Published: November/December 2013

For corporates, electronic bank account management (eBAM) holds great potential to pare down manual and paper-based work around mandate management of bank accounts. It should speed up the process of opening and closing accounts, improve compliance, and reduce cost and risk of human-prone errors. This checklist goes through the steps corporates need to go through in order to roll out eBAM.

  • Establish a complete picture of all bank accounts.
  • Make a master list of all active accounts.
  • Make sure closed accounts are properly documented.
  • Rationalise under-used accounts.
  • Create an electronic database to manage all account detail – including contact information, bank account documents, legal and tax information, and signatories.
  • Create a workflow for controls and procedures used to open, close and make changes to corporate bank accounts.
  • Establish a single standardised process for managing bank accounts, including the storage of account information and documentation.
  • Implement multiple levels of approval.
  • Add digital signatures, such as SWIFT’s 3SKey.
  • Map out what countries accept digital signatures.
  • Choose your bank(s).
  • Determine whether the bank is eBAM-enabled and understand their capabilities.
  • Determine the internal investment – financial and technical – needed to implement an eBAM solution.
  • Determine which processes would need to be re-engineered.
  • Move to ISO 20022 XML messaging.
  • Determine whether the eBAM solution fully integrated into your company’s TMS/ERP system.

Will your SEPA Direct Debit project hit the 1st February 2014 deadline?

Published: October 2013

This month’s checklist looks at practical considerations for corporate treasurers moving from legacy direct debits to SEPA Direct Debits (SDDs). It addresses not only the most important steps, which you have to take to become SDD ready, but also suggests a number of shortcuts in case you are behind in the process.

Set-up your SDD project

Involve all the necessary parties, such as:

  • IT.
  • Finance/accounting:
    • Debtor/creditor accounting.
    • Bank account management.
    • Treasury.
  • Legal/compliance.
  • Sales and marketing/customer support.
  • Corporate purchasing.
  • Real estate management.

Make sure your project is fast-tracked, has the right staffing and the appropriate seniority of personnel on the steering committee to get the job done.

Adjust your master data

  • Obtain the creditor IDs you need.
  • Modify or obtain account identification data.
  • Migrate direct debit authorisations or obtain new direct debit mandates.
  • Upload mandate data into your new mandate management system.
  • Modify data elements such as payment references.

Adjust your direct debit process

  • Prepare the direct debit:
    • Send pre-notifications.
    • Integrate new checking procedures, such as mandate validity.
  • Submit the direct debit:
    • Modify submission times.
    • Modify data formats.
    • Supply additional data for the direct debit run.
  • Reconcile/book the direct debit:
    • Modify account reconciliation.
    • Modify account statement processing.
    • Adjust R-transaction (refunds, returns, rejects, etc) processing.

What if you are late? Find the right shortcuts

Adjust your master data:

  • Obtain your creditor ID.
  • Define your mandate ID (eg contract number, client number, etc).
  • Migrate direct debit authorisations and/or obtain new direct debit mandates (when using the B2B scheme).
    • Check Deutsche Bank’s ultimate guide to accelerate this process.
  • Modify or obtain account identification data.
  • Upload mandate data into your new mandate management system.
    • Check our vendor guide to find the right vendor solution.

Adjust your direct debit process:

  • Prepare the direct debit.
  • Submit the direct debit.
  • Look for a vendor solution and, if you are really late, implement semi-manual processes.
  • Reconcile/book direct debit.
  • Prepare for an increased workload.

Adjust scope:

  • Focus on core operating units and processes.
  • Focus on the SDD Core scheme, as the set-up for the B2B scheme is more complicated.
  • Implement semi-manual processes.
  • Consider open invoice.

Are you ready to switch to renminbi (RMB) payments?

Published: September 2013

This month’s checklist looks at practical considerations for corporate treasurers moving to renminbi (RMB) payments.

Identify the scope of internal changes

  • Should I re-negotiate sales terms or pricing with my trade counterparties?
  • Should I ask my suppliers for a dual currency quotation (renminbi (RMB) and US dollar (USD)) or a single currency quotation (RMB only)?
  • Which of my trade counterparties are more likely to accept re-denominating into RMB?
  • Will I gain any benefits at a cost level if I re-denominate in RMB?

