Before it implemented its most recent technology solution, the Google treasury department contained a number of systems that performed specific, but unrelated tasks. This meant that the company was forced to extract information manually via reports or export and create spreadsheets to consolidate and manipulate data.
Photo of Frank Chow, Google.
Business Systems Integrator
Founded in 1996 as a research project, it is now estimated that Google runs over one million servers in data centres around the world and is recognised as the world’s leading search engine. Headquartered in the US, Google has more than 20,000 employees and a reported turnover of €23.6 billion in 2009.
The purpose of the new project was to provide an integrated and automated solution to improve the efficiency of the treasury’s processes and cut out much of the manual labour associated with the previous system.
To tackle the problem, Google has developed a suite of automated interfaces which allow the treasury a global view of its commercial paper and currency options. These interfaces provide a seamless integrated system connecting the treasury workstation to the bank and ERP system.
With all the data available in the treasury workstation, the treasury implemented a web-based tool which allows remote offices as well as mobile treasury members to access the global information in real-time from anywhere in the world. The new solution enables the treasury team to make informed decisions in a timely fashion. It also simplifies the workflow and removes human errors.
The first interface allows users to access information regarding the company’s commercial paper. This is an automated feed from the bank. The trader issues commercial paper by calling the broker who in turn executes the trade. From there, a file is sent from the partner bank to Google via SWIFT and then imported into Google’s treasury workstation automatically.
The second interface is a currency options import. The trader performs a currency option trade with the broker. The trade information flows from valuation system to the Google treasury workstation via an interface. Once in the workstation, confirmations are automatically emailed to the bank.
Treasury users can then complete the settlement and payment of the trade directly in the treasury workstation. There is therefore no need to extract data manually. The third interface is employed to get the accounts payable (AP), accounts receivables (AR), and payment order (PO) data into the treasury’s workstation. In order to provide accurate cash forecasts, the treasury team can use the consolidated AP, AR, and PO data.
Collating large amounts of data from the ERP system was not a simple matter under the old way of doing things. Data use to be extracted in multiple spreadsheets and data files, which the user then had to manipulate manually in order to organise to get the forecast.
The new system has fully automated the whole process. Data from the ERP system is automatically extracted and transferred to the treasury workstation using a secure file transfer method. Data is automatically imported into the treasury workstation and produces forecast reports for the treasury users.
“The process is fast, accurate, and extremely useful in helping the treasury team to get their cash forecasts. With the suite of enhancements to gather useful data in the treasury workstation, we complete the project by providing the user with an easy way to access the workstation. Users can now access the workstation through a web browser from any machine in the world. The new web portal also simplifies the multiple password login process which gives the treasury team member a much better user experience,” says Frank Chow, Business Systems Integrator.