Case Study

Fixing finance for future growth

By practicing what we preach

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Who we worked with

Ourselves

What we do

We provide professional services to a client list that includes many Fortune 500 companies.

What we needed

As a result of rapid growth, Genpact had a jumble of inflexible finance systems, processes, and policies across regions and entities. So it was hard to make informed decisions supporting future growth.

What we did

Using a design-thinking approach, we transformed our finance processes. We unified enterprise resource planning (ERP) across 140 entities in 44 countries using cloud-based applications.

What we got

  • A single view of the company for faster, accurate reporting
  • A future-ready finance function that supports growth and acquisitions
  • Productivity improvements that produced $6 million in annual savings and that freed up employees to focus on strategy 

Genpact’s priority was to do better with its finance function. Systems and policies were inconsistent, and the creation of a single view of company performance was time consuming and complex. Management couldn’t make decisions based on the latest and best information. So we adopted the same approach we take with our clients. We used design thinking and sought out the best digital technologies to transform finance and support business growth.

Challenge

Fix dysfunctional processes and systems

Since spinning off from GE in 2005, Genpact has grown organically and made several acquisitions. That created an operating environment with too many distinct systems that were difficult to integrate.

We needed a scalable yet effective operating model—with standardized, simplified and well-integrated finance processes—that provided one view of company performance and supported business growth. Several processes presented challenges:


Procure to pay

  • Multiple and manual touch points extended the time it took to process invoices
  • Low purchase-order penetration upped the likelihood of mistakes in booking
  • Inflexible and unwieldy systems made it hard to track billing and payment queries
  • Travel and expense policies and systems varied from one part of the business to the next

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Order to cash

  • Manual billing led to errors when reconciling accrued revenue and invoices
  • Conflicting time tracking systems made billing less efficient
  • No central repository for managing contracts made compliance and governance more difficult
  • Poorly integrated order to cash processes meant more people had to work on systems such as pricing, billing, time sheet management, and contract management

Record to report

  • Too many charts of accounts made master data management complex and monthly consolidation of accounts a lengthy process
  • Manual inter-company entries led to discrepancies and reactive data reconciliation
  • Complex general ledger structures made it time consuming to prepare balance sheets and convert primary books of accounts from local accounting systems to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP)
  • Lengthy cycle time to report a consolidated view of performance compromised business decision-making

Solution

Think with design, execute with technology

The goal: Transform finance, using digital to help simplify, standardize, and consolidate all processes and policies. Just as we do with our clients, we used our best techniques. We combined design-thinking principles, Lean methods, digital technologies, analytics, and domain expertise to build a Lean Digital enterprise. This agile and scalable environment would support growth, improve margins and compliance, and reduce risk.

Design, then deploy

The first phase focused on design thinking: We identified the problem, determined the outcomes we wanted, established our requirements, and created a wish list. We wanted seamless integration of finance with end-to-end processes, such as sourcing and procurement, and sales. That called for a holistic approach from the outset. So we defined policies, mapped processes, and plotted the technology roadmap.

In the second half of the project, we identified partners and worked with them to evaluate our technology applications. We came up with new solutions where needed and rolled out pilots to test them. To standardize and simplify the business processes, we introduced Oracle across 140 entities in 44 countries. For each work stream—procure to pay, order to cash, and record to report—we implemented best-in-class point solutions alongside Oracle. Then we created shared services to ensure best practices and deliver innovation.

Here’s what we did for each workstream:

Procure to pay

  • Standardized global policies covering travel and expenses, and introduced a no-purchase-order-no-pay rule
  • Deployed our systems of engagement to automate and simplify purchase requisitions, invoice processing, query resolution, and the approval of non-purchase-order-based invoices 
  • Introduced an integrated cloud-based application for travel and expense management

Order to cash

  • Made revenue accounting and expense management consistent, and launched a common platform to automate revenue accrual and billing
  • Created a central repository for all contracts
  • Centralized order to cash activities and master data management

Record to report

  • Simplified and automated record to report processes to smooth the transition from local accounting systems to U.S. GAAP
  • Created a single chart of accounts
  • Used Hyperion for all financial reporting related to U.S. GAAP
  • Automated inter-company accounting and reconciliation with Oracle’s Advanced Global Inter-company System (AGIS)

Senior management backed us all the way—and that was key in helping the company manage the transition to new processes and systems. We appointed global process owners for each workstream. They collaborated with all stakeholders and partnered with change agents to create a noise-free transition. 

Impact

Nimble finance and bottom-line savings

Transforming finance also helped us reimagine the middle and back office to support growth, cost efficiency, and business agility. And the project brought other real benefits, including:

  • Consistent and accurate reporting for improved business decision-making
  • A future-ready finance function to support growth and acquisitions
  • Annual savings of $6 million from productivity improvements, better use of working capital, and reduced revenue leakage—with the potential for more savings going forward
  • Employees freed up to focus on decision-making and strategy

The project solved a great number of challenges:


Procure to pay

  • Increased on-time payments from 40% to 58%, and purchase order penetration rose from 54% to 63%
  • Reduced the number of formats for purchase orders from 50 to 2; for supplier invoice reports from 15 to 1; and for customer aging reports from 10 to 1
  • Accomplished greater governance and control from automatically generating invoice IDs. This also reduced the risk of duplicate payments and improved invoice tracking for audit purposes 

Order to cash

  • With shared services, regional teams could exchange best practices and stick to common procedures
  • Improved the number of sales outstanding days by three days through automation of accruals and billing
  • Newly standardized processes and policies increased productivity by up to 20%

Record to report

  • A new single chart of accounts helped us reduce closing time by nine days and time to report by six
  • Created a seamless month-end closing process 
  • Improved data accuracy and compliance management with automated inter-company reconciliations
  • AGIS helped us close local GAAP audits faster 
  • Hyperion sped up management reporting and improved decision-making

We capitalized on our deep domain experience, brought in the latest technologies, and used design thinking to transform the way we run finance. That set the tone for creating agile operations throughout the organization and put Genpact on the path to sustainable growth. 

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