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Accenture helped this electrical utility company simplify and standardize its financial processes and information management architecture model to provide a scalable platform for future growth.
Gaining a single view of its financial organization has supported greater effectiveness, helping the client exceed the cost-reduction targets in the original business case and helping it progress toward high performance.
This US-based Fortune 500 company serves 4 million customers in five US states and six Latin American countries. It operates diverse power-generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.
Ongoing Accenture High Performance Business research shows a strong correlation between a high-performance business and mastery of the finance function and its supporting enterprise systems. This electrical utility recognized that finance mastery would be critical to its long-term performance.
In 2005, the company began a financial reengineering program to address legal and regulatory compliance issues, audit concerns and Sarbanes-Oxley deficiencies. The client also sought to shorten the time taken to close the books at the end of each reporting period through process improvements and create a scalable platform for growth. After a merger with another utility company, integrating the financial systems of the two companies added additional complexity to the project scope.
The client teamed with Accenture because of our industry insights, deep systems integration skills and experience in finance reengineering and information management. In addition, Accenture brought proprietary tools and methodologies to speed up solution implementation, strong alliances with the company’s technology service providers and a proven commitment to helping clients achieve high performance.
Accenture worked with the client to create a new finance capability that would affect more than 5,000 users. During phase one of the project, Accenture professionals helped to bring together the financial data of both companies into a data hub to enable compliant financial reporting upon completion of the merger.
In phase two, Accenture and the client upgraded the financial systems and implemented a scalable architecture and platform for future growth. This effort involved several major Oracle upgrades and essential technology components from Oracle Hyperion, Informatica, Microsoft, PowerPlant and SAP BusinessObjects. In addition, the client reengineered its accounting code block, simplified the chart of accounts, redefined the standard reports, improved allocations processes and built custom training for ongoing learning support.
Accenture also helped the company to complete its spin off of its gas operations and conclude its merger, integrating the other company onto the new financial transaction processing platform in fewer than 12 months.
By leveraging Accenture Delivery Methods and the Accenture Delivery Centers in Mumbai, India, and Manila, the Philippines, Accenture was able to field a highly skilled, cost-effective team that helped to complete the program on time and within budget.
With Accenture’s help, the electrical utility has simplified and standardized both its financial processes and information management architecture model to provide a scalable platform for future growth. The new financial data hub serves as an information integration point to help ensure consistent data quality, improve reporting capabilities and establish financial controls. The client has gained a single financial view of the organization and improved finance activities such as faster closing of the books and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
Finance and operations employees are now able to focus on more strategic activities, improving employee morale while reducing costs beyond the company’s original business case. In addition, an outsourcing arrangement with Accenture is helping the company to manage costs and improve systems on an ongoing basis.
The client has been able to leverage Accenture’s record of success, program management skills and industrialized technology solutions to achieve its financial reengineering objectives—and make progress along its journey to high performance.
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