On Demand Webinar

Strategies for Improving Cash Visibility and Cash Flow in Uncertain Times

In times of great uncertainty, the Controllership (e.g., AP, AR, GL, Revenue) plays an essential role in providing management with the visibility needed to make critical business decisions. Streamlining cash management processes is a high priority for accountants as business leaders require highly accurate and timely cash reporting in order to navigate successfully through today’s market landscape.

In this on-demand webinar, our panel of accounting operations experts will share practical and actionable tips for strengthening your cash management process. Areas covered will include:

  • AR cash collections – How automation can substantially improve cash visibility
  • Purchase order and accrual reporting – How robust processes and automation can detect potentially large and unreported cash outflows
  • Leveraging integrations to improve the frequency of cash forecast updates
Full Webinar Transcript
okay. Hello everyone. Thank you for joining us today. So in these challenging times, we hope you are all staying safe and well. My name is Ebru. And I work in product marketing at Celigo, and I’ll be hosting today’s discussion. So with the sudden change in economy there’s an uncertainty of cash flow for many companies. Everyone is working on how they’ll make it through these difficult times. And this makes cash management a top priority. So many businesses are looking into operating more efficiently and effectively with less resources, true automation, and integration. And in today’s discussion, accounting experts will be discussing about strategies for improving cash visibility and cash flow. And they’ll also be talking about how to streamline cash management for accurate and timely cash report. So this session is being recorded. And we’ll be taking questions during the discussion. So if you have any questions please type them in the chat window. Our panelists today are Jotham Ty, CEO of Gappify and Deb Morgan. She’s the director of Solutions Consulting at Celigo. So both Jotham and Deb, they bring many years of experience in accounting, finance, and controllership. So before we start Jotham and Deb, would you like to provide a brief overview of yourself and your companies? Yeah. I can go ahead and start. This is Jotham Ty, the Founder, and CEO of Gappify. And Gappify is a provider of process bots for corporate accounting teams. So the name of our– our first bot is Alan, and he is a NetSuite bot specifically that can help AP teams, onboard vendors and help AR and collections team manage their collections process. Perfect. And I’m Deb Morgan. And I’m the director of Solutions Consulting here at Celigo. I’m a former controller. I was using Silico myself for six years, first with banking integrations, and then did a Salesforce integration as well. And so look forward to sharing some information with you today. And Celigo, just a quick minute about what Celigo does, is we are an iPad solution and a provider. And we enable businesses to integrate and automate processes across all your different applications. It’s a super easy platform, iPads platform. And one of the things that we’ll be kind of covering today, is we have thousands of banking integrations we’ve done. So we have deep expertise there. And we’ve been in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for the past six years. So really proud of that. And just keep in mind too as we go through this, this is really application-agnostic and vertical agnostic. So we’ll share some more info later during the session today. Okay. Great. Thank you, so much Jotham and Deb. So oops. Okay. So here’s today’s agenda. So we’ll start with cash management. And then we’ll review top accounting processes, such as accounts receivable, accounts payable, and procurement. And then we will talk about how integrations play a role in improving cash visibility and cash flow. And then our experts will also provide some practical tips on how to prioritize cash management improvements. So let’s move to the next slide. Okay. So yeah. Here I would like to kick off the discussion by handing it off to Jotham and Deb. Again, if you have any questions, you can submit them through the chat window. So Deb and Jotham, can you talk about the priorities when it comes to cash management in today’s world? Sure– Yeah. So I can quickly start, and Deb, feel free to add as I’m speaking here. But in terms of what’s top of mine for the people that I’m talking to in our space– so a lot of controllers and CFOs I’m talking to are just trying to get a better understanding of where their cash position is. So the first icon there is visibility and reporting. And as straightforward as it may sound, you can’t just look at your GL balance and know that that’s how much cash you have in the bank, right. There’s so much more, and I think folks that are on GL teams or controllers themselves understand how much effort it is sometimes to get a good snapshot of where cash balances are. So a lot of questions are coming up around that. Also, obviously, visibility on payments coming in from large customers, for example. And then, of course, on the outflow side, it’s getting more critical than ever to actually have great visibility on what companies and organizations are spending on. That’s right. And some of the more common examples that we’ve been seeing, and even myself at one point had to do, is in order to even draw down on some of the credit lines having a current snapshot of– an accurate snapshot of what your accounts receivable balances are were super critical. And as you mentioned, it’s very difficult to just go and run a report and know what maybe hasn’t been processed by the accounting teams yet. So have all of the payments been created and applied on a daily basis? Or have all of the outbound payments that are being committed been recorded? So timing is everything, and just knowing that you can go out and confidently run those reports is really, really critical. Deb, to add to your point there on timing, I think that leads to the second icon here on efficiency and accuracy. How efficient are accounting teams in terms of being able to take, for example, credit to a bank account, and how long does it take to trickle down to the GL? And how long does it take after that to trickle down into your subledger so you have accurate aging reports? So