Digitalisation in cash-flow and finance: applications in Forecasting

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Digitalisation in cash-flow and finance: applications in Forecasting

How can we add even more added value to the treasurer’s and CFO’s everyday work?

ACA presents Journées AFTE on 24 November. This 100% online webinar proved very popular with treasurers, many of whom attended the conference on the digitalisation of forecasting tasks.

Here we take a closer look at what Bertrand Duflot, CashSolve/Thétys Sales Manager at ACA, had to say in this roundtable with treasury experts, including:

  • Yann Le Téno, International Treasurer, Teleperformance
  • Guillaume Peslin, Head of Cash Management, Transdev Group
  • Ignacio Sanchez-Miret, Treasurer and Risk Manager, Interdit au public.com
  • Bertrand Duflot, CashSolve/Thétys Sales Manager at ACA

Yann le Teno (Teleperformance): The role of the treasurer is a varied one: collecting data, compiling treasury reports and forecasts, and decision-making with arbitration on financing. When collecting and processing data from extremely varied sources, what role does digital play in cash-flow forecasting?

Bertrand Duflot (ACA): There are several ways to create your forecast. You’ll need different sources depending on how you have compiled your forecast. In Cashsolve, we use two approaches: consolidation with a traditional treasury approach, with consolidation of all of a group’s forecasts. In this case, other than interfacing with TMS or compatible software to incorporate AG balances, we don’t have much need for information sources.

When it comes to modelling, using data from provisional WCR and provisional accounts and CFS, you’ll need to integrate all of the different software packages the companies use.

This is where connectivity is key, and therefore data collection. This means that treasurers have an obligation to map the different systems in play in advance, such as accounting ERP tools, EPM management tools or similar, as well as any information about orders. In CashSolve, we can quickly and easily incorporate all of these data.

Yann Le Teno: The treasurer is always at the heart of the action, and seems to play the role of a detective who is always on the lookout for data, on the front line ready to identify and acquire it. This data collection work is often tedious and time-consuming, with little added value. What can digital do to help?

Bertrand Duflot: Before digital, we had Excel! Excel does a very good job as long as it is just describing a process, which is the foundation upon which cash-flow forecasts are built. If I use Thétys as an example, which was fully overhauled as an API in 2017, today we are able to intuitively and easily share information about fraud with our partners. Likewise with CashSolve, we have worked hard on connectivity so that treasurers can focus on data analysis instead of data collection.

Digital savings: our clients say that before they had this equipment, they spent two days on their forecast and were left without time to spend on their analysis. With CashSolve, data collection is taken care of so that these two

Guillaume Peslin (Transdev): Once the data has been collected, we still need to check that it is coherent

Bertrand Duflot: Indeed, the aim is to be able to HAVE FAITH in your forecasts, otherwise they serve no purpose. Only regular analysis of actual results in light of the forecast will make forecasts more reliable, let us state that we have 99% confidence in our figures. The aim is to be able to say “I think we’ll hit a given figure in 6 months, and I’m 98% sure that I’m right”. The digitalisation of forecasting, therefore, lets us concentrate on completing a sound analysis to predict decision-making and track indicators.

Yann Le Teno: So going digital necessarily means new equipment?

Bertrand Duflot: I’m going to quote our clients, who are ultimately our ambassadors! Carrefour France, our client, has just explained to me that they used CashSolve to do a lot of work on different scenarios and hypotheses during the first lockdown. It isn’t just one more tool, it’s a “must-have”.

Ignacio Sanchez-Miret: The difficulties in compiling a sound cash-flow forecast don’t have anything to do with the size of a company. It’s the quality of information that really matters. As Bertrand says, if it can be automated, it should be! It all equals time saved for analysis.

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