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PA or Accenture??

#1 PA or Accenture??
04/03/2008 21:21

grad joiner


I am trying to decide between Accenture (Information Management Services) and PA (Business & Information Tech Practice) graduate positions.

If anyone can offer pros and cons for either I'd greatly appreciate it!

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#2 RE: PA or Accenture??
04/03/2008 21:25

ZB to grad joiner (#1)

Ohhh..that's a really difficult question. I think some serious cojitation is required here.

Face it pal, there are both nonsense roles, what on earth do you think these roles:

Information Management Services: to use the vernacular...copy/paste data

You bleary-eyed grads are all the same: delusions of grandeur


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#3 RE: PA or Accenture??
04/03/2008 21:39

grad joiner to ZB (#2)


I have seen a number of posts from you on this forum and have to ask why you bother? You don't seem to have anything constructive to say!

Were you never a grad yourself? You certainly seem to have a serious chip on your shoulder.

For your information bleary suggests fatigued, tired or worn out. None of which could be used to describe me.

But I am sure your itching to tell me otherwise

Your wisdom is impressive

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#4 RE: PA or Accenture??
04/03/2008 21:55

rollercoaster to grad joiner (#1)

Do you want a structured scheme or fend for yourself?

If the former go to A, if the latter go to PA.

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#5 RE: PA or Accenture??
04/03/2008 22:07

grad joiner to rollercoaster (#4)

thanks rollercoaster. what do you mean by fend for yourself? is that a negative or positive description?

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#6 RE: PA or Accenture??
04/03/2008 22:18

Anon to grad joiner (#5)

Be a 'self-starter' in interview speak.

negative or positive depends on you. Some people prefer one model over the other.

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#7 RE: PA or Accenture??
04/03/2008 22:28

grad joiner to Anon (#6)

thanks, i think i get what you mean.

do you know if i one offers better prospects of career progression than the other? although i presume that depends on the person!

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#8 RE: PA or Accenture??
05/03/2008 02:47

Anon to grad joiner (#7)

If you're a go-getter then you can go far in PA. If you fancy coasting for a while then ACN all the way. Up to you my son.

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#9 RE: PA or Accenture??
05/03/2008 07:54

miserable git to Anon (#8)

I assume you are asking this because you actually have offers and not because you are thinking of sending the forms in. Assuming relatively equal offers (a grand or two here or there means nothing in the long run), the above posts are accurate.

ACN means longer hours and inevitable move towards technology. PA equals broader range of projects. ACN is probably more established and stable but people from ACN can be typecast in the open market. Personally, I would back PA every time in this one. Down the line, you do not seem to be prejudiced for or against. PA is a decent company, not world beaters, but a place where you will get good experience and be judged on your abilities afterwards.

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#10 RE: PA or Accenture??
05/03/2008 13:25

PA-er to grad joiner (#1)

This has been answered correctly by someone above but I will say it again anyway :

If you are a self-starter, good network-er, want more flexibility in your work, but willing to go more than the extra mile then go for PA.

If you like structure, the anonymity which comes with working in a huge organisation, more recognised brand name and a very rigid career path then ACN will work for you.

Both are very different organisations and though I work for PA, I wouldnt say one is better than the other. Each person has to make their own choice. I know people who have moved out of PA after 2 years because it isnt their thing, and I know the same about ACN too.

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#11 RE: PA or Accenture??
05/03/2008 14:24

Neter to PA-er (#10)

I know from speaking to recent joiners that ACN is undergoing structural change from a governance and organisational perspective. I'm not sure what provoked the leadership into this, but I suspect that they are re-evaluating thier fundamental business model in terms of focusing on thier business capabilities and market demand. There seems to be a dicotomy between the internal competencies and the business capabilities that ACN is perceived to have. This coupled with stagnant growth in core operations and on-going emergence of new-players which are eating into ACN's market share means that it is important for ACN to refocus and decide whether it strives to provide value with operational efficiencies, cost reduction and improved financial management or whether it goes for strategic growth on a risk-adjusted basis.

