Managing FX exposure is, for many companies, a lesson in manual processes. Emails and spreadsheets sent all over the organization in hopes of determining the total exposure to the various currencies one does business with or in is a very common process. WhitewaterAnalytics has created a rather simple service for managing this process in a more organized manner. No, it isn’t integrated with your ERP and does require some work. But, they believe that many organizations need something simple and straightforward to help aggregate and view their exposures before they hedge/trade.
This web delivered service covers what they see as the first two of the four step process: 1. Collect Exposures 2. Consolidate/Analysis 3. Execute Trade/hedge 4. Record Trades. Whitewater was kind enough to give Strategic Treasurer a demonstration of their system and provided some screenshots and the appropriate permission to use them here. Let’s take a limited peek at several parts of their system:
Dashboard – no screenshot right now as it has a proprietary layout. You’ll want to see a demo.
Entry/Import – A simple process where users or treasury can enter the balance sheet exposure or forecast exposure. It is managed by entity and allows each user to see “their” functional equivalent. Exposures can be imported from csv or excel formats.
Dashboard View of ‘Top 10 Exposures.
From Dashboard to Drill Down. Viewing the details that feed the dashboard.
Workflow Management. Whitewater Analytics provides a web service that allows an organization to enter (typing in or loading csv or excel formats) the various exposures (either a forecast exposure or one that makes it to the balance sheet). In order to make sure that everyone has completed their work, including approvals, they added base workflow management capabilities.
Here are a few select notes for those interested in learning more:
- Cycles. The system supports workflow cycles (monthly, bi-weekly) allowing you to match your current hedging pattern.
- Comments. The system manages the approval process with status fields and triggers emails. Allowing the entire entry, approval discussion process to occur within the system (and poking the right people with email to finish their activities). Comments are great. We’d suggest in release 2.0 the ability to add attachments (an invoice for example) to make it more powerful.
- Integration. The system isn’t integrated with an ERP or sales system. That is part of its simplicity. It also doesn’t track a hedge (since it isn’t part of the system) as it moves from a forecast item to a balance sheet item.
- Several Clients. As an early stage company they have two clients on board right now and will start to market their offering. It is very intuitive and exudes ease – a very appealing version 1.0
- Data and Security. They host the application at a professional webhosting/data management firm and informed us of the following. SAS70 Type 2 for the data center, DR, etc. Separate databases for each customer. Each customer’s database resides on a separate virtual server.
Visibility is so crucial for every treasury group. Part of visibility is exposure management and represents a critical need across many dimensions (including counterparty, FX, country, instrument, etc.). Few vendors offer a pure focus on FX management. FiREapps is one and now Whitewater Analytics has joined the category.
There is much more that can be said, but that is enough for now. We’ll plan to do an update in about three months.