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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]
David P. Rowland (CFO)
Jo Deblaere (COO)
Services Management consulting, technology services, outsourcing[1]
Revenue Increase US$ 31.87 billion (2014)[4]
Increase US$ 4.30 billion (2014)[4]
Increase US$ 2.95 billion (2014)[4]
Total assets Increase US$ 17.93 billion (2014)[4]
Total equity Increase US$ 5.73 billion (2014)[4]
Number of employees
336,000 (July 2015)[5]

Accenture plc is a multinational management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company.[1] Its incorporated headquarters have been in Dublin, Ireland since September 1, 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.[4] 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.[9] Accenture's current clients include 89 of the Fortune Global 100 and more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500.[10]

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 July 5, 2011.


Formation and early years[edit]

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. Joseph Glickauf, an early pioneer of computer consulting,[11] 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.[12]

Emergence of Accenture[edit]

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.[13]

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

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.[14]

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.[15] 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,[16] 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.[17] 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.[18] The government of the United Kingdom ultimately abandoned the project 5 years later for the same reasons.[19]

Ireland headquarters[edit]

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.[20]

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 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.[21]

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.[22]

Services and Operations[edit]

A worldmap showing the countries where Accenture has operations as of 2015 (coloured in grey)

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.

Operating Groups[edit]

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
  • Products
  • Resources
  • Health & Public Services

The five Operating Groups comprises 19 industry subgroups that focus on industry evolution, business issues, and applicable technologies.[23]

Growth Platforms[edit]

The second axis is the growth platforms, the functional or technical domains in which the firm provides services.

  • Accenture Strategy was launched in December 2013 to provide services about business strategy, technology strategy and operations strategy.[24]
  • Accenture Consulting was launched in June 2015 to provide technology, business and management consulting.[25]
  • Accenture Digital was also launched in December 2013 to provide digital marketing, analytics and mobility services.[26]
  • Accenture Technology focuses on technology solutions, implementation, delivery, research & development, and includes a Technology Labs arm for on emerging technologies[27]
  • 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.[28]

Marketing, branding and identity[edit]

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.[29] 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 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.[31][32] 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.[33]

Awards and Honors[edit]

  • In 2013, the firm was named 9th in the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc.[34]
  • In 2014, Accenture was recognised as a leader for Worldwide Cloud Professional Services by research firm IDC.[35]
  • In 2014, Accenture was recognized as Best Employer of 2014 in the Netherlands by national news paper NRC Handelsblad[36]
  • In 2014, the firm was named 12th in the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc.[37]
  • 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.[38]
  • In 2014, Accenture was ranked at 339 on the Forbes Global 2000 list.[39]
  • In 2015, the Ethisphere Institute designated Accenture as one of the World's Most ethical Companies for the 8th time.[40]
  • The firm was named by Fortune magazine as one of the top 100 companies to work for from 2009-2015.[41]
  • In 2015, Accenture was ranked at 322 on the Forbes Global 2000 list.[42]

See also[edit]

  • Accenture top 50 business intellectuals, a 2002 list compiled by Accenture[43]
  • Avanade, an IT consulting subsidiary of Accenture


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  2. ^ "Accenture profile: Pierre Nanterme". Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Accenture newsletter: Accenture names CEO". Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Accenture Financial Statements". 12 January 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "Accenture Fact Sheet". Accenture. 28 February 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "Accenture plc Company Profile - Yahoo Finance". Retrieved March 13, 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. ^ Mini Joseph Tejaswi, TNN Jul 18, 2012, 10.17AM IST (2012-07-18). "Accenture in India". Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  10. ^ "Company Description". Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  11. ^ Manya A. Brachear (28 July 2005). "Obituary: Joseph Glickauf Jr. 1912-2005 Computer-consulting pioneer". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ Andersen Consulting Changing Name To Accenture – Oct. 26, 2000; InformationWeek
  14. ^ Accenture IPO gains in first trades – Jul. 19, 2001; CNN Money
  15. ^ Information on Federal Contractors That Are Incorporated Offshore; United States General Accounting Office; October 1, 2002
  16. ^ Dobbs, Lou (March 9, 2004). "Exporting America". CNN. Retrieved May 3, 2011. 
  17. ^ [1][dead link]
  18. ^ "Accenture to quit NHS technology overhaul". The Guardian. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  19. ^ "NHS pulls the plug on its £11bn IT system". The Independent. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Accenture Newsroom: Accenture Announces Proposed Change of Incorporation to Ireland". May 26, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  21. ^ Becker's Healthcare
  22. ^ "Cerner, Leidos, & Accenture win massive $4.3B Defense Department EHR contrac". 30 July 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  23. ^ "Accenture Industries". Accenture Industries. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Analyst Commentary: Accenture's digital push will boost consulting prospects". Professional Outsourcing Resources. January 3, 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  25. ^ "Accenture Consulting". Retrieved 2015-09-02. 
  26. ^ Rayana Pandey (December 5, 2013). "Accenture launches digital marketing capabilities. Should agencies worry?". Marketing. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  27. ^ Arik Hesseldahl (5 June 2013). "Former HP Labs Head Prith Banerjee Joins Accenture". All Things D. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  28. ^ Stuart Lauchlan (25 September 2014). "Accenture’s offensive on the $5bn digital opportunity". Diginomica. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  29. ^ "Accenture Match Play Information Page". Accenture Match Play Information Page. 
  30. ^ 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 
  31. ^ "Accenture cuts Tiger Woods sponsorship deal". BBC News. December 14, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  32. ^ Pulley, Brett (December 11, 2009). "Tiger Woods Disappears From Accenture Web Home Page". Bloomberg. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  33. ^ "accenture: Rebranding for the future". BusinessWorld. 8 January 2001. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  34. ^ "Accenture: No. 9 in the DiversityInc Top 50". DiversityInc. 2013-03-05. Retrieved 2013-06-10. 
  35. ^ "Accenture Granted Leader Status by IDC". CloudWedge. 2014-10-09. 
  36. ^ "De winnaar van NRC Beste Werkgeversonderzoek is adviesbureau Accenture". Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  37. ^ "Accenture: No. 12 in the DiversityInc Top 50". DiversityInc. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  38. ^ "Corporate Responsibility Magazine" (PDF). Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  39. ^ "Accenture #339 on the Forbes Global 2000 List". Forbes. 2014-05-08. Retrieved 2014-05-08. 
  40. ^ "WME Honorees". Ethisphere Institute. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  41. ^ "Best Companies 2015". Fortune. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  42. ^ "Accenture #322 on the Forbes Global 2000 List". Forbes. 2015-05-08. Retrieved 2015-05-08. 
  43. ^ "Accenture Study Yields Top 50 ‘Business Intellectuals’ Ranking of Top Thinkers and Writers on Management Topics | Accenture Newsroom". Retrieved 2015-07-21. 

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External links[edit]