The Consolidated Receivables Project has delivered end-to-end automation for Thomson Reuters and has optimised its cash management. A global team from Thomson Reuters, Citi and Deloitte (which supported the pilot) implemented a global integrated solution that has automated Thomson Reuters’ banking processes; enabling automatic allocation of customer payments to customer open accounts receivables (AR) accounts based on remit information and also auto reconciling of bank statements to general ledger accounts.
Photo of Dominic Little, Thomson Reuters, Barbara Harrison, Citi and Joy Macknight.
Senior Business Analyst and Banking Implementation Manager
Gouse Basha Shaik
Senior Manager, Enterprise Solutions Design Team
Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical news, information and solutions to decision makers in the financial and risk, legal, tax and accounting, intellectual property and science, and media markets, powered by the world’s largest international news organisation.
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Major benefits are:
Auto payment lots are generated from host-to-host Consolidated Receivable Report (CRR) file transfers from Citi to Thomson Reuters’ server. This has reduced the amount of manual work required to create payment lots in SAP. As a result, efficiency, accuracy and the turnaround time of recording the cash in AR have improved.
Implementation of auto application parsing rules for remittances (where customer/invoice details are available) has also reduced the manual effort required for cash allocation to the respective invoices.
For EMEA and Latin America the total volume of transactions processed on the consolidated receivables file rose from 2,146 in January 2012 to 9,299 in March 2013.
Thomson Reuters experienced an auto upload percentage of 93-95% for EMEA and 40-50% auto application of the auto upload based purely on direct invoice application.
Centralisation of cheque accounting through lockboxes has resulted in fast fund clearing. Before this project the lockbox process was cumbersome, as allocation details were on the scanned copy of a cheque.
Auto reconciliation of payment lots using electronic bank statements has reduced the time spent on bank reconciliation. It has enabled it to concentrate on open item management and resulted in fewer open items compared to the legacy process.
Introduction of electronic bank statements and a bank clearing account concept means Thomson Reuters’ bank reconciliation has been streamlined into a common process across the UK and Europe.
Executing the direct debit (DD) solution has improved the turnaround time on DD processing and also enhanced mandate management.
As Dominic Little, Senior Business Analysis and Banking Implementation Manager, explains, “overall, the solution has given us greater visibility of our receivables and provided a clear audit trail for a wide range of payment types. As a result, the company’s financial control has been considerably improved.”
Citi, which is Thomson Reuters’ primary bank in EMEA and Latin America, devised a consolidated receivables solution that gives the company an end-to-end automated flow for cash management. Inbound interfaces were set up with the bank to pull electronic bank statements and consolidated receivables files throughout the day (file availability dependent on the region’s time-zone). These files incorporated all payment types – including wire, ACH, cheque, DD and Boleto (in Brazil) – and automated general ledger postings and auto allocation to the customer account. Outbound interfaces were also designed to send Citi information so that it could process DDs and Boletos.
Thomson Reuters issues an invoice to its customers, which generates an attached Boleto with a unique number (similar to a barcode). Thomson Reuters informs Citi in advance of Boletos that will be received that month. Citi’s interface passes the Boleto information to Thomson Reuters in the same electronic file as all other payment data. Another outstanding feature of the solution is that the technical teams, which are located across the globe, were effectively co-ordinated despite time zone differences to ensure successful implementation across different phases. This strong support continued after the project went live.
As Gouse Basha Shaik, Senior Manager, Enterprise Solutions Design Team, concludes, “regular calls with Citibank helped us to address outstanding issues while a dedicated customer service representative for Thomson Reuters helped to identify and fix any problems immediately, and consequently minimised any impacts.”