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Accenture PLC
Public company
Traded as NYSEACN
Industry Professional services
Technology services[1]
Predecessor Andersen Consulting (1989-2001)
Founded 1989
Headquarters Incorporated headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.
Area served
Key people
Pierre Nanterme
(Chairman & CEO)[2][3]
Services Management consulting, technology services, outsourcing[1]
Revenue Increase US$ 32.914 billion (2015)[4]
Increase US$ 4.435 billion (2015)[4]
Increase US$ 3.053 billion (2015)[4]
Total assets Increase US$ 18.266 billion (2015)[4]
Total equity Increase US$ 6.133 billion (2015)[4]
Number of employees
358,000 (August 2015)[5]

Accenture plc is a multinational management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company.[1] Its incorporated headquarters have been in Dublin, Ireland since 1 September 2009. It is the world's largest consulting firm as measured by revenues[6] and is a Fortune Global 500 company.[7] As of 2014, the company reported net revenues of $31.87 billion[8] with approximately 336,000 employees, serving clients in more than 200 cities in 120 countries.[9] 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.[10] Accenture's current clients include 89 of the Fortune Global 100 and more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500.[11]

Accenture common equity is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, under the symbol ACN, and was added to the S&P 500 index on 5 July 2011. In 2015, the Fortune magazine named it as the world's most admired Information Technology Services company.[12]


Formation and early years[edit]

Joseph Glickauf, an early pioneer of computer consulting,[13] held a position as head of Arthur Andersen's administrative services division.

Splitting from Arthur Andersen[edit]

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.[14]

Emergence of Accenture[edit]

On 1 January 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.[15]

Accenture's banner hanging on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) building for its initial public offering on July 19, 2001.

On 19 July 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.[16]

Bermuda headquarters[edit]

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.[17] The other three, unlike Accenture, were incorporated in the United States before they re-incorporated in a tax haven country, thereby lowering their US taxes. Critics, most notably former CNN journalist Lou Dobbs,[18] have reported Accenture's decision to incorporate in Bermuda as a US tax avoidance ploy, because they viewed Accenture as having been a US-based company.[19] The GAO itself did not characterize Accenture as having been a US-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.[20] The government of the United Kingdom ultimately abandoned the project 5 years later for the same reasons.[21]

Ireland headquarters[edit]

Accenture announced on 26 May 2009 that its Board of Directors unanimously approved changing the company’s place of incorporation to Ireland from Bermuda and would become Accenture plc.[22]

Accenture was chosen to replace CGI Group as the lead contractor for in January 2014.[8] In December 2014, Accenture won a $563 million contract to provide ongoing maintenance, software development and technology support for through 2019.[23]

In July 2015 the United States Department of Defence awarded a major Electronic Health Records contract to Cerner, Leidos and Accenture. The contract valued $4.33 billion will serve 55 hospitals and 600 clinics. Accenture federal services and Leidos will play the role of configuration specialist while Cerner is the prime contractor.[24]

Services and operations[edit]

A worldmap showing the countries where Accenture has operations as of 2015 (coloured in grey)
  • Accenture Strategy was launched in December 2013 to provide services about business strategy, technology strategy and operations strategy.[25]
  • Accenture Consulting was launched in June 2015 to provide technology, business and management consulting.[26]
  • Accenture Digital was also launched in December 2013 to provide digital marketing, analytics and mobility services.[27]
  • Accenture Technology focuses on technology solutions, implementation, delivery, research & development, and includes a Technology Labs arm for on emerging technologies[28]
  • Accenture Operations focuses on "as-a-service" model of service delivery. This includes business process outsourcing, IT services, cloud services, managed operations, security and infrastructure services.[29]

Marketing, branding and identity[edit]

An open event at Accenture's London office.
Interior of Accenture's Madrid office

From at least 2005[30] 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 his image. On 13 December 2009 after details of Woods' extra-marital affairs were exposed, the company terminated Woods' six-year sponsorship deal.[31][32]

The company uses a standardised system of branding, with extensive use of the font Rotis SemiSans.[33]

From 1999, the firm's culture was parodied by the webcomic Bigtime Consulting, operated pseudonymously by its San Francisco-based employee James Sanchez.[34][35] The comic operated a store offering merchandise branded with the names 'Bigtime Consulting' and 'Indenture'. Sanchez left the company in 2000 but continued to operate the comic for some years.[36][37][38]

Awards and honours[edit]

  • In 2013, the firm was named 9th in the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc.[39]
  • In 2014, Accenture was recognised as a leader for Worldwide Cloud Professional Services by research firm IDC.[40]
  • In 2014, Accenture was recognized as Best Employer of 2014 in the Netherlands by national news paper NRC Handelsblad[41]
  • In 2014, the firm was named 12th in the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc.[42]
  • 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.[43]
  • In 2014, Accenture was ranked at 339 on the Forbes Global 2000 list.[44]
  • In 2015, the Ethisphere Institute designated Accenture as one of the World's Most ethical Companies for the 8th time.[45]
  • The firm was named by Fortune magazine as one of the top 100 companies to work for from 2009-2015.[46]
  • In 2015, Accenture was ranked at 322 on the Forbes Global 2000 list.[47]

