Accenture PLC
Public company
Traded as NYSE: ACN
S&P 100 component
S&P 500 component
Industry Professional services
Technology services
Founded 1989 as Andersen Consulting
Headquarters Incorporated headquarters in Dublin, Ireland
Area served
Key people
Pierre Nanterme
Services Strategy, Consulting, Digital, Technology and Operations services[3]
Revenue Increase US$ 32.9 billion (2016 fiscal)[4]
Increase US$ 4.81 billion (2016)[4]
Increase US$ 4.35 billion (2016)[4]
Total assets Increase US$ 20.629 billion (2016)[4]
Total equity Increase US$ 8.189 billion (2016)[4]
Number of employees
384,000 (2016)[5]

Accenture PLC is a global professional services company and provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services. It has been incorporated in Dublin, Ireland, since 1 September 2009. It is a Fortune Global 500 company.[6] As of 2016, the company reported net revenues of $32.9 billion,[4] with more than 384,000 employees[5] serving clients in more than 200 cities in 120 countries.[7] In 2015, Accenture had about 130,000 employees in India, more than in any other country, about 48,000 in the US,[8] and about 50,000 in the Philippines.[9] Accenture's current clients include 94 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 5 July 2011. In 2016, Fortune magazine named it as the world's most admired Information Technology Services company.[11]


Formation and early years

Accenture began as the business and technology consulting division of accounting firm Arthur Andersen.[12] Arthur Andersen's first job in computer consulting came in the early 1950s, when the firm conducted a feasibility study for General Electric to install a computer at Appliance Park in Louisville, Kentucky.[13] In 1953, the firm urged GE to install a UNIVAC I computer and printer.[14] This system is believed to be the first commercial use of a computer in the U.S.[15] Joseph Glickauf, an early pioneer of computer consulting, held a position as head of Arthur Andersen's administrative services division.[13]

Splitting from Arthur Andersen

In 1989, Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting became separate units of Andersen Worldwide Société Coopérative (AWSC).

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.[16]

Emergence of Accenture

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.[17]

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’s initial public offering (IPO) was priced at $14.50 per share, and the shares began trading on the 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.[18]

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.[19] 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,[20] 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.[21] 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.[22] The government of the United Kingdom ultimately abandoned the project 5 years later for the same reasons.[23]

Ireland headquarters

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.[24]

Accenture was chosen to replace CGI Group as the lead contractor for in January 2014.[25] In December 2014, Accenture won a $563 million contract to provide ongoing maintenance, software development and technology support for through 2019.[26]

In July 2015 the United States Department of Defense 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.[27]

Services and operations

A worldmap showing the countries where Accenture has operations as of 2016

The company also operates a "National Security Services" business.[33]

Marketing, branding and identity

In 2011, Accenture launched a new campaign of results-based ads featuring clients such as Marriott, Unilever and the Royal Shakespeare Company alongside its slogan “High performance. Delivered”.[34] As of 2015, Interbrand ranked Accenture No. 42 on its list of best global brands. The brand consultancy noted Accenture's focus on branding and marketing of its Accenture Strategy, Accenture Consulting, Accenture Digital, Accenture Technology and Accenture Operations divisions.[35]

From at least 2005[36] 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.[37][38]

The company uses a standardised system of branding, with extensive use of the font Rotis SemiSans.[39]

From 1999, the firm's culture was parodied by the webcomic Bigtime Consulting, operated pseudonymously by its San Francisco-based employee James Sanchez.[40][41] 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.[42][43][44]

Recent awards and honours

Markup [hide]

See also


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  2. "Accenture newsletter: Accenture names CEO". Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  3. "About Accenture". Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Accenture Q4 FY2016 performance". Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  5. 1 2 "Q4 Fiscal 2016 (ended Aug. 31, 2016)". Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  6. "Fortune Global 500 – The World's Biggest Companies - Accenture Profile 2011". CNN. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
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  8. Marek, Lynne (27 February 2016). "Guess which Illinois company uses the most worker visas". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  9. Mini Joseph Tejaswi (2012-07-18). "Accenture in India". Retrieved 2013-08-10.
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  12. "Accenture To Add 500 Jobs in Chicago". WBBM-TV. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  13. 1 2 Brachear, Manya A. (28 July 2005). "Joseph Glickauf Jr. 1912-2005". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
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  18. Accenture IPO gains in first trades – 19 Jul. 2001; CNN Money
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  21. Archived 3 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. "Accenture to quit NHS technology overhaul". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  23. "NHS pulls the plug on its £11bn IT system". The Independent. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
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  26. Becker's Healthcare
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  31. Arik Hesseldahl (5 June 2013). "Former HP Labs Head Prith Banerjee Joins Accenture". All Things D. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  32. Stuart Lauchlan (25 September 2014). "Accenture's offensive on the $5bn digital opportunity". Diginomica. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  33. "Get Details on the Government Contracts Awarded to Accenture National Security Services, LLC". Government Spending. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  34. Elliott, Stuart (17 November 2011). "Accenture Calls on Clients to Help Make a Statement". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
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  37. "Accenture cuts Tiger Woods sponsorship deal". BBC News. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
  38. Pulley, Brett (11 December 2009). "Tiger Woods Disappears From Accenture Web Home Page". Bloomberg. Retrieved 6 August 2010.
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  40. "Bigtime Consulting archive". 'Bigtime Consulting'.
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