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CLIENT CASE STUDY


Accenture digitizes its Treasury function

Treasury transformation creates a flexible infrastructure for future changes

Overview

For many corporations, the 2008 global financial crisis highlighted the importance of banking partners to a company’s operational survival. For Accenture, it also highlighted the need to develop capabilities that would future-proof the company by creating a more flexible infrastructure in order to address any future changes or challenges in the banking industry. To address these challenges, Accenture launched the Treasury Transformation program. The outcomes of the Treasury Transformation program have allowed Accenture to further optimize the company’s structure to better fit its goal of being able to operate in more than one bank in a particular country in the most efficient way.

Opportunity

For many corporations, the 2008 global financial crisis highlighted the importance of banking partners to a company’s operational survival. For Accenture, it also highlighted the need to develop capabilities that would future-proof the company by creating a more flexible infrastructure in order to address any future changes or challenges in the banking industry. At the time, corporate executives were forced to face the fact that banking relationships could turn into liabilities if their principal banks were unable to sustain normal activities. Payrolls could not be processed, hedging activities would be crimped, and the myriad other daily transactions required to keep companies funded and functioning could be severely impacted. Exposure to this systemic risk was compounded by the proprietary technology systems linking bank and customer. These proprietary platforms made it difficult, if not impossible, for global corporations to switch banks swiftly or smoothly in a crunch.

Solution

To address these challenges, Accenture launched the Treasury Transformation program. This 18-month program focused on four things:

  • Replace bank “plumbing”—the proprietary platforms that enable transactions—with more flexible solutions based on the common global structure and SWIFT formats: the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. This would enable Accenture to spread its risk by working with more banks more easily, and changing banks quickly if the need arises.

  • Move treasury transactions onto Accenture’s single global financial system in SAP.
  • Enable analytical tools, trading platforms and foreign exchange hedging capabilities to support Accenture’s Treasury function.
  • Move to a streamlined intercompany settlement process.
"This program has elevated our Treasury function from a pure cost center into a market-leading, value-added, digital treasury organization."
Onkar Liddar

Director Global Liquidity and Banking and Treasury Transformation Program Business Lead.

Results

The outcomes of the Treasury Transformation program have allowed Accenture to further optimize the company’s structure to better fit its goal of being able to operate in more than one bank in a particular country in the most efficient way. Accenture now has the processes in place to switch banks within weeks rather than months when the need arises. It doubled its family of banking partners for core cash management transactions, effectively becoming bank agnostic, and scored impressive gains in operating efficiency. For example, the time required to reconcile regional accounts has been cut by 70 percent, and a streamlined cashless intercompany settlement process replaces duplicative manual processes. Other operating efficiencies result from a significant reduction in treasury workload, enabling Accenture to consolidate its regional treasury centers from three to two, reducing its operating budget by $1 million over three years.

A reduction of $500 million cash moving between Accenture’s bank accounts every month in intercompany bill settlement due to cashless, automated transactions has reduced bank transaction charges significantly. Additionally, the manual effort devoted to withholding tax calculations and processing intercompany charges has been largely eliminated. Cashless, automated intercompany processing also enables quicker settlement and elimination of foreign exchange exposures.

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