I'm wondering if anyone has any views on this

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#12 RE: PA or Accenture??
05/03/2008 14:44

anon to Neter (#11)

Sorry, I'd give some comments/views, but I fell asleep halfway through reading that

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#13 RE: PA or Accenture??
05/03/2008 18:05

moron to Neter (#11)

none of what you wrote actually means anything might as well pull out a dictionary and vomit on it

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#14 RE: PA or Accenture??
05/03/2008 23:01

down to moron (#13)

If you were a footballer, would you choose to join Fulham or Derby?

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#15 RE: PA or Accenture??
06/03/2008 06:23

engage your brain to down (#14)

So who are the Manchester United's of IT consultancy then? This isn't an MBBB conversation, please start a topic on who the elite of PowerPoint monkeydom are if you wish to brag about how great you are.

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#16 RE: PA or Accenture??
06/03/2008 09:06

Ian to engage your brain (#15)

As an outside observer, I would say that Accenture’s structured training, global brand name, and the size and quality of their clients would beat little old PA, who are mainly focussed on the UK public sector, any time

I don’t work for either company

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#17 RE: PA or Accenture??
06/03/2008 12:21

PAer to Ian (#16)

Whilst PA does a lot of government work - as do most other consultancies - it's a common misconception on here that that's all they do. They work for some of the world's biggest names - again, just like other consultancies.

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#18 RE: PA or Accenture??
06/03/2008 13:30

BOPper to PAer (#17)

World’s biggest names?? What, like Southwark Council or the DLO?

In BOP over 60% of our staff are working on public sector jobs. Our two UK partners are addicted to selling to the government and just can’t get any quality private sector client. We’ve now got a partner dedicated to selling work in Dubai, and he too just seems unable to sell anything other than public sector jobs.

The problem is not specific to BOP, though. Look at the Financial Services practice: most of their staff are also working on “strategically important” government jobs.

Don’t get me wrong … plenty of people like working in the public sector. The hours are good, and theres very little travel or time away from home, but it will add nowt to your CV if you ever want to work outside PA.

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#19 RE: PA or Accenture??
06/03/2008 14:48

Hi BOPer to BOPper (#18)

...well why don't you get off your backside and go and FIND some work that you do want to do. Sitting around waiting for the partners in your practice to sell the work you want to do is not the PA way.

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#20 RE: PA or Accenture??
06/03/2008 15:37

BOPper to Hi BOPer (#19)

Oh yes – that sort of warm caring attitude to staff development and satisfaction explains why we have such low staff turnover and PA is soon to become the largest consultancy in the world.

Ho ! Ho ! Ho !

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#21 RE: PA or Accenture??
06/03/2008 17:07

123 to BOPper (#20)

FYI BOPper, virtually all FS staff are deployed in sector. PS you come across as a whinging loser

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#22 RE: PA or Accenture??
06/03/2008 17:35

123 to BOPper (#20)

FYI BOPper, virtually all FS staff are deployed in sector. PS you come across as a whinging loser

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#23 RE: PA or Accenture??
06/03/2008 17:44

BOPper to 123 (#22)

No - they're not. Why tell lies, or call names?

Sometimes the truth hurts

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#24 Hi 123
08/03/2008 08:10

BOPper to BOPper (#23)

Hey Dave - get real... half of FS are working either on crap jobs in the public sector.

Why deny this? This is why you've got such huge staff turnover in FS, and are hiring anyone who puts in an application and are hiring anyone who turns up to interview

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#25 RE: PA or Accenture??
09/03/2008 12:17

ex-ACN to grad joiner (#1)

Pros/cons mostly depend on the projects you are assigned to.. and your roles.

Life can be great at certain times and suck at other times. But in overall, people are the best thing at Accenture. I dunno anything about PA.