Internal awareness and education

  • When USD is entrenched as the standard payment currency, how can I introduce a new currency to my internal stakeholders?
  • What are the key aspects about paying in RMB that my internal stakeholders need to know?
  • Who would I need to involve in a cross-departmental work stream on RMB?
  • Who can provide in-depth training/workshops for various stakeholders within my organisation?
  • Which rules and regulations related to the RMB do my stakeholders and I need to keep abreast of?

Systems and operational procedures

  • Can my current EDI/ERP infrastructure support transactions in RMB?
  • How can I fulfil the physical third-party documentary requirements while using a paperless electronic platform?
  • How can I reconcile the China National Advanced Payment System (CNAPS) and SWIFT standards to make RMB payments?
    • Receiving bank: SWIFT Bank Identifier Code (BIC) code versus CNAPS bank code.
    • Beneficiary name: How can I input Chinese beneficiary names?
    • Remittance cost: BENEFICIARY/SHARED/OURS codes are not applicable on CNAPS.
    • Intermediary bank: CNAPS does not recognise intermediary banks.
    • Purpose of payment: CNAPS has different CMTs for different purposes of payments, while this concept is not applicable in the SWIFT environment.
  • What kind of test payments do I need to make?
  • How can I achieve straight through processing (STP) with RMB payments?
  • What are the key changes in operating procedures for RMB payments?
  • What are the key operational risk areas and how can I mitigate these risks?
  • Will my bank be able to support me in all the countries where I have RMB payment needs?

Receivables and payables management

  • How will the differences in permissible trade tenors between currencies affect my receivables and payables management?
  • How can I manage the foreign exchange (FX) risk derived from the onshore and offshore exchange rate differentials for transactions with a long trade tenor (especially for payables above 90 days)?
  • How will I be able to manage my inter-company receivables and payables if I am unable to net my RMB transactions?

Accounting, financial reporting and cross-border reconciliation of RMB exposure

  • Since International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) require the same internal RMB FX booking rate for both onshore and offshore subsidiaries, which booking rate should use (e.g. CNY rate or CNH rate)?
  • If I reflect my onshore RMB position using offshore RMB exchange rates (CNH rate), will it be in line with the requirements of China Corporate Accounting Standards (CCAS)?
  • What are the possible balance sheet implications when reflecting exposure in a CNY rate and in a CNH rate?
  • As most of the CCAS were created before the internationalisation of the RMB, how should I reflect my RMB receivables/payables from offshore counterparties?

Tax implications of RMB re-invoicing and redenomination

  • From a tax angle, which transactions should be re-invoiced as cross-border payments?
  • How do I handle the Export Tax Rebate for RMB transactions?
  • What are the possible Value Added Tax (VAT) implications for re-invoicing?

Offshore regional treasury centres (RTCs) for RMB payments

  • Where should I set up a RTC or re-invoicing centre?
  • How do I set up a RTC to facilitate RMB payments?
  • How will a RMB RTC affect the way my existing global treasury management is set up?


Setting up a supply chain finance (SCF) programme

Published: July/August 2013

The complexities associated with supply chain finance (SCF) programmes may be the main reason why many corporates have yet to implement a SCF programme. However, the obvious benefits that can be gained from a SCF programme – notably harmonisation of payment terms, improved liquidity and the strengthening of key supplier relationships – are encouraging many corporates worldwide to proactively look at the business case for SCF.

Preparation phase

  • Identify potential benefits that are in line with the strategic objectives of your company.
  • Start building your business case by extracting key accounts payable (AP) data. This includes accounts payables volumes per currency/country, actual payment terms, key supplier relationships.
  • Put together a small project team, educate and involve your colleagues from purchasing early in the project.
  • Take advice from practitioners who can help you navigate potential ‘traps’, for example, when calculating arbitrage opportunities.
  • Design an initial project plan.
  • Get senior management buy-in.

Kick-off phase

  • Create a cross-functional team, including peers from procurement, legal and IT.
  • Align the project objectives with all project members and associated functions.
  • Pull together granular data regarding AP cash flows, key supplier relationships (determine criticality of suppliers for your business), supplier and buyer locations and spend/currencies.