there’s a timing aspect and then there’s the efficiency. How many people are– how much manpower and headcount is being invested to get the right snapshot? So these are some of the questions that I’m hearing from our customers and my network. That’s right. Yeah, I think in terms of just the efficiencies, right– I mean, one of the things that was a true game changer for myself was when I basically turned around from my team creating 100% of all the customer payments and applying them, to automating that and only working exceptions, right. So we had an instant efficiency improvement. So then things were worked in a more timely manner. So that’s just one example of efficiency. Ebru, one last point on this slide here that I see as the third item. I think it is very important for us in the controllership group. So if you’re part of the controllership function– GAP, GL, AR– I think it’s worth highlighting that our role is to make sure we can get visibility to management and business leaders. In terms of making the actual hard decisions that I know are happening because of this down period– in terms of freezing headcount, or even more operational decisions like a lunch customer can’t pay an invoice, what do you do with that? And so the point I want to emphasize is on the controllership side, we get the information and we help business leaders make the decision. But we don’t make the decisions ourselves. So I think that’s an important distinction, right? Because the last thing we want is maybe a collections analyst approving a million-dollar payment being deferred from today to six months from now. I mean, that’s obviously not the role of AR. But AR does have the role to identify and make sure that any customers that are potentially in trouble and not able to pay on time, that there’s a process to report that upwards. That’s right. Great. So, yeah, let’s move on to key accounting processes. So, can you talk about accounts receivable? And what are the important processes here? And how do these impact cash management? If you don’t mind, I’ll jump in and start on that one. So, one of the things I actually tend to take it back even before a customer’s been invoiced. One of the things that’s frequently coming up, especially now that we’re seeing just a really big increase in interest, is really, starting from the sales side. Taking say, for example, people using Salesforce, is they’re trying to eliminate these, either double licenses. Having accounting teams have two licenses. One for Salesforce to go in and get the information. Maybe they’re going in and manually creating those sales orders after, say, an opportunity has been closed. And so, really trying to look for ways to save money on double-entry or duplicate licenses. So, we’re actually seeing a lot of folks wanting to automatically create the sales orders. And then, bring back in the back office visibility. So, just one example is, on Salesforce, is basically bring back in financial help snapshot information. Is the Salesforce account reaching 60 days past due? Are they on credit hold? Those types of metrics are really important because ideally, the sales reps, for example, have that relationship with that account or that customer. So, being able to jump in and help even your collections teams, right, to get those posted. But also being able to have access to even the financial information like what invoices are open. So, just adding another layer of automation, to have the sales team be able to kind of step in and also assist, is really something we’re seeing quite a bit of. So just duplicate entry, multiple licenses, and then just timely assistance on the collections side. Yeah. And I think one thing that’s really fundamental to having good data work on the collections side, is getting this cash receipt timing and the cash receipt process down really tight. So, I like the expression, having the cart before the horse because it totally applies to accounts receivable. So if you don’t have a strong cash receipt process, in other words, if a credit rolls into your bank account for a customer payment, and if it takes you two to three weeks to get that in and reflect that in your aging, then all of a sudden you have collectors following up on, maybe, paid accounts. So, the first two icons there have to happen in that order, right? You want to make sure that cash receipts are timely reflected in your, not only GL but in your ASR sub-ledger. That way, your collections team knows that they’re starting from the right place on paid invoices. And, I come from a time, I think this was 15 years ago, where some AR teams, because of resources or just complexity, I’ve often heard AR teams say, “Well, I can’t give you a good report until closer to month-end .”, and think with the automation solutions available out there are the ones that mention– we should be able to button that up to, if not the same day, within a matter of a couple days at least. Right. Yeah, well just first Celigo– what actually brought me to Celigo personally, was due to an acquisition. It was a little bit of a different scenario than we’re dealing with today. But I literally found myself almost overnight with a 10x increase in the number of payments. I was not getting any additional headcount. So basically I was told, “You need to go figure out another option,” and I just didn’t have enough resources to do it. And that’s what really forced me to look for automation. And so just being able to have Celigo automatically– every morning when my AR team came in– they have a dashboard that’s in NetSuite, they never have to leave NetSuite, being able to see all of the payments that were created and where they were applied, and then flag any exceptions. So it was just a big game-changer , literally, for me and my team. We were able to use scale quite quickly and there was none of this– I hate to say it, but we’re all human beings and we make mistakes. So no one’s entering something that’s not going to tie then the bank statement. So it always trickles down to how do you reconcile all the ins and outs, so therefore you don’t have any of those situations. So I think that was something else that I just wanted to point out, that we’re seeing a really big interest in that right now. And that was definitely going to save teams quite a bit of work. You touched on reconciliation there, Bev, and it definitely pushes a couple of buttons that I remember from