I left ACN last year to do an advertising job at an ad agency, but I still miss ACN.

I did quite a lot about information management services (data mining, business process).. there are both boring time-consuming tasks and intellectually interesting ones.. If you join ACN, your life can be depending on project needs, your skills, your demands, etc..

PS: ACN revises their business models every few years.. I think this is good and important for high tech industries.

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#26 RE: PA or Accenture??
10/03/2008 09:34

another pa person to ex-ACN (#25)

The nature of BOPs work lends itself more to public sector. No surprise they do more of that stuff. Completely off topic in terms of the practice mentioned by the topic starter though. PA does work for some big named clients, they just don't let whingers like you get a sniff of them.

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#27 RE: PA or Accenture??
10/03/2008 15:09

Anon to another pa person (#26)

I feel I need to lend support to BOPper. I'm in a PA IT practice and am continually disappointed at our lack of quality work in the private sector.

Our partners are effective at farming long term public sector accounts, but do not have the inclination or contacts to win big in the private sector. Occassionally you'll get an Associate Partner (ie experienced hire who joined at partner level) who brings good ideas and account initatives but is gone within 6 to 12 months.

In addition, the reward mechanism at PA strongly favours those who can sit out a year (or longer) in a (typically) public sector job. If you work on 3 or 4 smaller jobs in a year, you will struggle to make utilisation target, even if you have a very short space between the projects.

At PA you will often hear partners admit that as a company "we are farmers not hunters" when it comes to account management.

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#28 RE: PA or Accenture??
10/03/2008 15:37

on the other hand to Anon (#27)

...that reward mechanism is a key reason why we are consistently delivering excellent profits and returns to shareholders. Sure, we'll never be huge and won't do many large systems rollouts in the private (or public for that matter) sectors, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. We'll never beat the Indians / Accenture / IBM etc at SI and we shouldn't want to.

There are some great projects out there, you just need to keep developing your network so that the right partners / MCs want to keep working with you. This takes time, effort, skill and a certain amount of luck but you have to take control.

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#29 No way PA
10/03/2008 18:37

Handyman to on the other hand (#28)

I wouldn’t really consider joining PA. They are too small to compete for any major private sector jobs, so the PA partners usually just bottom fish around, feeding off public sector clients like FireControl and TfL.

The company also don’t invest in thought leadership, or marketing. Have a look at their outdated website. It’s a joke

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#30 RE: No way PA
10/03/2008 19:02

Beardyman to Handyman (#29)

I agree with you handyman - I hear that some practices have officially frozen recruitment due to utilisation issues.

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#31 RE: No way PA
10/03/2008 20:07

anon to deleted (#0)

I had the same dilema as the original poster (ACN or PA). I joined PA.

Stayed for 2 years, within which I learnt alot and worked for a number of clients, both public and private sector under my belt. The result was a did a number of small assignments and only just hit or missed my utilisation targets, despite getting either 3's or more usually 4's on my assignment reviews.

I left and walked into a job in corporate strategy which is very well paid compared to consulting and offers me large levels of responsibility.

Would this have been the case after 2 years at ACN, don't know. The range of projects I had completed and the responsibility I had within them definetly helped me within interviews.

I didn't overly enjoy my time at PA and it is interesting to read the points on here about public sector bias and how you get credit for sitting on boring jobs to hit your utilisation targets (both of which ring true).

To the original poster, there are still interesting jobs in PA. If you are viewing consulting as a stepping stone to something else then knowing what you want to get out of the experience helps you focus within PA on getting the right roles.

This may be at the expense of maximising renumeration, though career progression can be rapid. In the end a job in industry offered me both not the ongoing compromise that PA would have meant for another 2 years.

On a more pragmatic level the graduate training is good as is other training at PA. You also tend to be part of small teams so can get greater exposure to clients and issues.

