In general, consultants benefit their clients by stepping into complex situations and developing cogent, coherent plans of action that help organizations meet their defined goals. How that scenario unfolds, though, is dependent on the skills of the consultant and the needs of the organization.
Each project offers its own unique challenges and opportunities for personal and professional growth. One assignment may require a keen understanding of the latest accounting principles to help a company prepare for a new line of business. The next may require months of strategic research and reporting in order to help an FP500® company determine if a potential acquisition is worth pursuing.
High demand for strategic consultants
In the years since the 2008 global financial crisis, organizations have increasingly relied on interim professionals to support immediate needs, particularly to assist with evolving regulations and the challenges those present. As the finance landscape continues to change, organizations large and small require the input of professional consultants who can 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.
If such a career – a lifestyle, actually – appeals to your professional ambition, a staffing firm can provide direction and assistance in a variety of roles to those who wish to maximize their financial strategy consulting potential.
Always a new challenge
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 the skills in-house that are 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 map out and deploy the best accounting system for the new market.
If you choose to register with Robert Half Management Resources, deliverable-based strategy consulting opportunities are sometimes extensions of the risk consulting and internal audit work provided by Protiviti, a Robert Half subsidiary. In such cases, your financial expertise may be required in various ways:
- Working alongside the CFO to develop a go-forward plan for training in-house staff on financial modelling 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 consultants working with global specialized staffing firms are presented with a variety of opportunities to utilize their skills across various industries around the world. But beyond the monetary benefits, how is the role of strategy consultant rewarding?
For highly skilled, results-driven individuals who thrive on going to new places (yes, travel is often part of the life), accepting challenges and exposing themselves to new situations, consultative work may be a natural fit. Financial strategy consultants, in particular, are valued as critical thinkers who shine even in the most complicated transitional periods.
Moreover, financial strategy consulting presents opportunities to beef up your resume and your professional network by gaining valuable work experience and new contacts in a number of specialties, industries and geographies.
Perhaps the most valuable benefit you receive as a financial consultant is an intrinsic one: The knowledge that your financial expertise can positively impact an organization's bottom line and, more importantly, the people who work there.