Business Project with ACCENTURE: Digital Transformation in Accounting

All News, Faculty   -  2. July 2019

“Convince your client with results” was one of the guiding principles that Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wiesmann, Professor of Accounting, gave his bachelor students for the joint business project with ACCENTURE. For three months, around 40 students of the “International Business” degree course, led by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Anders and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wiesmann, worked on analyzing the added value of digital solutions for accounting processes. In particular, they were to discuss how the degree of automation is increased by current and future applications and what effects these can have on organisational structures in accounting.

Digital solutions replace paper documents and invoices

The customer ACCENTURE, one of the world’s leading consulting firms, was particularly interested in the students’ view of the topic “Automation in Accounting”. What potential do the young talents see in digital solutions? Which processes can be easily automated and which not? And what cost savings can be achieved through automated processes? Although it has already become standard in most large and medium-sized companies to partially automate transaction financing processes, paper documents and invoices can still be found in large numbers in many accounting departments.

Targeted approach in the project groups

Divided into the two groups “Process Design Team” and “Digital Tool Team”, the students took a close look at the processes “Procure to Pay”, “Order to Cash”, “Record to Report”, “Financial Planning and Analysis” and “Accounting Organization” on the basis of a fictitious example from the chemical industry. They transferred them to a process map. In a second step, they researched digital solutions from various software vendors and evaluated them with regard to their case on the basis of the categories “savings”, “tactical procurement”, “software” and “employees”. The groups discussed their progress in weekly meetings, status reports and internal presentations.

High customer satisfaction for analysis

During the final presentation to Ralph Küstel, ACCENTURE Senior Consultant, the students presented the results of their analysis and research – the best digital solutions for potential savings of up to 30 percent in procurement costs. The consultant was enthusiastic about the students’ work: “I am impressed by your convincing analysis results. You really put yourselves into your customers and its needs and requirements into the foreground placed – exactly in such a way, how a good consultant would proceed.”

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