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#32 RE: No way PA
10/03/2008 22:00

Anon to anon (#31)

Whilst I do find this forum quite entertaining to read sometimes, there is quite a fundamental flaw in the advice that is generally given. Consulting, within an organisation, and across the industry, is extremely varied and as such it is hard (in my opinion) to give a balanced or 'typical' answer. The experiences of two consultants who work in the same team (let alone compnany) can and tend to be extremely different.

I personally work for PA. What people tend to write on here about PA may be true in there experience (and I discount this is no way), but most of it hasn't been true in my experience.

For example;

Public Sector work - I have been at PA for three years and have done exclusively private sector work. I have been off the clock for 3 weeks and have been on 5 different assignments, from corporate strategy working directly with CEO's to large scale programme management. 3 of which have been FTSE 100 companies.

FS have no clients. Check the IST contribution; the FS IST contributes over 10% of the firms revenue and most of my clients have been FS.

Pay isn't good - I have worked for 7 years and this year will take home more than 100k (including bonus). Some may say this is not good, but in my opinion it's fine.

Again, I am not saying this is typical, or discounting views of others. Simply suggesting that the experiences people have in companies can be very different and people shouldn't think they represent what it's like for all.

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#33 RE: No way PA
11/03/2008 12:10

Car mechanic to Anon (#32)

Your choice depends on what you want out of your career: PA will always tick along slowly, with long term government “transformation” jobs. They were one of the only companies not to have major redundancies in the last consulting downturn. The Ford Mondeo of consulting – reliable, comfortable, but not particularly life changing.

Accenture are at the other end of the spectrum – High pressure, and high turnover, with a global brand name for your CV, and some top notch Fortune 1000 clients. More at the Ferrari end of the scale

It all depends on your attitude toward risk

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#34 RE: No way PA
11/03/2008 12:54

dave, yeah? to Car mechanic (#33)

ACN = Ferrari? Yerravinalarf

ACN = Subaru.

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#35 RE: No way PA
11/03/2008 14:42

ZB to Car mechanic (#33)

Excuse me pal,

ACN = Ferrari ??

What stuff have you been smoking? ACN = process improvement, change management, IT transformation, SAP, SI charlatans.

Tell me someone in ACN at the Board level of any reputable, global company. Face it pal:

ACN = mediocre, boring and the employees: exasperating.


Nb: The Eurasian plate is an area of key strategic and political interest fo global primacy and hegemony

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#36 RE: No way PA
11/03/2008 21:45

It is a small world to ZB (#35)

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears

It’s a world of hopes, and a world of fears

There’s so much that we share that it’s time we’re aware

It’s a small world after all!

It’s a small world after all!

It’s a small world after all!

It’s a small world after all!

It’s a small, small world!

There is just one moon and one golden sun

And a smile means friendship to everyone

Though the mountains divide and the oceans are wide

It’s a small world after all!

It’s a small world after all!

It’s a small world after all!

It’s a small world after all!

It’s a small, small world!

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#37 RE: No way PA
11/03/2008 23:39

grad joiner (original poster) to It is a small world (#36)

thanks to everyone who replied.

i guess what i am looking for is the job that will give me the best career options/prospects and at this stage in my life (21) it is hard to know if that will be that within the company, within consulting or some other line of work

would i be right in saying that while PA may offer a more interesting experience Accenture offer a better "brand name" for my CV if i wish to move on (and out of consulting)?

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#38 RE: No way PA
12/03/2008 09:44

Scooby to grad joiner (original poster) (#37)

A good synopsis ! Good luck with your choice

My vote would be for ACN

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#39 RE: No way PA
12/03/2008 12:55

anon to grad joiner (original poster) (#37)

re. brand name

Most people will have heard of ACN, not everyone will have heard of PA. That said if they have been on the recieving end of PA advice then it may position you in a stronger position, it did with me. However I moved into a medium size but rapidly growing company, not a bluechip one.

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