A key objective in the new UPS cash flow forecasting system, which won the Cash Flow Forecasting Project of the Year category at the gtnews Awards 2012, is to collect previous day-ending bank account balances for each legal entity from every bank globally by a pre-determined cut-off time every morning and to use these actual balances in the cash forecasting process. UPS treasury worked with its banking partner, Citi Global Transaction Services, to receive previous day-ending bank account balances and transaction information via SWIFT from third-party banks. UPS used Citi's web-based TreasuryVision solution to manage reporting banks and accounts globally and to feed the aggregated data directly into UPS's treasury workstation.
SEB use the same approach in their WebForecast service, see Forecasting Packages survey. At the start of each business day WebForecast automatically uploads the bank balance information and forecasting data.
It is easy to see that the starting point for accurate cash flow forecasting is getting: 1) each bank around the world to report previous day-ending bank account balances for each legal entity, and 2) all the operating units to provide daily and precise cash flow data. However, unless you are huge and powerful like UPS combined with Citi, and have internal discipline like UPS, it is tough. All you need to do is persuade banks world-wide to all report by the required time and to change your company's culture. Easy?
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