|Type||Public limited company|
|Traded as||NYSE: ACN|
|Industry||Professional services, technology services |
|Predecessor(s)||Andersen Consulting (1989-2001)|
|Key people||Pierre Nanterme
(Chairman & CEO)
David P. Rowland (CFO)
Jo Deblaere (COO)
|Services||Management consulting, technology services, outsourcing |
|Revenue||US$ 28.6 billion (2013, net)|
|Operating income||US$ 4.338 billion (2013)|
|Net income||US$ 3.281 billion (2013)|
|Total assets||US$ 16.867 billion (2013)|
|Total equity||US$ 4.960 billion (2013)|
Accenture plc is a multinational management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company. Its incorporated headquarters are in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. It is the world's largest consulting firm as measured by revenues and is a Fortune Global 500 company. As of 2013, the company reported net revenues of $28.6 billion with approximately 293,000 employees, serving clients in more than 200 cities in 56 countries. Accenture has more employees in India than any other country; in the US, it has about 40,000 employees and 35,000 located in the Philippines. Accenture's current clients include 91 of the Fortune Global 100 and more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500. Since September 1, 2009 the company has been incorporated in Ireland.
- 1 History
- 2 Services and Operations
- 3 Marketing, branding and identity
- 4 Awards and Honors
- 5 Notable Recent Projects
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Formation and early years
Accenture began as the business and technology consulting division of accounting firm Arthur Andersen. The division's origins are in a 1953 feasibility study for General Electric. GE asked Arthur Andersen to automate payroll processing and manufacturing at GE's Appliance Park facility near Louisville, Kentucky. Arthur Andersen recommended installation of a UNIVAC I computer and printer, which resulted in the first commercially-owned computer installation in the United States in 1954. Joe Glickauf, an early pioneer of computer consulting, held a position as head of Arthur Andersen's administrative services division for 12 years.
Splitting from Arthur Andersen
In 1989, Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting became separate units of Andersen Worldwide Société Coopérative (AWSC). Arthur Andersen increased its use of accounting services as a springboard to sign up clients for Andersen Consulting's more lucrative business.
Throughout the 1990s, there was increasing tension between Andersen Consulting and Arthur Andersen. Andersen Consulting was upset that it was paying Arthur Andersen up to 15% of its profits each year (a condition of the 1989 split was that the more profitable unit – whether AA or AC – paid the other this sum), while at the same time Arthur Andersen was competing with Andersen Consulting through its own newly established business consulting service line called Arthur Andersen Business Consulting (AABC). This dispute came to a head in 1998 when Andersen Consulting claimed breach of contract against AWSC and Arthur Andersen. Andersen Consulting put the 15% transfer payment for that year and future years into escrow and issued a claim for breach of contract. In August 2000, as a result of the conclusion of arbitration with the International Chamber of Commerce, Andersen Consulting broke all contractual ties with AWSC and Arthur Andersen. As part of the arbitration settlement, Andersen Consulting paid the sum held in escrow (then $1.2 billion) to Arthur Andersen, and was required to change its name, resulting in the entity being renamed Accenture.
Accounts vary on why the split occurred. Executives on both sides of the split cite greed and arrogance on the part of the other, and executives on the Andersen Consulting side maintained breach of contract when Arthur Andersen created AABC, because AABC competed directly with Andersen Consulting in the marketplace. Many of the AABC firms were bought out by other consulting companies in 2002, including Hitachi Consulting and KPMG Consulting, which later changed its name to BearingPoint.
Emergence of Accenture
On January 1, 2001 Andersen Consulting adopted its current name, "Accenture". The word "Accenture" is supposedly derived from "Accent on the future". The name "Accenture" was submitted by Kim Petersen, a Danish employee from the company's Oslo, Norway office, as a result of an internal competition. Accenture felt that the name should represent its will to be a global consulting leader and high performer, and also intended that the name should not be offensive in any country in which Accenture operates.
Initial public offering
On July 19, 2001, Accenture offered initial public offering (IPO) at the price of $14.50 per share in New York Stock Exchange (NYSE); Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley served as its lead underwriters. Accenture stock closed the day at $15.17, with the day's high at $15.25. On the first day of the IPO, Accenture raised nearly $1.7 billion.
In October 2002, the Congressional General Accounting Office (GAO) identified Accenture as one of four publicly traded federal contractors that were incorporated in a tax haven country. The other three, unlike Accenture, were incorporated in the United States before they re-incorporated in a tax haven country, thereby lowering their U.S. taxes. Critics, most notably former CNN journalist Lou Dobbs, have reported Accenture's decision to incorporate in Bermuda as a U.S. tax avoidance ploy, because they viewed Accenture as having been a U.S.-based company. The GAO itself did not characterize Accenture as having been a U.S.-based company; it stated that "prior to incorporating in Bermuda, Accenture was operating as a series of related partnerships and corporations under the control of its partners through the mechanism of contracts with a Swiss coordinating entity."
