treasuryandrisk.com MARCH 2017 SPECIAL REPORT TREASURY & RISK 3
(continued on page 6)
also information gathered from industry-specific groups of credit executives who
share data about common customers.
Austin Morris, a principal at PwC, said
the challenges facing credit groups include
the aggregation of that information—“just
pulling all the data together in an
automated format where you have the right
information to make a good decision.”
At the sophisticated end of the
scale, that aggregation could include a
mechanism that allows the credit group to
use data to come up with a numerical credit
score for each customer, which provides
a more consistent way of assessing
customers’ credit risk, Morris said.
A survey of 110 treasury, finance, and
risk professionals conducted last summer
by Treasury & Risk and Moody’s Analytics
found that 57.4% of the companies
surveyed generated an internal risk score
or credit rating.
Tillesen said companies that use credit
scoring combine information that could
include the company’s past-due experience
with a customer, the customer’s credit rating
from Dun & Bradstreet or another firm, and
information on the customer’s finances,
such as its net worth or cash flow, to create
“a credit stew that pumps out an answer.
“If you have thousands of accounts to
manage, you need some sort of automated
decision-making these days,” he said.
SOPLEX’s Donko said that companies
need to be able to adjust the way they
compute those scorecards on customers’
creditworthiness to reflect factors like the
changing state of the economy.
He noted that in Germany five years
ago, in the wake of the financial crisis, a
customer that paid after 30 days might be
right in line with the average. But these
days, the economy is strong, and “all
the customers in Germany pay two days
before” the bill is due, Donko said. “So a
customer with five- or 10-days’ delay is a
bad customer, and a customer with 30-
days’ delay is a very bad customer. That’s
why scorecards have to be adjusted.”
Supplementing the ERP
One way that credit departments can deal
with the shortcomings of ERP credit modules
is by bringing in a software development
company to enhance the module.
“What they do is a wrapper,” Tillesen said.
The wrapper goes around the ERP system’s
credit module, and once the modification is
completed, users can’t distinguish it from the
rest of the ERP system.
Companies can also buy specialist credit
modules that are designed to work with
specific ERP systems.
For example, SOPLEX makes a credit
module for SAP ERP systems. (SOPLEX
was acquired late last year by Hanse Orga
Group, which makes a treasury module for
SOPLEX’s solution is “like an
accelerator to the SAP system,” Donko
said. “It’s highly integrated within SAP,
and it supports all the needs of modern
The work the SOPLEX software handles
falls into three main areas: gathering,
updating, and analyzing customer credit
data; supporting credit management
processes like credit limit approvals; and
managing credit checks. Regarding the
latter area, Donko noted that the SAP
system automatically blocks sales orders
if a customer has exceeded its credit
limit. “These blocked sales orders have
to be checked and approved by the credit
manager and released so the sales agent
can make the order,” he said.
SOPLEX can organize the credit
department’s work flows, letting the credit
manager know what tasks need to be
If you have thousands of accounts
to manage, you need some sort of
automated decision-making these days.
—SCOTT TILLESEN, SPEAKER AND TRAINER