RFP phase

  • Identify partner(s) that best fit with your business needs.
  • Think about your evaluation criteria beyond pricing: do you require a one-stop-shop solution? Which geographical coverage do you require for supplier on-boarding? Is cutting-edge technology relevant to your business needs?
  • Evaluate potential risks:
    • Counterparty risk (bank partners and/or platform providers).
    • ‘What if’ scenarios upon termination of the whole/part of programme.
    • Involve your current and potential future auditors (accounting treatment).
  • Validate track record of chosen partners:
    • Technical expertise for operations and support
    • Reference customers
  • Ability to operate in key geographies and offer support in applicable languages and time zones. Ideally, the preferred provider(s) should match your SCF supplier and buyer critical country ‘footprint’, with a physical presence for on-boarding and implementation.
  • Pricing and credit capacity: single bank versus syndication – economics depends on the programme size, expected ramp-up and your partner banks’ credit appetite for your risk. Include any specific requests from your in-house lawyers and/or auditors in the discussion.
  • Identify tier one, two and three suppliers and share your key supplier information with the recipients of the RFP document.

Evaluating SCF programme partners

  • International on-boarding capability.
  • Calendarisation of monthly hold process.
  • Purchasing training and tools.
  • Pricing and fees.
  • Credit capacity.
  • Quality of supplier and buyer interfaces.
  • Technical integration: seamless data extraction from AP.
  • AP and IT support and problem resolution.
  • Buyer recommendation and reference check.
  • Supplier recommendation and reference check.
  • Post-implementation support quality.
  • On-boarding tracking and follow up.

On-boarding strategy

  • Undertaken in close co-operation with selected partner/s (i.e. bank).
  • Training of procurement staff:
    • Appoint key contacts from procurement for SCF programme (per function/region involved).
    • Train purchasing staff in calculating and explaining SCF mechanics (train trainers).
  • Decide on the key messages to be relayed to suppliers: criticality, current payment terms, spend, credit rating, etc.
  • Decide on a communication approach to be used with supplier clusters: one-to-one meetings, seminars, webinars, and/or email information. Factor in cost of respective methods, as well as cultural aspects (some companies prefer an efficient Webinar, for example, instead of receiving cold calls).
  • Identify selected suppliers for running mini pilot on-boarding projects, to validate the aforementioned decisions on key messages and communication mode.
  • Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) to keep the ramp up of the SCF programme focussed.

Post-implementation review

  • Regularly evaluate results.
  • Adjust onboarding strategies, if necessary.
  • Celebrate your success in creating a “triple win” situation for all parties involved in the programme.



Published: June 2013

The deadline for companies to adopt Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) payment formats is 1 February 2014 for those within the SEPA zone and 1 February 2016 for those outside of the zone. Companies need to act now to ensure they are ready by the deadline. The impact will vary from one company to the next – the project could be quick and easy, or complex and time consuming. But either way, the clock is ticking.

Migration plan

  • Analyse migration complexity.
  • Determine migration strategy.
  • Appoint a project team – in-house and with your key partners (banks/vendors).
  • Ensure internal lines of communication stay open and that everyone across the organisation – including senior management – understands the risks of not being SEPA-compliant.
  • Credit transfers and direct debits together or separately?
  • All countries at once, or phased roll out?

Converting to XML format

  • Analyse which formats are currently in use.
  • Set timing of XML migration or keep other global formats and adjust for SEPA.
  • Assess availability of temporary solutions – if required.
  • Check if a new release is needed from external system provider to obtain the XML module.

Banking relationships

  • Analyse what value-added services are on offer.
  • Determine which banks to use in SEPA.

Migrating to IBAN

  • Determine how to obtain the corresponding IBANs: directly from counterparties or indirectly via local conversion service?
  • Decide how to communicate own IBAN.
  • Make the required changes to invoices and other forms.
  • Identify all systems that contain account numbers and bank codes.
  • Adjust field lengths to IBAN.
  • File uploads, document scans and/or manual input.

Payment detail field

  • Check the length of the payment details fields used by country.
  • Adjust length and content.
  • Allowed characters are numbers, letters and special signs.
  • Think about using the orderer/creditor reference field for certain information (e.g. contract number).

Reference party field

  • Check if making on-behalf-of payments or collections today/want to use them in the future.
  • Migrate it to the new fields (maximum 70 characters).
  • Define the processes and inform counterparties.

SCT only

  • Analyse what time-critical transactions are made today.
  • Define whether processes for executing these payments need to be adjusted.
  • Determine processing preferences.
  • Adjust file-submission processes to account for different cut-off times.

SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) only

  • Generate the mandates.
  • Determine mandate form.
  • Choose mandate reference.
  • Generate mandate reference (maximum 35 characters).
  • Check mandate-management options.
  • Save mandate data in mandate database.
  • Define processes for mandate administration.

