Drugs giant AstraZeneca has inked a mulitmillion dollar, five year deal for Indian outsourcer Genpact to manage its finance and accounting systems and processes.

CIO 100 ranked AstraZeneca wants to improve its SAP-based accountancy processes, and cut costs. The deal affects over 50 countries, including the company's headquarters in London and Sweden.

Genpact will concentrate most on processes affecting procure-to-pay, record-to-report and order-to-cash functions. It will implement Lean Six Sigma management and development methodology.

Graham Russell, head of global transactional finance at AstraZeneca, said that streamlining business processes would enable the company "to improve the effectiveness" of its finance function "in driving, measuring and reporting business performance". It would also cut operational costs.

AstraZeneca currently houses its finance operations in two regional shared services, in Manchester and the US state of Delaware, according to outsourcing analysis firm Nelson Hall. This work will be moved over the next two years to Genpact's five principal delivery centres in India, Romania, Morocco, Brazil and Guatemala, it said.

Rachel Stormonth, analyst at Nelson Hall, noted that the outsourced services "will be provided by fewer full time employees, around 400, than are currently deployed on them by AstraZeneca", because Genpact had committed to fast productivity improvements.

AstraZeneca is currently consolidating from 12 SAP finance systems to four, Stormonth noted.

A year ago, the company signed a five year deal with Infosys to support applications in manufacturing, supply chain, human resources and other areas.

In 2007, it signed an £832 million deal with IBM to provide email, hosting, networking, PC management, server, storage and service management support. AstraZeneca also signed a £47 million outsourcing deal with Cognizant in March 2008 for centralised data management services.