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Accenture Delivering Value in a Complex World The Next Battleground for the Finance Organization in the Netherlands - Feb 2013
 

Accenture Delivering Value in a Complex World The Next Battleground for the Finance Organization in the Netherlands - Feb 2013

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Accenture Delivering Value in a Complex World The Next Battleground for the Finance Organization in the Netherlands - Feb 2013

Accenture Delivering Value in a Complex World The Next Battleground for the Finance Organization in the Netherlands - Feb 2013

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    Accenture Delivering Value in a Complex World The Next Battleground for the Finance Organization in the Netherlands - Feb 2013 Accenture Delivering Value in a Complex World The Next Battleground for the Finance Organization in the Netherlands - Feb 2013 Document Transcript

    • Delivering Value in a Complex WorldThe Next Battleground for the Finance Organizationin the NetherlandsHigh Performance Finance Study
    • ContentsForeword 3Executive Summary 4Finding #1: Driving business value 6Finding #2: Developing the finance workforce 8Finding #3: Managing risk 10Finding #4: Balancing finance costs and innovation 12Conclusion 13Implications for the future 14About the Research 15
    • ForewordFor almost ten years, Accenture has studied the concept of “high-performance finance”,beginning with the simple question: Does finance really matter to an enterprise’soverall growth, competitiveness and ability to be a high-performance business?Overwhelmingly, our research confirms the significant potential impact of financeon overall enterprise performance. We have now expanded the scope of our originalresearch with a Netherlands-specific study, in order to better understand the impactof local differences, influences and circumstances.Our original study explored the relationship Our recent findings show, perhaps This research has also sought to gainbetween overall enterprise performance and surprisingly, that finance teams have more insight into how the Dutch financethe finance function, and demonstrated a substantially improved their capabilities community specifically is faring in themore than 70 percent correlation between in recent years, and that there is now less context of our global high performancehigh performance in finance and overall high variability in the maturity of fundamental finance study. Even though the Dutchperformance in business and government. It accounting capabilities across the finance market is faced with many of the samealso identified specific ways in which high- sector. For the first time, we have also challenges as the global market, the presentperformance finance teams actively drive surveyed the “customers” of the finance study has identified a number of differencesoverall enterprise performance, acting not function; that is, the senior executives in the priorities and approaches of Dutchsolely as accountancy service providers, but and government officials who run the financial organizations – some driven byas bona fide “business partners”. Obviously, organizations that finance teams support. local environmental factors, and some bya high-performance finance team has its We found a high degree of alignment differences in the culture or focus of theaccounting operations and capabilities well between the perspectives of these Dutch finance community.in hand. But it can further contribute to “customers” and those of finance executives,overall business performance by shaping a in terms of what finance teams are currently I would like to thank the participants of ourbroader business culture in which financial doing to drive business results, where they study – those who responded to our survey,knowledge, metrics and analysis are pervasive. can improve, and what should be their and those who added depth and richness toIn this way, it can help to ensure that the priorities for the future. Given that the past our findings with their perspectives duringdecision-making process is informed at all several years have presented the most personal interviews – for their time andlevels by sound financial thinking, to the challenging business environment we have valuable insights. We hope you find thisultimate benefit of both the business and its seen in some time, we think this alignment study useful as you craft a strategy forshareholders. – and the broad satisfaction expressed by moving your finance organization forward. the “customers” of the finance function – is We certainly live in interesting times, andSince our original study, we have been both notable and commendable. it is those finance leaders who respond withcontinuously refining our perspective on vision, conviction and effective execution thathigh-performance finance through rigorous Our research also highlights the intense will define the standard for high performanceresearch. Our current research program pressures that a variety of factors place on in the years to come.commenced in 2011, in the midst of what today’s finance organization, and that createhas been characterized as a period of a more complex environment in which topermanent economic volatility. It is therefore operate. Drawing on our interviews with Best regards,a significant object of our current research finance and other senior executives, theto define High Performance Finance in these experiences of the organizations in ouruncertain times, and to understand how research we identified as “finance masters,”contemporary events are shaping the and Accenture’s own extensive client Bart Deckersfinance agenda for today and tomorrow. experience, we present guidance on possible Lead Finance & Enterprise Performance investments CFOs can make that can help Benelux their finance organization address these challenges and strongly support the larger enterprise as it looks to reignite growth and high performance across the business. 3
