Allmybanks is supporting the international group Gattefossé thanks to EBICS TS

After using the financial transaction management software Exabanque for over two years, Gattefossé remained loyal to Exalog when equipping its foreign subsidiaries. Indeed, in 2013 Gattefossé adopted Allmybanks, Exalog’s international solution. Jean-Michel Morin, Head Accountant, considers the software installation and talks to us about their future projects.

Could you tell us about the Gattefossé Group?

The Gattefossé Group was founded 130 years ago in the Lyon region, and specialises in manufacturing and selling ingredients for the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. We employ 250 people and have 13 distribution subsidiaries around the world. In the countries where we do not have a subsidiary, we use the services of external distributors. In 2013, our group’s consolidated turnover was €80 million. Gattefossé SAS, the manufacturing company that covers all the Group’s needs, is located in Saint-Priest in the Rhône region.

What is your position within the company?

I joined the group in 2001 as Head Accountant with Gattefossé SAS. Today I am also in charge of Gattefossé Holding’s closing of accounts and the group’s statutory consolidation. I have a team of two to assist me who are based in Saint-Priest with me.

Since it was implemented in 2005, I have also been working with our subsidiaries that use SAP (USA, Germany, Italy, France and India) on computer issues related to our ERP’s finance module. Each time there is a deployment, I visit the site in question in person to oversee implementation and ensure correct configuration. This work with our local teams is crucial, and makes communication easier.

How is the financial department organised in your Group?

Guillaume Querneau, the Group’s Chief Financial Officer, is functionally responsible for the financial aspect of the subsidiaries and for management control. He is in charge of optimising group treasury management, with the subsidiaries remaining autonomous in their management of everyday payments.

With our banking partners, we have implemented a cashpooling system for our French entities.

What made you decide to start working with Exalog’s software?

Originally our group was using a tool installed on our computers. Following a number of technical issues that were the result of our use of external modems, we decided to look for a new system. Taking the advice of our bank, we approached Exalog and discovered the banking communication software Exabanque, a solution that met our needs at the time. The main criteria that directed our choice were modernity, ease of use and hosting in SaaS mode (Software as a Service).

You later decided to adopt Allmybanks, another Exalog software, to implement a common system for your French entities and foreign subsidiaries.

That’s correct, we decided to migrate from Exabanque to the Allmybanks software so we could have an international solution. Firstly, we started to use Allmybanks in France (July 2013) and secured our transactions by adopting the digital signature, replacing validation by fax.

We quickly started to use this solution in our German subsidiary in order to dematerialise and automate the process for payment processing, and succeeded in increasing the productivity of the local accounting department. We eventually hope to do the same with our other subsidiaries that work on SAP, starting with Italy, and thus build a consolidated group position.

How did the process of migrating from Exabanque to Allmybanks go?

In itself the process of migrating data from Exabanque to Allmybanks went very well. However, implementing the digital signature took a long time due to technical constraints linked to putting in place electronic signatures and a lack of conformity in reaction time between our different banks when new banking contracts are signed.

Could you tell us about the implementation of Allmybanks in your German subsidiary?

The differences in mentality and judgement between our two countries posed difficulties, as did linguistic complications. The fact that Exalog employs a German speaker greatly facilitated communication with our bank on the technical aspects of the project.

We also experienced problems when implementing German versions of the EBICS-TS and SEPA formats in Allmybanks as they differed from the French versions already in place in the tool. This issue has since been resolved, and we no longer have any problems with banking communication.

What are the next stages in rolling out Allmybanks?

Besides the consolidation of account statements for our international subsidiaries in the Allmybanks software, we are looking at the possibility of carrying out transactions in local accounts from the application. At the moment we need to preserve our decentralised organisational structure while reaping the benefits of a centralised software solution for the whole group (security, speed, harmonisation).

We are also interested in the Allmybanks treasury module, as the group does not currently have such a tool, in particular for forecast management and report statuses (AMB Charts module).

How do you feel your collaboration with Exalog is going overall, and what do you think of the editor?

One of the advantages of Allmybanks is how easy it is to use. Having set up Allmybanks myself, I know the software well and am often able to answer questions internal users raise. But when we are faced with rather more difficult issues, Exalog is always very available and we are satisfied with the services and assistance provided.

Exalog's perspective

Guillaume Lafarge, Chairman

Since it was created in 1984, Exalog has marketed banking communicationand treasury solutions. Today our expertise enables us to meet the needs of businesses, in particular when they are expanding internationally. Allmybanks is a complete solution that integrates payment security, group treasury management in all aspects, and international banking communication via SWIFT, EBICS and FTP.