The surprising thing about Bank Services Billing standards is not how obvious the benefits of using them are, but how hard corporates, suppliers and consultants have to work to convince corporates in general to use them. Much of this reluctance is due to the need to solve the management of bank accounts first which is still a major problem for many corporates, e.g. how many accounts do we have and with whom? do our banks agree? keeping signatories up-to-date, etc.
How to benefit from BSB report
For many years there have been, scattered around the world, real believers in BSB - corporates, bankers, and suppliers - who have been pushing and promoting these standards. A diligent group of these believers* have just published an important report on “Building a business case for bank services billing - How corporates can benefit from electronic bank billing and reporting” which is being published under the SWIFT CGI umbrella.
The report’s approach is summed up by the first sentence, “Automation is key in today’s treasury practice.” The core of the report’s methodology is TESSA:
- Transparency - Know what you pay and what is happening!
- Efficiency – Get rid of manual/paper based workflows!
- Simplicity - Make things easy! Get fast analysis!
- Serenity - Make your auditors happy!
- Advice - Give strategic input to Management!
Bank Services Billing progress
The review of BSB progress highlights:
- How US and Canada is different due to their adoption of the ANSI EDI 822 standard
- Global progress over last 20 years - see figure:
Source & Copyright©2017 - SWIFT CGI
Practical Tips and Conclusions
The report is full of ‘how to’ tips including:
- In a business environment that is becoming more and more digital every day there is no way around an electronic reporting format like camt.086
- Do not wait for the BSB standards to become 100% perfect before starting to use them
- The internal costs are reasonable compared with the benefits of what you will get.
- The value is not only about “cost savings” due to bank fee reductions, but also the benefits of stronger compliance, a more efficient process, greater visibility, improved accounting.
If you want to understand the current state of the Bank Services Billing and what works and what doesn’t, read the six case studies on Deutsche Post DHL, Vorwerk & Co. KG, August Storck .
* Regina Deisemann, Director Group Liquidity Management, Vorwerk & Co. KG; Christine Pitzen, Senior Treasury Manager, Deutsche Post AG; Werner Brinkkötter, Head of Accounting, August Storck KG; Martin Postweiler, Director Solution Strategy, Hanse Orga Group; Hubert Rappold, CEO at TIPCO Treasury & TechnologyKG, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Air Liquide, and SIEMENS AG.
CTMfile take: This report is useful because it brings together information on, 1) how corporates can build a case for Bank Services Billing, and 2) how to actually implement BSB effectively.
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