    • 4 | High Performance Finance Study
    • Executive SummaryTo say the world has changed in the past few years would be anunderstatement. Since Accenture last conducted its global High PerformanceFinance Study in 2008, we have seen a fundamental restructuring of the globaleconomy and, with it, massive changes in the challenges faced by companiesand governments and the ways in which they must do business.In this increasingly volatile and complex The data from the global surveys was 3. Dutch CFOs plan only limited investmentenvironment, the CFO has become one of complemented by in-depth qualitative in Risk Management capabilities, despitethe CEO’s most vital partners in keeping a interviews with chief financial officers their limited satisfaction with the way thecompany on track. Finance efficiency goals (CFOs) and chief operating officers (COOs). capabilities are currently dealing with theare important as ever but in addition In collaboration with the Alex van present economic volatility andcapabilities for financial forecasting and Groningen organization, the preliminary complexity.assessing the potential impact of both outcomes of the Dutch study were thenstrategic options and key risks have also discussed by over 30 finance executives 4. Dutch CFOs may have to rethink theirbecome crucial for the profitability and in three sessions. focus on finance cost reduction andgrowth of an enterprise. selectively invest in capabilities to drive The study resulted in four key findings: more business value.To identify the consequence for the financefunction in these uncertain times, the Dutch 1. Dutch finance organizations are good at These four key findings will be described inHigh Performance Finance study aimed to reporting and analyzing existing more detail below.investigate the current concerns and level performance, but lag in driving futureof performance of finance organizations in business value.the Netherlands in comparison to the globalHigh Performance Finance study. Online 2. Finance workforce management appearssurveys were conducted with 56 Dutch undervalued at a time when Dutch CFOssenior finance executives, 530 international are challenged to develop new capabilities,peers, and approximately 300 C-level operate more efficiently, and add morecustomers of finance (CXOs). business value. 5
    • Finding #1Dutch finance organizations are good at reporting and analyzing existingperformance, but lag in driving future business value and partnering with thebusiness.• Dutch finance organizations appear • Dutch finance organizations anticipate Move to a future value-focused satisfied with current performance little impact from the increasing volume organization management and reporting capabilities, of available data. In contrast, relatively with 63% indicating advanced capabilities twice as many global finance executives as Developing more advanced, forward-looking in this area (10% points above their global Dutch finance executives expect increased finance capabilities requires a refocusing peers). However, their focus is more data availability to offer significant of time and capacity within finance exclusively financial. Less than one-third opportunities to better support the organizations. Earlier research (Figure 1) of the Dutch finance executives surveyed business. This is also reflected in the fact shows how high-performing finance actively report non-financial measures, that, at present, almost 60% of global organizations tend to direct analytical compared to over 55% in the global peer finance executives possess capabilities manpower and resources less to data group. to report and analyze their business collection and reporting and more to insight performance at will, compared creation and interaction with decision-• While almost half of the global finance to only 38% in the Dutch study. makers. masters are identifying growth opportunities for their organizations, only a fifth of the Dutch finance community are doing the same. Business partnering• Just over a third of Dutch finance The ability of finance organizations to drive executives consider their organizations to future value is closely linked to their drive have advanced Planning and Budgeting to become more effective business partners. capabilities – well below the global peer The ability to manage the future value of group, of whom two-thirds indicate the business requires the finance organization advanced capabilities in these areas. to be deeply engaged with the business and understand its fundamental drivers. Overall,• Dutch planning and forecasting practices Dutch CFOs do not assess their Finance remain, as yet, quite traditional. Whereas organization strategy as being particularly a fifth of the global peer group and a advanced (they lag 18% behind their global quarter of finance masters apply driver- peers). Developing a finance strategy that based and rolling forecasting capabilities, effectively combines the development of only 9% of the Dutch finance organizations core finance functions with business apply these more advanced practices. partnering capabilities is key.6 | High Performance Finance Study
