It was another difficult year for management consulting firms, both locally and nationally. The 25 largest firms in Los Angeles County reported a 5.3 percent decrease in the number of full-time management consultants in local offices, to 2,231.
Accenture, formerly Arthur Andersen's consulting group, joins the list as the largest consulting firm. The firm had not been ranked in the past due to difficulties in distinguishing between consultants and staff.
Accounting for the lion's share of the decreases, last year's top firms Deloitte Consulting and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young both saw their L.A. County consulting ranks decline by roughly half. Deloitte cited the shifting of consultants to its audit group as cause for the decrease.
There was some expansion, with 12 firms showing increases in consultants year over year. Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. moved up two spots to No. 6, having added 30 consultants in its L.A. offices.
Revenues decreased 5.9 percent in 2002 from the year previous, with 2003 revenues expected to be flat.
Established in 1989 by partners of accounting firm Arthur Andersen, Accenture debuts on the list as the largest management consulting firm in Los Angeles County with an estimated 504 consultants, more than twice the size of No. 2 Deloitte Consulting.
With 148 offices worldwide, Accenture is focused on five operating groups: communications and high technology, financial services, government, products and resources. The firm also has eight service lines to support the operating groups, including customer relationship management, strategy and business architecture and technology solutions.
The firm reported net income of $498.2 million ($1.05 per diluted share) for the year ended Aug. 31, up from $244.9 million (56 cents) in the previous period. Annual revenues were $13.4 billion, compared to $13.1 billion in 2002.
The gains came despite weakness in its Americas region, which saw revenues decline by 3 percent, to $5.7 billion, for the year ended Aug. 31.
There were gains in the government operating group, where revenues increased by 20 percent fueled by growth in the U.S. and Western Europe. Net income for the year benefited from a lack of restructuring costs and investment losses.
The consulting group split with the now defunct accounting giant in August 2000 after disputes over non-compete obligations. It was renamed Accenture and went public in July 2001.
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