As the finance landscape continues to change, organizations large and small require the input of professional consultants who can help them make key decisions about their operations and profitability. Strategy consultants assist their clients by stepping into complex situations and developing cogent, coherent plans of action that help companies meet their defined goals.
They may supplement their knowledge in a given discipline — for example, cost management or business systems expertise — with the soft skills and leadership abilities needed to augment existing staff or, in some cases, even lead the company in a new direction.
Always a new challenge
In recent years, organizations have increasingly relied on financial strategy consultants to support sound decision-making, particularly to assist with the challenges presented by evolving regulations. Finance-related strategy consulting presents skilled candidates with opportunities to tackle critical business tasks that an in-house team may not have the time or expertise to address.
For example, a client planning to forge into an untapped international market may not have staff with the skills needed to develop business infrastructure for operating in foreign markets. Consultants with experience in this area may have to work for several months with the company’s internal team to strategize and deploy the best systems for the new market.
The way in which strategy consultants assist companies is dependent on the skills of the consultant and the needs of the organization. Strategy consulting opportunities include the following:
- Working alongside the CFO to develop a go-forward plan for training in-house staff on financial modeling and data-driven analysis
- Guiding a company through the overhaul or implementation of an ERP system
- Leading an organization through a merger or acquisition and developing efficient system conversions and integrations
- Consulting on best practice alignment or strategic planning during the financial turnaround process
- Developing an integrated approach to IT audits or security program projections
Benefits of strategy consulting
Strategy consulting is also a great network-builder: You’ll gain new contacts in a number of specialties, industries and locations. Your work is also likely to be high-profile. Financial strategy consultants are valued as critical thinkers who shine even in the most complicated business transitional periods.
But think primarily of experience. Each strategy consulting project offers its own unique challenges but also opportunities for personal and professional growth. The variety of business solutions you’re asked to come up with and the industries you’ll be involved in create invaluable career experience. You may move from an assignment requiring a keen understanding of the latest accounting principles to help a company prepare for a new line of business to one requiring months of strategic research and reporting in order to help an FP500 company determine if a potential acquisition is worth pursuing.
Like all consulting jobs, strategy consulting offers you greater flexibility in working hours, enhancing your ability to better balance work and personal priorities.
Skilled financial strategy consultants can be well-paid, but the rewards go beyond monetary benefits. Perhaps the most valuable benefit you receive as a financial consultant is an intrinsic one: The knowledge your financial expertise can positively impact an organization's bottom line and, more importantly, the people who work there.
Getting serious about strategy consulting
If such a career and its lifestyle flexibility appeals to you, a staffing firm can provide direction and assistance to those who wish to maximize their strategy consulting potential. Strategy consultants working with a global specialized staffing firm are presented with a variety of opportunities to apply their skills across industries around the world.