    • Figure 1: Finance Masters have found ways to allow analytical departments to focus more time on value-added analyses instead of onoperational data processing (Axson, David A.J., Best Practices in Planning and Performance Management, Wiley, New York, 2010)Common Finance mastersMonday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Other Other Activities Collecting Activities Developing data Reports Interacting Interacting Collecting Collecting Maintaining Performing Performing Strategic with Decision with Decision data data Spreadsheets Analysis Analysis Initiatives Markers Markers Performing Maintaining Developing Analysis Personal Spreadsheets Reports Development 7
    • Finding #2Finance workforce management appears undervalued at a time when Dutch CFOsare challenged to develop new capabilities, operate more efficiently, and add morebusiness value.8 | High Performance Finance Study
    • Finding #1 emphasized that Dutch finance Figure 2: NL top-3 workforce management practicesteams can work harder to drive future valueand partner with their businesses. This 1. Real time critical feedbackrequires, however, that the finance workforcedevelop new skills, behaviors, and 2. Formal finance competency modelsmanagement capabilities.• Globally, finance executives rate around 3. Employee satisfaction surveys 49% of their workforce capabilities as Global NL 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% being at an advanced or leading practice level. Dutch finance organizations, on the other hand, lag some 15% behind, rating 34% as advanced. Advanced workforce Figure 3: Global top-3 workforce management practices management capabilities, such as comprehensive competency models, can 1. Competitive salaries and benefits be better developed, as can the state of education across the enterprise on critical 2. Performance based rewards finance concepts (by effective workforce development programs).• Dutch finance executives choose a set of 3. Innovation and collaboration practices to develop their finance Global NL 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% workforce that are strikingly different to those employed by their global peers. In the Netherlands, the most common practices are: real-time critical feedback, Figure 4: Issues applicable to the finance workforce formal finance competency models and employee satisfaction surveys (Figure 2). A significant proportion of finance skills are out of date Global finance executives, on the other hand, believe the most effective workforce We have a lack of needed skills in our management tools are competitive finance organization salaries and benefits, performance-based We have a difficult time attracting skills in this rewards, and stimulation of innovation workforce because we cannot pay what they demand and collaboration (Figure 3). CFOs in Thie finance skills we need are not located in European countries like Austria, countries where we need them Switzerland and Germany largely opt for The finance skills we need are difficult to attract the workforce development practices because people do not want to work in our industry preferred by their global (predominantly Anglo-Saxon) peers, suggesting that the The supply of finance skills is too small or non different focus in the Netherlands is not existent simply the result of the difference in None of the above culture between European and Anglo- Saxon countries. Global NL 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%• In addition, international finance executives perceive greater challenges in attracting the right finance talent than the Dutch counterparts (Figure 5). Based on these findings, there appears to be• Dutch finance executives put less an opportunity for Dutch finance executives emphasis on workforce development than to develop their finance functions more their global peers. Only 25% of Dutch effectively, by instituting workforce finance executives plan to implement new management programs that also involve workforce programs in the next two years, competitive salaries and performance-based whereas 36% of finance leadership teams rewards, thereby attracting the talent globally have such plans in place. necessary for the required finance capability development. 9
    • Finding #3Dutch CFOs plan only limited investment in Risk Management capabilities,despite their limited satisfaction with the way the capabilities are currentlydealing wwith the present economic volatility and complexity.After cost management, risk management is • Only 14% of Dutch finance executives the most important capability for business have implemented centralized, fullysurvival in volatile times. The two greatest integrated financial risk managementfinancial challenges faced by businesses – capabilities that are used across themanaging the complex needs of all whole of their enterprise.stakeholders (board of directors, investors,etc.), and managing complex financial, • Though risk management is considered business and operational risks – are both important in the Netherlands, in practicestrongly risk-related. it is not high on the Dutch CFO’s development agenda. Whereas one-thirdThe present study reveals that while Dutch of the global peer group plan to invest infinance executives do recognize the further professionalizing risk managementimportance of risk management to capabilities, less than a fifth of Dutchsuccessfully face current challenges, there is finance executives plan to invest in thisstill significant room for improvement area, despite the present capabilitycompared to global figures: already lagging behind global practices (Figure 6).