my years managing this process. In terms of recon items– again, this goes back to having good accurate cash receipt transactions posted timely to your sub-ledgers. But some of the recon items that can come and bite you in the you know what are unapplied cash. So take a look at your AR recons. If you have a large balance or in some cases, a GL account with a large unapplied cash balance, you take a look and investigate. And make sure if it’s big, you go and evaluate what it’s for and resolve those issues. Something I remember a lot – especially for B2B customers that I’ve serviced – you get these big wires directly to your bank account but it’s got mysterious text so you don’t know where to apply it to. So it sits in some kind of a bucket. So I guess as a tip, a practical tip for the folks listening, take a look at those recon items and make sure you have a good hold on what they are and you have a process in which to resolve them timely. I’ll mention one last thing, if you still have deposits in transit in your recon, to consider some automation solutions because DIT, or deposits in transit, hopefully, is a term of the old days, but I do know some companies are still working on figuring out better ways to automate that. That’s right. Yep. And even on the accounts receivable side, something that we’re seeing quite often is for, especially even if it’s credit card payments – maybe these are really more cash sale related – but on the same kind of vein in the AR side, is there’s usually a two to three day period where you’re waiting for those things to clear. And a lot of customers have to go in and literally create a bank deposit and select maybe hundreds of different electronic payments that were included that actually settled into the bank. So we’re starting to see even companies that are using maybe online providers that have credit card payments, having say Celigo go in and automatically taking those settlement reports and creating that. So moving those from say, undeposited funds into the proper account. Then you have a one to one relationship on your bank statement you’re literally looking at one big batch that’s [inaudible] your statement and the corresponding entries. So people are really looking everywhere for things that are time-consuming. And bank reconciliation is definitely on the list for time-consuming activities. There’s definitely a lot to cover on the cash receipt side. I’m really antsy to cover follow-ups and collections because I know this is getting a lot of attention these days given obviously the market conditions. But assuming that you had a good solid cash report or HR report, you do have collectors going out there, reaching out to customers. So there’s definitely some solutions out there like dunning that can send reminders, maybe a process spot that I know. His name may be Alan, who can help autonomously follow up on invoices and past-due invoices. But the key there is being actually smarter about your followup. So I asked a long-time director of crediting collections expert what her key tip was for as I did this webinar. And just sitting down and planning and having some kind of structure on what you’re going to do from the time of invoicing and all the way down to the different steps of the collection process and getting everyone on the same page goes a long way to making sure you have an effective process and therefore stronger DSO. And I’ll just make one last point. Sorry if I’m talking too much. Oh, no. This stuff gets me excited. Go ahead. Speak. One last point– if you’re a B2B customer and you’re issuing large and complex invoices– so say maybe you have monthly billing for your customers and these invoices are large. And maybe it’s complex because it’s got a usage component or billing structure is different month over month, please take the time to confirm those invoices as they go out. What I typically see is AR teams just generating these complex invoices, and then waiting until it’s past due like 30 or 45 days from now, and then finding out then that they don’t have a PO, or finding out then that the invoice was sent to the wrong place, or finding out then that sales tax was incorrect. Please get in front of that. As soon as the invoices are sent to your customer, I’ll follow up. If you don’t have automation solutions, follow up with an email. But I would highly suggest automation solutions. And [inaudible] Alan can help with that. This is, to me, one of the key areas where you can find good opportunities to improve your DSO. That’s great advice. And I won’t name the name. It was a very, very large well-known company that I was working for. And the automobile industry– just seemed like their DSOs were horrible, I mean, in a major way. People weren’t paying their bills. And I encourage you that– to try to root cause it. And we found out it was missing a key identifier on all of these invoices that would then allow them to tie it back in their system. So simply by modifying their invoices, we were able to literally get them– I mean overnight, all of their past-due invoices were caught up. And going forward, we didn’t have that really long delay. So just taking the time when you start to see these kinds of issues is root-cause why they’re not paying it to find out if it’s just something that you need to modify. So that’s just another piece of advice that I have. And especially, Deb, in these times where– I know some of the companies that I’m talking to are having– their customers are reaching out to them and asking for extensions and maybe exceptions to paying invoices, so identifying those exceptions. And it’s AR’s responsibility to again flesh those out, right? Reach out to your customer and figure out which ones may be in jeopardy of not paying on time. And then putting it in front of the decision makers to make those exception decisions that you mentioned there. Yeah, that’s right. Very good. But there’s a question here. So what are specific systems to recommend for AR reporting collections? I may be a little biased, but I think Kappa Phi Allen is such a great solution to help confirm invoices and follow up on overdue invoices because it’s a bi directional interaction, right. So our process bot asks customers when they expect to make payment and then we reflect that and update that real time on your collections and AR aging reports. But Dunning is also effective. I love Celigo from the standpoint of just