Scoring an A+ during COVID
From the first signs of the COVID-19 pandemic, this Accenture customer made a proactive decision in preparation of this unprecedented situation.
Their decision to move the finance and accounting operations to remote work paid off in the long run. This customer is a large high-tech company that manufacturers hardware globally and making this move was no easy task. But thanks to the foresight, swift planning and ingenuity of both organizations, the objective was executed with speed, agility, and success. The close collaboration meant both companies worked together in a productive way to deliver key business outcomes.
For many years, Accenture has collaborated with this company on its financial operations around the globe, covering everything from accounts payable and receivable transactions to closing the books each month, quarter, and year-end. Accenture professionals also assist the company with time and expense audits, procurement operations, purchase requisitions, and much more.
With the virus closing in during early 2020 and the financial quarter ending soon after, the company and Accenture knew time was of the essence in pivoting to remote operations, while also helping ensure business continuity.
Employees who normally headed to offices needed to be swiftly equipped with not only computers, laptops, and broadband access, but also security protocols and procedures – all while ensuring the health and safety of everyone involved.
The logistical challenges were complex. Some employees lived in bustling cities with numerous local Wi-Fi hotspots, while others, lived in remote or hard-to-reach locations.
Starting from early February, the company and Accenture met daily to prepare for a potential remote-working environment.
Early on, working together, the company identified the critical processes for business continuity, itemized lists, and developed plans ready to be implemented at a moment’s notice. All critical paths to business continuity were considered. Necessary computers were secured, while Accenture helped to provide other connectivity devices to keep people connected in the home.
In addition to equipping Accenture staff with the technology to go remote, they had to be trained on how to work efficiently and securely in this new environment, including training all levels of staff to be able do their jobs from home. Key to this was creating risk and mitigation plans for working with sensitive data.
The level of collaboration between the company and Accenture was unprecedented and remarkable. It began within the Accenture operations teams in the delivery centers, including Accenture’s IT joining forces with the companies’ IT team to ensure all systems could be deployed rapidly, with the appropriate hardware and client data protection for the transition.
Through both companies’ swift actions and adaptability, Accenture was still able to help the company close their quarter – both on-time and with the same level of accuracy it has always achieved. This was also completed without a single security breach, due to the systems, procedures and training protocols put in place early on.
The customer praised the speed and collaboration of the team, saying they had never seen anything like it with so many different organizations coming together to achieve such a great goal. The teams were enabled within a matter of days.
The mutual efforts of both organizations during the pandemic deepened this relationship by demonstrating a unique ability to balance execution and massive change at speed, paving the way for continuous improvements in the future.
During times of crisis, business relationships are tested, and this team came out with an A+.