US law firm Akerman has announced the appointment of Denise Gavica Perez as chair of the firm’s immigration planning and compliance practice.
Frédéric Duponchel (Accuracy): "We want technology to enhance the services Accuracy provides"
As Accuracy’s 20th anniversary approaches, Leaders League got the thoughts of the consultancy’s president, Frédéric Duponchel, as well as two prominent partners, Rodolphe Pacciarella and Nicolas Barsalou, on where the company has come from, and how it’s planning for the next two decades.
Leaders League: Accuracy is 18. How proud are you that your ‘baby’ is all grown up?
Frédéric Duponchel: When the seven of us left Arthur Andersen in 2004 to embark upon this adventure, the size of the challenge was daunting. We all ate, slept and breathed Accuracy seven days a week. At the time everyone thought that we were crazy to try to do what we set out to do, that we wouldn’t be able to make a go of it, but quite quickly we earned the trust and patronage of a critical mass of prestigious clients, such as Carlyle, Alstom, Thales, Kering and Suez. Getting to work regularly with such big names at so early a stage was a source of great satisfaction for the founders.
Rodolphe Pacciarella: If we were able to adroitly navigate these years, it’s thanks to our human capital and the working environment which Accuracy has cultivated. At the heart of Accuracy is a training and innovation culture, but we also know the importance of having fun, and that goes for our entire international network.
There must have been a few bumps along the way though?
Frédéric Duponchel: The perpetual challenge, especially during a difficult period, like the one we are only now just coming out of, is to maintain a healthy rhythm for our teams. Taking good care of staff is essential in today’s busy market, because of the bearing it has on the quality of service we are able to deliver to clients and the quality of working life at the company. To do so, we need to be ever mindful of new ways of working, keep a familial spirit and ensure staff are doing work that is intellectually stimulating.
How would you sum-up the Accuracy ethos?
Frédéric Duponchel: Thanks to our presence in 13 countries and ability to provide services in 36 different languages, Accuracy’s ethos is to offer the same level of high-quality service to clients wherever they may be, in a responsive, tailor-made fashion, while at the same time offering exciting international career opportunities.
Nicolas Barsalou: By way of illustration, I recently finished up a project in France alongside our teams in Singapore and Hong Kong. The fact that we have a plug-and-play ability between teams in different countries gives us, as partners, a great advantage when striving to provide clients with the highest quality levels of service.
Frédéric Duponchel: Exactly. In addition, the level of consistency that is the hallmark of Accuracy has been made possible by the decompartmentalization of the criteria by which the partners are evaluated and rewarded. The Accuracy ethos would not be possible if each partner was only focused on their individual performance: profits are shared between all the partners on a range of qualitative criteria which includes the ability to collaborate with fellow staff members and work towards common goals.
As technology becomes a bigger part of the activities of consultancies, can Accuracy’s approach remain distinctive?
Frédéric Duponchel: We want technology to enhance the services Accuracy provides. To ensure this, we have assembled a dedicated team of specialists, including Jean Barrère, an expert in data and AI, and for a number of years now have had the benefit of a tech lab staffed by expert coders who are able to design and implement new services for our clients. Overseas, our London, Montreal and Dubai offices are particularly advanced when it comes to tech subjects.
Nicolas Barsalou: We are not a tech company, much less an IT services one, and remain focused on providing consulting services. That said, tech is important in the sense that it allows us to improve the quality and pertinence of services our clients expect to receive. It must help us resolve issues like inflation, elevated fees and supply chain disruption, among others.
What will the main challenges for Accuracy over the next handful of months be, do you think?
Rodolphe Pacciarella: The most pressing task for the board is to get to grips with the state of the market and how we can continue to thrive in these uncertain times. There was a lot of excess cash in the past couple of years thanks to state aid, and a large fluctuation in revenue in that time too, which has clouded the picture. In the short term, we need to accurately diagnose the state of the markets in order to anticipate the future.
Frédéric Duponchel: We are living in an era of unprecedented inflation. Nobody has experience of inflation at these high levels, but we are going to have to get used to operating in this climate. It’s a similar story when it comes to supply chain disruption. These issues were barely considered a few years ago but are now facts of life. But whatever way the wind blows we will know how to adapt. Accuracy’s model works in all weather!
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