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Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?

 
#1 Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
03/12/2007 18:49

Anon

Hi

Could I have your views regarding choosing between Accenture, KPMG and E&Y BAS for a recent graduate?

My ambitions are to get into a top business school to get an MBA and then move to MBBB if possible. Unfortunately, despite good work experience, extra-curricular activities and a predicted 1st, all of the strategy consultancies have rejected. I should have gone to a different university. But never mind, time to look into future and not look back.

So, which of these three do you think would best set me up for a MC career with the top tier consultancies?

Thanks a lot.

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#2 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
03/12/2007 19:01

jim to Anon (#1)

Accenture Strat without a shadow of a doubt. Dont be foolish and go for an accounting company.

2 years at ACN, MBA and then you have a shot if its at a top school. Also, aim for a strong operating group i.e. strategy resources is very good, products is not.

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#3 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
03/12/2007 20:05

anon to jim (#2)

I'd second that. Despite what you might read on here Accenture are thought of quite highly and many people leave to go on to top mba programmes, not just those in strategy either.

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#4 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
03/12/2007 21:13

fd to anon (#3)

Would 3rd that. At KPMG most of the new grads in 'advisory' are essentially doing the more boring bits of an audit. Which is fine, good quality work if that's what you're into, but consulting it ain't.

In addition, the pay and pay development is woeful.

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#5 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
04/12/2007 09:29

Peter to fd (#4)

ACN Strategy is the answer. Its really a cut above the accounting firms even it its not McKinsey

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#6 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
04/12/2007 09:50

JStone to Peter (#5)

I am in the same position at the first poster 'Anon'.

I see this discussion is leans heavily towards promoting Acc...

Is this becasue jim, anon, fd and peter all work for Acc?

It would be good to hear what firms you do work for - and if it is not Acc then why you think Acc is superior?

However, I suspect you all work for Acc?? and if so, how can you be sure that Acc is superior to the 'accounting firms' (as you call them) having no experience in their strategy divisions?

Any insight would be v helpful :)

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#7 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
04/12/2007 10:37

James to JStone (#6)

JStone and Anon, could you please explain the interview process for Accenture strat?

Thanks

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#8 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
04/12/2007 10:41

Peter to JStone (#6)

James, please dont try to divert the discussion.

I have actually worked for Deloitte in their Strategy & Operating division and ACN Strat so I have a pretty good idea of the difference between the "quasi accounting" and "consulting" cultures. Choose the latter.

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#9 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
04/12/2007 11:21

anon to Peter (#8)

I'm the anon from above. I do work for accenture and have been in interviews with people who were applying from the big 4 accounting grad schemes to work here because the work they were doing was too accounting oriented as opposed to management consulting.

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#10 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
04/12/2007 12:25

merlin to anon (#9)

I worked for Acn Strat - when it used to be called SBA, and then moved into IB.

My opinion is that its a great trampoline to other things in your life and fantastic place to start your career. That said i wouldnt stay there forever, and i left after 2 years.

The only other big company that has a semi reputable strategy division is Deloitte - but again thats focused heavily on CDD rather than strategy.

EY and KPMG do not do strategy at all.

Also, if its an mba you want to do, go to the MBA shcools recruiting websites and see what firms recruit at harvard, lbs etc. Accenture will always be there with MBBB. PWC, EY and KPMG no.

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#11 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
04/12/2007 13:10

Anon to merlin (#10)

I'm the original poster. Thanks a lot for all the feedback.

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#12 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
12/12/2007 16:11

MAXAMILLION to jim (#2)

Accenture is a TECHNOLOGY Consulting and OUTSOURCING service provider. Strategy is not core. Pure Strat = Bain or McK!!!

Anyway, what's with the focus on "Strategy"....realistically, it's just a sexy word and in all honesty, whether you're in Strat or Management C or Tech within one of these firms, everyone still ends up digging the same sH+t.

Reality Check.

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#13 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
12/12/2007 18:20

ANON to MAXAMILLION (#12)

Accenture has end to end capabilities, from strategy/management consulting to systems integration to building technology. To demonstrate this spectrum/division, ACN charges higher rates for strategy/MC high-value consulting and lower rates for SI as a general principle. The value to the client for all work is high, but clearly the high-value consulting work deals with higher level decision makers and more definitive organizational impacts.

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#14 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
13/12/2007 14:52

mac to ANON (#13)

"Accenture has end to end capabilities, from strategy/management consulting to systems integration to building technology. To demonstrate this spectrum/division, ACN charges higher rates for strategy/MC high-value consulting and lower rates for SI as a general principle. The value to the client for all work is high, but clearly the high-value consulting work deals with higher level decision makers and more definitive organizational impacts."

Please tell me you work in Marketing - this is hilarious.

You'll be stealing Steve McClaren's hard-earned Plain English award!

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#15 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
13/12/2007 15:01

martin to mac (#14)

I think it means 'Accenture does everything but charges more money for more complicated work'.

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#16 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
13/12/2007 15:16

anon to martin (#15)

The Accenture bashing is getting a little old anyway.

I think the bitter people are those that were rubbish, got relegated to delivering IT systems and never really got access to the good stuff.

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#17 RE: Accenture Strategy, KPMG or E&Y BAS?
13/12/2007 17:56

Frog to anon (#16)

Not exactly new news but there's a lot of misconceptions around consulting labels.

"Strategy" for instance covers a lot of ground. Most companies use the top branded strategy houses for the high risk corporate direction stuff - to ensure the quality as the risk/return of overall direction change massively outweighs operational or business unit strategy changes. In reality most consulting firms overlap in the services they offer - broad, multiple business unit reviews across large companies are often more profitable than short corprate reviews for strategy houses!! Post merger work, organisation redesign etc. all make up a lot of the revenues for most high end branded consulting companies - and I've worked at and alongside several. All have different approaches, sector and functional strengths - so where the hell does all this snobbery come from? If you respect your colleagues, get a load of stretch and get recognised by clients for exceptional work (remuneration is also a factor for most methinks)......

No wonder this broad definiton of strategy blurs the whole company distinction

is the level that the MBB firms, other strategy boutiques (Roland Berger, OC&C), Accenture, IBM, CapGemini etc. and the Big 4 accounting firms are competing for. Deloitte has a strong strategy practice, last year split off from Operations, PWC focuses mainly on transaction strategy and through its market team experience (by industry) but has a massive audit base in the UK that causes problems, EY has a range of different strategy services (BAS has a strategic advisory group called SP), TAS does various M&A and other commercial due diligence etc.), KPMG do the same TAS stuff, have industry experts but mostly do higher end advisory around outsourcing advice etc. (which MBB, and smaller boutiques as well as sole traders do too).

The criticisms of Accenture that I think are really founded are:

- That a lot of it's strategy talent left a couple of years ago and it's regrown through recruiting from industry etc. which has taken away a lot of the edge that it had historically. A few alumni that I know fondly recall the old Andersen Consulting Strategy days.....

- Another criticism of Accenture recommendations is that they inevitably lead to large system-implementations....but then that's where a lot of the benefit can come from....can't it!?!?!?!

- Oh and then there's how they treat the people....

So, to end this, be precise and think about what you want from a career in "strategy".... If you're a new grad do you want to do endless spreadsheets based in the office (corporate strategy) or shoot for a more client-facing, client office-based role in business strategy? Or would you take a functionally-led strategy (finance, sales, supply chain) through implementation? Most consulting firms can offer different elements of this and have relative strengths. In my view (if you haven't got bored already) ask others where they think your strengths lie and get out there and find the RIGHT firm for you.

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