If your organization deals at all with international currencies, then it will have some degree of foreign exchange risk. Volatility in the currency markets and global events can lead to drastic changes in currency values from day to day, and these shifts can in turn have substantial business impacts.
Some organizations may not have the expertise and resources to formulate foreign exchange policies and risk management strategies, while other organizations might have measures in place that haven’t been updated to reflect their current risk profile. Or maybe a business is under the impression that their foreign exchange risk isn’t as serious as it is, and that other aspects of the business should be of higher priority.
Any organization that works with international currencies in any capacity will face foreign exchange risk, but there’s no one-size-fits all solution: your organization’s risks will be unique to your operation, and an effective risk management strategy will need to be tailored to address your risk profile.
Keep an eye on this blog: we’ll go into further detail about assessing your organization’s foreign exchange risks and developing your own plan in the coming weeks. Today, we wanted to start off the conversation with a look at some of your business’s potential foreign exchange risk factors.
Is your organization making these risk management mistakes?
Whether your business lacks a foreign exchange risk management plan altogether or you’re looking to enhance your existing procedures, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Below are some of the most common—and costly—foreign exchange mistakes that businesses make. Take a moment to read through them, and consider where your organization falls.
- Not understanding your foreign exchange risk level. Do you know if your organization faces any foreign exchange risk? How much? What are your risk factors? What are the potential impacts to your business? Many businesses (particularly smaller ones) don’t know the answers to these questions. Without a proper, thorough risk assessment, your organization could be exposed to risks you haven’t even considered.
- Not having a foreign exchange risk management policy. After the risk assessment, the next step for your organization is crafting a comprehensive risk management policy that addresses your potential foreign exchange risk factors. Without a policy, your organization would only be able to react to problems after they’ve already happened and potentially caused damage.
- Focusing just on the rates, at the expense of other factors. Exchange rates are one of the most important aspects of foreign exchange, but they aren’t the only important thing. When assessing foreign exchange providers, don’t just look at the rates they offer. Look at the other services they offer and whether they can benefit your business. And be discerning: if something sounds too good to be true, it’s possible that it is.
- Not taking advantage of all of the risk management products available. As we said above, every organization is different. A strategy or solution that works for one business might not be the best one for you. Take your time when speaking with foreign exchange providers and make an effort to discuss all of their product offerings.
- Getting overwhelmed by complex administration. If your organization is responsible for handling a high number of transactions, the day-to-day processes could be distracting from the bigger picture (and potentially, bigger issues). A foreign exchange provider can help your business to reassess your processes to better suit your business’s needs.
- Not having a handle on compliance. Strict regulatory compliance is absolutely necessary for any business that deals with foreign exchange. But from varying national requirements to potentially time-consuming processes, compliance can be difficult for businesses that don’t have the right expertise or resources, and can lead to regulatory delay.
- Poor internal communication. If your team members aren’t communicating well with one another, it will be very difficult for your business to make decisions that are best for the business as a whole, and could even lead to conflicting decisions being made by out-of-sync managers.
- Working with a foreign exchange provider stuck in rigid processes. Just working with a foreign exchange provider won’t guarantee good results for your business. You should work with a foreign exchange provider that understands your business’s needs and offers variety and flexibility in its solutions. A provider with limited, inflexible offerings may not be able to offer your business what it needs to reduce its risks.
- Not shopping around for the right foreign exchange provider. Continuing from our last point, we’d like to emphasize that the right foreign exchange provider will understand your needs and have the expertise and resources to help your business achieve its goals. Don’t settle for the first provider you meet with. Take some time to explore your options and find the one that is best-equipped to aid your business with its foreign exchange risk.
How can Xe help your business?
For over 25 years, Xe has been an expert authority in the currency world. We provide a broad range of currency services and products to individuals and businesses around the world and work to provide all of our customers with secure solutions and expert guidance on their foreign exchange needs.
To our corporate clients, we offer International Payments and foreign exchange risk management solutions to help you navigate the world of foreign exchange and make the best decisions for your business and its customers. We will work with you to ensure that your foreign exchange procedures are the right ones for your business and its needs, and will be able to navigate the ever-changing currency markets.
Ready to learn more about our business solutions? Visit our Business page for more information about our offerings and to take the first steps in enhancing your organization’s foreign exchange risk management.