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Industry roundup: 30 September 2020

OpusCapita and Analyste merge to form cash management firm Nomentia

Two Nordic cash management providers have joined forces to form a new company. OpusCapita and Analyste have merged to create Nomentia. The new company is owned by Providence Strategic Growth (PSG), and Verdane - a North European growth equity investor - will own a minority stake alongside the companies’ management teams. 

"This is a natural step in our journey," commented Mikko Soirola, CEO of Nomentia. "Combining forces will improve our offering to our customers, increase our capacity, speed up innovation, and enable us to offer solutions to our customers on a global scale." 

The new company's SaaS-based platform offers solutions for cash forecasting and visibility, global payments with bank connectivity, reconciliation, in-house banking, guarantees, and foreign exchange (FX) dealing. The combined firm serves over 2,300 clients in over 100 countries, processing more than €200bn annually.


Auditoria.AI announces automation tools for the corporate finance back office

Auditoria.AI, a provider of AI-driven automation solutions for corporate finance teams, has announced Intelligent Automation capabilities for the finance back office. The three new tools - Automated Intelligent Collections, Autonomous Planning and Intelligent Vendor Management - expand Auditoria’s approach to hyperautomation for the recovery of time, removal of friction and improved cash flow performance across the corporate finance function. 

Recent research from Auditoria shows that the majority of companies are automating 40% or fewer back-office tasks and processes. Almost half of finance teams say that repetitive, manual work is a significant burden on the organisation, with accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) suffering from the most manual processes. Grant Thornton’s 2020 CFO Survey also reported that CFOs are increasingly looking to adopt advanced analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and RPA to automate back-office operations. 

Intelligent Collections provides AR departments with real-time visibility to predictive remittance forecasting in order to understand the accounts likely to be late in making payments or potentially delinquent. The tool can prioritise how work is completed, with two-way automated correspondence automation, automated logging of all correspondence touchpoints and built-in tonality based on client type, with support for fast payers, slow payers, strategic accounts, bank references, trade references and end-to-end tracking of the payment lifecycle. 

Intelligent Vendor Management provides AP and procurement teams with tools to automate repetitive vendor management tasks while gathering evidentiary insights in procure-to-pay processes, including real-time visibility into vendor payments, automated vendor onboarding and collection of tax and insurance forms, and automated invoice accruals as part of the monthly close process. This also includes automated intelligent responses in response to vendor and supplier inquiries on invoice payment status, approval status, short pay issues, and more.

Intelligent Planning is designed to provide accurate cash flow predictions, to allow financial planning and analysis (FP&A) teams to build better strategies for sustainable growth. This includes cash balance and treasury forecasting, snapshots and simulations, and statistical KPIs and metrics to more accurately track, measure and predict cash flow and introduces predictive automated analytics as a foundation for the financial back office. 


Swedbank Robur launches another ‘Paris Aligned’ Access Edge fund

Last week, Swedbank Robur announced that a number of its Access Edge funds had been secured to be managed in line with the Paris Agreement. Now the fund company has launched another new fund - Access Edge Europe - meaning it offers a Paris Aligned secured fund for each central market.

The firm says that all Access Edge funds reward investments in companies with low greenhouse gas emissions and aim to have about 50% lower carbon footprint than their benchmark index. Furthermore, approximately 10% of the fund is invested in companies that, by the fund company, are considered to contribute to resolving the climate crisis. For example by contributing to the transition to renewable energy or to a circular economy.

Swedbank Robur's classification of funds managed in line with the Paris Agreement aims to make it simpler and clearer to customers who want to make savings with the climate issue in focus. The fund company has used established industry methods to analyse whether a fund can be classified as managed in line with the Paris Agreement. The method the fund company has developed is based, among other things, on EU Sustainable Finance established guidelines for climate benchmarks.

Swedbank Robur’s primary climate targets are that the company’s entire managed portfolio, which currently exceeds SEK1000bn, will be in line already in 2025 with the Paris Agreement’s target to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, and zero emissions for the entire portfolio by 2040.


New sustainability curriculum launched by GRI

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has launched a suite of globally applicable training courses for sustainability reporting specialists, following the launch of the GRI Professional Certification Program. The programme is designed to deliver a professional training route for individuals seeking to use the GRI Standards for best practice reporting on organisational impacts. It can be accessed fully online or combined with learning provided through GRI’s global network of Certified Training Partners.

The Professional Certification Program includes five courses, covering the fundamentals of GRI reporting, available through the GRI Academy, which lead to a final certification exam. Passing the exam will grant individuals the status of GRI Certified Sustainability Professional. Certification can be renewed annually by taking the minimum learning hours through Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

The five courses in the programme are:

  1. Introduction to sustainability reporting and the GRI Standards.
  2. Stakeholder engagement.
  3. Materiality.
  4. The sustainability reporting process.
  5. Integrating the SDGs into sustainability reporting.

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