• Satisfaction with the management of financial and non-financial risk in the Netherlands is limited (only 61% of Dutch finance executives are satisfied compared Improving risk management is with 78% of global “finance masters”). an opportunity for Dutch• Financial risk management capabilities companies are considered to be less advanced in the Netherlands than globally. 36% of Dutch These results suggest that there is still a finance executives rate their tendency to overlook risk management in organization’s financial risk management Dutch finance organizations. While seen as capability as advanced, compared to 49% an important capability to manage volatility, of global peers (Figure 5). its true business value is perhaps not yet• Business risk management in the sufficiently recognized. Netherlands is considerably more mature than finance risk management. 50% of Risk management is an integral part of a Dutch finance executives rate their finance function’s ability to increase organization’s business risk management business relevance as a business partner. In as advanced (compared with 36% for the Netherlands, there is an opportunity for finance risk management) finance organizations to be more effective in helping their businesses to be aware of key risks and control them better.10 | High Performance Finance Study
    • Figure 5: Finance executives: advanced financial risk management capabilitiesNL 36%Global 49% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%Figure 6: Finance executives planning to invest in integrated risk management capabilitiesNL 18%Global 32% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 11
    • Finding #4Dutch CFOs may have to rethink their focus on finance cost reduction andselectively invest in capabilities to drive more business value.In the past few years, virtually all businesses Figure 7: Current focus of the finance functionhave been concerned with keeping costsunder control, while delivering more value NLadding activities. 59% of Dutch finance Globalexecutives (and 50% of global financeexecutives) reported that their finance Mastersorganization remains primarily focused on 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%controlling finance costs (Figure 7). Primarily on cost control Primarily on investment in growth oriented activities About evently split between cost control and growthDutch companies are still stronglyfocused on cost control, but are Figure 8: Focus of the finance function in next 12 monthsplanning to focus on growth-oriented activities in the future NL GlobalThe perspective on cost control versus Mastersselectively investing in finance capabilitiesappears ready to change: 41 percent of 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%Dutch finance executives believe the finance Primarily on cost controlorganization will be focused primarily on Primarily on investment in growth oriented activitiesgrowth oriented activities in the future, and About evently split between cost control and growthanother 41 percent indicate that they planfor the finance organization to be evenlysplit between growth and cost control(Figure 8). Investing selectively is important Obviously, limited finance capabilities impede to enhance finance capabilities the ability of finance organizations toThis raises an important question: will a effectively support their businesses, beyondfinance organization that has been focused “Cheaper isn’t always better” is a principle mere transaction processing. In addition toon reducing its costs for the past several that also holds true for finance organizations. operational efficiency programs, therefore,years actually have the capabilities in place Value-adding capabilities – especially those Dutch CFOs should consider selectiveto support a broader growth agenda? Our that are currently lacking – are as important investment in finance capabilities to helpresearch suggests that finance organizations as operational efficiency in the quest for their businesses achieve higher performance.that have been too focused on cutting costs high performance.may struggle. Globally, we found that those finance organizations that had the smallest budgets (expressed in terms of percentage of overall company revenue) also had less sophisticated finance capabilities and, consequently, tended to under-perform in their function.12 | High Performance Finance Study
