Grant Thornton intros blockchain platform for managing intercompany transactions

Grant Thornton has released inter.x, a blockchain platform for managing intercompany transactions. The firm has implemented the new platform in-house, but it is also available to clients to manage dealings between financial entities of a business, which account for 30 to 40 percent of the global economy.

Inter.x delivers real-time data-analytics dashboards that monitor these intercompany transactions, including transfer-pricing compliance and treasury management.

Grant Thornton approaches new technology by looking at the global business problems its clients are facing, according to chief transformation officer Jamie Fowler. “The business problem here had to do with intercompany transactions, particularly for our multinational clients,” she said. “They were having difficulty making sure both sides of the intercompany transactions matched, they were properly accounted for, and that they could feel assured they were good.”

Fowler explained that although intercompany transactions seem easy, they are the fifth largest cause of financial restatements. ‘We find that a lot of our clients don’t have extra personnel to make sure these transactions flow properly through their ERP systems and are correct.”

The inter.x solution integrates with a business’s ERP systems, aggregates data, and then creates an end-to-end workflow that behaves as a single transaction. This allows companies to recognize and make immediate decisions rather than waiting until a monthly or annual accounting cycle.

Because it is built on a blockchain, inter.x allows users to track and account for intercompany transactions with an audit trail that is immutable — that is, the integrity of the audit data persists over time. The result is a permanent and unforgeable audit trail for transaction information.

“The response from treasury management has been the most interesting,” Fowler noted. “I think because it’s just really hard to get our arms around everything these days during the pandemic, organizations are struggling to make sure they get every part of their response right. Cash is moving so quickly, changes are happening quickly, and cash needs are at the forefront of everybody’s thought process right now.”

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