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15/11/2017

Cash Connection – a look under the bonnet

The major benefit of HSH PROMOS Cash Connection certainly lies in avoiding additional workload by protecting tenants from tricky typos in the reason for payment. But how does the system work and what options are available for implementing the housing company’s individual requirements? We take a look under the bonnet of the SAP® system.

The initial product, PROMOS Cash Connection, originates from the automatic bank statement processing product range. This is designed to read the reasons for payment from electronic bank statements so as to automatically assign them to the relevant target contracts in SAP®. But how does the systematic assignment of virtual account numbers to the relevant contract actually work?

Posting with virtual account numbers in just a few steps

First of all, HSH Nordbank provides the numeric intervals it generates, which the tenant or supplier should use as an individual account number for bank transfers or direct debits. These are used by the system for clear assignment to a contract in SAP®. When transferred, these number pools from HSH Nordbank are already assigned to precisely one house bank account, i.e. a real account number. This allows the house bank account to be saved in the corresponding contract in the SAP® system in Customizing – no matter whether it is a vendor or customer contract. With this step, it is then possible to generate a virtual account number, also known as CashIdent, in SAP® when a contract is changed or created.

The second step is to inform the tenant or supplier about the new account details. Correspondence can be generated in the SAP® system. The automatic assignment ratio between the customer/vendor and contract is now almost 100 percent.

In terms of IT, the assignments between virtual and real account numbers and the SAP® contracts are saved in bank data storage. The data is thus always available and, if required, can be downloaded as a file and forwarded to external parties. This may, for example, be necessary if the bank has not assigned the number pool to real house bank accounts in advance. Although changing the automatic assignment manually in Customizing is technically possible, a special authorisation system has to be set up for this.

Special features of credit-side contracts

For vendor direct debits to be posted automatically by means of a virtual account number, far more details need to be considered than for a customer contract, because in this case money is leaving the company. The general functionality allows direct debit authorisations to be maintained via the Cash Connection tab. Here, as with a customer contract, a house bank account must be specified in order to generate the virtual account number. Usually, a multi-stage release procedure is also implemented and the contract only activated once this has been completed successfully. Finally, the conditions of the direct debit authorisation are also maintained. This, of course, includes referencing a separate G/L account as well as specifying the account assignment elements. There are also additional useful condition functions. In what is known as dynamic amount determination, the payment reason is checked, for example based on previously defined keywords, in order to use it as a basis for splitting the total amount. The function for restricting the number of direct debits or the maximum, percentage deviation from the defined direct debit amount can be used as a safety mechanism. Two integrated printing programs allow direct debit authorisations to be granted and reversed using supplied standard correspondence that can be adjusted on a customer-specific basis. For vendor contracts, in particular, it may not be possible to post items immediately, for example due to missing releases. For such cases, the CashIdent and conditions can be subsequently adjusted via manual post-processing and items posted directly from there.

Added flexibility

A look at the ways in which Cash Connection can be fine-tuned shows how open the solution is to adjustment to individual customer requirements or company specifications. The benefits at a glance:

  • Open interface for number assignment at the house bank
  • Bank data storage for exporting the virtual account numbers with assignment to target contract
  • Option to implement multistage release procedures
  • Dynamic amount determination
  • Additional option for manual postprocessing
  • And much more

As well as Cash Connection, the standard workflows and other PROMOS products from the area of electronic bank statement  processing, such as pattern search and the memory function, can also be used in parallel with all their benefits. Cash Connection also provides great flexibility from a technical perspective. It is based on the SAP® standard, is downwards compatible and available from SAP® ERP 6.0 onwards. Now let us close the bonnet again and let our SAP® system do the work for us.

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