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One to Watch Winner: Microsoft

Published: Jul 2014

Jayna Bundy and Jamie Christel, Microsoft

Photo of Jayna Bundy and Jamie Christel, Microsoft.


The Microsoft treasury team utilises 1,300 bank accounts with 85 banks worldwide and makes over 12,000 treasury wire payments each year, totalling over $240 billion. Supporting such a high volume of wire payments through manual and paper wire requests was a cumbersome and inefficient process. Furthermore, it created delays during Sarbanes-Oxley audits when the team was asked to pull paper backup to ensure adequate support and authorisation for all of the transactions processed each year.

Jayna Bundy

Group Treasury Manager, Treasury Capital Management

Jamie Christel

Treasury Manager

Pankaj Gudimella

Senior Manager

Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

The challenge

In an effort to strengthen controls and increase operational efficiencies the cash operations team worked with internal technology teams to design and build a custom solution. Prior to the solution, wire initiators used InfoPath templates, emails and paper forms to request wire transfers. While the InfoPath over email solution was an improvement over unstructured email and paper requests, the template was difficult to maintain and changes were not always backwards compatible with previously completed forms.

“We had some key objectives with this project: user interface, notification, integration to SAP bank master data, validation of SAFE limits and archive directory and archiving of wire requests for audit and reporting,” explains Jayna Bundy, Group Treasury Manager, Treasury Capital Management.

The solution

The cash operations team harnessed the power of their internal technology to build a solution improving the functionality and control of the end-to-end wire process. The solution, Wire Request Tool (WRT) is built using Internet Explorer, SQL server, Visual Studio and leverages the Windows Azure cloud platform, enabling the quick build, deployment, and management of the WRT application across a global network of Microsoft-managed data centres.

“This framework not only allowed for a global interface with built-in workflows that can be used for all wire requests but also allowed the treasury team to develop the WRT phone application available to all Microsoft employees using a Windows Phone device,” says Pankaj Gudimella, Senior Manager.

Leveraging existing cloud support enables secure off-corporate network access and phone operations. Also, for wire requestors and approvers alike, the WRT offers an automated, secure solution that is available to all Microsoft employees globally, whether they are in the office or on the go.

Best practice and innovation

  • Segregation of duties:

    The WRT enhances the treasury’s existing segregation of duty by automatically separating the wire process so that no one individual can complete a wire transaction from start to finish.

  • Reconciliation:

    The solution has allowed for a more timely reconciliation of payment transactions. Built-in archiving, reporting, and search functionality also allows Microsoft’s treasury controllers to quickly verify that all transactions on the bank statement match Microsoft’s general ledger.

  • Integration with SAP:

    The treasury is able to automatically upload wire requests using pre-approved business partners, thanks to WRT’s integration with SAP. The WRT is also fully integrated with SAP bank master data.

  • Elimination of confidential information being emailed.

“The WRT app allows users to be truly global and view wire requests, backup documentation and approve or reject wires via their Windows Phones,” concludes Jamie Christel, Treasury Manager.

The judging panel certainly felt this was a deserving winner in this category and very much ‘One to Watch’.

Key benefits

  • Strengthens operational controls and resource efficiencies by integrating WRT and SAP, the ERP system and wire processing platform, for wire upload without manual touch points.

  • Automatic validation of wire approvers against Microsoft SAFE limit data and Active Directory authentication for user authorisation.

  • Utilises Microsoft’s internal technology to build a robust solution in the cloud to allow for secure off-corporate network access via a user interface including a Windows Phone application for on-the-go wire approvals.

  • Aligned to their Go-Green initiative by utilising an Internet Explorer-based user interface to eliminate the need to print thousands of wire request forms and supporting documentation.

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