getting systems to talk to each other. So I think that’s critical to get good reporting out of your ERP system. That’s right. Even if you’re in native NetSuite user, there are– it might take you a little bit of time to get everything dialed in but you do have that feature but I really I am looking back on my controllership times and I wish I’d had gapified at the time I certainly would have implemented that myself. That’s a really useful, so really, really helpful. That’s great. Thank you. So I’ll just move to the next topic here. And too AP and procurement. So yeah, what can be done for accounts payable and procurement to improve cash management? What would you recommend here? I have one on the first bucket and I actually wrote that bullet there. One of the things that we’re seeing right now, especially with people working from home, this is really, kind of brought up to the forefront right now is just getting away from what signatures. Meaning that you have this stack of checks that you’re printing usually your printers in a really secure area. Even if you still have vendors, for example, that are expecting a check payment, finding a way to set up maybe with your bank, a way to automatically push a file that has all of the approved checks that you want the bank to cut for you. So finding ways to eliminate, kind of the manual time consuming sitting on someone’s desk waiting for them to sign type things or just the printing of those things. So try to find ways to standardize, we’re seeing a ton of customers right now, trying to move more vendors to ACH payments. So those can be automatically sent to the bank, using either files or customers logging into portals to upload files. So that’s just something that we’re looking at is how to improve just the payment portion and automate that versus someone doing manually. And this might be a simpler one. But in this type of environment, I think it’s essential that your payments happen in set cycles or the habit and set times of the week if it’s weekly payments. I’ve been in a position where CFOs chase me down for a cash report. And if it’s a moving target because you don’t know when your AP check run or wire or payment run is happening during the week. Or maybe you’re trying to figure out when your monthly intercompany transfers happen. If you have a solid schedule on when those are supposed to happen, then you remove that uncertainty from your cash forecast and your ability to provide the visibility that CFOs are looking for. And going back, it’s pretty straightforward. That’s typically one of the things I used to do that when I consulted for GL and AP teams. From an operational standpoint, don’t do the– we’ll do a pay run when there’s enough bills to pay, just set a cadence every Thursday, let’s get this check run or this payment run batch going that way your approvers too know when to expect when they need to approve disbursements on a weekly basis. Mm-hmm. That’s right. And your banks usually like that, too. For example, we have a product that supports automatically sending all of your payment files to the bank for your vendor payments. And usually banks have cut offs anyway. So banks might say, hey, if you’re going to be expecting us to make these payments on Friday, just set it up to automatically send that information over on Thursday at the end of the business day. So, I personally have been in companies, especially, maybe startup companies that didn’t really have a good cadence. And that is, you just nailed it. When you said it’s very difficult to say, what are we paying or in situations like today where maybe you aren’t able to pay everything that is actually due right now. So having to go down and have your AP leaders go through and kind of help recommend what bills are being paid. I’m sure that that’s happening as we speak right now as well. So, trying to find ways to streamline those processes for review is going to be really important. Yeah. And, when it comes to really getting that good visibility, that front end, just having that set cadence is important. Because you at least know when it’s happening. But, in our world, in accounting, we are looking for things that are not there yet. So, this second bucket here, of unrecorded expenses, also hits me hard as an accountant because, as the saying goes, “You don’t know, what you don’t know.” And we used to say that a lot actually in accounting and in audit. But having a good process to identify accruals or invoices that haven’t been received yet is essential in this type of economy. Most companies have manual processes, where they mass BCC a bunch of vendors and ask about bills that they haven’t issued yet. There are some automation solutions out there including Allan that can help with that. But, either way, there has to be some kind of process to reach out to vendors actively to ask about bills that are coming, especially in these times. I’ll just recap this point with one story and I’ll be forever plagued by this story because it happened on my watch. So, I was supporting a company, played the role of an assistant controller. Accrual was under my realm. And this company went public at the time that I was there. Several months later, a bill came in for a half a million dollars for roadshow expenses. Now, any accountant on the [GL?] side would know that that hits the balance sheet so it didn’t really have a PNL impact. But, from a cash-forecast perspective, half a million dollars is huge for something that you didn’t think was coming in. So, again, just having a good process around reaching out to vendors, and even reaching out to your internal partners, is very important for your business these days. So, don’t take accruals lightly, please. And, I’ll be honest with you, since I’ve been, kind of, really focused on the emerging grow companies for the past 20 years, just getting people to even start using purchase orders is kind of a big deal. I know a lot of people don’t like those. But there’s a lot of benefits to using purchase orders. And so, it really could help you get a lot more visibility into what’s sitting out there for sure. Exactly. And PO’s Deb, are really one of the most effective ways for FP&A to track what expenses are coming in and what cash could be coming out the door. So that’s a great point there. That’s right. Okay. So, if there’s nothing else you would like to add here, I would like to move to the next topic. And