||It has been suggested that Accenture National Security Services be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since December 2014.|
|Traded as||NYSE: ACN|
|Predecessor||Andersen Consulting (1989-2001)|
|Headquarters||Incorporated headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.|
(Chairman & CEO)
David P. Rowland (CFO)
Jo Deblaere (COO)
|Services||Management consulting, technology services, outsourcing|
|Revenue||US$ 31.87 billion (2014)|
|US$ 4.30 billion (2014)|
|US$ 2.94 billion (2014)|
|Total assets||US$ 17.93 billion (2014)|
|Total equity||US$ 5.73 billion (2014)|
Number of employees
|323,000 (April 2015)|
Accenture plc is a multinational management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company. Its incorporated headquarters have been in Dublin, Ireland since September 1, 2009. It is the world's largest consulting firm as measured by revenues and is a Fortune Global 500 company. As of 2014, the company reported net revenues of $30.0 billion with approximately 323,000 employees, serving clients in more than 200 cities in 56 countries. In 2012 Accenture had about 80,000 employees in India, more than in any other country, about 40,000 in the US, and about 35,000 in the Philippines. Accenture's current clients include 89 of the Fortune Global 100 and more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500.
- 1 History
- 2 Services and Operations
- 3 Marketing, branding and identity
- 4 Awards and Honors
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 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.
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 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 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.
Accenture was chosen to replace CGI Group as the lead contractor for HealthCare.gov in January 2014. In December 2014, Accenture won a $563 million contract to provide ongoing maintenance, software development and technology support for HealthCare.gov through 2019. 
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.
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 19 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.
- Accenture Technology provides technology consulting and IT services, and focuses on research and development, including work on emerging technologies by its Technology Labs arm.
- Accenture Operations provides business process outsourcing (BPO) and infrastructure services.
Marketing, branding and identity
Accenture advertises in television, print, and in public places, such as airports, around the world. From 1999 to 2014, Accenture sponsored an international event called the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, part of the World Golf Championships. 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 firm was named 9th in the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc.
- In 2014, Accenture was recognised as a leader for Worldwide Cloud Professional Services by research firm IDC.
- In 2014, Accenture was recognized as Best Employer of 2014 in the Netherlands by national news paper NRC Handelsblad
- In 2014, the firm was named 12th in the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc.
- In 2014, Corporate Responsibility Magazine named Accenture 15th in their top 100 Best Corporate Citizens, marking the fourth consecutive year the company ranked in the top 25.
- In 2014, Accenture was ranked at 339 on the Forbes Global 2000 list.
- In 2015, the Ethisphere Institute designated Accenture as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the 8th time.
- The firm was named by Fortune magazine as one of the top 100 companies to work for from 2009-2015.
- 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
- "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 Financial Statements". Accenture.com. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- "Accenture Fact Sheet". accenture.com. Accenture. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- "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.
- "Company Description". accenture.com. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
- 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 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.
- "Accenture Newsroom: Accenture Announces Proposed Change of Incorporation to Ireland". newsroom.accenture.com. May 26, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2010.
- Becker's Healthcare
- "Accenture Industries". Accenture Industries. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
- "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.
- Arik Hesseldahl (5 June 2013). "Former HP Labs Head Prith Banerjee Joins Accenture". All Things D. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- "Technology: Services Overview". accenture.com. Accenture. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- Stuart Lauchlan (25 September 2014). "Accenture’s offensive on the $5bn digital opportunity". Diginomica. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- "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.
- "Accenture: No. 9 in the DiversityInc Top 50". DiversityInc. 2013-03-05. Retrieved 2013-06-10.
- "Accenture Granted Leader Status by IDC". CloudWedge. 2014-10-09.
- "De winnaar van NRC Beste Werkgeversonderzoek is adviesbureau Accenture". Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "Accenture: No. 12 in the DiversityInc Top 50". DiversityInc. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
- "Corporate Responsibility Magazine" (PDF). Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "Accenture #339 on the Forbes Global 2000 List". Forbes. 2014-05-08. Retrieved 2014-05-08.
- "WME Honorees". Ethisphere Institute. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "Best Companies 2015". Fortune. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
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