Achieving Treasury Vision 2010 at Bucher Industries
by Mauro d’Ambros,Treasurer, Bucher Industries
Before implementing a new treasury management system (TMS) Bucher had a combination of automated and manual processes for conducting treasury-related activities and for integrating transaction information into the corporate accounting system. We also had disparate systems and reports that formed the basis of our daily cash position on which dealing decisions are made. These needed to be reconciled manually and repeatedly, which was labour-intensive and prone to error, which in turn compromised our dealing decisions.
I had worked for Elopak previously, where we had implemented a new TMS very successfully, so we were seeking to achieve the same degree of efficiency and automation at Bucher. In 2007, therefore, we developed our Treasury Vision 2010, which aimed to create a highly automated, efficient operation, including selecting and implementing a new TMS. Our objectives were twofold:Firstly, to achieve full straight-through-processing for cash management;
Secondly, to automate the creation of accounting entries for treasury transactions (such as FX deals, sweeps, loans, deposit, interest, bank charges, FX gains/losses etc.) with an interface to our general ledger system (Abacus) so that we could rely on up-to-date information at all times.
Implementing our Treasury Vision
Having gained internal approval and support for the project, we selected IT2 as our TMS, having considered two other alternatives. We found that the system was cost-effective and a key benefit was that we were able to implement on a modular basis, implementing cash management first and then moving on to accounting. The implementation was completed successfully, but there were challenges.
The balance sheet, P&L and posting rules were set up based on the existing ledger; however, we needed to redesign it to some extent, as we were not able to access the level of detail we required. We went through a process of documenting the posting rules for all transactions, which proved helpful both for setting up the TMS, and for audit purposes. Once the posting rules had been defined and set up in the system, we started testing. After a few months, we started to build the interface, which took longer than expected to agree and implement the relevant file format. Having finalised this, we tested the system and interface for a further month and went live on 1 January 2009.