We use data and new technologies responsibly, including when we deploy artificial intelligence.
USE DATA AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES RESPONSIBLY
Data is a precious asset and resource for new technologies. Powered by that data, we—in collaboration with our clients and business partners—are better able to develop technologies which change the way the world works and lives. At the same time, we are entrusted by our clients and business partners to process their data, including data of their employees and customers. We take our role as guardian of that data very seriously. Provided we first obtain appropriate permissions, we are able to utilize that data to power advanced analytics and artificial intelligence for Accenture, our clients and business partners. In addition to complying with data privacy and other applicable laws and protecting data from unauthorized use or disclosure, we use that data—and related new technologies—responsibly and address ethical and legal considerations that may arise.
DEPLOY ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE RESPONSIBLY
When we deploy artificial intelligence in our organization we take responsibility for the governance, design, evolution, development, monitoring and performance of those systems. Our approach is to keep a human at the center of the processes associated with those systems. We ensure that we have a governance framework in place which allows for the decisions and actions taken by those systems to be seen as honest and fair. We develop systems that are secure, auditable, transparent and explainable—and result in outcomes which are consistent with our core values, Code of Business Ethics and policies.
We accurately report all hours worked and vacation hours taken, never ask or suggest that those under our supervision inaccurately report hours worked and submit accurate and legitimate business expenses within policy and the appropriate timeframe.
ACCURATELY REPORT ALL HOURS WORKED AND VACATION HOURS TAKEN
Time and expense reporting has a direct impact on our clients, Accenture and all of us. We each have a responsibility to record all time worked, to the appropriate charge codes, on time and reflecting our work locations. Also, time report reviewers are responsible for reviewing their reviewees’ time and expenses and raising any concerns.
SUBMIT ACCURATE AND LEGITIMATE BUSINESS EXPENSES WITHIN POLICY AND THE APPROPRIATE TIMEFRAME
Many of our clients have visibility into the expenses charged to their projects. When our spending is appropriate and demonstrates a commitment to adding value, we strengthen client relationships.
Follow expense policy and report expenses as they are incurred to enable timely client billing and accurate financial results. Correctly report expenses to be able to claim all applicable expenses and avoid delays in reimbursement.
We prepare and provide accurate, timely and complete financial disclosures and reports.
ACCURATELY DISCLOSE FINANCIAL INFORMATION
As a public company, Accenture must disclose financial and operational information to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, local authorities and regulatory bodies.
Everyone plays a part in accurate disclosure. Accenture’s financial disclosures rely on accurate business records, client invoices, time and expense reports and hours worked. Allow experts such as Investor Relations, Legal, Finance and Corporate Communications to respond to requests for information in their area of expertise to ensure consistent and appropriate communications.
We manage and dispose of business records according to Accenture’s standard timetable for retention, subject to contractual and other legal requirements, such as hold notices issued by Legal.
RETAIN BUSINESS RECORDS APPROPRIATELY
Identify, manage and dispose of business records according to Accenture’s standard timetable for retention—and in a manner consistent with the way in which we protect data and information.
The retention periods reflect applicable laws, regulations and good business practices. Contractual and other legal requirements, such as hold notices issued by Legal, may modify these retention periods.
Business records must be retained in the Manage myRecords system (“MMR”) or another Accenture-approved repository during the retention period.
We conduct all business travel in the most cost-effective, safe manner and we get the proper visas or work permits required for international business travel or assignments.
CONDUCT BUSINESS TRAVEL IN THE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE, SAFE MANNER
While travel is a necessary part of Accenture’s business, it represents a major company expense and time commitment. We are each responsible for evaluating every trip to ensure the expense is justified, is compliant with Accenture and local country rules and has the required approvals.
In lieu of travel, consider “virtual” alternatives, such as conference calls, web-conferencing, virtual meetings and other collaboration technologies wherever possible. In addition to reducing travel costs, the use of virtual alternatives also helps reduce the impact on the environment.
GET THE PROPER VISAS OR WORK PERMITS REQUIRED FOR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TRAVEL OR ASSIGNMENTS
We are responsible for complying with the immigration laws of the locations that we visit when conducting business. Failure to comply with immigration laws can have very serious consequences affecting each one of us, Accenture and its reputation and our clients.
When traveling internationally on behalf of Accenture, obtain all appropriate visas or work permits, required by law, prior to arrival in the country of travel. Seek the advice of People Mobility to determine visa or work permit requirements and do not travel on immigration advice from client personnel, colleagues, managers or any other parties if that advice is not confirmed by People Mobility.
We purchase goods and services based on their merits and ensure that supplier personnel (including contractors) who provide services to Accenture and our clients follow engagement, compliance and exit requirements and procedures.
PURCHASE GOODS AND SERVICES BASED ON THEIR MERITS
We are careful buyers. Accenture purchases goods and services based on price, quality, performance and suitability. We do not buy from our clients just because they buy from us. Accenture has assigned people to make decisions about purchasing, paying invoices and signing supplier contracts.
Use standard processes (including review of potential Business Intermediaries before entering into business with them) and preferred supplier contracts that have been put in place by our procurement organization. When entering new supply agreements, reasonably balance value and risk. When deciding to award work, consider a supplier’s environmental, ethical and diversity performance. Follow guidelines and obtain approvals for hiring former Accenture Leadership for contract services.
Avoid questionable transactions. Avoid transactions that may appear to be improper or illegitimate or that may misrepresent the accounting reports or results of any party to the transaction.
ENSURE THAT SUPPLIER PERSONNEL (INCLUDING CONTRACTORS) WHO PROVIDE SERVICES TO ACCENTURE AND OUR CLIENTS FOLLOW ENGAGEMENT, COMPLIANCE AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES
We hold our suppliers to high standards. Our suppliers must act in a manner consistent with Accenture’s Supplier Standards of Conduct, which is built on Accenture’s core values and advocates responsible business practices.
We comply and cooperate fully with investigations, litigation and audits; we let the professionals investigate and work only with authorized personnel; and we identify and preserve relevant information and protect confidential communications.
COMPLY AND COOPERATE FULLY WITH INVESTIGATIONS, LITIGATION AND AUDITS
Whenever you are involved in internal or government investigations, ongoing litigation or audits, cooperate fully with investigative instructions and tell the whole truth.
LET THE PROFESSIONALS INVESTIGATE AND WORK ONLY WITH AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL
Never initiate an investigation yourself—all requests to conduct internal investigations must be escalated to and authorized by Corporate Investigations or Global Asset Protection. Work only with authorized Legal personnel to respond to litigation or subpoenas (including client requests) or to requests from the government, law enforcement, external auditors or regulatory agencies.
IDENTIFY AND PRESERVE RELEVANT INFORMATION AND PROTECT CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS
Assist with the identification, collection and preservation of documents, data and information in connection with investigations, litigation and audits. Never conceal, change or destroy documents, data or information when you know of or anticipate an investigation, litigation or audit. Keep strictly confidential all information communicated in the course of an investigation, litigation matter or audit.