Part 2: Epicor Software on what you can do to get SEPA ready
By Robert Sinfield (pictured, right), Product Marketing Manager for Epicor Software
What can you do to get ready?
You need not despair though. Even though SEPA might differ slightly from country-to-country you can use one bank account to make and receive any and all payments in Euros from a single bank account.
As your organization prepares for the move to SEPA, Epicor has identified the following major changes your ERP system must support in order to become ready.
· Implementing SEPA is a big change for your organization so create a project for the introduction of SEPA with a clearly defined ﬁnancial budget. Know what your goals are and put things into different phases if necessary.
· It might sound logical but remember to appoint a project manager who coordinates the activities related to the introduction of SEPA.
· Remember to draft and implement an action plan for the introduction of SEPA, and determine a date when your company wants to actively switch to SEPA.
Managing your finances:
· What is your company’s policy around banking? Will you have one bank for all companies or multiple banks? What does this mean in terms of bank charges and standardisation?
· Determine whether opportunities arise for your company because of SEPA (new markets).
· Make sure to check all your banks are SEPA-compliant, don’t assume anything!
· SEPA allows you to use one EUR bank account for all payments and receipts in Euros. Is one bank account in EUR sufﬁcient (are more local bank accounts needed)?
· Do you use a cash pool and does this cash pool structure need to be adjusted?
· Make an inventory of the documents/procedures used that will be affected by the change to SEPA:
o How do you manage mandate administration?
o Structure contracts, subscription forms, etc. containing account numbers and/or client approval for direct debits.
· Remember to update your invoices with your International Bank Account Number(IBAN) and Bank Identifier Code (BIC):
o Identify when to start to obtain the new SEPA-compliant mandates.
o Identify the changes of the information in receiving Credit Transfers and processing Direct Debits.
· Train your (back-ofﬁce) employees in dealing with the new direct debit procedure.
· Is it necessary to inform your customers about the change to SEPA direct debit (i.e. general conditions, additional mailing regarding the changes)?
· In which way will the new refund period (six weeks) impact your current credit management?
· What is the impact for your liquidity management as a result of the SEPA payment cycles?
· Are there opportunities to centralize the group’s credit management and/or payment and collections processing?
· Are there opportunities to rationalize the group’s credit management by means of electronic bill presentment combined to your payment & collections?
· Will you continue to use MT-940 or other mechanisms to gather electronic bank statements, or will you switch to the SEPA equivalent (CAMT)?
Managing payments and receipts:
· Where are your customers/suppliers located? Make a list of the customers that are in ‘SEPA countries’ and adjust your plan to support the introduction of SEPA in these different countries.
· Which payment methods do they use (transfer, direct debit, check, cash, etc.)?
· Can these payments be switched to SEPA direct debits/payments?
· What is the chance your supplier will force you to switch to direct debit?
· What is the impact of changing to the SEPA scheme for direct debits/credit transfers?
· You need to ensure all customers’ and suppliers’ bank account numbers are entered into your ERP according to the IBAN formats. Start collecting IBAN and BIC of your customers ASAP.
· What is the impact of changing to the SEPA scheme for credit transfers?
· Start providing your customers with your IBAN and BIC ASAP.
· Be prepared for incoming ﬂows by means of SEPA credit transfers if you are not already supporting this.
· Make an inventory of all software and ﬁles where the name of the bank (BIC) and account number (IBAN) are mentioned.
· Determine whether (customized) ﬁnancial software is used and contact the provider.
· Determine whether the changes in the software are part of the subscription fee.
· In case you should buy new software, keep in mind SEPA’s requirements.
· Determine when your software has to be SEPA proof.
· Determine the consequences for the interface between ERP and electronic banking software (new XML-format related data for direct debits /credit transfer).
· Make a planning for the adjustment of the software.
· Test the adjusted system(s) amply before the date of switch.
· Does the software support dual formats (i.e. SEPA / non-SEPA per country involved) in the transition period?
· Start collecting IBAN and BIC from your staff, amply before ﬁrst salary payments in SEPA are made.
· Check the capabilities of the software in which staff is administered.
· Determine the date you start paying salary payments in SEPA.
· Place SEPA (on a regular basis) on the agenda of your internal meetings.
· Provide (senior) management with relevant information.
SEPA does not need to be complex. The latest next-generation ERP and financial software platforms offer organizations a flexible framework that harnesses the power of integration and process technology to adapt. Standard SEPA XML schemas can be adopted and easily adjusted to meet local, regional or even bank specific requirements. So don’t panic, your organization can quickly become ready for SEPA!
SAP Ariba to digitise procurement for Expo 2020 suppliers
The global trade event, this year hosted in Dubai, was rescheduled from last year and will now take place between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022.
As the event’s Innovative Enterprise Software Partner, SAP Ariba solutions will fully digitise and automate the procure-to-pay lifecycle, providing a streamlined experience for thousands of market leading, global suppliers and strengthening the global supply chain with enhanced transparency and efficiency. The cloud-based platforms operate through on SAP Ariba’s UAE public cloud data centre and connects to the Ariba Network.
Expo 2020 "a long-term investment"
Mohammed AlHashmi, Chief Technology Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said the world trade event is “a long-term investment in the future that aims to enhance opportunities for sustainable business connectivity and growth”, which stretches beyond Expo 2020’s six-month window.
“Our partnership with SAP is an example of what can be achieved with the invaluable support of our technology partners to host one of the most digitally advanced World Expos ever,” he added. “The implementation of SAP Ariba solutions has transformed our end-to-end procure-to-pay cycle and helped set new standards of procurement automation for projects of this scale.”
To date, more than AED 1bn has already been transacted by Expo 2020 suppliers through SAP Ariba. The platform promotes collaborative partnerships and allows registered users to participate in sourcing events, negotiate and initiate contracts, and centralise their invoicing and payments in real time.
Claudio Muruzabal, President of EMEA South, SAP, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is demonstrating global best practices in digitising its procurement process with SAP Ariba solutions to help gain visibility into its spend, tighten collaboration with its suppliers, and achieve process automation, including completely paperless invoicing.”
About Expo 2020 Dubai
Expo 2020 will take place in Dubai and is the first of the long-running World Expos to be hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia territory. The original World Expo, called the Great Exhibiton, was hosted in 1851 at the Crystal Palace in London, designed as a showcase for the innovations of the Industrial Revolution.
Expo 2020 was originally due to run 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, but was last year postponed in light of COVID-19 restrictions - though some business has already taken place virtually. The event will place greater emphasis on innovation in sustainable solutions through the Sustainability District, blending technology and culture. It is expected that around 70 per cent of the 25 million attendees will be international visitors.