Having total control of all of our cash and debt forecasts

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Having total control of all of our cash and debt forecasts

Interview with Jonathan ALNER, CASHSOLVE user

Vivarte’s identity card

VIVARTE is a French group specialising in fashion, shoes and leather goods, with store chains that include household names like La Halle, Caroll, Minelli, San Marina and Cosmoparis. The Group achieved consolidated sales revenues of 1.4 billion euros in 2018.

Vivarte is continuing to strengthen its financial position with the goal of finalising a debt reduction plan that was first launched in 2016, and for which the first milestone is set for October 2019. The Group maintains an investment plan designed to ensure the ongoing development of its flagship chains.

Jonathan ALNER, Cash Flow Forecasting Manager for the VIVARTE Group

LBO as background context

Due to an LBO initiated in the early 2000s, cash flow has long been one of our primary concerns. The CashSolve solution was selected in 2006 for cash forecasting, for which we initially took a centralised approach. Later on, it was decentralised to the level of individual store chains, with a month-by-month view over a 1-year period.

After our economic recovery and debt restructuring, our creditors became reference shareholders and expected to receive regular, fine-grained reports.

 

What are your goals with CashSolve?

We need to control our short-term liquidity risk, so it’s really a matter of short-term cash management. CashSolve also allows us to meet our reporting requirements for our shareholders and lenders by sending out a monthly liquidity certificate verified by an outside firm, and gives us a forward-looking vision of our business activity through the calculation of our future debt/EBITDA ratios.

We prepare two types of forecasts :

  • A short-term value date forecast (13 weeks) that’s updated twice a month. We then compare with the previous forecast and analyse the discrepancies by type and by store chain.
  • A medium-term forecast (12 months) from an accounting perspective, updated 4 times per year. CashSolve statements provide analyses like an indirect CFS (EBITDA to cash) or balance sheet forecast.

What’s your methodology?

To do this, we start from the last actual balance sheet and a P&L forecast. We extract that information from SAP and inject it into CashSolve. The way CashSolve is configured allows us to translate those data, account by account, into receipt and disbursement flows. Whether it’s for the 13-week forecast or the 12-month forecast, the procedure is the same.

The chief accountant for each store chain is responsible for the forecasts; my role at the Group Cash Flow level is to consolidate, verify and analyse the figures.

Benefits of the solution:

  • A tool that expands our abilities : with options to create scenarios, define org charts, and automatically eliminate intra-group flows, and with a common language for indicators, consolidation is now a lot easier.
  • A fast configuration-based forecasting process : core assumptions like loans or exchange rates/VAT rates/holding rates can be managed in advance at HQ
  • Advanced reporting and analysis : CashSolve can provide comprehensive reporting like a monthly CFS, ratios (DPO, DSO), and analysis of inventory movements vs. the previous year or vs. the budget
  • A full-fledged decision-making tool : With CashSolve, we can do weekly cash management, plan for our financing needs, and guide investment and divestment decisions.
    The tool fully meets the needs of our shareholders, our lenders and our Board.

To conclude

 The tool fully meets the needs of our shareholders, our lenders and our Board.

The schema of the methodology:

 

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