    • ConclusionThough there are considerable similarities Some finance organizations, however,between the outcomes of the Global and the have struggled to cope. Those that failedDutch High Performance Finance studies, to upgrade their processes, systems,some notable differences between Dutch organization and talent are finding itfirms and their global counterparts also difficult to react in a timely fashion to theappear. The differences center on the ability rapidly changing economic environment. Asof the finance function to help drive future our study found, doing “the basics” very wellbusiness value and to make the necessary is essential not just to ensure accountinginternal changes. integrity, but also to providing a sound foundation for the kinds of advanced financeWhile the global finance community is more capabilities that can deliver greater businessactively planning for growth and preparing value to the enterprise.to support business more proactively, Dutchfinance functions are generally more focused The lessons derived from the past fewon cost agendas, present-day performance years – as well as from our research –and finance operational efficiencies. In the are clear. A high-performance financecoming years, Dutch CFOs will need to organization can be an essential catalystcontinue partnering with their businesses, in a company’s or government’s pursuitunderstanding their drivers and acting as of overall high performance, and is highlyessential catalysts in their quest for high valued in the C-suite as a key enabler ofperformance. Dutch finance organizations enterprise performance. Accenture believesmust carefully review their options and move this is especially the case when a companytowards a better balance between the desire seeks growth in an uncertain and permanentlyfor cost reduction and the greater value that volatile world, where any weakness inenhanced capabilities can help deliver. In finance capability will be quickly exposed.the process, personal professionaldevelopment must be nurtured, andnew talent attracted.In the past three years, top-performingfinance teams have been instrumental inhelping their organizations survive – and insome cases, thrive – during economicuncertainty. Through a combination oftalent, focus and disciplined execution, thefinance function has emerged from theglobal economic crisis with its capabilitiesand reputation enhanced. 13
    • Implications for the futureThe relative success of the best finance 3. Ensure Optimal Cash and Capital 6. Translate Data into Insight:organizations in the past three years is Allocation: The ability to effectively manage the ever-largely the result of effective cost- and risk Permanent volatility and uncertainty will increasing volume of data available to anmanagement. While these capabilities will make long-term planning and resource organization is a key requirement for rapidlyremain essential, they will not be enough to allocation challenging, yet critical. With identifying and acting upon opportunities orensure continued high performance. As many companies sitting on large cash threats. Business leaders are increasinglymarkets stabilize and growth opportunities reserves, finance has a responsibility to looking to their finance team to filter,return, finance must balance its focus on ensure that cash and capital are effectively synthesize and analyze financial data tocost and risk with additional capabilities to managed and deployed, by helping to distill the information and insights that cancapture the opportunities and meet the determine the right mix of re-investment impact current and future performance.challenges of the future. Considering the in the business, M&A, debt servicing, and Consequently, finance organizations mayfindings of our study and our experience return of capital to shareholders through find themselves having to upgrade theirworking with leading finance organizations dividends and share buybacks. performance management and analysisaround the world, we see the finance processes to rapidly turn data into forward-agenda for 2012 and beyond as being driven 4. Attract and Retain Top-Flight Finance looking insight that enable business leadersby seven key imperatives: Talent: to make fast, confident decisions. Despite high unemployment levels in parts1. Support a Growth Agenda: of the world, many organizations report a 7. Continue to Focus on OperationalMany global organizations are seeking to scarcity of highly skilled finance talent. As Excellence:drive growth across a broad range of organizations continue to upgrade their Our work with leading finance organizationsmarkets. In today’s “multi-speed” world, basic finance capabilities by investing in indicates continued efforts to drive costwhere economic growth rates vary widely, infrastructure and technology, the reduction and productivity improvementfinance has a key role to play in balancing determining factor of finance value across core finance operations. These effortsan organization’s focus on slower-growing, increasingly is the skills and knowledge of help to free up professional staff, and equipmore mature markets with the desire to tap finance professionals. Front-line finance them with the time, tools and informationinto the faster-growth prospects in emerging support is moving from a transaction to be a valued partner to senior businessmarkets. Amongst the strategies available to processing, accounting and control focus to executives. But finance also has a broaderbusinesses is aligning performance metrics, a strategic, market-driven, forward-looking responsibility to ensure that thereporting and analysis to the characteristics perspective that demands different skill- organization as a whole does not relax itsof different markets, while also looking to sets. Our experience working with finance focus on operational and cost efficiency asoptimize overall enterprise performance. organizations across the globe supports markets improve. Finance must ensure that Accenture’s position