Implementing a Centralized Hybrid Forecast for a Complex Multinational
“When I first saw the dashboard I got really excited. The key piece of information it shows, for us, is the total bank cash position. Then the ability to separate by entity is really useful for senior management because it allows us to see who is holding too much cash in the business and where we need to look at centralizing cash.”
Nigel Dawson Treasury Manager
Headquartered in London, and publicly listed since 2014, the SSP Group head office oversees a vast operational infrastructure. With an ongoing and intense focus on cash management SSP identified a need to automate their forecasting processes, and so, they enlisted CashAnalytics to automate and centralize the entirety of their cash flow forecasting and reporting.
Before plugging into the CashAnalytics cloud-based platform, the group’s head office treasury team were manually managing their cash flow forecasts.
The decentralized process was arduous, error-prone, and often inaccurate. Moreover, the near impossibility of a consolidated view of cash balances made analyzing and measuring forecast inaccuracies an incredibly trying task.
And, without recourse to automation, tracking and recording intercompany cash movements proved equally difficult. Of course, being publicly-held also meant an ongoing and intense focus on SSP’s cash management. Consequently this focus was exerting great pressure on their spreadsheet-driven processes and so, they enlisted CashAnalytics to automate and centralize the the entirety of their cash flow forecasting and reporting.
CashAnalytics routinely implements automated, centralized forecasts for companies of similar size to the SSP Group, however, theirs required a hybridization of processes. The new process, which is refreshed weekly, functions on a 14-week rolling time-horizon and includes additional cycles to run reports on forecasted and actual month-end balances.
According to Nigel Dawson, the SSP Group’s treasury manager, the introduction of CashAnalytics has been transformational for his head office team, who now see all cash flow KPIs in one place.
“When I first saw the dashboard I got really excited,” he said. The key piece of information it shows, for us, is the total bank cash position. Then the ability to separate by entity is really useful for senior management because it allows us to see who is holding too much cash in the business and where we need to look at centralizing cash.”
Categorizing Forecasting and Reporting
The SSP Group’s head office treasury team also use the CashAnalytics intuitive suiteof analytics and data visualization tools and perform a variety of analysis at the touch of button. What’s more, the ability to collapse cash balances into total figures, then roll them into any category, has greatly enhanced their cash forecasting and reporting.
“We have a report which shows cash balances by business entity, then we have a forecast report which shows forecasted closing balances by entity. Then we have forecasted closing balances split by cash flow type, then we have forecast vs forecast analysis,” said Nigel Dawson.
Increased User Engagement
And, because of the user-friendly nature of the software, the SSP C-suite has seen a marked increase, across all business units, in user engagement with the forecasting process.
“With CashAnalytics, they just have to copy and paste those cash flows and away they go, so we’re not asking for anything too onerous.”
“If you think of our operational businesses, they are engrossed in day-to-day tasks and see cash forecasting as a burden that head office wants, so it’s vital that the system keeps it as quick and simple as possible,” Nigel Dawson explained.