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Tech & Processes

June 28, 2024

7 mins read

RIPPLES: How Wole uses IRIS to empower internal teams

by Chidinma Enemanna

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When you hear IRIS, what comes to mind? You may be like me, who initially got confused the first time I encountered the ‘IRIS’ team. I wondered if we had now become an optical organisation. Digging further, I realised that IRIS stood for Internal Reconciliation and Internal Settlement, and I decided to have a quick chat with the VP of the IRIS team to learn more about what the team does. 

Fun fact: Wole, the VP of this team, loves to solve mathematics over the weekend! Curious to learn more about Wole and the IRIS team? Here’s my conversation with him. 

Hi Wole. IRIS???

Hi Chidinma. Yes, I know it’s an interesting name. When we were trying to build this product, we wanted a short, unique, and catchy name. We were just talking about what the product does, and that’s when it hit… IRIS! What does the product do? It is our internal reconciliation and settlement tool. So, IRIS—Internal Reconciliation and Internal Settlement!

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As VP Settlement, Reconciliation and Accounting Tools, describe your role and daily activities?

My primary role involves building systems to ensure that the operations and finance teams have what they need to do their jobs.  This basically means providing them with tools, products, integrations, and even third-party solutions to ensure that finance can do what it needs to do. An example would be instead of going out to get a settlement and reconciliation solution, we built one in-house.

In my function, I have engineers, TPMs, and a product manager who report to me. We have that structure which allows us to build solutions that are tailor-made for all our problems. In terms of settlement and reconciliation, our structure ensures that we settle our transactions appropriately, and we can reconcile our transactions by understanding the complexities and nuances of our own organisation and our multiple business lines. 

The other part is accounting tools. There's a solution called IRIS, which is a backronym(we created the acronym after we got the name). It stands for internal reconciliation and internal settlement tool. So, it was just a cool name at the time to show that we have “visibility” on all transactions. Still sticking with the eye theme, our other solution is Retina. While IRIS is used by the settlement and reconciliation team, and sometimes even by the finance team, Retina is used just for the finance function to view transactions. We’re building a newer product. 

So, my role is a product role. Daily, I have to serve as an account manager and information system specialist or support the finance function. In doing this, I get to decide what the strategy and road map would be and what we should focus on.  Also, I work closely with the SVPs of the various units to decide what solutions to build and that we have our numbers where they should be. My day-to-day could go from preparing reports to building dashboards,  writing product documentation and Python scripts, or sometimes just debugging issues and trying to understand why certain legacy things are working the way they are.  Some days, I’m looking through reports; others, I run through meetings.  

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What are your department's three key objectives? 

Objective one would be to ensure on-time settlements of all transactions involving settlement reports and statements and timeliness, and we have KPIs that we use to measure that. The settlement should not be behind if it’s not a weekend or public holiday. This means we should have a representative position that does not exceed one day; we should not be more than one day behind in our settlement reports. If it’s a weekend or public holiday, it could lead to it being more days. 

Another objective would be moving all our accounts to daily reconciliation, which means we should be able to reconcile all the transactions that happened yesterday and understand the exceptions. It also means that the age of items in various accounts doesn’t exceed a maximum of two days, even with the logistics of public holidays and weekends.  

The third objective is to ensure that finance has everything it needs for its financial reporting and can carry out its transactions without the need for hard work or more solutions. Our integration with Netsuite ensures that finance has the financial and regulatory reporting unlocked. This means they can simply download those reports or use the report builder to build custom reports.

How does IRIS  improve day-to-day operations for employees within the company?

The IRIS solution we provide ensures that settlement can happen in real time. This means you can sign in and carry out the settlement of transactions; it is an internal representation of all our transactions that have been outside. 

It is our internal reconciliation and settlement tool at Moniepoint that helps connect all the information sitting in all the other core banking applications by using the bank statement that we get from our settlement banks to give us all our external positions. 

For example, Chidinma goes to a store that uses a Moniepoint terminal, and carries out her transaction from any of her bank accounts, even if it were a Moniepoint bank account. So, that transaction will happen, and we will probably receive the money in our bank account outside. If we receive the money in one of our settlement banks, there’s no way to connect the bank’s CBA to our own CBASo, IRIS serves as a bridge that connects all the information sitting in all the other core banking applications by using the bank statement that we get from those banks to give us all our external positions. 

This way, the finance team knows where we stand from a cash position. They get to see how much cash we have, the receivable position, how much people owe us, how much we owe people, our income, how much expense we’ve incurred carrying out transactions, etc. So, IRIS will be able to integrate all that information by serving as a de facto bridge. We make life easier for most internal teams as we optimise processes.  

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Alrighty. Let’s get a bit more personal now. So, VP… how do you approach leadership and team management? 

So, my approach to leadership is the NO EGO approach. Sometimes, I go into meetings and understand what needs to be built, but I can’t dictate how it should be built. I am open to learning from people I work with; this helps challenge them and even myself. By listening to others, I get to learn new things, and we do not just build in one direction. 

Although No Ego is the core value I embody the body, I think I also use a combination of all of Moniepoint’s core values in my leadership style. However, I will pick No Ego and Grit as I will do whatever it takes to get the job done. 

To my final question, what’s something you absolutely enjoy doing that most people would consider crazy?

One thing about me is that I enjoy taking risks. I have jumped out of an airplane, done skydiving, drifted on a quad bike, etc. During the weekend, you will probably see me solving mathematics. 

Wole uses his job function to empower internal teams within Moniepoint. You, too, can do great work and power dreams by heading to our right away!careers page

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