let’s see. Yeah, this was my favorite one. So, yeah, let’s talk about integration. So, how would integrations help with all of this? We talked about cash management. So, how would integrations play a role in cash visibility and cash flow? Can you talk a bit to that? And also, I would like to remind the audience, so if you have any questions, feel free to submit them through the chat window. Perfect. It’s up to you. I can kind of jump in. Let me know if you’d like to go first. But, integrations, I feel like, in general, it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing today. If you have the ability to automatically grab information and bring it into a system, just removing the error handling. So, if anybody’s ever tried to import, say a CSV file, you wait until you do it and then you find out there’s errors. There’s no kind of real-time kind of visibility into what might be wrong with your there’s a couple of really neat things just– we have a product actually, it’s called Cloud Extend for Excel. I think we’re going to talk about it at the end. But it’s using Excel, and it’s connected to NetSuite. But it has real-time validation. So before you push a button to import it, you already know if the fields are– some information in the field is not correct. So, there’s a lot of really neat tools out there. And then just integration again is removing the human error for data entry, in terms of like, for example, one example I just talked about with a customer this morning was when they were creating their customer payments, they were just using the default exchange rate when the customer’s payment was converted to a different base currency for the bank account. Well, you know when you’re getting that data in from your bank automatically, when the payment is created, it’s using the spot rate that the bank used as well. So it’s reducing those variances. So, there’s a lot of really big positives in terms of getting rid of this manual effort, in terms of just scalability. You can handle thousands of transactions at one time versus just one at a time. So, a lot of different benefits to getting rid of any manual process that you have possible. Devon, what I hear a lot on the ground is, sometimes people don’t prioritize these integrations that I think are important because it maybe takes them only a couple hours to get an export, and [inaudible] the data, and upload it to the system. But I do have to put on my CEO hat now, and someone that has to make decisions for my business, it’s just essential to get your data more timely and frequently these days. So the days of just importing batch files into your ERP system when– and integrate through systems together and have it run seamlessly, it’s just so critical. Like I need to be able to make decisions for my business and I need that data fast. That’s right. And manual uploads just take up a lot of time. There’s reconciliation and accuracy issues and this type of environment, it’s so, so critical. Right. And I think if you think back, too, my accounting time, is you really want to spend– instead of spending most of your time just wrangling data and getting it in, you really free yourself up and your team up to do really value-added exercises. Like doing analysis, doing– presenting some really good quarter-over-quarter. Really coming up with valuable– what I call value-add information that’s coming out of it. Versus spending the majority of your time wrangling the data, right? And trying to get it in. So I feel like it elevates the person in that position because now they’re spending more time saying, “What do the numbers really mean?” Right? That sounds a lot more fun, Deb, then having to enter each cash receipt one by one manually and see your AR modular sub-ledger. Totally agree with you 100% there. Yeah, totally. Definitely. When you see the DSO numbers going down, for example, the AI team’s feeling really good about things. Exactly. In terms of Cadence, did we want to talk a little bit about– so Cadence is really important I think as Justin mentioned earlier, trying to come up with a regular schedule. Now we know there’s always these exceptions that are kind of off-cycle. But coming up with a regular cadence for doing things is going to be important. The thing that’s neat about integration, for example, in banking, is you could do it– it’s every day. Every morning you come in, and you know, for example, all of your customer payment activity’s there for you to review from the prior day’s activities. So you know, getting this information on a regular basis is definitely going to be helpful for your teams for all your integration. Regardless of whether it’s banking, or if it’s between sales personnel, the timely push of orders, the order to cash life cycle, getting that information back out so the customers can see that their payments have been created in applied timing as well. Exactly, and I’ll just add one quick example. Integration, for example, between your invoicing system, AP invoicing system, and your ERP system. Say, for instance, you have a few hundred invoices in Coupa that are not reflected in your ERP. Those need to get into the ERP as quickly as they’re approved because that’s a visibility that FP&A and management needs to know how much cash is going out the door in the near term, and if there’s not a common understanding between your financial systems team and your accounting team and FP&A on when that’s happening, that can cause some really big confusion and large unexpected variances. So if it’s everyday, which I would highly recommend, make sure that’s known with everyone. Also make sure that you’re– and the onus here is mostly on the AP team I should say, what’s coming through to the ERP and when? Is it when your invoices are approved in Concur or expense reports are approved in Expensify? Because that way, you know when it comes through those are bad payments. And in some cases, the approvals happen after they get pushed over. So you want to make sure you just calibrate on those types of details. That’s right. And like you were saying too, have some process really. Even if you have automation, it’s only gonna, for example, in the travel expenses. It’s only gonna come through if someone’s taken the time to enter their expense reports in a timely manner, and I think every company usually has a policy around that where you want to have it entered in the same period in which