CLIENT CASE STUDY


Accounting Shared Services Case Study: Marriott transforms hospitality finance and accounting operations

Marriott International has moved its finance organization from disparate people, processes and technology to a common and shared service called Marriott Business Services.

Overview

Accenture worked with Marriott for over 15 years to develop the most sophisticated shared services capability for Finance and Accounting in the hospitality industry.

Opportunity
Looking to lower costs and streamline processes, Marriott began exploring the possibilities to work in a new way in 1995. The company was pursuing a centralized accounting system for Marriott operations. Yet property types and brands had nothing near this level of sophistication.

Each had their own finance and accounting staff using different technology systems and following different policies and procedures—most of which were highly manual and labor-intensive. The company was looking for ways to further enable a global growth agenda while making ownership more attractive.

Solution

“There were so many moving parts to this. Accenture brought tremendous business and technical skills to the Marriott Business Services journey, and that was critical in helping us figure things out and unlock value.”

— Michael Cullen, Senior Vice President, Shared Services, Marriott Business Services

The combined Marriott-Accenture team worked together from the earliest stages of the MBS program—dubbed Project Mercury—from building a business case and planning design to build out and change management.

Committed to maximizing the impact of MBS after Project Mercury, the Marriott-Accenture team collaborated on ten successful projects since.

These projects focused on areas including expanding service offerings, broadening geographic and brand reach, establishing more shared services centers and retiring legacy environments.

Results

As MBS evolved, it continued to deliver significant business value. Working as a pioneer, Marriott built a hospitality-centered platform that addresses a broad scope of property finance and accounting services. The company successfully trained up a team of skilled professionals highly capable of handling off-property hospitality finance and accounting processes.

The shared services center was itself a high-touch one, offering Marriott hotels the kind of customer service they provided their guests.

In September 2013, Marriott Business Services transferred to Accenture and Accenture became the sole provider of Finance and Accounting services to Marriott International and several of its properties around the world. Accenture now offers the hospitality market the same level of service excellence and industry know-how as Accenture Hospitality Services.


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