Automated cash application, bank reconciliation and global payments.

A global group seeking one single cash management automation solution.

Shaklee Corporation is an American manufacturer and multi-level marketing distributor of natural nutrition supplements, weight-management products, beauty products, and household products. The company is based in California, USA. However, they have global operations in Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Shaklee products make a difference in millions of people’s lives, from world class Shaklee Pure Performance Team athletes to even NASA astronauts. The Shaklee mission is to ‘provide a better and healthier life’ for its customers all over the world.

Cashbook work directly with the Shaklee Malaysia division. Shaklee Malaysia have seven different branches spread throughout the country. They conduct the financial operations for the whole of Malaysia from their headquarters in Selangor. Shaklee Malaysia was looking for a single cash management automation solution, and they selected Cashbook to provide this solution to them.

Challenge

Prior to the Cashbook implementation, Shaklee Malaysia was having a few technical issues. Shaklee was in the middle of migrating from their old accounting system to the new ERP system, Infor LX. All the relevant sales information for customers was held in a second system, called Yatai. The key to understanding the financial process of Shaklee Malaysia was to understand how customer information and distributor information were configured on both systems. Distributors are both customers and vendors to Shaklee. They purchase goods from Shaklee, which they then sell on to their own network, making them customers who generate orders and invoices in Yatai. A customer in there is also a vendor in Infor LX. The Yatai customer system interfaces with Infor LX daily while vendor commissions are paid on a monthly basis.

At the end of each month, distributors are owed commission as sales representatives of Shaklee. There were approximately 150,000 distributors. It was recognized by HQ that the Shaklee Malaysia finance team required a fully integrated and automated system. Prior to the Cashbook implementation, the company was struggling with the following processes:

  • All Bank Statement downloads were manual, the data entry was manual and the reporting was being completed through Excel.
  • Bank Reconciliations were all done manually through Excel Spreadsheets. This was a very complex and time-consuming process to maintain, it was also subject to costly manual errors.
  • Electronic payments, both domestic and foreign, were being done manually with re-keying of data and a lot of duplication of work. The closing of AP invoices was a manual process with manual email notifications. Any rejected commission payments for distributors needed to be manually tracked on an extra AP ledger as well.

Solution

Cashbook’s core business revolves around the design, development, deployment, and support of Cash Application, Payments, and Reconciliation software for large corporations. Businesses are seeking to automate their complex and manual financial processes. This focus has been a constant over the past 25 years for Cashbook.

The Cashbook proposition to Shaklee Malaysia was our four core modules. Cash Application, Bank Reconciliation, Accounts Payable, and Cash Manager – which displays all the information from the three core areas. Not forgetting our biggest challenge – between 10,000 and 20,000 monthly distributor payments, we proposed to use Cashbook Direct Debits to create a payment to a customer. The benefit of this option is you avoid duplicating distributors as both customers and vendors, with the obvious data maintenance challenges. The implementation of Cashbook resulted in complete automation of the accounts department process – AR & AP. See the full detailed results of the transformation below:

Full Bank and ERP integration

  • Replacement for ACR500 & ARP in BPCS/LX with Cashbook Cash Application process.
  • Hot folder functionality automating the uploading of Bank of America and Maybank bank statement files.
  • Auto handling the receipt of multiple payment types – Credit Cards, Cheques, Cash and EFT’s.
  • Automation of the Malaysian consumer tax GST.
  • Auto posting program from Cashbook through to BPCS/LX.
  • Auto posting to cash-in-transit ledgers due to timing differences of physical cash arrival.
  • Created unique security groups to run alongside Shaklee’s segregation of duties policy.

Automated Payments process

  • No more manual electronic payments.
  • All payment runs performed in Cashbook replacing the use of ACP600, ACP620, ACP650 in BPCS/LX. 
  • All vendor invoices stored in Cashbook for easy-to-use batch selection process over multiple payment types, domestic and foreign.
  • Email remittance capability to reduce paper costs and vendor queries.
  • Auto posting program from Cashbook closing out all vendor invoices in BPCS/LX.
  • Full reporting available that complimented Shaklee’s internal payment approval process.

Bank Reconciliations completed in minutes

  • Enabled the auto-reconciliation of the bank statement to the GL control account for all the Malaysian bank accounts.
  • Automation rates in excess of 98% achieved.
  • Daily reconciliation reduced from hours to a matter of minutes.
  • Cashbook provided seven different reports and an automation statistic tool within the Cash Manager module.

Distributor Payments now automated

  • Automated a file retrieval process between Cashbook and Yatai, Shaklee’s internal system which held the commission fees of 150,000 Distributors.
  • This process resulted in auto creating negative RI records within BPCS/LX for commissions due.
  • The process also included the automation of the Direct Debit payment file for Shaklee to upload to their banking software.
  • Auto posting program from Cashbook closing out of 150,000 Distributor RI records in BPCS/LX.
  • When payments are rejected due to incorrect bank details, it is easy to correct and re-send them in Cashbook. On average, there are a few hundred rejects by the bank on each payment run. These are auto reversed in Cashbook and the Distributor AP Ledger is auto updated. Bank details updated to present for payment again.

Results
Bank Reconciliation automation rates of 98%.
97% customer identification from bank statements.
Invoice automation of 91.4% for Cash Application.

Before Cashbook came along, we had a lot of manual financial processes at Shaklee Malaysia. These processes were time-consuming for our staff, and very costly for the company. Once we started using Cashbook, the improvements were immediate. The Cashbook software achieved very high levels of automation, and helped to modernize and automate our financial tasks.

Ms. Gan Giok Lee, Senior Finance Manager, Shaklee Malaysia.