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Federal financial management: Services overview

Address complex challenges with complete finance and enterprise performance services.


What keeps federal CFOs up at night? Meeting pressing deadlines to become auditable. Addressing escalating compliance costs. Reducing improper payments. Streamlining financial operations. And that’s only the beginning.

What’s more, federal financial managers must meet these challenges amid tough mandates for transparency and accountability in a “do better with less” economy. Now more than ever, federal agencies urgently need to improve financial management, enhance stewardship of taxpayer dollars and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse.

Effective federal financial management means rethinking the role of finance and accounting —elevating it from a back-office function to a front-line resource for supporting business and mission goals. Accenture Federal Services brings deep financial management experience across government and the private sector to government. Our team is made up of more than 2,500 finance and accounting professionals in North America providing support to more than 5,500 finance-related projects worldwide. We offer comprehensive finance, accounting and performance management Federal solutions, including:

Accenture Finance and Accounting Operations [PDF] enhance Federal capabilities to provide tightly integrated, highly scalable accounting processes to lead agencies through tightening budgets, challenging audit-readiness milestones, and demanding improper payment targets.

Accenture Budget Formulation and Forecasting [PDF] helps Federal agencies improve budgetary and financial processes and develop strategies for better financial performance management.

Accenture Enterprise Performance Management [PDF] enables management teams to focus on enterprise performance, helping design and build scorecards, dashboards, analytic applications and robust reporting capabilities.

Accenture Enterprise Risk Management [PDF] delivers a high level, broad picture that shows all risks, controls and risk initiatives in a coherent framework.

Accenture Federal Analytics provide financial managers with cutting-edge tools to enhance their business practices in areas such as improper payment recovery and prevention, data mining, CFO dashboards, procure-to-pay process improvements and financial optimization.

Explore Accenture’s private sector finance and enterprise performance experience

Why Accenture

Accenture Federal Services has worked with some of the largest federal agencies to develop programs that have improved performance and yielded significant cost savings and measurable benefits. We combine a rich understanding of the federal environment and the broad knowledge of a recognized market leader in financial management consulting services, business intelligence, performance management services, systems integration and finance and accounting managed services.

With us, federal agencies can expect the advantage of:

  • Insight and flexibility to respond to legislative changes.

  • Deep federal industry knowledge for right-fit solutions.

  • Strategic alliances that connect agencies to leading tools and solutions.

  • Delivery excellence to meet stringent schedule and budget expectations.

  • Relevant cross-industry perspectives to bring emerging ideas to government.

  • Experienced professionals with strong skills and commitment to getting the job done.

As thought leaders in financial management, we connect clients to the latest thinking and research reports on pressing issues. Explore some of our newest content:

Specific Services

Accenture Federal Services provides fully integrated finance and performance management services to meet the needs of federal CFOs. We offer services in the following areas:

Finance and Accounting Operations

  • Shared Services

  • Internal Control Strategy

  • Cost Accounting Optimization

  • Finance Process Improvement

  • Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC)

  • Audit Readiness, Remediation, Sustainment

Budget Planning and Formulation

  • Budget Process Improvement

  • Budget and Performance Integration

Federal Financial Management

Enterprise Performance Management

Federal Analytics

Our foundation offerings include:

  • Cost Reduction Strategy

  • Finance Transformation Solution

  • Accenture Benchmarking Solution

Using Analytics to Improve Procure-to-Pay

Analytics can equip federal agencies to improve procure-to-pay processes and reduce wasteful spending.

With today’s heightened sense of fiscal responsibility, the pressure to improve the integrity and accuracy of the federal payments and the procure-to-pay (P2P) process is higher than ever. The Improper Payment Elimination and Recovery Act (IPERA) of 2010, signed by President Obama, has increased pressure to combat the $116 billion in improper payments (FY 2011) by establishing goals to prevent and recover these payments. As a result, there is more incentive than ever for federal agencies to improve their P2P processes and reduce wasteful spending.

Large federal procurement systems often lack the visibility and actionable feedback to improve the P2P process. Agencies are continuing to spend wastefully by retaining excess manual processes, maintaining inaccurate master vendor databases, and overlooking internal controls and vendor compliance.

Based on Accenture’s research, 40 percent of procurements exceed a “reasonable” price and 4 percent of vendors possess similar attributes to those banned from receiving government contracts. As a result, agencies are exposing themselves to price risk and avoidable over-payments, as well as working with untrustworthy vendors.

With P2P analytics, federal agencies can analyze and identify the root causes of improper payments and, therefore, prevent them. Analytics can address key business challenges such as vendor master clean up,payment term alignment, economies of scale, process efficiencies, compliance within internal controls, payment efficiencies and innovation, strategic cost reduction and preferred vendor spend analysis.