Accenture announced on May 26, 2009 that its Board of Directors unanimously approved changing the company’s place of incorporation to Ireland from Bermuda and would become Accenture plc.
The company cited several reasons for the change:
- Ireland's sophisticated, well-developed corporate, legal and regulatory environment
- Ireland's long history of international investment and long-established commercial relationships, trade agreements and tax treaties with European Union member states, the United States and other countries where Accenture does business
- Ireland's stable political and economic environment with the financial and legal infrastructure to meet Accenture's needs
The change became effective on September 1, 2009, the beginning of the company's 2010 fiscal year.
While Ireland is the company's headquarters for tax and legal purposes, much of the operational administration occurs in the United States, mainly New York City and Chicago.
Services and Operations
Accenture organizes its services and people in these three primary cross-functional groupings. Accenture client engagement teams typically consist of a combination of industry experts, capability specialists and professionals with local market knowledge.
The four workforces serve clients in the areas of consulting, technology, and outsourcing, as well as the company itself. This is almost always an internal designation as it is common place for Accenture employees to work in blended teams for a variety of reasons.
- Consulting: Focus on management consulting, process design work and the application of technologies to business. Responsible for sales, delivery, and leadership of most of Accenture's project-based work.
- Services: Most focus on outsourcing engagements in the areas of business operations, IT, applications development and maintenance, help desk services, and HR. As part of some outsourcing deals, clients' internal teams can be "re-badged" as Accenture employees aligned to this workforce. Sometimes they work on Consulting projects or as internal Enterprise teams.
- Solutions: The Accenture Technology Solutions subsidiary focuses on the specific technology skills needed to deliver projects or outsourcing arrangements. Comprises the majority of Accenture's employees in delivery centers in developing countries like Brazil, India, and the Philippines.
- Enterprise: Focus on managing and supporting all the activities across Accenture's business, including legal, security, facilities, marketing, and client financial management.
As most consulting firms, Accenture operates in a matrix structure. The first axis is dedicated to the operating groups, or industries of its clients. Broadly, the five Operating Groups are:
- Communications, Media & Technology
- Financial Services
- Health & Public Services
The five Operating Groups comprises 39 industry subgroups that focus on industry evolution, business issues, and applicable technologies.
The second axis is the growth platforms, which broadly refers to the functional or technical domains in which Accenture creates and delivers solutions to clients.
- Accenture Strategy was launched in December 2013 to provide services for clients related to business strategy, technology strategy and operations strategy.
- Accenture Digital was also launched in December 2013 to provide clients with digital marketing, analytics and mobility services.
- Technology unifies the full range of Accenture's systems integration, technology consulting, and IT outsourcing capabilities. Most people in the Services and Solutions work forces are aligned under the Technology growth platform.
- Accenture Operations focuses on managing specific business processes or functions for clients such as procurement, HR, finance and accounting, as well as services geared to the needs of specific industries.
Marketing, branding and identity
Accenture advertises in television, print, and in public places, such as airports, around the world. Beginning in 1999, Accenture has sponsored an international event called the Accenture Match Play Championship, part of the World Golf Championships, and has done so every year since then. The company was parodied in a webcomic, Bigtime Consulting, by employee James Sanchez from 1999 to 2003. From at least 2005 until December 2009, Accenture used Tiger Woods as a celebrity spokesperson and advertised using the service mark "Go on, be a Tiger" and the ancillary statement "We know what it takes to be a Tiger" in association with Wood's celebrity image. On December 13, 2009 after details of Woods' extra-marital affairs were exposed, the company terminated Woods' six-year sponsorship deal. The current advertising campaign features client success stories and the slogan, "High performance. Delivered."
The typeface used in the Accenture wordmark is Rotis Semi-sans. The numerical "greater than" symbol over the t is intended to indicate the company's orientation to the future and their goal of exceeding client expectations.
Awards and Honors
- In 2013, the Ethisphere Institute designated Accenture as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the 6th time.
- The firm was named by Fortune magazine as one of the top 100 companies to work for in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
- In 2013, the firm was named 9th in the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc.
- In 2013, Corporate Responsibility Magazine named Accenture in the top 25 of their top 100 Best Corporate Citizens for the third consecutive year.
- In 2014, Accenture has been ranked at 339 in the Fortune Global 2000 list.
Notable Recent Projects
- Accenture was chosen to replace CGI Group as the lead contractor for HealthCare.gov in January 2014.
