"We had a truly extraordinary year—as reflected in our outstanding financial results and in the 360° value we delivered beyond our financials for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities."
— Julie Sweet, Chair & Chief Executive Officer
Our financial results
We delivered record performance in fiscal 2021, with significant market share gains and strong profitability, driving superior shareholder value.
Twelve months ended August 31, 2021
An increase of 11% in local currency and 14% in U.S. dollars from fiscal 2020
New bookings $59.3B
Record bookings, an increase of 17% in local currency and 20% in U.S. dollars
Diluted earnings per share $9.16
A 16% increase from fiscal 2020. Excluding gains on an investment of $0.36 in fiscal 2021 and $0.43 in fiscal 2020, adjusted EPS of $8.80 increased 18% from fiscal 2020
Operating margin 15.1%
An expansion of 40 basis points from fiscal 2020
Free cash flow $8.4B
Defined as operating cash flow of $9.0 billion net of property and equipment additions of $580 million
Cash returned to shareholders $5.9B
Defined as cash dividends of $2.24 billion plus share repurchases of $3.70 billion
Comparison of cumulative total return
August 31, 2016—August 31, 2021
Accenture vs. S&P 500 Stock Index and S&P 500 Information Technology Sector Index
The performance graph to the right shows the cumulative total shareholder return on our Class A shares for the period starting on August 31, 2016, and ending on August 31, 2021, which was the end of fiscal 2021. This is compared with the cumulative total returns over the same period of the S&P 500 Stock Index and the S&P 500 Information Technology Sector Index. The graph assumes that, on August 31, 2016, $100 was invested in our Class A shares and $100 was invested in each of the other two indices, with dividends reinvested on the ex-dividend date without payment of any commissions. The performance shown in the graph represents past performance and should not be considered an indication of future performance.
Awards and recognition
FORTUNE World's Most Admired Companies
No. 1 in our industry for 8 years, marking 19 consecutive years on list
Interbrand Best Global Brands
No. 31, marking 19 consecutive years on list
Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and FTSE4Good Global Index
Ethisphere World’s Most Ethical Companies
14 consecutive years
Forbes Global 2000
No. 169, marking 18 consecutive years on list
CDP Climate Change A List
Fast Company World Changing Ideas Awards
FORTUNE Global 500
No. 258, marking 20 consecutive years on list
3BL Media 100 Best Corporate Citizens
No. 7, marking 13 consecutive years on list
Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index
4 consecutive years
FORTUNE/Great Place to Work, Best Companies to Work For
In Japan, Mexico, U.K., and U.S. and No. 8 on GPTW Best Large Workplaces for Women
Randstad Employer Brand Survey in Greater China
4 consecutive years
Disability:IN and American Association of People with Disabilities Disability Equality Index
5 consecutive years
Business Today India’s Coolest Workplaces
Among Top 10 for 10 consecutive years
Nikkei Top 100 Companies for Women in Japan
No. 1, highest result in 5 consecutive years
Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index
In Chile, Mexico and U.S.
Women's Career Index (FKi) in Germany
No. 1, marking 4 consecutive years on list
Asia Responsible Enterprise Awards in Philippines
Recognized in Investment in People category, marking 2 consecutive years on list
Refinitiv Diversity & Inclusion Index
Among Top 3 for 4 consecutive years
Accenture plc Class A ordinary shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ACN.
Our website address is accenture.com. We use our website as a channel of distribution for company information. We make available free of charge on the Investor Relations section of our website (investor.accenture.com) our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act"). We also make available through our website other reports filed with or furnished to the SEC under the Exchange Act, including our proxy statements and reports filed by officers and directors under Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act, as well as our Code of Business Ethics. Financial and other material information regarding Accenture is routinely posted on and accessible at investor.accenture.com. We do not intend for information contained in this letter or on our website to be part of the Annual Report on Form 10-K. This letter and our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2021, together constitute Accenture’s annual report to security holders for purposes of Rule 14a-3(b) of the Exchange Act.
Rights to trademarks referenced herein, other than Accenture trademarks, belong to their respective owners. We disclaim proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.
Forward-looking statements and certain factors that may affect our business
We have included in this letter "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Exchange Act relating to our operations, results of operations and other matters that are based on our current expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections. Words such as "will," "plan," "believe" and similar expressions are used to identify these forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict.
Forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions as to future events that may not prove to be accurate. Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecast in these forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties and other factors that might cause such differences, some of which could be material, include, but are not limited to, the factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q (available through the Investor Relations section of our website at investor.accenture.com) under the sections entitled "Risk Factors." Our forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this letter or as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update them, notwithstanding any historical practice of doing so. Forward-looking and other statements in this document may also address our corporate responsibility progress, plans and goals (including environmental matters), and the inclusion of such statements is not an indication that these contents are necessarily material to investors or required to be disclosed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, historical, current and forward-looking sustainability-related statements may be based on standards for measuring progress that are still developing, internal controls and processes that continue to evolve, and assumptions that are subject to change in the future.
Reconciliation of non-GAAP measures
This letter contains certain non-GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) measures that our management believes provide our shareholders with additional insights into Accenture’s results of operations. The non-GAAP measures in this letter are supplemental in nature. They should not be considered in isolation or as alternatives to net income as indicators of company performance, to cash flows from operating activities as measures of liquidity, or to other financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP. Reconciliations of this non-GAAP financial information to Accenture’s financial statements as prepared under GAAP are included in this report.
All amounts throughout this letter are stated in U.S. dollars, except where noted. Revenues for Strategic Priorities, including Cloud, Interactive, Industry X and Security, overlap so revenues for the same client arrangement may be included in multiple Strategic Priorities.