Accenture has been on a multi-year innovation journey to boldly transform our global cash optimization process. Instead of harnessing technology to fill gaps, we looked to use new technologies, including innovations with artificial intelligence in the enterprise, to transform the way we work. Recognizing that people cannot do it all, nor can artificial intelligence, our solution centered on the idea of augmenting human performance.
Human performance, for us, centered on four key elements: data gathering and validation; training of algorithms; human revision and actions; and forecast projection and visualization. It takes several ingredients to enable this approach. Among them are the provision of a single source of truth, the decoupling of data gathering and dependencies, and the design of a hybrid, human + machine model. An additional ingredient is automation—automating the visualization of data and end-to-end processes, reducing manual efforts, and generating insights and recommendations automatically.
With these elements set, our Treasury team, together with business users and our global IT organization, launched our Intelligent Cash solution.
Intelligent Cash consists of three components:
Cash Position Dashboard tool: A near real-time feed
The Cash Position Dashboard tool uses descriptive analytics not only to show real-time cash positions across the globe but also to guide the view to understand pressure points of cash in the business in an easy-to-understand visual. This tool provides our Treasury team with views, both historic and current, of our cash, credit, currency, loans and the like across Accenture's operating entities around the world.
The Cash Position Dashboard tool leverages bank connections and statements to update SAP tables four times a day to provide a current view of Accenture’s cash balances. The tool allows for drill-down by currency, country, business entity, and banking partner, as well as displays the use of credit lines and the accessibility of the cash (that is, whether the cash is readily available, subject to cost, timing or trapped due to regulations).
The tool enables Treasury individuals to have accurate information in a timely fashion with guidance around it so that they can make decisions with a greater degree of confidence. Instead of crunching data and passing information to higher levels, users are now empowered to make decisions. This shift gives the assistant treasurer the availability to set the agenda while senior leaders are better equipped to execute against it.