you traveled or at least, in the minimum, same quarter but really kind of setting a process internally in a company to have some specific guidelines around the timely submission of these types of things. So that one, things are recorded in the proper period but that you have really good visibility into the expenses coming in. Yeah, and documenting it, Deb, is crucial, especially, again, in these times. That part of the documentation is a segue to that last point there. Should include what the team does when there’s an error and some kind of integration. And let’s face it, integration sometimes causes sink errors, and you just want to have some person who’s dedicated to flushing those out and you want to have a process so what happens when a sink error happens and when you know they’ll be resolved. Otherwise it can cause visibility issues. That’s right. And as a former controller, if I have integration, one of the key things that’s really important to me which salesforce [inaudible]. How do I feel comfortable? I want to feel comfortable that when an opportunity closed, all of my sales order came over successfully. I don’t want to feel concerned that now I have to do a reconciliation between the two systems. So having a really good notification process so if for some reason, a sales order fails to sink, I don’t want to babysit my dashboard, for example, I just want to get a notice when either my net speed has gone down or Salesforce went down. I want to know that so accounting kind of understands things are not moving. But also I want to know if for some reason there was an error that resulted in maybe a sales order not coming over. So having something that’s automatically notifying me versus me sitting and having a resource to babysit, say my integration dashboard. That’s really, really key. Okay, great so I will move to the next topic here. Okay, so what would you recommend to the audience on how to prioritize their improvements as the conclusion here. Yeah. I can start and hopefully make a quick point on this. Obviously in the last 30 or 40 minutes here we covered a lot of ground and a lot of different areas to address when it comes to cash management but the old auditor and me, and I started my career in audit, likes to take a top-down or [inaudible] approach. So that usually starts with just taking inventory here, as it says, of the different cash inflows and outflows for your business. And a good way of doing that is either just looking at your bank accounts directly and analyzing debits and credits, or you can go into your GL detail. But effectively you’re looking for classes of transactions and here at KPMG, we call them SCOTs, significant classes of transactions. So once you have a good list of what the inflows and outflows are– include everything, include ZBA sweeps. I know those get ignored sometimes. Include inner company disbursements. Make sure you cover everything, and then once you have everything that’s when you’ll go through each item and whether the amounts are material enough or high-risk enough to warrant more attention and potentially automation enhancements. Mm-hmm. That’s right. Yeah, sweeps, [inaudible] you mentioned sweeps. That’s a pretty big one, right. I mean I think a lot of companies are using those sweep accounts. I frequently see customers that are just waiting until the end of the statement period to actually record all their sweeps. So as you can imagine, especially if you have multiple accounts, that could be quite a few transactions that you’re trying to record. So trying to find a way to get those automated, NetSuite– one thing I will point out while we’re on the topic really quick is in 2020.1 release– and NetSuite now is allowing you, if your bank has APIs, to go in and directly grab your bank statements instead of you having to download them and import them. So getting that kind of information into NetSuite in a timely manner is going to be really helpful. One other bit of advice I forgot to mention, and this is something that I learned for myself and this is one of the things that I really wanted to go out and solve and I was supporting a company with their cash management process, was getting to the bottom of these pesky auto-debits. The reality was that yeah, there maybe were a few dozen auto-debits but they probably didn’t amount to more than maybe $20,000 at most and for that company it was immaterial. So I wanted to bring that up because don’t focus your resources and your team’s time trying to perfect a process that is maybe irrelevant, or immaterial I should say, in the whole scheme of things. Going back to my audit class way back in college and I think the expression was, “You don’t put Fort Knox controls over petty cash.” You just keep that in mind. You want to attack areas where you’re not getting that visibility that you need or maybe where you have 20 people updating certain reports. So those are the areas that you want to tackle first. And on materiality, another example I just thought about that actually Celigo helped me with is for some reason in my company, now this is AR but it was a materiality and it was consuming a lot of my team’s time, is after we applied payments there were these pennies left over which required us once a month to go in and create these journal entries, going in to do a manual application. So for example, as the cash application manager, you have the ability to set a threshold by subsidiary and we would create that journal entry for you automatically and then apply that to close that out. So those are just the little things that instead of somebody else spending all this time on pennies, really trying to look at the materiality. Try to remove any of those things that are taking a lot of time but don’t really have a big dollar impact. That’s great thank you Jotham and Deb. So if there’s nothing else you want to add, I’ll just move to the end. So, yeah, I see there are already some questions and we’ll take them in a few moments. So if there are more questions, please submit them through the chat window. And, yeah, so after this webinar, I would like to point you to our website, celigo.com. So just feel free to visit us and check out some of our resources. We have many case studies, videos, on cash management and automation of key accounting processes through integrations and– Can I add one thing here too? Yeah. So I recommend that everybody has something that