Acquisitions and the launch of new services present steep challenges to financial institutions—from compliance with regulations for newly-acquired businesses to integrating applications and operations. That’s why ODDO BHF, a unique independent European financial group with 60,000+ clients, turned to Axway Financial Accounting Hub to unify its data, unite its business lines, and expand its offerings to subsidiaries and clients around the world.
Accelerating onboarding and integration
The group’s clients include institutional investors, companies, distribution partners, and major private clients whose financial assets total 142 billion euros. The group has brought together financial institutions with roots in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Tunisia with an expanded mission: to make client assets grow through private banking, asset management, and corporate and investment banking.
Toward those goals, the group rolled out the Axway Financial Accounting Hub solution as part of an overhaul of its accounting and reporting information systems. Because the group changed its status from investment service provider to credit institution, the changes were necessary to stay in compliance.
In addition to being incompatible with French regulatory requirements, the old accounting system was rigid, slow, costly, and prone to manual errors.
“…We are proud to be able to support the group thanks to the flexibility and ease enabled by Financial Accounting Hub,” says Gharib Chahr, Head of Project Finance and Accounting Control at ODDO BHF. “The solution fully meets our expectations in terms of data quality and automation and helps us satisfy our various customers to meet regulatory requirements and close accounts on time.”
Watch ODDO BHF’s Gharib Chahr discuss how Axway Financial Accounting Hub is helping the group streamline compliance and operations in this interview.
Creating accounting rules for multiple applications
The Axway solution gives the group a single point of control for financial data integration and transformation. Financial Accounting Hub employs a rules-based system that manages data streams from 15 different ODDO BHF business applications, translating and enriching business events into accounting entries.
This transformation relies on several accounting standards that help keep the group in compliance. The Finance Department can now process the various file formats received from different back-office applications and generate proper output files to populate the CODA accounting system, EVOLAN regulatory system, and LCB Core Banking. As a result, the Finance Department can support all of the group’s business lines, efficiently and effectively.
Financial department gains autonomy
Using this solution, the ODDO BHF Finance Department can now autonomously manage the data, rules, and schemas involved in the production of accounting rules. The language and terminology used by the Financial Accounting Hub makes it easy for users to understand and respond to business lines’ requirements – with little or no need for help from IT.
When it’s time to update a regulatory framework, integrate a new acquisition, or simply modify business rules, almost everything can be done by finance professionals.
“Axway Financial Accounting Hub enables us, on a daily basis, to support the business lines,” adds Chahr. “Launching a new product is fast – taking just two to four weeks to make the necessary accounting adaptations.”
Financial Accounting Hub also makes it possible to transform and enrich a financial event as a function of multiple accounting rules (e.g., local and IFRS) and normalize entries consistently across the various accounting ledgers. If problems arise, users can easily revert to the previous version of an accounting rule or policy.
Improved management of exception handling and rejections
When it comes to exception handling, the Axway solution makes it possible to correct accounting rejections but also to manage future bookings. Processes for facilitating day-to-day work, or handling error messages in the event of an accounting rejection, are easily understood.
“As a Project Owner, but also as responsible for accounting control, I have been able to take advantage of this opportunity to establish many controls and provoke rejections in the event of anomalies in the information communicated by the back-office application or information loaded in our LDW accounting basis,” says Chahr.
Over the entire scope of operations, the volume of daily rejections remains very low. That’s because the solution provides the ability for users to improve the different rules and also by collaborating with managers of the different back-office applications to iteratively improve the quality of the data sent to the Financial Accounting Hub.
Moving forward with a future-ready system
As with accounting and regulations, ODDO BHF’s business operations evolve regularly over time. To help with this, the group is able to trace the data based on audit trail history and the retention of successive versions of the accounting and management rules supplied by Financial Accounting Hub — essential capabilities of a future-ready system that can use and justify data for years.
“We are able to connect an accounting and entry to a business event at any time,” says Chahr. “The audit trail ensures end-to-end traceability and the tool enables us to view the entire process for generating the different postings. So, we can answer questions from the different business lines in under 24 hours, but also questions from regulators and auditors during their audit.”
Download the full Axway ODDO-BHF case study here.
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