started off outlining the major themes surrounding SCF that needed to be considered:

  • Data collection and analysis
  • Education
  • Financial Flows
  • Procurement
  • Logistics – the missing link
  • Inclusiveness
  • Sustainability

Time was given to highlighting the awareness needed to form a true collaboration with all participants – intra firm, inter firm as well as the supply chain itself. No one department can successfully implement SCF on their own – it requires the input from a wide range of departments.

Rabobank gave a talk about trade and its impact on poverty. Between 1900 and 1950 Europe and the USA moved ahead, economically, from the Far East and Africa. Since the financial crisis of 2008 the middle ground of Europe and the USA has been squeezed and whilst poverty has decreased worldwide, the levels of inequality between income and wealth had risen back to the levels of the 1920’s.

Whilst trade tariffs are on their way down, trade barriers have been rising.

Politically the near future is likely to bring about new confrontations on world trade:

  • USA – China
  • Brexit
  • Capital controls to counter tariffs
  • Restrictions on foreign ownership

DFDS – case study

DFDS are a Danish shipping and logistics company, focusing also on ferries and door-to-door solutions. From an environmental view they have big concerns about the impact of logistics on world climate. Their aim for the future is to be smarter, cheaper and to have less impact on the environment. On the logistics side they must be more cost efficient as they operate in a market with small margins and large competitors.

As data has grown exponentially, they have embarked on an extensive SCF programme that has seen their return on invested capital improve from 5% in 2012 to 19% in 2017.

Major challenges are still to be faced – especially because of Brexit as 45% of their business goes through the UK. Hauliers in the UK are especially worried. This sector of the industry is best suited to younger truck drivers (there is a 73% satisfaction rating amongst drivers between 18-24 year olds), but problems are evident in the lack of female drivers and an average age for drivers of 50 years old and rising all the time.

DFDS strives to help hauliers via SCF by paying early with discounts. This had led to both an improvement in working capital fo DFDS as well as hauliers – one was able to purchase 10 extra trucks by being paid early.

Jumbo – case study

Jumbo is the second largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands with a 21.6% market share. Their growth in turnover has been impressive – from EUR 120m in 1996 to EUR 8.5bn in 2019. There is a strong impetus to manage the needs of both the suppliers and the company. Whilst Jumbo has grown rapidly a lot of their small suppliers had trouble keeping pace especially with the terms and conditions that existed before the implementation of SCF solutions. As and when Jumbo grows, their suppliers need to follow and 80% of their suppliers are defined as SME (Small and Medium Enterprises).

Jumbo has implemented a variety of different solutions to meet the needs of their suppliers, such as reverse factoring, dynamic discounting etc. It was important for Jumbo that the suppliers got on board with the programme – they have more than 1000 small suppliers. There was a 63% pickup in the first few months.

Moodys – word of warning

One of the main instruments used in SCF is reverse factoring, which differs markedly from traditional factoring. Reverse factoring is initiated by the ordering party – the buyer. As they are normally the larger party to an agreement their credit standing is of a higher order than the supplier – hence their interest costs are lower than for the supplier. With reverse factoring suppliers get paid early and buyers can delay payment to the factor (financial counterparty). However, the liability rests with the buyer.

Whilst it is increasing in popularity as a source of financing it can lead to a weakening of liquidity. Rating agencies are grappling with the legal consequences and lack of disclosure of reverse factoring. Now there is no legal requirement to disclose how much reverse factoring is on the books. This can lead to an incorrect picture of the financial health of a company. Companies that embraced Reverse Factoring but eventually suffered as result include Carillion, Abengoa and Distribuidora International de Alimentacion.

Big Data and AI

With the advent of ever more computing power it has become possible to analyse increasing amounts of data. This will lead to big changes in SCF through the use of Artificial Intelligence such as:

  • Traditional SCF
  • Fintech solutions
  • AI powered SCF solutions
  • Blockchain and Internet of Things

However, whilst embracing technology solutions we must not lose sight of old axioms such as “garbage in is garbage out”. It will be necessary to truly understand the flow of data, the variables and the output. Modern history has plenty of examples of large sources of data and experts, leading to losses and mistakes as well as profits and rewards.

