Acloser look at financial con- sulting suggests that prac- tices focusing on corporate finance and accounting, tax, internal audit, compliance and risk functions have stumbled into a time warp.
Sarbanes-Oxley compliance work is surging with even more major regulatory changes
looming. Demand for transaction advisory
services, in the volatile-yet-possibly-improv-ing-in-some-areas wake of a major economic
downturn is growing. Transactional efficiency
is a hot topic. Tax advice and ERP-related
work remains strong. From this altitude, 2015
looks a heck of a lot like 2005.
Detailed scrutiny, however, shows that
financial consulting and the companies that
invest in it are in the throes of a sea change.
Current ERP work, for example, involves social, mobile and cloud technology. This transformation is knocking down organizational
silos, rewriting traditional risk management
playbooks, injecting data analytics into every
corner of corporate finance and its related
functions, weaving increasingly complex
critical tax considerations into strategic decision-making, driving a powerful need for cyber-security and causing consultants rethink
how they structure their offerings, organize
their teams and develop their talent.
And clients now expect consultants to deliver “a marriage of flexibility, specialization
and technology,” reports Dawnella Johnson,
Partner, Risk Consulting Services, with
Crowe Horwath LLP. “Clients expect us to
have experience in whatever they are hiring
us to do,” Johnson continues, “but they also
expect us to be flexible and tailor the solution
to them—you need to have solved the problem before, but you need to tailor it to me."
In 2005, financial consulting typically in-
volved discreet, well-defined engagements:
Section 404 compliance, specific tax advice,
ERP implementation, cost reduction, M&A
due diligence, process-improvement engage-
ments and outsourcing accounting processes.
SERVICE LINE SPOTLIGHT:
FINANCIAL CONSULTING / /