Shattering Siloes Together

Treasury is set to reap the benefits of a complete procurement-to-pay-cycle
Martin Bellin author pictureAuthor: Martin Bellin

“All things change,” Ovid tells us, “nothing is extinguished.” Quite a lot of ink has been spilled in the treasury press about our acquisition by Coupa Software. Many were surprised, others were shocked. Speculation was rife. Change is often difficult to accept. And inevitable. The solutions we create and the support we provide are, without fail, designed to help our customers succeed. Solutions which offer greater control of both liquidity and spend will be pivotal to tomorrow’s success.

With Coupa, we can only enhance value for our mutual customers. Together, we’ll deliver advanced treasury capabilities as part of a larger, comprehensive procurement-to-pay cycle. Treasurers have always relied on us to help their businesses prepare for the future by getting on top of today. We are thrilled at the opportunity to play an even more meaningful role in their success – this time in unifying siloed processes and promoting collaboration between functions.

“The deal […] is part of an effort by Coupa to build out bank connectivity for B2B payments, offer treasury depth of capabilities, and create accounts payable and procurement synergies. And it’s part of an industry trend to improve payments capabilities in source-to-pay and procure-to-pay solutions.”

Source: “Coupa acquires BELLIN to add treasury management and boost payments capabilities.” Spend Matters, June 12, 2020. Accessed June 30, 2020.

A history of putting value first

For the last twenty years, we have worked tirelessly to accomplish the setup so many organizations around the world benefit from every day. By far, the most important reward across two decades is the dedication of our user community and our teams. This dedication makes our solutions what they are: #1 in our home market, leading the trend over SAP.

Delivering customer value year after year takes perseverance. Years ago, we had already started exploring internally how we could shape the future of BELLIN by introducing new structures and bringing expert talent on board. Our imperative: to improve the treasury experience for our customers and employees alike. That meant anyone who interacted with BELLIN would have every reason to trust us and our products. To know they could count on us without fail. And to experience excellence the moment they started working with us. The first major step in this transition was our partnership with LEA Partners. The mandate was clear: make BELLIN one of the strongest players in the market. Together, we accomplished more than we could have alone. We expanded the management team, re-aligned sales teams to prioritize customer success and reviewed and updated the tech stack used for our applications. It worked. Our customer base grew and we saw recurring revenue growth. BELLIN came out of the transition stronger than ever, more forward-looking than ever. Our focus and strategy were clear, and we were armed with the leading product for corporate treasury in the next decade.

And our brand was more attractive than ever. Many potential partners and investors came knocking. Many in the industry may not know it, but we have been asked hundreds of times over to acquire additional funds or collaborate with additional investors. None of these scenarios turned out to be purposeful. Our goal was to find the right partner for the future with a focus on long-term company growth coupled with a strategic solution. We felt we had endless time, we didn’t need funding and we enjoyed happy and successful customers. Why change?

Spend management can only add value

Crisis risk mitigation involves an element of much-needed control and visibility. With a treasury system, the central treasury has the control to act quickly. Whether that means moving funds from point A to point B or liquidating assets to help float a subsidiary, control is much needed during these times.

With that control, you achieve the consequent transparency of all cash. In addition, you get a more detailed view of all the related risks like FX, interest, liquidity, etc., allowing you to act on that.

While it may seem like low-hanging fruit, a centralized treasury system can be the first line of defense in a time of crisis because of the group-wide control it provides.

“In the coming years, we will see the [traditionally siloed nature of financial activities] break down, allowing for more coordination, collaboration, and communication among these financial activities. As such, decision makers will have a much more holistic view of the company’s financial position to make better strategic decisions.”

Source: IDC LINK, “Coupa Acquires Bellin Treasury,” June 16, 2020. Accessed June 30, 2020.

That’s where Coupa comes in. Coupa has made business spend management what it is today. Their platform owns the process starting with the search of a particular item and ending with the settlement of the transaction. And this is where BELLIN adds value. Let’s take a look at one small example. Thanks to our payment engine, we complete the set of payment rails for their user base, we offer the option to arrange and record the financing of purchases or investments, and we handle the FX risk involved, the loans or the trade finance activities required for a potential deal. That’s not all. We pick up the transaction, the single invoice and route it through the intercompany netting to eventually get settled in the in-house bank. BELLIN ensures that the entire cycle from procure (Coupa) to pay (BELLIN) is covered to the organization’s benefit – thus covering the entire spend lifecycle.

Why stop before transaction settlements? Imagine the value an organization could reap if treasury were involved earlier. Treasurers, for example, would know about the deal before it’s closed and could contribute their experience and instruments to select the best currency, the best financing, and the best payment terms. In return, treasurers could get all the details provided directly in their forecast for risk and liquidity management.

The possibilities are endless. The way to get there is fusing two processes into one and firmly positioning treasury into a larger spectrum of financial activities. BELLIN will deliver one piece to help execute this vision of seamless integration and allow the Coupa community to benefit immediately.

By your side – now, and always

“Nothing is extinguished.” Our strong footprint in Europe remains. As does our commitment to delivering value to our customers everywhere. This will take on a new dimension as we support our customers in exploring the value of complementing their existing treasury management software with Coupa’s powerful spend management solutions.

Value must extend beyond the initial investment. Any organization which invests in the leading treasury software management solution – tm5 – will be completely free to continue using that software independently as long as they like. If needs change, that same organization can scale up and access Coupa’s platform when the time is right. That degree of flexibility was one of the host of reasons why we chose to move forward with Coupa. Part of Coupa’s approach is combining a “best of breed” policy with a “start anywhere, go everywhere” principle. The TMS market can only benefit. How many organizations will be well served by stand-alone solutions two years from now? Five years from now? Seven years from now?

We’re incredibly excited about this transition and what it means for our customers. Over the coming months, we hope you will share in that excitement and accompany us on this journey. For the past twenty years, you have witnessed the value that the treasury function can add. Today, we invite you to witness how the treasury function and spend management can transform your organization.

Would you like to learn more about tm5 and the various other treasury solutions we offer? Just reach out to us and demo tm5, our intuitive treasury management system.

Have questions? Give us a shout.

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