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Accenture and Microsoft sign multi-year business process services tie up

The SI giant will deploy AI to manage finance, accounting and procurement for its software giant partner

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Microsoft has signed up with Accenture for a seven-year contract extension to continue providing finance and accounting (F&A) and procurement business process services.

Accenture will leverage artificial intelligence, automation and analytics capabilities to deliver better business insights and help Microsoft increase productivity and efficiency.

Under the new contract – which extends Accenture’s services through 2025 – Accenture will continue to provide Microsoft with procurement, accounts payable, financial and accounting services for its more than 120 subsidiaries worldwide.

The original contract was awarded in 2007, when Microsoft began to standardize its finance, accounting and procurement processes globally for an initiative called OneFinance.

Accenture will leverage artificial intelligence technologies to interpret supplier inquiries and execute follow-up processes automatically, which is designed to improve customer service by accelerating response times and increasing accuracy. Accenture will also apply advanced predictive and prescriptive analytics to provide data-driven insights, further improving the effectiveness of compliance activities and increasing the accuracy of global cash forecasting.

“Our longstanding collaboration with Accenture has enabled us, through our OneFinance initiative, to standardize our finance and accounting processes across 120 countries, improving compliance and control across our operations and reducing related costs by 30 percent,” said Grace Lao, general manager for Microsoft Finance Operations. “Building on the past nine years, we look forward to continuing to innovate and drive new transformation projects together with Accenture designed to reinvent Microsoft’s productivity and business processes.”

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Sean McNamara, managing director for Accenture’s Communications, Media & Technology business, said, “Our relationship with Microsoft is one of the industry’s great examples of what two organizations can achieve in a long-term, sustained collaboration that’s focused on driving business outcomes. The intelligent automation and analytics capabilities that underpin our finance, accounting and procurement business process services can enable Microsoft to further automate processes and get business insights faster, paving the way for future growth.”

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Accenture and Microsoft have long held close ties. In 2000 they formed the joint venture Avanade. A cloud and software services firm. Avanade announced its latest proejct with the Williams F1 racing team.

It used biometric data to critically analyse every aspect of pit stop performance and maintain the competitive edge against their rivals after their impressive, record-breaking pit stop times in 2016.

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