Digitisation for Best-in-Class Treasury Management
by John Colleemallay, Senior Director, Group Treasury & Financing, Dassault Systèmes
Dassault Systèmes is a fast-growing innovator, supporting 190,000 enterprise clients across 12 industries and 140 countries, with 10 million on-premise users and 100 million online users. Treasury has played a fundamental role in facilitating the group’s success, with a proactive programme of optimisation initiatives to meet its changing needs. In 2013, John Colleemallay, Senior Director, Group Treasury & Financing, outlined how the treasury team had rationalised banking relationships, established efficient cash pooling mechanisms, and started to implement best-in-class technology and processes. Here John discusses the progress that treasury has made in optimising processes using best-in-class technology, specifically leveraging the advantages offered through cloud-based solutions.
- In order to maintain a common, trusted view of information, Dassault Systèmes chose Kyriba as its TMS, one major reason for the choice being that Kyriba is cloud-based
- The solution was implemented and integrated with Dassault’s wider technology framework in three phases during 2014
- Once files have been transmitted to Kyriba, payment instructions are approved by authorised signatories via 3SKey
- Further plans including using a central repository for KYC information, with 3SKey to secure the information, and the digitisation of bank fee reconciliation
Creating a cloud-based core infrastructure
Security of data and processes is a crucial priority for us, and we insist on complete control of financial flows, and consistent visibility over balances, flows and exposures. Given the complex, global nature of our business, with multiple banks, accounts and sources of information, it is essential to maintain a single treasury management system (TMS) to maintain a common, trusted view of information. To fulfil this requirement, we implemented Kyriba, in part as a result of its functional, usability and integration benefits, but also as it is cloud-based. This was a key criterion to allow easy set-up and maintenance without having to rely on our internal IT department, avoiding the need to schedule lengthy and disruptive upgrades, and providing the assurance that we would always have the latest innovations and compliance features available to us.
We implemented the solution, and integrated it within our wider technology framework, including SWIFT and our corporate ERP in three phases during the course of 2014: treasury (including bank reconciliation and account management); accounts payable/ payments, and accounts receivable/collections. Critical to the success of the project was to set up a dedicated internal project team. While Kyriba provided specialist resources to support the project, our project team made sure that we were following the project roadmap and addressing our functional requirements in a systematic way. The team comprised a variety of different disciplines, including IT, treasury, accounting and our banks, so we were able to access a variety of expertise. We found that the role of this team differed when implementing a cloud-based solution as opposed to a system installed on-site: specifically, in our experience, IT tend to drive this type of project whereas when implementing Kyriba, treasury took ownership of the project, therefore keeping our strategic as well as operational objectives at the forefront.
As we had a highly motivated project team with ambitious objectives, the project had significant momentum, and we were able to complete the initial setup and configuration in three months for our major business units in EMEA, including bank communication (both payments and account statement retrieval) and ERP integration. One difference in our project compared with others was that we developed the XML formats internally, an area in which we had existing expertise, in order to meet the specific requirements of our major banks. This also enabled us to achieve the degree of automation in workflows and reporting that we required.
Having completed the first phase of the implementation, we were then able to develop our use of the system, and its reach across our enterprise more fully, and therefore deliver greater value to the enterprise. This included implementing payment factories for centralised payment processing within each of our financial shared service centres (SSC), of which we have one per region. Business units transmit validated payment files to the SSC in the relevant region, which is then transmitted to the payments bank linked to each SSC, which is typically a bank that offers specialist regional coverage and expertise. For example, we harmonised our workflows across our business units and flow types to allow dual level approvals, directed to the correct signatories in each case. This took time to define, but having gone through the initial configuration process, we now have a customised workflow and approval process through Kyriba which specifically meets our security and audit requirements. Reporting has been another key area of development. While Kyriba, like other TMS, has a reporting suite within the solution, we also needed to develop customised reporting to meet our specific needs, such as management dashboards etc.