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Accenture Wikipedia

Accenture plc
TypePublic limited company
Traded asNYSE: ACN
IndustryProfessional services, technology services
Predecessor(s)Andersen Consulting (1989-2001)
HeadquartersDublin, Ireland
Area servedWorldwide
Key peoplePierre Nanterme

(Chairman & CEO)
ServicesManagement consulting, technology services, outsourcing
RevenueIncrease US$ 28.6 billion (2013, net)
Operating incomeIncrease US$ 4.338 billion (2013)
Net incomeIncrease US$ 3.281 billion (2013)
Total assetsIncrease US$ 16.867 billion (2013)
Total equityIncrease US$ 4.960 billion (2013)
Employees280,000 (2014)
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 280,000 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.

Accenture was chosen to replace CGI Group as the lead contractor for in January 2014.

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

      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.

      Andersen Consulting's change of name was fortunate, as it avoided damage to its reputation later, when Arthur Andersen was effectively dissolved as a result of its role in the Enron scandal.

      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

      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.

      Bermuda headquarters

      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."

      Ireland headquarters

      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.


      A worldmap showing the 54 countries where Accenture has operations as of 2012 (coloured in blue)
      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.

      Operating Groups

      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 Service

      The five Operating Groups comprises 39 industry subgroups that focus on industry evolution, business issues, and applicable technologies.

      Growth Platforms

      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.


      • Pierre Nanterme - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
      • David P. Rowland - Chief Financial Officer
      • Jo Deblaere - Chief Operating Officer

      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. "The company has made significant strides in its talent-development efforts for people from underrepresented groups. Accenture has metrics-driven succession-planning programs and special training and education for high-potential employees, especially women."

      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.


      • In 2014, students and employees at the University of Texas marched in protest of a university plan to partner with Accenture that they claimed would cut 500 jobs.

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