Interview : José-Manuel Sanchez, user of Cash Reporting
Regular cash flow monitoring: rolling 5-week forecasts generated every week
About the company
European leader in technical audiovisual services
Euro Media Group is a European group with a presence in 7 countries: France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Italy.
The group, which recorded sales revenue of €333 million in 2012, provides its customers (producers, broadcasters, institutions, etc.) with comprehensive or customised services for the technical production of audiovisual content, from the moment when creators enter the studio until the finished programme is shown on television, in cinemas or on other high-tech screens.
José-Manuel Sanchez, the Group Consolidation & Reporting Manager, is the driving force behind the deployment of a web tool for provisional cash reporting. He offers his take on the group’s experience with the Cash Reporting application from CashSolve.net, “a multi-language solution that was selected unanimously by all of our financial directors, and that is now getting very positive feedback from our 25 users.”
The project and its background
Before subscribing to the Cash Reporting web service, Euro Media Group produced its cash flow forecasts manually once every two weeks, with each country using its own reporting method and format.
In 2013, the group’s financial management team wanted to find a SaaS solution that would allow them to standardise the forecasts and get regular updates on them (rolling 5-week forecasts generated on a weekly basis).
4 questions for…
José-Manuel Sanchez, Consolidation & Reporting Manager
- What was your process for selecting the tool ?
We wanted the solution we chose to be adopted by all of our business units, not just at the group level. So we went through a process of discussion with each of the three selected bidders, and we asked two of them to make a presentation to our financial directors. It was important to us to have a clear understanding of the tool’s functionality, its adaptability and its ease of use.
- Why Cash Reporting? What made it stand out from the competition?
It was bilingual! CashSolve provides a full service chain (from pre-sales to user support) in both French and English. It was essential for us to have both the solution and the user support available in both languages, and to be able to communicate with our financial directors in English.
And on the other hand, we found the solution to be very polished, with a highly structured work environment.
Ease of use was also a factor in our decision process, and this tool has an intuitive user interface.
- Why wasn’t Excel enough for you any more?
Previously, we had been preparing our forecasts in Excel every 2 weeks, but only for half the group – and on top of that, they weren’t always consolidated. So we didn’t have a consolidated vision at any given moment of the group’s cash flow situation. Forecasts in Excel were becoming a huge problem because of all the complicated files we had to deal with.
With Cash Reporting, we’ve switched over to weekly cash flow forecasts. Collecting cash flow information through the CashSolve.net solution gives us a clear view of the cash situation of each business unit. We also use it for year-end bank covenant forecasts, so we’re able to anticipate our cash levels.
Was the tool taken easy and quick ?
The tool training aspect is another positive point with CashSolve’s services. CashSolve provided an initial training session in Brussels for the Financial Directors of our business units outside of France. The participants really appreciated their educational approach, with a theoretical foundation in the morning and a look at concrete scenarios based on real numbers in the afternoon. So everyone was able to work with their numbers from the previous week and their own end-of-week forecasts… It made the training session highly interactive.
For France, we did the same training with a dozen or so users from the accounting departments of all of our subsidiaries in France.
Could you tell us 3 benefits ?
- For the Group Finance Department: a management tool for establishing a cash culture within the group
The goal of the project was to improve how we communicated financial information for internal use: managing covenants, rolling cash flow, net debt, etc. That lets us provide feedback to our business units about the discrepancies we identify in terms of receipt/disbursement dates, for example, and to raise awareness about the group’s WCR and cash performance.
- For our subsidiaries: a trend analysis tool
Another clear advantage of the tool is the ability to create a history of the actual results, which generates trends that we can compare from one year to the next in order to further refine our forecasts.
- For users: time savings
All our users agree on how easy CashSolve.net is to use. It’s not a time-consuming tool at all. It lets users track cash flows quickly and easily. It’s the exact opposite of the tiresome process of preparing a report in Excel, where you have to enter data operation by operation, day by day, etc. The tool structures and guides our Financial Directors’ work and helps them to organise our cash flows.
To conclude ?
“CashSolve is a multi-language solution that was selected unanimously by all of our financial
directors, and that is now getting very positive feedback from our 25 users.”
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