April 18, 2011

Accenture and The Hackett Group Supporting Universities' Drive To Lower Costs and Boost Efficiency of Administrative Functions

RESTON, Va & MIAMI, Fla; April 18, 2011 - Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and The Hackett Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: HCKT) today announced that they are working together to support the efforts of U.S. universities to reduce administrative costs and improve efficiency in response to ongoing financial and operational pressures. Recent joint work has included the following projects at:

  • The Inter-University Council of Ohio (IUC) - The Institutional Excellence and Shared Services Assessment evaluates the functions of finance, human resources, IT, and procurement to identify opportunities to lower delivery costs, increase service effectiveness and lower operating risk. The project provides a collective assessment for the IUC and individual assessments for each of the IUC's 14 member universities.
  • Indiana University (IU) - A benchmarking assessment covers human resources, payroll, marketing and student services functions across the seven campuses in the IU system. An analysis of the physical plant's financial operations at the Bloomington campus also has been conducted. Strategic recommendations have been developed to support IU efforts to increase operational efficiencies in response to budget pressures.
  • Miami University - The Strategic Analysis of Support Services project will lead to a multi-year strategy to enable the university to increase organizational efficiency and achieve cost reductions in administrative and other support services without jeopardizing service levels essential to its mission and strategic goals.
  • The University of Massachusetts - An assessment and benchmarking covering the procurement and accounts payable functions across the university's five campuses provides recommendations for sustainable cost savings opportunities, improvements to purchasing tools and approaches to leverage the collective purchasing power of five campuses.

"Universities are under the same tough circumstances as most state and local governments, namely a widening gap between stagnant or slow-growing revenues alongside fast-growing expenditures needed to deliver core services," said Dan London, North American managing director for Accenture's Health & Public Service operating group. "Drawing on approaches that have proven widely successful in helping businesses streamline and become more efficient, educational institutions and systems have tremendous opportunities to make better use of scarce budget resources."

According to The Hackett Group Global Benchmark Practice Leader Anthony Snowball, "The operational challenges universities face today are similar to those in the corporate world. Institutions must pay employees, manage suppliers, sustain complex IT infrastructure, and resolve issues around redundancy, standardization, and disparate technology platforms.

"These universities are to be commended for their commitment to excellence," said Mr. Snowball. "They understand that they need to consider all options in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their business operations enabling them to better direct their resources toward their core missions of educating students and performing leading edge research."

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 215,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world's most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$21.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2010. Its home page is www.accenture.com.


About The Hackett Group, Inc.

The Hackett Group (NASDAQ: HCKT) is an intellectual property-based strategic consultancy and leading enterprise benchmarking and best practices implementation firm to global companies. Services include business transformation, enterprise performance management, working capital management, and global business services. The Hackett Group also provides dedicated expertise in business strategy, operations, finance, human capital management, strategic sourcing, procurement, and information technology, including its award-winning Oracle EPM and SAP practices.

The Hackett Group has completed more than 11,000 benchmarking studies with major corporations and government agencies, including 93% of the Dow Jones Industrials, 86% of the Fortune 100, 87% of the DAX 30 and 52% of the FTSE 100. These studies drive its Best Practice Intelligence Center™ which includes the firm's benchmarking metrics, best practices repository, and best practice configuration guides and process flows, which enable The Hackett Group's clients and partners to achieve world-class performance.