Creditor identifier

  • Obtain creditor identifier.
  • Potentially use creditor business code within the ID to distinguish separate entities or departments so that only one ID is needed.

Submission deadlines

  • Setting of due date.
  • Ensure the debtor is informed in advance.
  • Define/adjust submission processes, taking into account the deadlines.
  • Five days for first/one-off transactions; two days for recurring ones.
  • Define/adjust booking processes/options.

Final checks

  • Are all your payment processes SEPA-ready?
  • Are the company’s collections SEPA-compliant?
  • Have the reconciliation processes been adjusted?
  • Can the ERP reconcile with SEPA formats?
  • Have all stakeholders – internal and external – been adequately consulted and kept fully up-to-date with the changes?
  • Have staff been trained appropriately on SEPA?


Setting up a pooling structure

Published: May 2013

A cash pool is a banking structure which allows the balances on a number of separate accounts to be treated collectively. This concentration of balances optimises the amount of interest companies both pay and receive, as the bank will consider the pooled balance when calculating interest. Use of a cash pool can also help a company to improve its liquidity management, as total cash balances are managed centrally rather than locally.

Before beginning

  • Are you looking to centralise your liquidity management on a local, regional or global level?
  • Is your company ready for the related organisational changes – political, organisational and technical?
  • Does the existing, decentralised liquidity flows qualify for replacing external with internal funding?
  • Do you need to implement a mono- or multi-bank structure? (This may be an opportunity to reduce the number of banks.)
  • Do you want to stick to your existing account structure, or do you plan to make changes to reflect a future solution?
  • Have you conducted a thorough analysis of the entire cash flows of the group?
  • Do you understand where your cash is, how it flows into, out of and around the organisation?


  • Which type of cash pooling structure is best suited to your company: physical/cash concentration or notional pooling?
  • Are you operating in just one country or do you need a cross-border pooling structure?
  • How many currencies do you want to include in the pooling structure?
  • Does the facility to make local payments need to be maintained?
  • Do you need reference account structures?
  • Do you need to set up an overlay cash pool?


  • What are the legal restrictions, if any, of cash pooling in the countries included in the pooling structure?
  • What are the tax implications?
  • What are the accounting implications?
  • What are the regulatory issues?

From the outset

  • Have you performed a thorough cost/benefit analysis of the proposed cash pool?
  • What cost savings will the cash pool generate?
  • What implementation costs are involved?
  • Have you appointed a dedicated project team, which should include representatives from relevant departments such as treasury, subsidiaries, accounting, tax, legal, internal audit and IT?
  • Have you gained internal support, commitment and resources for the cash pool project?
  • Have you chosen the right banking partner through an RFP process?


  • What are the benefits of rolling out the cash pool gradually, compared with a big-bang approach?
  • Which subsidiaries/currencies will be involved in a pilot project?


SWIFT for Corporates Checklist

Published: April 2013

SWIFT enables corporates to obtain financial services (payments, treasury and securities orders, and reporting) with all their financial institutions through one single, highly secure, standardised communication platform, as opposed to multiple connections. SWIFT’s internationally recognised standards help corporates to reduce costs and risk, increase funds visibility and improve automation. This leads to easier regulatory compliance. By joining SWIFT, corporates have access to over 9,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries.

Strategic analysis of SWIFT and determination of business case

  • What is the business case: value proposition, risks and synergies?
  • Are there financial benefits, e.g. does it give global visibility to cash?
  • Are there operational benefits, e.g. does it reduce total cost of ownership (TCO)?
  • Are there risk mitigation benefits, e.g. heightened security and counterparty risk mitigation?
  • What are the costs involved: SWIFT cost (registration, connectivity and messaging), plus non-SWIFT cost (project management, operations and application integration)?
  • What is the scope of the project (services, banks and technology)?
  • Are all core stakeholders supportive of the initiative?
  • Is it part of an international payment factory/global treasury strategy approach?
  • Number of banks in strategic environment?
  • What strategic banking partners are SWIFT for Corporates ready?
  • Do these banks support all required services via a SWIFT solution?
  • How many legacy banks/legacy banking infrastructures need to be replace?
  • What are your business requirements concerning scope of the overall solution, including countries, legal entities, payment instruments, business areas – cash, custody, trade, and reporting?
  • What are your functional specifications, including number of transactions, quality requirements, file sizes, and response and cut-off times?

