This was the first large scale project following the creation of PATH FINANCE.

Following the ELF – FINA merger, in 2001 TOTAL awarded PATH FINANCE the role of coordinator to monitor the local XRT software deployment project for 40 African and French overseas territories subsidiaries.
The choice of the XRT solution had already been made, as it was already deployed in some ELF subsidiaries.

Confronted by a multitude of unforeseen problems:

  • a lack of resources to manage the different missions in the field,
  • the difficulties involved in implementing statement collection,
  • local teams with very diverse skill levels,

Total very quickly called upon us to manage all the different aspects of the project.

Collecting account statements is the first step in organizing African businesses that want to implement cash management and/or bank reconciliation software.

Because banking telematics is not standardized between the different African countries, banking establishments, whether national or foreign, provide bank statements that have major differences in coding and in the level of detail of transactions. In fact, each bank was offering its proprietary solution both in terms of distribution (web, email, file transfer, etc.) and in terms of data format (Etebac, Swift, ASCII … paper).

This multitude of offers is very complex for a Treasurer to manage, both functionally and technically, due to the need for local installations, training and maintenance of this proprietary software.

Backed by TOTAL’s strong position and its own technical expertise, PATH FINANCE met up with each bank and:

  • gradually imposed a single and universal operating mode on the banks: the daily issue of an email containing the account statement for the previous day’s transactions to each subsidiary in question,
  • took advantage of the opportunity to develop many banking file correction and/or conversion components essential to the deployment of software in the West Indies, Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Middle East.

Currently, these specialized components make it possible to:

  • check the compliance of these files with the agreed format (AFB120, PF128, SWIFT, MT940, etc.),
  • bring the necessary corrections for all the cases inspected where this format is not 100% compliant with the standard (half of all cases),
  • check the individual qualification of each transaction on the statements and requalify it using a uniform dictionary that can be used by the software deployed downstream.

MAJOR STAKES: the lack of reliable and comparable information for the geographical scope in question.

  • the disparity in cash management solutions and the manual management of specific software + very uneven “business” levels,
  • non-standardized banking telematics: each bank having the possibility of offering a proprietary solution both for distribution (web, email, file transfer, etc.) and for data format (Etebac, Swift, ASCII … paper).
THE CONSEQUENCES: this multitude of offers is very complex for a Treasurer to manage, both functionally and technically, due to the need for local installations, training and maintenance of this proprietary software.
THE SERVICES REQUIRED: to implement consistent financial practices in its subsidiaries in 40 countries, as much in the use of a common system, as in a global business upgrade program.
  • a daily rate project manager based at the client’s headquarters for the 8 months the project lasted,
  • the audit of each subsidiary, both of its internal organization and of its relationship with the local banks,
  • the deployment of the XRT software and of specific bank file converters developed by PATH Finance,
  • a training and support program to bring each finance department up to speed.
RESULT: fully operational subsidiaries.

The project was a full-blown success:

  • “When we discussed the project internally, the teams announced that it would take 4 years to implement. Thanks to the PATH FINANCE team... , we pulled off this challenge in 9 months, thank you all.L. KANE – TOTAL
  • “A big thank you to the PATH FINANCE teamI can confirm that the cash management project was a complete success in the field” – C. DIKONGUE – TOTAL
  • “… I hope to have the pleasure of working with you again. As one of the project’s ex managers, thank you for all the skills you contributed to our Cash Management project…” – D. SOULLIER – TOTAL