A third of Accenture employees working on CEBA contract in Brazil

08 January 2024 Consulting.ca 2 min. read
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A third of employees working on an Accenture contract to administer the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) pandemic loan program are based in Brazil, according to a Globe and Mail report from Thursday.

Although the government previously stated nearly all of the Accenture outsourced workers are based in Canada, Export Development Canada (EDC) last week confirmed a third are in Brazil.

EDC, a crown corporation that typically focuses on helping Canadian businesses finance international deals, was enlisted to oversee the CEBA program – which ended up distributing $49 billion in loans to nearly 900,000 companies.

EDC awarded an undisclosed contract to Accenture to administer the program – including responsibilities such as website building, running a call center, and collecting data. That contract was uncovered by Globe and Mail reporters last year through an access-to-information request.

A third of Accenture employees working on CEBA contract in Brazil

The government has paid Accenture $208 million for its CEBA outsourcing work thus far. The federal government in its most recent budget pledged to cut spending on consulting.

According to EDC, as of November 2023, 105 of the Accenture workers are in Canada, three are in the US, and 46 are in Brazil. Accenture’s Brazilian team is working on configuring CEBA’s loan-accounting system.

EDC clarified that the Brazilian team does not have access to personal information of CEBA recipients.

According to contracts tabled in Parliament in October, at least $23 million of the Accenture contract has gone to the firm’s Brazilian subsidiary One Financial.

The average annual salary of a Brazilian software developer is approximately $17,000, compared to $71,000 in Canada, according to data from PayScale.

Accenture, an historically American firm, is headquartered in Ireland to lower its global tax bill. The firm was prior to 2009 headquartered in Bermuda.

Approximately 40% of the consulting firm’s global workforce is based in IT delivery centers in India.

When the Canadian government awards contracts to an outsourcer such as Accenture, it should come as no surprise that the work is not entirely performed in-country. That is simply not how such firms operate.