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Depending on countries and payments types in scope, the team also

made a point of registering with local automated clearing houses.

Under the banner of payroll and accounts payable payment

processing, Open Text identified and established connectivity types

and file formats depending on the country. It was necessary to

register new IDs with a local automated clearinghouse, as

appropriate. This continues to be ongoing for some countries. It was

also necessary to integrate payment uploads with the TMS where

payments were previously manual, and rigorously test all

payment files.

A multibank reporting solution has since enabled balances held with

third-party banks to be fully integrated into a single reporting solution.

This necessitated the identification and implementation of all relevant

legal entities and accounts, and the capturing of details of all in-scope

third-party banks and accounts.

In terms of tackling project and professional management services,

the treasury team worked to develop a standardised documentation

and approval strategy, and provide a regional coordinator to support

documentation. For this to be executed effectively, a project manager

was allocated to manage the banks and project plan according to a

rigorous Statement of Work.

Best practice and innovation

For this broad sweep of improvements to reach a satisfactory

conclusion, it is clear that sound principals of project management

had to be employed. These principals had distinct objectives, scopes

and timelines. The project itself was driven by a strong leader in

treasury management, bearing a clear vision of process improvement

and enhanced controls. Furthermore, robust senior and executive

management support on the governance committee was in evidence,

with active and positive participation throughout.

The reduction of manual paper-based payments is a simple example

of best practice for collections and payments. More complex, but

nonetheless achievable, was the implementation of best practice for

liquidity management through the adoption of physical pooling rather

than notional pooling. Treasury, working with tax, legal and its

banking partners determined that a physical pooling set-up would be

a more transparent and cleaner approach, especially with rising

tensions on intercompany flows between government jurisdictions

around the world. The EMEA pool uses bank accounts in London to

maximise efficiency and minimise paperwork. Entities in each of

Open Text’s four lines of business now pool to a single header

account (one for each currency) to ensure optimisation of cash.

As part of the bank account opening process (which involved intense

KYC and account opening documentation), the team standardised

signatures, general banking resolutions and banking-incumbency

certificate templates for use worldwide.

Technology has played a key role in all of this. The project uses a

third-party TMS connected to the Open Text Trading Grid, an Open

Text cloud-based hosted B2B integration platform, to connect directly

with the company’s five major banks: Citi, J.P. Morgan, Bank of

America Merrill Lynch, RBC and HSBC.

Other banks are connected to the Open Text Swift Service Bureau,

giving treasury a single way to connect with banks, suppliers

and customers.

“As you can imagine, there was a lot of additional analysis required to

complete these activities,” noted Burkhead. “And keep in mind that

all of this was accomplished while executing several acquisitions,

legal entity rationalisation, and preparing for the implementation of

SAP on 1


July 2017.”

Key takeaways

Improved visibility of global cash, liquidity, and control

over cash assets.

Enabled easier acquisition integration and aggregation of

excess cash for acquisition.

Reduced costs.

Leveraged transactional volumes and eliminated fixed

costs across fewer banks.

Streamlined transactional processes (ERP system

integration and straight through processing for balances,

transactions, and payments).

Implemented best practices utilising electronic payments

vs paper.

Achieved higher returns on excess cash (leveraging

liquidity pools for short-term investment purposes).

Reduced administration effort.

Significantly reduced documentation requirements,

signatory mandates, KYC needs and bank access

for users.

Improved controls environment (reduced bank accounts,

segregated cash flow for payroll).

Reduced counterparty credit risk.

Winning an Adam Smith award

is the culmination of a strategy

that was developed a number of

years ago. Winning the award is

also bringing visibility and

recognition to the numerous

people at Open Text who

participated in our project as

well as highlighting some of our

own products and services that

were key to our success.

Jonathan Burkhead, Director

Global Treasury


Treasury Today’s Top Treasury Team

8 | treasurytoday Adam Smith Awards © August 2017