Reporting, reconciliations and audit can be among some of the most stressful and time-consuming tasks for those working in the metals supply chain; particularly when things have gone wrong and the numbers simply will not reconcile.
Commodity management technology can help to make all of these processes easier and faster by automating many of the manual processes that lead to auditing/reconciliation problems and by reducing the time taken to collate data. Read on to find out how we have worked with the metals industry to solve some of these major challenges through our cloud CTRM solution, CommOS.
A financial audit is usually very time consuming and costly, and with banks facing increasing regulation, their audit requirements for any trade finance partners are likely to increase as well. In the UK, the average audit fee for a FTSE 100 company was $9.35m in 2018, meaning that saving just a few per cent of billable hours can have a significant impact on the real costs your business faces.
Gen10’s CommOS provides a range of features to help speed up your audit process and store more information in one secure system, without adding to the trading or operations teams’ workload. Because the technology relies on process automation, it is used by trading and operations teams to accelerate their day jobs. This means that all actions are carried out within the system and can be reported on directly; there is no need for people to update a CTRM or other record-keeping technology after they have carried out an action.
Using CommOS, you have an instant audit log of every action and transaction, and risk managers or auditors can view the full details of every change made by each individual along the way, with controls to ensure that only the relevant people may view your audit information. Audit functionality also means you have access to P&Ls and all costs in one place, meaning faster access to data, and these reports can be easily updated at any time during the day, with no need to wait for end-of-day or monthly reports.
These innovations mean that not only can you save your team time, you could also reduce your audit expenditure, and if your auditor is satisfied with your reporting systems and controls, that could even reduce the level of substantive evidence needed during an audit.
Gen10 apps include many different reports that can be accessed in a range of formats, depending on what you need. If you need quick access to information, for example to see all overdue invoices, you can view this instantly in a table format, and export it straight to Excel if necessary.
Many of these in-system reports are actionable, designed to help people in the moment perform their jobs faster and with fewer errors. For example, you can create a report that shows all shipments due next month then plan the best transport options, combine cargoes and optimise your freight strategy.
Traders in your organisation may not need a shipment report, but would instead benefit from fully-updated forward visibility of trade finance needs and hedge programmes, all possible using CommOS, and all updated throughout the day as positions change. You can also upload external data such as broker statements through Gen10’s import technology that can be adapted to import from your existing spreadsheet format.
There are a wide range of reporting widgets available as standard for every system user to create their own dashboard. From Counterparty credit limits to operations tasks, these widgets provide the reports that all users need to drive their own success.
If you are looking for more regular or in-depth reports, you can take advantage of our API integrations with Power BI or any other reporting tools you use to gain better insights and combine your commodity management data with other data sets.
Most companies will do an end of month reconciliation, and that's the eureka moment where sometimes you discover the small errors and adjustments came your way and sometimes they went against you. The single most expensive event for a trader is when the positions don't reconcile, and you find out only when your MTM goes against you. At that time, it's too late, stressful and challenging to find out what has happened and how it could have been corrected.
With Gen10’s CommOS you can reconcile in real-time, without even waiting for end-of-day reports. As you measure the different instruments and grades you can pick up any imperfections in your hedge programmes and make adjustments, hopefully before large losses are incurred.
Older-style commodity management systems were suitable for some reports, but made reconciliations and finding mistakes close to impossible as they relied on individuals recording actions they had already taken. These systems inherently mean that your reports are not up to date and your team can never take full advantage of opportunities as they arise. Time is therefore wasted both on manual data entry and on catching the errors that this inevitably generates.
At Gen10, we can help you establish the commodity management technology and automated processes that give you faster reconciliations and checks against broker accounts to minimise errors and drive down operational risk. The advances in reconciliation, reporting and audit that you can realise through modern commodity management technology such as CommOS not only mean that you can save time and money compared to your older CTRM, but also that your teams have greater position visibility and optionality through these reports so that they can realise greater efficiencies and profitability too.
If you enjoyed this article, find out more about how Gen10 apps can solve other complex challenges in metals and concentrates.