Kyriba Expands into Risk Management and More

November 20, 2013

November 08, 2013
By Hilary Kabak This is the first in a series of TMS profiles focusing on NeuGroup member experiences with alternatives to the Big Two. As the treasury management system (TMS) market continues to consolidate, treasurers are rightly questioning whether there are other viable alternatives to the Big Two: SunGard and Wall Street Systems. Kyriba, therefore, has been aggressively working to gain visibility in the TMS market so that it can make the RFP lists of more treasuries seeking new systems. Traditionally thought of as a cash and treasury operations solution, Kyriba is trying to expand its scope with added risk management and supply-chain finance capabilities, along with promoting treasury as a strategic partner. It is also playing up the fact that it is a 100 percent cloud-based system, and thus its platform is more responsive to change in the wake of new regulatory requirements while also giving users greater visibility into their treasury and risk management activities wherever they happen to be. To help treasurers determine if Kyriba is a viable alternative, we asked two NeuGroup members using the system to shed some light on how they are using it, what the set up was like, pricing, and the good and bad of their user experience. KYRIBA BASICS The company has over 700 clients worldwide, including several NeuGroup members, representing all industries and company sizes, from small to mid-sized organizations to Fortune 500, multi-national companies with global treasury operations. Revenue jumped 36 percent in 2012, and the company opened offices in London and Tokyo to accommodate an expanding client base. But while they are reaching into the larger companies, they are certainly not shying away from smaller treasury operations, in contrast to Wall Street and SunGard. Kyriba’s key features include:
  • Domestic and International Bank Reporting
  • Cash Positioning & Forecasting
  • Payment Factory
  • Netting and Pooling
  • Bank Fee Analysis
  • Bank-to-Book Reconciliation
  • Financial Transaction Management
  • Mark-to-Market and Hedge Effectiveness
  • Supply Chain Finance
The company also highlights host-to-host and SWIFT communication, cash forecasting that incorporates ERP data and integrates with other modules, in-house banking with automatic reporting, and cash accounting that automates the GL entry process. Kyriba Mobile is the first native iPad and iPhone application that extends cash visibility, payment approvals and task management to mobile devices, and it’s free. Part of the advantage of being a cloud-based system, according to Kyriba’s VP of Strategy Bob Stark, is that new technology requirements emerging from regulatory reforms (Dodd-Frank reporting, for example) can be incorporated into the system quickly for all users, as opposed to requiring each user to apply new updates individually. Kyriba Offerings IS THIS TMS RIGHT FOR YOU? We asked two NeuGroup members—one from the Foreign Exchange Manager’s Peer Group 2 and one from the Engineering & Construction Treasurers’ Peer Group—about their experience with the system. What do you use it for? Our FXMPG2 member gave a list of uses that included balance and transaction reporting, daily cash positioning of domestic bank accounts, cash forecasting with interfaces from Oracle and the domestic bank, general ledger posting—all domestic cash activity is identified and posted to the GL, global bank account data storage including signers and limits. Our user from the Engineering and Construction group also mentioned the automatic upload for general ledger journal entries. What’s good? Our E&C user summed up the pros as “convenient, customizable and mostly reliable.” This was expanded by our FX user, who mentioned the ease of implementation, low start-up cost and intuitive user interface. He also noted that it “integrates very well with other systems,” specifically the two-way data exchange interface with the Oracle ERP. It also takes daily feeds from their money market portal ICD, and can integrate with all of the major e-FX systems (FXall, 360T, etc.). Because of Kyriba’s SaaS internet-based model, it is always on the current version, with new modules, features and fixes regularly implemented. What’s bad? Despite the automatic updates, when manual changes are needed in systems or data, they are cumbersome and time-consuming. Reporting is not very user-friendly or dynamic, and manual monitoring is the only way to ensure the information coming out and the process behind it is accurate. Additionally, while a customizable can be a boon, it also means that customer support can be lacking in specifics and trouble-shooting can take a lot of time. How is the setup? Mr. Stark outlined the basic implementation process for us, which usually takes three to six months on a lapse basis. Your team decides which capabilities it needs, and their team comes in and sets up the basics, while also training your staff so that they continue set-up on their own.
  • Reviews of the setup process were mixed. Kyriba is different from other treasury workstations in that clients must create their own company, bank and account structure, custom reports and mapping rules. This can be somewhat challenging. According to our E&C member, there is very little documentation available for the product, and what exists is more technical than functional.
  • Implementing in phases may provide some help, however. Our FX member started with the cash module, domestic banking and GL module, and cited the implementation as one of the advantages of the system. This took about three months, with another three months of testing. The company is currently in the middle of the second phase of implementation, which involves connecting to all of the foreign banks and is proving “a bit longer and more meticulous.” This phase is expected to take 16-18 months, bringing the total to about two years.
  • Our E&C member had a similar experience. Basic bank reporting was up and running within three months, but full reporting, including forecasting, activity reports, debt, and automatic journal entries, took several more months.
  • Ensuring that there are dedicated IT resources available for the implementation once again emerged as the key factor in successful implementation. Even though this is a SaaS internet-based system, interfaces with other internal systems are critical to the system’s functionality and need to be managed as well as the basic Kyriba setup.
What about pricing? Both users agreed that Kyriba’s pricing is very reasonable, and there is no annual licensing fee. Given the range of treasury operation sizes and capabilities needed, pricing currently ranges from $500 to $10,000 per month, based on the number of modules and users you need. There are also bank connectivity fees that vary by type of connection (FTP, SWIFT, etc.). Why is this the right system for you? For our member from FXMPG2, cost concerns and a smooth transition won out. Low start-up costs, minimal investment to try the system and module-based pricing that allowed for phased-implementation were key. Our E&C member had a broader opinion that in addition to being inexpensive, basic services were good, and crucially Kyriba’s focus on evolution and improvement decreases the likelihood of obsolescence. ASSESSING THE FEEDBACK Both members would recommend Kyriba. Specifically, our E&C member “would recommend it as a low-cost alternative for bank data reporting. Customized reports and functions can streamline processes including daily cash-flow forecasting and journal entry upload.” The word of caution from our FXMPG2 member is, as with so many TMS conversations, to ensure that there are dedicated IT resources available to assist with implementation. This is consistent with the comment from one of our members speaking about treasury systems in general: the support model is probably as important to the success of a new system as the system selected. While a cloud-based TMS alternative makes support easier, it does not do away with the need for IT resources to make it work for you. Other members who use Kyriba have expressed high satisfaction with the system in group discussions. They just wish it would do more. In seeking to do more, Kyriba has to take care that it can also maintain the customer satisfaction that warrants positive endorsement in practitioner forums. This article first appeared in International Treasurer on November 8, 2013. Read More
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