Challenge

Accenture is focused on simplifying its business processes by digitizing how the company operates. As part of the ongoing investment in digital performance business management, Accenture wanted to transform the forecasting process for the teams managing Accenture’s client accounts. For these teams, Accenture has developed a suite of intelligent information platforms that it continues to evolve, enhance and expand.

“Our objective was to shift from existing manual and offline client team forecasting to a secure, automated and real-time projection capability, with new insights and easy to leverage for both the client account teams and Accenture’s management,” states Greg Giesler, Managing Director – Finance.

The solution needed to transform the client forecasting process across five business lines spanning 40 industries for Accenture operations across 52 countries. It also needed to leverage the large volume of Accenture’s financial data to ultimately better inform and support business decisions, growth and development at an account and corporate level.

Strategy and solution

The initiative to develop a solution was an exemplary collaboration among teams from Accenture’s Finance, Client Account, Sales and internal IT organization. Grounded in user feedback and the teams’ deep experience in this area, the project team came together to reimagine the way in which client teams prepare and manage their client team forecasts drawing on Accenture’s skills in innovation, integration, analytics and automation.

The resulting Client Business Projection solution transforms the business process with an experience-driven, serverless, cloud-hosted application that leverages Accenture’s enterprise platform infrastructure to provide more immediate and relevant insight. The solution is integrated with Accenture’s enterprise applications and brings together client account actuals, backlog, pipeline and speculative data sourced directly from the systems of record.

Data is digitally stored, processes and tools are standardized, and routine offline activities automated. The solution automates the financial process in two ways. The first is by integrating data from disparate sources, eliminating the effort of each team compiling its own data. Now, formulas are automated, and teams get insights in real time. The second is by eliminating the manual preparation of data and a quarterly data upload process into a tool to populate the quarterly Accenture Client Corporate forecast.

Client Business Projection can be accessed directly or via the Manage myBusiness platform, and provides multiple, easy-to-navigate dashboards with drill-down capability to enable a new projection process. The solution creates current and forward-looking views of account financial performance to enable insights to optimize financial performance. Transparency of the underlying data leads to improved quality and thus more effective information not just in Client Business Projection, but in other management tools as well. Business life cycle and process management is holistic. The solution is a significant step change in managing and surfacing business performance analysis.

Transformation

Client Business Projection is transforming the way Accenture does business. Agile, digital and more accurate forecasting is driving value for the business. Data captured is turned into fast insights for fast decisions—all enhancing the ability to generate profitable growth for Accenture.

The client forecast process today is real-time, transparent and consumable. Accenture client account teams and leadership are benefiting from instant, account-level, current and future performance analytics to perform business projections. Team members and leadership can edit their projections, interact online and conduct continuous dialogue to identify the necessary actions to achieve plan/target and drive those actions across a client portfolio.

Client Business Projection is used by teams in all countries that Accenture does business in. In the first year of launch, more than 50,000 log-ins per month occurred and approximately 10,000 unique users were recorded. Account teams are retiring their complex spreadsheets, greatly reducing manual efforts and saving time on monthly batch data preparation. Teams are now able to do things in minutes, not hours and they no longer have to wait until the end of the month because the data is always available.

The deployment of Client Business Projection moves the account forecasting process from an involved, manual quarterly exercise to always-on, digital and analytics. “Client Business Projection is a step change in the way client account team users prepare, review and use business performance analysis,” notes Domingo Mirón, Group Chief Officer – Financial Services. “It is not a tool, it is the tool that helps client teams manage their business.”

Benefit highlights:

Data and insights

Data captured generates business indicators, trends and insights quickly—driving value to the business through fast data for faster decisions.

Integration

Leveraging the value of digital platforms by connecting assets, enabling automation and a foundation for the future.

Real-time

Contract and sales data is available at any time for analysis, insights and business decision making.

Transparency

Data is transparent to the client account and portfolio teams, which enables team communications and forward-thinking strategic and tactical actions.

Accuracy

As projection inputs are immediately visible there is an increased focus on data accuracy leading to an overall improvement in projection reliability.

Automation

Monthly financial process automation and data population greatly eliminate manual offline efforts, enabling teams to focus on analysis and action.

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