SWIFT solution design

  • Which corporate SWIFT membership model – MA-CUG or SCORE – best suits your business?
  • Which model for physical SWIFT integration – direct access in own infrastructure; SWIFT service bureau; or Alliance Lite (2) – best suits your company?
  • What SWIFT services – FIN (individual messages) and/or FileAct (file transfer) – does your company require?
  • What are the integration requirements for your ERP/treasury landscape?

Implementation and testing

  • Is the project approach (a staged approach by SWIFT service, country, legal entity, and instrument) and plan (schedule, test concept including connectivity and format testing) available?
  • Have you organised a kick-off meeting with your banks, e.g. to agree project approach and plan with all stakeholders?
  • Is the service integration (which MT messages in FIN and file formats in FileAct) settled?
  • Has the SWIFT test execution, such as technical parameters and testing SWIFT BICs, been agreed?
  • Is the legal documentation completed?
  • Is penny testing required?
  • Does your team have the right skills and expertise?

Go live and roll out

  • Is there a go-live plan, with a staged approach and special support?
  • Is your production connectivity/integration with your banks working?
  • Are all your interfaces with your internal applications working?
  • Do you have a back-up infrastructure and fall-back procedures in place?

Review and ongoing optimisation of working procedures

  • Have you revisited the project scope to ensure that objectives have been met?
  • Do you need to review first phase in a staged approach to optimise the following phases?
  • Is there a process to ensure ongoing optimisation of the workflows?


Establishing processes for a successful corporate treasury FX risk management programme

Published: March 2013

Impact of FX risk: what will move the needle for equity/credit investors?

  • Cash flow?
  • Balance sheet?
  • Earnings?
  • Leverage?


  • How far out can you predict exposures?
  • How long would it take you to readjust to a new currency rate environment?

Hedging instruments

  • Do you use forward hedging, which is when two parties agree to exchange one currency for another at a specified future date?
  • Do you use FX swaps – forward swap transaction or a spot forward – to extend the forward contract?
  • Do you use money market hedging, which uses debt instead of forwards or futures?
  • Do you use currency options, which allow companies to benefit from upside potential whilst protecting against downside risk?


  • How often do you re-initiate hedges?

Hedge type

  • How certain is the exposure? Can contracts be cancelled/re-negotiated or counterparts go ‘out-of-business’ in case of a large currency move?
  • How ‘linear’ is the exposure?
  • What is the price elasticity with respect to currency rate?
  • Do you need to protect versus an adverse case (eg budget rate)?
  • Is there any constraint around hedge mark-to-market or liquidity impact?


  • Do you have limit sizes on lines (either to or from banks)?
  • Do you have any collateral available?
  • Are you factoring bank counterparty risk into your risk management process?


  • What is your sensitivity towards interim P&L volatility?
  • How will the hedge accounting proposals in IFRS 9 make a difference to your hedging strategy?

Currency dynamics

  • If you are dealing with high-yield emerging market currencies, are you opting for dynamic hedge ratios or increased option use?
  • Can you access local markets or do you hedge offshore only?
  • If you are working with EUR/USD, are you adopting more sophisticated signals to implement dynamic approaches?


Supplier risk intelligence

Published: February 2013


  • When did you last review your current suppliers?
  • Is the company over-dependent on certain suppliers and buyers respectively?
  • How are you intending to identify new potential suppliers?
  • What are the risks associated with these suppliers?
  • Does the company have appropriate due diligence procedures in place?

Monitoring to avoid risks

  • How is risk data managed within the company?
  • Is there a supplier rating system in place?
  • If so, does it include financial KPIs?
  • To what extent is this data analysed?
  • Are the analyses still relevant and do they really work?
  • What risk assessment procedures are in place? Do they need updating?
  • Are there early warning indicators in use?

Early corrective action

  • What is the procedure if a disruption occurs in the supply chain?
  • Are stock levels managed differently?
  • Do you have alternative sources of obtaining suppliers?
  • Does your supplier need financial help?
  • Do you know the financial impact on pricing, e.g. influenced by cost of financing and FX margins of suppliers?
  • Are you in a position to finance your supplier?


  • What contingency plans does the company have in place? Can they be enacted now?
  • Do they need adapting?
  • Can you prevent the disruption from spreading to other parts of the chain?
  • Have you communicated with people further down the chain to let them know of disruption in advance?
  • Has this been fed back up the chain to headquarters?
  • What measures are being taken to ensure communication channels stay open and secure?

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