What Experience Do You Need for Financial Consulting Jobs?


Consulting jobs are becoming more attractive to senior-level professionals seeking a flexible schedule and a variety of challenging assignments. At the same time, consultants are becoming more attractive to companies that need highly skilled financial talent on an interim basis to help them address a wide range of business challenges ranging from systems conversions and implementations to compliance demands to the need to increase operational efficiency.

If you're interested in senior-level financial, accounting or business systems consulting jobs, here's the experience that most employers – and the staffing firm you might work with – will want you to bring to the table:

Overall expectations

To land financial project consulting jobs or interim management positions, you must have a bachelor's degree in your field. Most successful consultants also have their graduate degree in a related discipline or possess a master of business administration (MBA).

Be sure to include a description of your work ethic in your resume, along with details about your work experience. Communication abilities, including both written and verbal communication skills, are also a must for consulting jobs, as these roles typically require the ability to interface smoothly and productively with clients and team members.

There are many ways you can serve as a financial consultant. Here's a look at the requirements for three of today's key roles:

Financial consultant

To be considered a viable candidate for finance consulting jobs, you may be expected to have the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Additional designations, like those listed below, are also helpful and could increase your chances of being hired, depending on your area of focus:

  • Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA)
  • Personal Financial Planner (PFP)
  • Chartered Investment Manager (CIM)

Most financial consultant roles will require previous financial planning and reporting analysis experience.

Accounting consultant

Accounting consultants typically require a CPA designation. Some additional certifications may include:

  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

While all consultants need analytical and problem-solving skills, accounting consultants specifically should demonstrate strong mathematics and Excel proficiency. Brush up on these Excel practices:

  • Controlling Excel's Lookup function
  • Creating user-defined function macros
  • Loading data from external sources
  • Manipulating text strings
  • Setting up user controls
  • Using defined names

Being well-versed in different types of software, like enterprise resource planning (ERP), can also give you an advantage over other consultants. Engaging in continual learning demonstrates a thirst for knowledge that makes you an attractive candidate for many consulting jobs.

Business systems consultant

Business systems analysts are in high demand, and most organizations look to hire business systems consultants with strong research and organization skills. Experience with a variety of data-mapping technologies and tools could make you a more marketable candidate as well.

Consulting can be a rewarding path, and it's a good time to consider making the move. If you have the right skills and experience to meet the high expectations of today's employers, you're likely to have your pick of financial consulting jobs.