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Accenture : Everything you need to know

Headquarters address: 3 Grand Canal Plaza, Grand Canal Street Upper, Dublin, D04 EE70, Ireland
Year established: 1989
Size (number of employees): 710,000+ (about 10,000 Accenture Leaders)
Global locations: 200 cities in 50 countries
Revenue: $50.5 billion (FY2021)
Expertise: Professional services, consulting, information technology
Key people: Julie Sweet (chair & CEO), KC McClure (chief financial officer), Manish Sharma (chief operating officer)

 

About Accenture
Accenture is a New York Stock Exchange-listed (NYSE) global professional services company based in Dublin, Ireland. It provides a range of consulting, digital, cloud, and security services to over 7,000 clients in more than 120 countries. The industry giant currently lists 89 of the Fortune Global 100 and more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500 as clients, providing services in more than 40 industries categorised into five industry groups: communications, media & technology; financial services; health & public service; products; and resources.

As the world’s largest independent technology services provider, Accenture has become a leading partner to many of the ecosystem’s key players, including Adobe, Alibaba, Amazon Web Services, Blue Yonder, Cisco, Dell, Google, HPE, IBM RedHat, Microsoft, Oracle, Pegasystems, Salesforce, SAP, ServiceNow, VMWare, and Workday. Overall, the firm has more than 180 partners in its ecosystem. The company operates in three geographic markets – North America, Europe, and Growth Markets.

Accenture is listed in the S&P 100, Russell 1000 Index, and Fortune Global 500. As of 2022, it has approximately 8,200 patents and patents pending worldwide.

 

Services and operations|
Accenture’s business has five branches. These are:

  • Strategy and Consulting: Through this business, Accenture works with C-suite executives and boards to accelerate their organisation’s digital transformation via a range of business, technology, operations strategy and consulting services.
  • Song: Formerly known as Digital & Interactive, this branch offers digital marketing, analytics, and mobility services to clients worldwide.
  • Technology: This business focuses on software, implementation, delivery, and research and development and includes Accenture’s Technology Labs for emerging technologies.
  • Operations: Adopting an “as-a-service” model, this branch covers the company’s business process outsourcing (BPO), IT and cloud services, and managed operations.
  • Industry X: This combines Accenture’s digital capabilities with deep engineering and manufacturing expertise, helping clients “reimagine” how products and services are designed, sourced, manufactured, and serviced.”

 

Brief history

Accenture traces its roots to the accounting giant Arthur Andersen, operating as the firm’s business and technology consulting division in the early 1950s. In 1989, Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting became separate units of Andersen Worldwide Société Coopérative (AWSC). Throughout the 1990s, there was increasing tension between the two units, with Andersen Consulting paying Arthur Andersen up to 15% of its profits each year – a provision of their split – despite being in direct competition as the latter established its own business consulting service line.

This dispute came to a head in 1998 when Andersen Consulting put the transfer payment for that year and future years into escrow and issued a claim for breach of contract against AWSC and Arthur Andersen. In August 2000, with 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 settlement, the firm paid the sum held in escrow, worth $1.2 billion at that time and was required to change its name. It then changed its name to Accenture, which was derived from the phrase “accent of the future.”

On its initial public (IPO) offering in 2001, Accenture’s shares began trading on the NYSE, with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley serving as lead underwriters. On the first day of the IPO, Accenture raised almost $1.7 billion. In 2009, the company changed its place of incorporation from Bermuda to Ireland and would become Accenture plc.

Accenture would then grow to become the world’s largest professional services company, acquiring several leading businesses and forging partnerships with various corporate behemoths, including tech giant Apple Inc. By the end of the 2021 financial year, Accenture’s headcount had topped 624,000 while revenue reached $50.5 billion.

 

Leadership at Accenture

Julie Sweet – CEO
Sweet was appointed CEO in September 2019 and assumed the additional position of chair in September 2021. Prior to this, she served as CEO of Accenture’s business in North America – the company's largest geographic market. Sweet also held the role of the firm’s general counsel, secretary, and chief compliance officer for five years. Before joining Accenture in 2010, she was a partner for 10 years in the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.

Sweet serves on the World Economic Forum Board of Trustees and is board chair of Catalyst. She also serves on the board of trustees for the Center for Strategic & International Studies and for the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities – Bridges from School to Work. Sweet holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Claremont McKenna College and a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School.

She has been recognised as one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business and Forbes’s 100 Most Powerful Women in the World.

 

Culture at Accenture
In every city and industry where Accenture operates, its employees share one common goal – “to create 360-degree value everywhere by embracing change.” According to the professional services giant, this means “[making] a positive impact for all stakeholders and [helping] clients become the next and best versions of themselves.”

Part of this mission is the company’s commitment to its people, customers, and communities to “accelerate equality for all.” Accenture is ranked number one in the US in terms of diversity and inclusion and was named to the DiversityInc Hall of Fame.

“Our unwavering commitment to inclusion and diversity unleashes innovation and creates a culture where everyone feels they have equal opportunity,” Sweet stated on the company’s website.

Accenture is a firm supporter of gender equality, persons with disabilities, the LGBTIQ+ community, ethnic and racial diversity in the workplace, and mental health and wellness.

With regard to responsible business practices, the firm continues to build on its longstanding partnership with the UN Global Compact (UNGC) and commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a UNGC signatory since 2008, Accenture champions the SDGs with a focus on areas that are most relevant for its operations and stakeholders.

The company’s high priority SGDs are SGD5 Gender Equality, SGD8 Decent Work & Economic Growth, SGD9 Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure, SGD10 Reduced Inequalities, SGD12 Responsible Consumption & Production, SGD13 Climate Action, SGD16 Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions, and SGD17 Partnerships for the Goals. Its second priority SGDs are SGD3 Good Health & Wellbeing, SGD4 Quality Education, SGD6 Clean Water & Sanitation, and SGD7 Affordable & Clean Energy.

 

Accenture : In the news