A smart accounting system that reads digital statements of account automatically? Sounds efficient and cost effective. With CODA files, you give your accounting package an effective boost. Such a need exists for your foreign accounts too. But do MT940 and CAMT provide a suitable alternative?
CODA files are coded daily statements of your company’s Belgian accounts, drawn up in accordance with the Febelfin banking standards. This means that these digital version of your statements of account all have the same structure. Thanks to that uniformity, they can be uploaded in your accounting software easily and rapidly – a great deal simpler than having to retype paper statements of account manually.
CODA, CAMT or MT940: the differences
CODA is a typical Belgian format that has been around for quite some time, and has gone through several versions and improvements during this period. It consequently provides particularly rich information to the accounting programme, making reconciliation more efficient.
In an international context, banks and companies use primarily MT940. This format originated in the SWIFT network and is today a worldwide standard but provides less rich information.
A relatively new player is CAMT, an ISO20022 format that is associated with SEPA and is found predominantly in a European context. The file type offers more information than an MT940 file and is slower to gain traction as a result. Belgian banks offer this format as well, but the adoption rate is still particularly low due to the success of CODA.
Which format suits your company best?
If you are working mainly with Belgian accounts, then CODA is the most obvious solutions. It offers rich information and is supported by nearly all ERP and accounting packages.
If, in addition to your Belgian accounts, you also have accounts with foreign banks in the SEPA zone, it might be interesting to work with a uniform format for those accounts. CAMT may then be a good solution.
If you consolidate the account information of bank accounts outside the SEPA zone, then MT940 remains a good option. It is supported by banks throughout the world but offers less rich information. If you do not need all the details and a simple payment overview suffices, the MT940 format might suffice.
The future: PSD2
The arrival of the new PSD2 directive will probably usher in a new revolution on this front. Under this European directive, which regularizes payment services in the EU, banks will be required to make payment data available if a third party so requests. Banks will provide this information through Advanced Programming Interfaces (APIs), whereby ERPs and accounting packages can gain direct access to this information.
Thanks to its very detailed information, CODA continues to be a sound value in the Belgian format landscape, while making a major contribution to the digitization wave in accounting. In addition, PSD2 API solutions, which provide the necessary information for specific use cases, are due to break through as well. Compelling times!