Challenge

Like many other major airlines at the time, Delta Air Lines faced rising fuel costs, declining passenger traffic and intense competition from low-cost carriers back in 2004. Delta took aggressive actions to reduce costs and sought a partner to help enhance quality, improve service levels and compliance, and reduce costs. The company chose to outsource its finance and accounting functions in 40 countries to Accenture.

Delta freed up working capital and reduced costs by more than $1.7 million

What Accenture did

Accenture implemented a set of tools, standard processes and automation technologies that improved visibility, service levels and overall control of Delta's finance processes. By optimizing payment terms and schedules, Delta freed up working capital and reduced costs by more than $1.7 million.

"Accenture really understood our needs—and helped us understand how we can optimize our accounting/transactional processes. The team’s commitment to continuous innovation means that we are able to implement more efficient and effective processes."

—RONDA HEAD Director, Transaction Processes, Delta

Value delivered

Accenture helped consolidate activities across 18 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) into a single service center in Prague, Czech Republic. The arrangement proved such a success that in 2010 Accenture expanded to serve Delta across Asia Pacific and the United States from a second center in Manila, Philippines after which the arrangement was further extended in 2016 for another 7 years.

Accenture now serves 40 Delta markets in 14 languages. In EMEA and APAC, Accenture provides finance and accounting functions related to accounts payable, financial accounting, billing, reconciliation and accounts receivable. For the United States, Accenture provides purchase order creation, corporate billing, cash application and airline-specific processes. Accenture Services employees skilled in Lean Six Sigma methodologies created additional value by analyzing payment term set-ups in the vendor master system to reduce early and immediate payments. The business enhancement team also optimized the payment schedules, helping to reduce payment runs and bank charges for the airline.

Over the 13-year outsourcing arrangement, Accenture has helped Delta continually enhance service levels, improve cash flows, increase compliance, and reduce costs associated with managing its finance and accounting operations. Thanks to the analysis of payments, Accenture has helped Delta free up working capital and reduce costs by more than $1.7 million. Accenture has implemented a set of tools, standard processes and automation technologies that have improved visibility, service levels and overall control of Delta's finance processes. Most importantly, Delta's outsourcing arrangement with Accenture is allowing the company to focus on running a highly competitive airline.

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