See also[edit]

  • Avanade, an IT consulting subsidiary of Accenture


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  2. ^ "Accenture profile: Pierre Nanterme". Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Accenture newsletter: Accenture names CEO". Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Accenture Financial Statements 2015". 24 September 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "Accenture Fact Sheet". Accenture. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "Accenture plc Company Profile - Yahoo Finance". Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Fortune Global 500 – The World's Biggest Companies - Accenture Profile 2011". CNN. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Accenture chosen as lead contractor of Obamacare website". Yahoo!. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Accenture Annual Report". Google. Retrieved September 2013. 
  10. ^ Mini Joseph Tejaswi, TNN 18 Jul 2012, 10.17AM IST (2012-07-18). "Accenture in India". Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  11. ^ "Company Description". Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  12. ^ "MOST ADMIRED 2015". Fortune. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  13. ^ Manya A. Brachear (28 July 2005). "Obituary: Joseph Glickauf Jr. 1912-2005 Computer-consulting pioneer". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  14. ^ Martin, Mitchell (8 August 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 1 March 2014. 
  15. ^ Andersen Consulting Changing Name To Accenture – 26 Oct. 2000; InformationWeek
  16. ^ Accenture IPO gains in first trades – 19 Jul. 2001; CNN Money
  17. ^ Information on Federal Contractors That Are Incorporated Offshore; United States General Accounting Office; 1 October 2002
  18. ^ Dobbs, Lou (9 March 2004). "Exporting America". CNN. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  19. ^ [1] Archived 3 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Accenture to quit NHS technology overhaul". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "NHS pulls the plug on its £11bn IT system". The Independent. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "Accenture Newsroom: Accenture Announces Proposed Change of Incorporation to Ireland". 26 May 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  23. ^ Becker's Healthcare
  24. ^ "Cerner, Leidos, & Accenture win massive $4.3B Defense Department EHR contrac". 30 July 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  25. ^ "Analyst Commentary: Accenture's digital push will boost consulting prospects". Professional Outsourcing Resources. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  26. ^ "Accenture Consulting". Retrieved 2015-09-02. 
  27. ^ Rayana Pandey (5 December 2013). "Accenture launches digital marketing capabilities. Should agencies worry?". Marketing. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  28. ^ Arik Hesseldahl (5 June 2013). "Former HP Labs Head Prith Banerjee Joins Accenture". All Things D. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  29. ^ Stuart Lauchlan (25 September 2014). "Accenture’s offensive on the $5bn digital opportunity". Diginomica. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  30. ^ Jennifer Pellet (1 August 2005), Pursuing high performance: chief executives can, in fact, stay ahead of emerging global competitors. (211), Chief Executive (magazine), p. 66, retrieved 13 October 2013 
  31. ^ "Accenture cuts Tiger Woods sponsorship deal". BBC News. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  32. ^ Pulley, Brett (11 December 2009). "Tiger Woods Disappears From Accenture Web Home Page". Bloomberg. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  33. ^ "Accenture Rotis Corporate Font Pack". Monotype. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  34. ^ "Bigtime Consulting archive". 'Bigtime Consulting'. 
  35. ^ Gardner, Jim. "Web satire causes Bigtime headaches for Andersen". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 22 November 2015. 
  36. ^ "Indenture Press News - BigTimeConsulting". Retrieved 2015-09-26. 
  37. ^ "James R. Sanchez (1968 - 2009)". Star-Telegram. 13 May 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  38. ^ "Customer Discovered Dead in Lifetime Fitness Pool". Local News Only. 16 Nov 2009. Retrieved 2015-04-26. 
  39. ^ "Accenture: No. 9 in the DiversityInc Top 50". DiversityInc. 2013-03-05. Retrieved 2013-06-10. 
  40. ^ "Accenture Granted Leader Status by IDC". CloudWedge. 2014-10-09. 
  41. ^ "De winnaar van NRC Beste Werkgeversonderzoek is adviesbureau Accenture". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  42. ^ "Accenture: No. 12 in the DiversityInc Top 50". DiversityInc. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  43. ^ "Corporate Responsibility Magazine" (PDF). Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  44. ^ "Accenture #339 on the Forbes Global 2000 List". Forbes. 2014-05-08. Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  45. ^ "WME Honorees". Ethisphere Institute. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  46. ^ "Best Companies 2015". Fortune. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  47. ^ "Accenture #322 on the Forbes Global 2000 List". Forbes. 2015-05-08. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 

External links[edit]