Conclusions

  • A truly collaborative arrangement both internally and externally
  • Greater understanding of the business drivers
  • Improved early payment for suppliers
  • Chance to delay payments for buyers
  • Mutual transfer of knowledge and requirements for both parties
  • Improved relationships
  • Need to onboard all relevant departments

The opening quote at the forum was “Bridging physical and financial supply chains”. The one area that I, personally, felt was missing was the impact on the circular economy. Whilst there was talk on sustainability and global climate, I wished to hear more about how to increase the effective use of assets – trucks going to clients full and then returning empty, etc.

Maybe that can be a “hot item” for next year’s forum.

 

 

 

Lionel Pavey

Cash Management and Treasury Specialist

 

Why is cash flow forecasting still an issue?

| 09-07-2019 | by treasuryXL | Kendra Keydeniers

Cash forecasting is a vital part of the treasury role – and for all too many treasurers it’s a time consuming, difficult job where insufficient system support makes data management, analysis and reporting a time-consuming nightmare.

However, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way! In this insightful webinar hosted by The Global Treasurer and Analyste, they will:

  • Discuss why cash forecasting is still an issue
  • Delve into the barriers preventing corporate treasurers from making cash forecasting a simple task
  • Investigate the technology solutions making it easier than ever before
  • Work out a roadmap that will help treasurers ease their cash forecasting worries

The first step towards simplified cash forecasting: Register now for the Webinar on 17 September 2019 from 11:00AM to Midday BST

Boek release: Discounted Cashflowmethode – Achtergronden en aandachtspunten

| 6-6-2017 | Peter Schuitmaker | treasuryXL |

 

Medio juni verschijnt een nieuw boek van onze expert Peter Schuitmaker met de titel ‘Discounted Cashflowmethode’. Dit is zijn tweede boek. Eerder publiceerde hij ‘Mijn bedrijf verkopen ‘. Wij hebben hem verzocht om ons alvast meer te vertellen over dit nieuwe boek en de daarin beschreven methode, die van belang is bij het verkoop of de overdracht van een bedrijf. 

DFC methode

Bedrijfswaardering is een veel voorkomend vraagstuk. Denk aan situaties van bedrijfsoverdracht, uitkoop van een aandeelhouder, management buyout, bedrijfsopvolging binnen de familie, boedelscheiding, enzovoorts. In de literatuur vinden we een grote verscheidenheid aan methoden. De DCF methode geldt echter als de meest zuivere benadering.
Hierbij worden toekomstige kasstromen op een of andere manier bepaald en deze worden op een of andere manier contant gemaakt. Maar: hoe zit dat nu met die ‘op een of andere manier’?

Het boek

In de praktijk van bedrijfswaardering worden veel fouten gemaakt. Vaak worden de technieken onjuist of onvolledig toegepast. Of verkeerde uitgangspunten gehanteerd. Dat roept onnodig vragen op over de juistheid van de waarderingsuitkomst.
Dit boek behandelt de achtergronden en aandachtspunten van de DCF methode. Hierbij komen diverse varianten aan bod, zoals de WACC methode, de Adjusted Present Value APV methode en de Cash To Equity methode. De theorie wordt behandeld aan de hand van een praktische casuspositie.
Mijn  boek biedt grip op de reken technische aspecten. Maar belangrijker, de keuzes en overwegingen bij het toepassen dan de DCF methode. Het helpt de lezer om een DCF waardeanalyse te doen. Maar ook kunnen zo waarderingsrapporten van derden kritisch tegen het licht worden gehouden. Om zo de juiste kanttekeningen te kunnen plaatsen.

Bestelinformatie

Auteur: Peter Schuitmaker
Uitgever: BBO&F Breda
ISBN:  978-90-826156-2-3
Prijs: €19,50 incl. BTW
Paginas: 92

Verschijnt: medio juni 2017
Te bestellen via www.bboenf.nl/boeken

 

Peter Schuitmaker

Registered Advisor for Business Transfer and Succession

 

 

 

Meer artikelen van deze auteur:

Pre exit strategie wint aan populariteit

Het belang van cash management in de aanloop naar bedrijfsoverdracht