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Accenture: From Andersen Consulting to Global Leader

Formation and Early Years

Accenture traces its roots back to the early 1950s when it operated as the business and technology consulting division of accounting firm Arthur Andersen. During this time, Accenture conducted a groundbreaking feasibility study for General Electric (GE) to install a computer at Appliance Park in Louisville, Kentucky. This study led to GE’s installation of a UNIVAC I computer and printer, marking one of the first commercial uses of computers in the United States.

Split from Arthur Andersen

In 1989, Andersen Consulting (as it was known then) and Arthur Andersen became separate units of Andersen Worldwide Société Coopérative (AWSC). Tensions grew throughout the 1990s as Andersen Consulting paid up to 15% of its profits annually to Arthur Andersen. Simultaneously, Arthur Andersen established its own business consulting service line, competing directly with Andersen Consulting. The dispute escalated, leading to a complete break in contractual ties between Andersen Consulting and AWSC in August 2000.

Emergence of Accenture

Following the split, Andersen Consulting rebranded itself as Accenture. The name “Accenture” was coined by combining “accent” and “future.” This new entity focused on providing information technology (IT) services and consulting. Over the years, Accenture expanded its service offerings and geographic reach, becoming a Fortune Global 500 company. Its clients now include 91 of the Fortune Global 100 and over three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500.

Contributions and Services

Accenture’s success lies in its ability to help businesses build their digital core, optimize operations, accelerate revenue growth, and enhance citizen services. With 742,000 employees across more than 120 countries, Accenture combines technology expertise with industry experience. Its services span Strategy & Consulting, Technology, Operations, Industry X, and Song (a broad range of capabilities).

Financial Highlights

  • Revenues (FY23): $64.1 billion (an 8% increase in local currency).
  • Adjusted EPS (FY23): $11.67 (a 9% increase over FY22).
  • GAAP EPS (FY23): $10.77 (a 1% increase).
  • Investment in R&D and Training (FY23): $2.4 billion.
  • Cash Returned to Shareholders (FY23): $7.2 billion.

Top Stock Holders

While specific stockholders may vary, Accenture’s shares are publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol ACN. You can find detailed information about major holders on platforms like Yahoo Finance.

Accenture’s journey from its origins as a consulting division to its current position as a global leader exemplifies resilience, innovation, and adaptability. As technology continues to shape our world, Accenture remains at the forefront, creating tangible value for clients, shareholders, and communities alike.

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