Companies Looking at New Ways of Engaging Financial Consultants

October 9, 20158:00 am347 views

With the growth in economy, companies are looking at new ways of engaging financial consultants to deploy their skills in wide range of projects that require human expertise while placing emphasis on business systems, research findings from Robert Half Management Resources survey reveals.

According to the survey, 61 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) whose firms work with consultants said they are likely to bring in project professionals for business systems and performance improvement initiatives, up 13 points from a similar survey two years ago.

While accounting and finance continues to remain a staple for financial consultants, the CFOs are increasingly looking forward to engage them in risk, governance and compliance. Executives also anticipate a jump in the need for consultants to assist with finance optimization initiatives.

When asked companies, in which of the key areas would they like to bring in expertise skills of the financial consultants in the next 12 months, their responses were: Business systems and performance improvement (61%), finance and accounting (55%), risk, governance and compliance (50%), finance optimization (49%), and taxation (45%).

“As business systems evolve and become more complex, companies do not always have the requisite skills in-house,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half.

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“Organizations frequently turn to financial consultants, particularly at the pre- and post-implementation stages, for their subject matter expertise. Their knowledge of different tools can ensure the system is optimized to deliver the financial and business data the company needs.”

Many financial executives are attracted to the challenge and variety that consulting work offers. Here are some tips for organisations to make optimum use of the financial consultants and make most of their engagement:

  1. Communicate, Communicate, and Communicate. Clearly explain to consultants your goals and expectations. At the same time, talk to full-time staff about their roles and how they will work with the interim professional. Confusion on either side could hinder the success of the initiative.
  2. Integrate consultants quickly. Help project professionals build rapport with their colleagues and acclimate to the workplace culture. The sooner consultants understand how work gets done at your firm, the sooner they will make valuable contributions.
  3. Transfer knowledge. Don’t lose key learnings from an initiative. Prior to the end of an engagement, provide a forum for consultants to share best practices with the staff.

Adding further, McDonald’s said, “There is good news for firms ramping up their use of project professionals. Many financial professionals are attracted to consulting, offering companies’ access to experienced personnel who can step in immediately to support a specific project or staff a senior-level position on an interim basis.”

David King, Canadian president of Robert Half Management Resources said, “Leveraging financial consultants for particular initiatives ensures that these projects are managed by practiced professionals who have specific expertise.”

Also read: Top 10 HR Secrets to Measure Employee Engagement Levels

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