Accenture’s P2P analytics can help improve federal agencies’ processes and transform these challenges into opportunities for additional cash-in-hand revenue.

Agencies have historically monitored procurements based on “business rules” related to the individual dollar value of a contract. Accenture’s advanced analytic approach moves beyond simple business rules. Accenture uses a proprietary, flexible and highly automated technology platform to perform P2P analytics across the transaction lifecycle—from data extraction through report generation. Accenture analytics quickly process large volumes of data and accurately identify process inefficiencies that reduce manual effort. As a result, Accenture analytics provide comprehensive and detailed reports that combine insight and help drive value within agencies.

Accenture’s P2P analytics focus on three distinct and integrated service elements:

  • Available Cash—With the proper cash management strategies in place, agencies can identify misallocated funding and unlock it for more productive uses.
  • Process Effectiveness—The process effectiveness element of the procure-to-pay analytic tool can provide long-term value when appropriate process controls are put into place. Through the use of Accenture’s unmatched consulting workforce and vast analytical resources, P2P analytics will provide detailed answers as to whether the client’s processes are running at optimum levels. If not, P2P analytics can help improve margins, accelerate processing, eliminate errors and improve overall customer satisfaction.
  • Payment Accuracy—Accenture’s approach examines payment history and vendors to identify potential historical duplicate and erroneous payments. Our recommendations will identify root cause errors and justify the need for ongoing prevention of duplicate payments. Our approach also looks at historical performance, to include examining the vendor master database. P2P analytics can identify duplicate, active vendors with no activity and other problems in the vendor master file that can increase the chance of duplicate payments and other errors.

Related PDF:


Detecting Improper Payments with Dashboards

Turn raw data into real-time insight needed to modernize processes, identify improper payments and achieve immediate return on investment.

Performance improvement is more important than ever amid today’s heightened sense of fiscal responsibility. The Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (IPERA) of 2010, signed by President Obama, aims to combat the reported $116 billion in improper payments reported in FY 2011. The act holds federal agencies accountable, requiring them to review and report on major programs susceptible to improper payment. The act is part of the federal government’s effort to reduce improper payments by $50 billion by the end of FY 2012 and by $160 billion over the next decade.

Federal executives face significant obstacles in delivering quick, visible results with minimal costs. A general lack of transparency into and between systems makes it difficult for federal executives to see into their often large and complex business infrastructures. Vendor and payment information frequently reside on several non-integrated systems of record. Between departments in the same organization, information often varies, further impairing agencies’ ability to make timely decisions. The challenges are apparent, and agencies can be doing more to take the reins in reducing improper payments.

Accenture’s dashboard capabilities enable federal agencies to benefit by incorporating dashboards into their operations. Dashboards are social collaboration tools that provide better decision-making during the procure-to-pay process. Accenture delivers “dashboarding” applications that can be accessible to and interactive for select individuals, workgroups or departments.Critical payment matters in department-specific areas can be interactive, while the big picture remains unaffected. The data for different departments may vary, so the visualization applications can easily be changed and reassembled into new views for deeper understanding.

In addition to the typical standard and ad hoc reports, tables and graphs, the business intelligence capabilities contain various data visualization tools that can aid in identifying improper payments from list boxes, heat maps and geo-spatial maps.

The extensive use of data visualization enables dashboards to be more powerful than typical reporting tools. Making decisions with additional insight can lead to higher levels of performance, transparency and program accountability. Our experience can help expedite the build of tailored visual applications in as little as a few weeks. In one instance, Accenture deployed an internal audit dashboard for a multinational corporation in just 15 weeks. With rapid deployment, Accenture can help turn raw data into real-time information needed to modernize processes quickly, cost-efficiently identify improper payments and show immediate return on investment.

Proven technologies can help federal agencies make informed, calculated business decisions. For example, data visualization tools such as dashboards and modeling help highlight instances and root causes of improper payments.

Accenture implements dashboards with input from the decision maker and end user to ensure all internal and external data is used. Through Accenture’s process, we create an application that has key metrics unique and vital to an organization—not just traditional payment information.

Accenture’s user-friendly dashboards are intuitive so the end user can click and discover. The client will work smarter and faster since users can:

  • Uncover hidden trends, since dashboards are simple to use and incredibly powerful.

  • Have all available information in seconds, instead of performing repetitive calculations.

  • Improve information flow between employees, since dashboards can be accessed via the Web.

  • These benefits allow any organization to have a business intelligence tool that will lead to detection and prevention of potential improper payments.

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