Accenture Cuts Workforce Again

In a move that didn't surprise or alarm financial analysts, Accenture has joined the ranks of rivals KPMG Consulting and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young in making several cuts in the workforce.

Accenture, the Bermuda-based consultancy formerly associated with Big Five firm Andersen, announced Friday that it will cut 1,500 jobs including 1,000 U.S. consultants. The firm cut 600 jobs earlier this summer.

In addition to the cuts, Accenture has offered 1,000 consultants in Europe and Asia the opportunity to join its sabbatical FlexLeave program. This program provides a sabbatical of between six and 12 months to employees who agree to leave the workforce temporarily while continuing to receive 20 percent of their pay. Approximately 1,000 U.S. consultants opted into this program earlier this summer.

The combined job cuts and sabbaticals represent a reduction of about 5.5 percent of Accenture's workforce.

Accenture shares moved up five cents on Friday afternoon after announcement, closing at $14.60. In speaking of the job cuts, J.P. Morgan senior analyst Dirk Godsey was quoted as saying, "This is very consistent with what we're seeing in the industry. It was anticipated and it was a minor cut."

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