they’re grabbing manually usually. Sign up for a free trial where it says, “Get started for free.” You can actually sign up and you can have a free flow on Integrator.io and that’s grabbing– if it’s grabbing something that has an API, or whatever you’re doing manually today, there’s a way to grab it. Take a look. Go into the marketplace after you’ve signed up. You’ll see we’ve got a ton of things already prebuilt. And if you’re trying to create your own custom flow, twice a week, our team has office hours that you can actually come in and our goal is to teach you how to do that yourself. Okay, great. And next, so you can also visit Gappify’s website at gappify.com and you can find out more about all of their accounting bots and how it helped with accounting automation. I think there’s some echo on the background. Okay. So, yeah, now let’s take some questions. So can you all mute yourselves, please? Okay. So one question was about sounding out the recording. Yes. This session is being recorded and we will share the recording with everyone after the webinar. Another question is, does Celigo have experience with order management software integrations? We are a manufacturer, a brand. We use NetSuite. We outsource sales to some sales rep groups. They choose order management software, such as Brandwise, Faros, LRN. How can Celigo help? So the first thing we would do is take a look at the to see for example. That’s really easy to do. You could do a quick Google search, put in the name of the product, do APIs, and usually you can quickly, in a matter of minutes, determine whether we’re able to grab onto that and most of these order management Softwares have APIs. And then go take a look on our marketplace. See if we’ve already got a prebuilt solution for that. And if we haven’t, then we can actually create this flow for you, bring that information in, whatever you’d like. So we can absolutely support that. I’m pretty sure that most of them have APIs today. Thank you Deb. Another question we have is for Celigo Cash Application Manager. Do you support non-US banks? Yes. We actually frequently work with banks all over the world. Really, the first thing we do is we just look to see if it’s a bank we’ve worked with before. If not, usually I just reach out to them, have some general conversation. But we have a lot of customers that are using international banks. Let’s see. Yeah, we have a question about your command previously on NetSuite 2020.1. So where can I go find out more about this and new bank statement imports? I recommend that you go to your homepage. We hit the little house button. And at the very top, you’re going to see there is a section about what the 2020.1 release was. Click on the box that says release notes and when you go into release notes, on the left-hand side, select banking. And it’s going to walk you through how to set it up. And then, you’re going to be able to see or work with your bank to see if they have APIs. APIs are still being developed by banks, but almost all of the major banks have already developed APIs to allow you to automatically grab those. So that would give you some more information. So NetSuite homepage. Click the release notes from the 2020.1 release, and then on the left-hand side, there’ll be a category called banking. And when you click into that, it’s going to walk you through how to set that up and how that function is working. Okay. There is a follow-up question from the previous one. So how do I find the app on the marketplace and how do I find out if there’s an integration? So you can basically go to our website and you’ll see on top there is a marketplace tab. So just click there and search the app you are looking to integrate, and you’ll see if there is already an existing app from the results. And if not, as Deb mentioned, you can easily build it from scratch. And if you want, you can just request a demo from the webpage, too, and you can put in what you’re looking for. Okay. So here’s another question. This one is about Gappify. Besides AR collections, what are some other processes Gappify can automate? I’m sorry. I was on mute there. We’ve identified over 500 repetitive accounting tasks, but in terms of what we have in the market right now, outside of AR collections, we also had a solution– and this is actually [inaudible] for cash management purposes as well. Alan can help confirm the statuses of your open POs. And Deb and I talked about this earlier. It’s important to FP&A that they know whether POs are going to be used or not and Allan can autonomously just reach out to PO owners and confirm whether that PO has been used up and actually close it in NetSuite or even Coupa. Another example of the use case are accruals and I think I mentioned that earlier, just reaching out to your vendors autonomously at the end of each month and asking if they can confirm and sort of certify they don’t have any bills that they haven’t sent to you yet. We do have some automations around identifying duplicate payments, confirming CIP assets, and writing off fixed assets. So if you have any questions, feel free to go to our website. Sign up for a demo or reach out to me directly. Okay. Great. So one last question I see here. Can I automate staff billing and accounting also with Celigo? Yeah. I can answer this question. Yeah. You can use the platform to receive and process SaaS payments. And so we offer a collection of prebuilt integrations that you can use to quickly get started. But also, as previously mentioned, you can use the platform to connect basically any payment application into your ERP. And so we have actually currently some customers that have integrated payment processing applications such as Stripe, Zuora, or Chargebee into NetSuite. And so with integration, they are able to provide their customers smooth payment options, but also they are able to automate creating invoices and journal entries in NetSuite. Yeah. Are there any other questions? Okay. I guess that’s it for today. So I would like to thank you for the great discussion and informing us all about what can be done to further improve cash management in today’s challenging landscape. And yeah. We recorded the session and you’ll be receiving an email with a link to the recording after the webinar. So thank you all for joining us and we hope you stay healthy and safe during these times. Bye. Thanks, everybody. I’m muted. Thank you, everyone

