In a move that one senior figure in the legal industry tells us marks “the entry of the big outsourcers into legal”, Accenture has launched a compliance as a service (CaaS) offering that will see it compete for business with law companies such as Elevate and Cognia Law as well as the anti-money laundering and privacy practices of law firms, particularly those with high volume alternative legal practices.

Designed to serve the compliance departments of banks, insurers, capital markets and other organizations, the CaaS offering —which expands Accenture’s managed service capabilities — delivers a variety of comprehensive managed services, including:

  • Know Your Customer (KYC): Tools and capabilities that help businesses verify the identity of clients and assess their suitability, along with the potential risk of illegal intentions in a business relationship. One large bank using this capability reduced case processing times by 15% and significantly reduced false positives.
  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML): Intensive measures to enable low- and high-risk customers to comply with AML regulations, including transaction monitoring and alert management. For example, newly fortified AML controls recently helped a large bank achieve quality ratings greater than 95% and eliminate future quality assurance backlogs.
  • Compliance and controls testing, combined with governance, analytics and continuous reporting.
  • Contract lifecycle management, improved by transformational technologies, process and data strategies for London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) contracts.
  • Privacy data management, to ensure data practices keep pace with changing privacy regulations.

Accenture says that CaaS provides an end-to-end capability that leverages SynOps — Accenture’s human-machine operating “engine” that synergizes data, applied intelligence, digital technologies and talent — to help financial institutions manage the scope and complexity of the ever-changing regulatory and compliance environment.

“Today’s compliance officers need to be agile and transform from reactive to strategic in an increasingly complex environment,” said Bob Bradley, who leads the CaaS offering for Accenture Operations. “Although the cost of compliance continues to rise, compliance budgets remain stagnant. By moving compliance-related functions to a flexible operating model, our comprehensive offering will enable clients to manage risk with efficiency and speed, freeing them up to focus on higher value-added opportunities as part of their journey to intelligent operations.” Bradley was formerly a director at Credit Suisse, where he was global markets head of client lifecycle management.

While Accenture itself dropped the term outsourcing in favour of ‘operations’ a few years ago, reacting to the news, Janet Taylor-Hall, founder and CEO of Cognia Law told Legal IT Insider: “Accenture’s outsourcing business is huge – akin to the likes of Capgemini – but it is also a professional consultancy. This signals the entry into the legal sector of the big outsourcers.”

She adds: “Typically there is a division between general counsel and the head of compliance but there is naturally a legal element to compliance. This is a leftfield proposition from Accenture that is not strictly a legal offering but will definitely overlap and mean it is competing with the Big Four, law companies and law firms.”

Commenting on an article by Accounting Today announcing the launch of CaaS, Liam Brown, chairman and CEO of Elevate said: “Here we go. I guess I am now going to have to start introducing Elevate as “the alternative to the Big 4 *and Accenture* for law”.” hashtaglawcompany

You can find Accenture’s CaaS slidedeck here: https://mms.businesswire.com/media/20191121005119/en/758221/1/CaaS_News_Release_Slideshare.pdf?download=1