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Case study

The challenge

A European automaker wanted to reengineer key accounting workstreams to unify processes across its operations in China, Malaysia, the U.S. and Europe. Inaccuracies and slow reporting in its accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) functions led to limited visibility of the company’s performance in key markets. Financial status reports were gathered and generated in siloes, resulting in higher operational costs and an extraordinarily high number of aging, unreconciled items. As a long-term client, the company approached Cognizant for a digital solution.

Our approach

Based on takeaways from an ongoing engagement with the client, Cognizant knew that its processes had increased in complexity. As the automaker’s centralized ERP system failed to generate information efficiently, we proposed improving key internal accounting processes using our OneFinance program to review existing non-standardized workstreams and develop a best practice template for each workstream. These templates would be adopted globally and interoperate seamlessly with SAP. Partnering with the company’s procurement functional teams, we defined strategies, framed an operating model, and then developed a process to address variances in systems and processes for each country.

Digitizing accounting workstreams improves financial transparency

Cognizant’s OneFinance program applies world-class digital finance and accounting processes to the automaker’s most important accounting functions. By implementing newly automated best practices for critical workstreams in finance, we helped the client reduce outstanding AP and reassign resources previously dedicated to manual processes.

We developed a Smart Audit tool using machine learning to increase efficiency, reduce sampling and improve risk coverage. We also developed a C-level executive dashboard to provide a multidimensional view of finance and accounting business metrics. This solution gives the company visibility and an audit trail.

$500 million

business value delivered


improvement in productivity from 2018 to 2019

Over 80%

open aging items reconciled


improved risk coverage of AP records using the Smart Audit tool