If you’re looking for an exciting career in management consulting, Accenture Strategy could be the place for you. With revenues of $43B in 2019, Accenture has grown at a 13.5% rate from 2015-2020. And with that growth, it has pivoted from a traditional consulting firm to one that dominates the digital world. Accenture is a powerhouse in the consulting industry, providing clients with end-to-end services across strategy, consulting, technology, digital, and operations.
The focus of this article will be on Accenture Strategy, a critical piece of the overall Accenture organization. It is focused on working with top client executives to shape organizational strategies and define how they can be delivered.
What Is It Like To Work At Accenture Strategy?
Accenture is massive – over 500,000 people in 200 cities across 51 countries and various service lines. The culture can differ dramatically from one part of the organization to the other. As a result, Accenture maintains what it calls a ‘culture of cultures’. This enables different parts of the organization to define, cultivate, and embrace their own ways of working.
Regardless of where in the organization you sit, one of the perks of working at Accenture is the firm’s commitment to its core values. Accenture core values – fairness, openness and honesty, equality, and stewardship – are clearly exhibited on a daily basis.
The culture in Accenture Strategy tends to be collegial, collaborative, and supportive. Strategy is a tight-knit community due to the relatively small headcount, the unique project work, and the fast-paced work environment relative to the rest of Accenture.
Within Accenture Strategy, there are three broad groups – business strategy, technology strategy, and functional strategy. Across all groups, there is an opportunity for further specialization by industry. When a new analyst or post-MBA consultant joins the firm, they typically join as a generalist with an ability to work across these areas. After a period of roughly 18-24 months, analysts and post-MBA consultants are expected to align to a focus area. This is where they will continue to gain deeper experience and expertise.
Accenture operates at the intersection of business and technology. While the firm engages in the full spectrum of strategy work – growth, competitiveness, M&A, operating model design, and so on – much of the project work is infused with digital or technology. This can be in the form of targeted digital engagements – such as creating a digital strategy for a Chief Digital Officer. Or it could look like having digital embedded in other work. For example, crafting artificial intelligence or robotic process automation recommendations to support competitiveness work.
Work at Accenture Strategy has historically targeted Chief Technology Officers. However, with the increasing importance and prevalence of digital topics, Accenture’s relationships and project work have broadened significantly. They now encompass other parts of the C-suite – in particular, CMOs and CDOs.
At Accenture Strategy, work-life balance is project-dependent. So your workload can be cyclical in nature, with some weeks being quite busy and others including more downtime. At Accenture Strategy, the busy weeks could reach 70+ hours, while the light weeks could be as low as 40-50 hours. On average, Accenture Strategy consultants work 50-60 hours per week. Hours are roughly in line with those at other large consulting firms (for example, Deloitte), and better than those at MBB.
Perks Of Working At Accenture
Working at Accenture Strategy comes with several perks. If you need more answers to the question ‘why work for Accenture Strategy?’ the following list of benefits may convince you:
Employee share purchase plan – ability to purchase company stock at a discounted price (10% discount to share price)
Health and benefits – comprehensive plans with insurance, extended health, dental, and so on.
Corporate discounts – discounts at several partner and client organizations
Minimal work travel – the firm employs a regional market-based model that prioritizes staffing resources in their local area
All of these things can add up to a great reason why to work for Accenture consulting!
Things To Be Aware Of
Accenture Strategy, despite being 8,000 people strong, is a relatively small part of the firm of 500,000+ people. The firm’s size can occasionally feel daunting since Strategy is only a small microcosm of the larger entity. In addition, there are times when processes can feel overly bureaucratic. Thus, the strategy group can feel less nimble and flexible when compared with smaller strategy pure-plays or boutiques.
Accenture Strategy is sharply focused on all things digital and technology, which is evident in its up-front strategy, as well in the down-stream execution work. For those who like this focus, working at Accenture is the ideal career path.
Accenture is undergoing an operating model transformation – called the new growth model – which will place Accenture Strategy in a combined group called “Strategy & Consulting.” The new group officially launched in 2020. However, meaningful changes to roles below the Managing Director are not expected to occur in the near term.
Accenture Strategy is an exciting practice area within Accenture. This area opens up more big-picture work as compared to what the rest of the firm offers, yet still gives consultants the opportunity to become technology leaders. The practice area provides a closer knit community than the rest of the company, and travel is limited as well with the regional staffing model. If you like technology and helping businesses innovate, then Accenture Strategy might just be the place for you!