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A rapidly growing heavy equipment rental company struggled with stalled accounts payable (AP) processing. In addition to missing vendor discounts and a growing debit balance problem, the company had accumulated invoices backlogged up to 120 days. It required an equivalent of 100 full-time employees to address this backlog, yet even that investment would not address the root issues of huge volumes of incoming paper—lack of digitization and decentralized billing. The company turned to Cognizant for a long-term solution to streamline its AP processes.
We responded with a quick “lift and shift” operation, and then transformed the client’s AP operations with a business process as a service (BPaaS) solution centered on our Catalyst AP platform. While our teams launched the Catalyst AP platform and the BPaaS solution, we addressed the client’s paper invoice backlog by processing the invoices directly into the client’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Once the solution was deployed, we took over management of the client’s AP processes, from intake to issue resolution and support.
Catalyst posts debits after validating data and processing transactions according to the client’s general ledger (GL) structure, codes and approval flows. The platform further streamlines the client’s AP workflow by automatically completing small dollar invoices, eliminating work steps. It runs these invoices through normal checks and balances to ensure required approval criteria are met, and then completes them without manual intervention or approvals based on the client’s GL vendor code.
For suppliers still preparing invoices manually, we implemented centralized billing. We also implemented a formal process for working directly with the client’s suppliers to resolve outstanding credits.
The efficiency created through the process has enabled us to onboard the company’s new acquisitions and their invoice volumes into Catalyst with just a week’s notice. The Cognizant BPaaS solution has seamlessly absorbed invoice volume growth and connections to a variety of ERP systems even as our client has more than doubled in size. The client now has clear visibility into supplier spend across multiple ERP systems—enhancing controls and compliance. We transitioned high-volume vendors not submitting invoices electronically to e-invoicing by identifying and then educating them about the benefits of using Catalyst’s electronic submission options. We also helped reduce the company’s AP cost per transaction by 36%, even as its AP volumes have grown 80%, over the last decade. Our stringent duplicate invoice identification and tracking procedures has helped the client save, on average, more than $75 million annually. The client is now able to take more vendor discounts, calculate accruals accurately and close books faster.
annually on average through reclaim and duplicate avoidance
in debit balance
over 11 years via electronic conversions
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