- Accenture was selected as lead contractor of the implementation of the United States Department of Homeland Security's biometric identity management program, called US-VISIT, in 2003. The contract was for ten billion USD over ten years. The program has since had its responsibilities split and reorganized into different federal departments.
- Accenture engaged in a very large and ambitious IT overhaul project for the National Health Service (NHS) in 2003, making headlines when it withdrew from the contract in 2006 over disputes related to delays and cost overruns. The government of the United Kingdom ultimately abandoned the project 5 years later for the same reasons.
- Accenture top 50 business intellectuals, a 2002 list compiled by Accenture
- Avanade, an IT consulting subsidiary of Accenture
- Bigtime Consulting, a webcomic parody based on Andersen Consulting, now known as Accenture
- WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, annual World Golf Championships sponsored by Accenture
- "About Accenture". Retrieved 12 April 2014.
- "Accenture profile: Pierre Nanterme". Accenture.com. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- "Accenture newsletter: Accenture names CEO". Accenture.com. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
- "Accenture named lead contractor for Obamacare website". Moneycontrol.com. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- "Accenture Annual Report". Google. Retrieved September 2013.
- "Accenture plc Company Profile - Yahoo Finance". Retrieved March 13, 2014.
- "Fortune Global 500 – The World's Biggest Companies - Accenture Profile 2011". CNN. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- "Accenture chosen as lead contractor of Obamacare website". Yahoo!. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- Mini Joseph Tejaswi, TNN Jul 18, 2012, 10.17AM IST (2012-07-18). "Accenture in India". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2013-08-10.
- "Accenture: The Growth of a Global Leader". Retrieved February 1, 2012.
- "Accenture – Company Profile – on Linkedin". Retrieved December 28, 2010.
- Manya A. Brachear (28 July 2005). "Obituary: Joseph Glickauf Jr. 1912-2005 Computer-consulting pioneer". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
- Martin, Mitchell (August 8, 2000). "Arbitrator's Ruling Goes Against Accounting Arm : Consultants Win Battle Of Andersen". The New York Times (New York City: The New York Times Company). Retrieved March 1, 2014.
- Andersen Consulting Changing Name To Accenture – Oct. 26, 2000; InformationWeek
- Accenture IPO gains in first trades – Jul. 19, 2001; CNN Money
- Information on Federal Contractors That Are Incorporated Offshore; United States General Accounting Office; October 1, 2002
- Dobbs, Lou (March 9, 2004). "Exporting America". CNN. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
- [dead link]
- "Accenture Newsroom: Accenture Announces Proposed Change of Incorporation to Ireland". newsroom.accenture.com. May 26, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
- "Accenture Industries". Accenture Industries. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- "Analyst Commentary: Accenture's digital push will boost consulting prospects". Professional Outsourcing Resources. January 3, 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- Rayana Pandey (December 5, 2013). "Accenture launches digital marketing capabilities. Should agencies worry?". Marketing. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- "Accenture Match Play Information Page". Accenture Match Play Information Page.
- Jennifer Pellet (August 1, 2005), Pursuing high performance: chief executives can, in fact, stay ahead of emerging global competitors. (211), Chief Executive (magazine), p. 66, retrieved October 13, 2013
- "Accenture cuts Tiger Woods sponsorship deal". BBC News. December 14, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
- Pulley, Brett (December 11, 2009). "Tiger Woods Disappears From Accenture Web Home Page". Bloomberg. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
- "accenture: Rebranding for the future". BusinessWorld. 8 January 2001. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- "WME Honorees". ethisphere.com. Ethisphere Institute. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- "Accenture - Best Companies to Work For 2013 - Fortune". Money.cnn.com. 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2013-06-10.
- "Accenture - Best Companies to Work For 2012 - Fortune". Money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2013-08-08
- "Accenture - Best Companies to Work For 2011 - Fortune". Money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2013-08-08
- "Accenture - Best Companies to Work For 2010 - Fortune". Money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2013-08-08
- "Accenture - Best Companies to Work For 2009 - Fortune". Money.cnn.com. Retrieved 2013-08-08
- "Accenture: No. 9 in the DiversityInc Top 50". DiversityInc. 2013-03-05. Retrieved 2013-06-10.
- "CRs 100 Best Corporate Citizens 2013". Corporate Responsibility Magazine. 2014-03-03. Retrieved 2014-03-03.
- "Accenture #339 on the Forbes Global 2000 List". Forbes. 2014-05-08. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
- "Accenture to quit NHS technology overhaul". The Guardian. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- "NHS pulls the plug on its £11bn IT system". The Independent. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
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