Better Information – Better Decisions
by Andreas Sowa, Head of Corporate Treasury, and Martina Schade, Corporate Treasury Specialist, Celesio AG
In 2008 Celesio AG Head Office used an accounting software, which was coming towards the end of its life, and a treasury management software that did not support the increasing reporting requirements for example connected to IFRS 7. We decided to move from these two stand-alone applications to an integrated SAP solution.
Celesio AG implemented its first treasury management system (TMS) in 2004 when the group-wide financing and hedging tasks were concentrated at the head office and in our Dutch finance vehicle, Celesio Finance B.V. This TMS was a stand-alone solution, as was the accounting software used at that time at the head office. The interface between these two systems was a daily paper trail. Even though we started to leverage further possibilities such as the download of deal data from 360 T, we realised that this TMS was not able to cover our increasing risk management and reporting requirements.
In line with a group-wide software standardisation we decided to opt for an integrated SAP solution. Our majority shareholder had recently implemented the same solution at its head office, which allowed us to start the project with a copy of their existing system. This initially saved a significant workload and shortened the learning curve, as we could build on experiences made by our colleagues.
In close cooperation with bdf Consultants we performed a detailed gap analysis between the existing SAP solution and our requirements. We recognised that the daily cash disposition process, including the information gathering from our subsidiaries on their expected cash in- and outflows, and also the subsequent money market dealing, was suboptimal in SAP. It would have taken too long and would have also required repeated input of the same data.
As every mistake and any delay within the daily cash disposition could cost the company significant amounts, we decided to develop with bdf Consultants an integrated SAP add-on solution – Cash Cockpit - which supports the day-to-day work during the cash disposition process in the best possible way. Ultimately it extends the time which you have to gather information on your funding requirements as far as possible and thus allows you to make better informed decisions.
The daily cash planning support system has three main screens:
This screen allows the user to determine the cash requirements for that day. It is fed with the value balances of the attached bank accounts. Next, our local colleagues capture their daily cash need or surplus. If they miss the deadline for this, up to four automatic email reminders are produced – the last one going to the local finance director. In addition to this, cash flows from derivatives and maturing money market deals are automatically displayed. This allows to determine the funding requirement for that day, which will be supported by the second screen, the interactive disposition screen.