About The Speaker

Jotham Ty


Jotham Ty, CPA is the CEO of Gappify, a leading provider of accrual accounting automation.

Prior to Gappify, Jotham established one of the first Sarbanes-Oxley compliance practices in the San Francisco/Bay Area.
His firm expanded to support large, multi-national organizations with IPO readiness; scaling domestic & international accounting operations, and upgrading and modernizing automation environments.

Deb Morgan

Director of Solutions Consulting

Deb is a Director of Solutions Consulting who is passionate about Integration! Her role at Celigo is to fully understand a customer’s business processes and systems, provide leading practice guidance and recommend the ideal integration solution. Deb is a former Controller and was an end user of Celigo 9 years prior to joining Celigo. She has over twenty years of experience assisting both Public and Private companies; from venture capital funded startup firms to large publicly traded companies. She brings that hard to find “techno/functional” experience with ERP, CRM and NetSuite implementations and Integrations.

Ebru Saglam

Sr. Product Marketing Manager

Ebru has a diverse background with over a decade of combined experience in marketing, technical sales and customer services roles across startups and enterprises. She also has hands-on experience in the e-commerce landscape, she has spent more than 5 years running her DTC multi-channel e-commerce business.

Meet Celigo

Celigo automates your quote-to-cash process with an easy & reusable integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS), trusted by thousands of eCommerce and SaaS companies worldwide.

Use it now and later to expedite integration work without adding more data silos, specialized technical skillsets or one-off projects.