Accenture plc (ACN) announced a deal win from UniCredit Bank last week. Per the deal, Accenture will manage UniCredit’s invoice management operations. UniCredit, one of Europe's leading commercial banks, has 9,360 branches across 22 countries. Financial terms of the contract were kept confidential.
Accenture will deliver its information technology service through a separate unit, which was formed in association with UniCredit. Apart from Accenture’s financial, accounting, management, consulting and IT capabilities, the new unit consists of UniCredit’s personnel and processes from the invoice-management department. The unit, Accenture Back Office and Administration Services, will be supervised by Accenture.
The Accenture Back Office and Administration Services unit will take up the job of efficiently managing invoice processes including accounts-receivable, accounts-payable, asset-management and expense-payments task. The idea of setting up the unit was mainly to help UniCredit in meeting highest industry standards for serving customers and business partners better. Accenture’s services will also bring down operating costs, which will help the bank to boost profitability.
Accenture’s association with UniCredit seems beneficial since it is expected to be a long-term business tie for its Accenture Back Office and Administration Services unit. We believe that the new unit’s success will help clinch similar deals going forward.
It is, however, not new for Accenture to set up a new unit to provide some specialized services. In an effort to better serve government clients, Accenture formed the U.S. Federal Advisory Board in 2012. The company has also invited experts with years of experience in Fed activities to join the board. This will provide Accenture more insight into the current requirements to deal with critical IT operations. It will also help the company to win more federal deals, going ahead.
Last week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury selected Accenture’s Federal Services unit to provide IT services to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for improving its customer services.
While Accenture’s prospects look bright, increasing competition from IBM Corp. (IBM), a strained spending environment and broad European exposure may temper growth to some extent.
Currently, Accenture has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). But not all stocks in the sector are performing as badly as Accenture. CRA International Inc. (CRAI) and Information Services Group Inc. (III), with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) are worth buying.
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