that investing to complacency and waste do not creep back2. Develop a Flexible and Responsive attract and develop talent can provide high- into the organization.Finance Operating Model: value support to business leaders acrossOur study clearly indicates that both diverse markets and geographies. Overall, most finance organizations can bebusiness and finance leaders consider proud of their performance in the past threevolatility to be a permanent feature of the 5. Assure Regulatory Compliance: years, but as stated earlier in this report,global marketplace. To deliver value in a Two forces are driving the need for finance this is no time to relax. The criteria for highconsistent and timely fashion in such an to focus more on assuring regulatory performance are changing, and merely doingenvironment, high-performance finance compliance. First, as companies expand their the basics well at low cost is not enough.organizations are developing a flexible and global footprint, the regulatory requirements Business leaders want their financeresponsive operating model that allows for they must meet become more numerous and organizations to deliver increasinglythe early identification of changing business complex. Second, new regulations continue sophisticated levels of service, and toconditions, and rapid response to unforeseen to emerge and must be addressed. Finance continue their evolution as a true partnerevents. By creating a balanced global/local has to make regulatory compliance a non- in the business. Forward-looking CFOs aremodel that combines scalable, cost-effective issue by ensuring that finance can understand setting a clear vision to meet thosecore finance services and capabilities with and apply new or changing regulations in a expectations, and putting in place thehigh-caliber, front-line talent possessing timely and cost-effective manner – without practical actions to position their financedeep local market knowledge and strong those regulations becoming an impediment organization for success in today’sfinance advisory skills, finance can continue to the business. increasingly volatile and complex world.to drive enterprise value creation.14 | High Performance Finance Study
    • About the ResearchThe Dutch High Performance Finance Study Figure 9: Job titles of participants Figure 10: Revenue of Participants’was based on Dutch-specific data from the Organizations in USDGlobal study, augmented with additionalsurveys from within the Alex van Groningen 7% 10% 17%CFO network. In total, 56 Dutch Finance 10%Executives, 530 international peers and 37% 17%around 300 C-level customers of finance(CXOs) responded to the survey. 13% NL NL 20% 10%The preliminary outcomes of the Dutchstudy were discussed by over 30 finance 17% 7%executives in three CFO Round Table 17% 20%sessions, in collaboration with the Alexvan Groningen organization. 1% 1% 1% 3%• Most of the respondents to the Dutch 12% 13% 21% 11% survey were Corporate Controllers and almost one fifth of the respondents were CFOs, this opposed to the global survey 15% where most of the respondents were Global 27% Global 12% Finance Directors. 29%• Most of the respondents to the Dutch survey were Corporate Controllers, and 12% 32% almost one fifth was CFOs. For the global 10% survey most of the respondents were Finance Directors.• Almost 60% of the participating Dutch Corporate Controller Under $100 Million USD companies have a revenue of more than CFO $100 Milliion to $249.9 Million USD Director of Finance or Finance of Director $250 Million to $499.9 Million USD US$1 billion Senior Vice President (SVP) Finance $500 Million to $999.9 Million USD• Most of the companies surveyed are in Vice President (VP) Finance $1 Billion to $4.9 Billion USD the banking industry, followed by retail, Other $5 Billion to $9.9 Billion USD insurance and consumer goods. $10 Billion to $19.9 Billion USD $20 Billion to $49.9 Billion USD $50 Billion or more USDFigure 11: Industries of ParticipantsGlobal 8% 8% 7% 7% 6% 6% 6% 6% 6% 5% 4-5% 4% 4% 4% 3% 3% 2% 2% 1%NL 30% 10% 13% 3% 3% 17% 0% 7% 3% 7% 3% 3% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Banking Chemicals and Natural Resources Government State/Regional Consumer Goods & Services Capital Markets Biotechnology Insurance Healthcare Providers Metals & Mining Electronics and High Tech Utilities Education Communications Government National/Federal Freight and Logistics Retail Industrial Equipment Medical Products Energy Pharmaceuticals Media & Entertainment Healthcare Payers Travel & Transportation Services Forest Products
    • About Accenture ContactAccenture is a global management consulting, Bart Deckerstechnology services and outsourcing company, Lead Finance & Enterprise Performance,with 257,000 people serving clients in more Beneluxthan 120 countries. Combining unparalleled Bart.Deckers@accenture.comexperience, comprehensive capabilities acrossall industries and business functions, and Kees-Jan de Korverextensive research on the world’s most Lead Finance Transformation,successful companies, Accenture collaborates Netherlandswith clients to help them become high- Kees-Jan.de.Korver@accenture.comperformance businesses and governments.The company generated net revenues ofUS$27.9 billion for the fiscal year endedAug. 31, 2012. Its home page iswww.accenture.com.Copyright © 2012 AccentureAll rights reserved.Accenture, its logo, andHigh Performance Deliveredare trademarks of Accenture.