The Accounting + Finance team is the backbone of every company.  It’s the team that understands how the business is doing today and how it can invest to make better business decisions in the future. In many cases, companies rely on the expertise of consultants from external accounting firms to make these decisions.

Although financial accounting advisory consultants may occasionally work alongside management, strategy, or operations teams, their work differs greatly from consultants in other sectors.

So, what do accounting advisory consultants do?

Accounting advisory consultants assess the big picture of a client’s financial history. They examine how their client spends cash, manages debt, and issues equity for various projects. From there, they can advise clients about decisions that fall under one or more of these disciplines:

  • Transaction services
  • Corporate finance
  • Crisis & recovery
  • Risk management
  • Tax advisory
  • Accounting advisory
  • Real estate
  • Forensics & litigation

Often, consultants are hired for their expertise in one of these disciplines. Other times, their work is at the intersection of multiple disciplines.

Why should you consider a career in accounting advisory consulting?

“Accounting advisory affords candidates the opportunity to develop a number of skills that are highly marketable and critical for long term career development,” says Mike Khalili, Executive Director of Green Key Accounting + Finance.

Because accounting advisory consultants tend to work closely with their clients’ chief accounting officers (CFOs) as well as investment bankers, lawyers, and accountants, there is a lot of room for career growth. Much like strategy or operations consultants, accounting advisory consultants have the opportunity to explore and refine their skillsets across various disciplines and industries.

Additionally, financial accounting advisory enjoys “a greater degree of autonomy and differentiation from the other consulting industry segments,” according to Consulting.us. While corporate finance and transaction services are especially in demand during periods of economic growth, services related to crisis management and debt advisory become invaluable during times of economic downturn, such as the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

What are some challenges of working as an accounting advisory consultant?

While consulting careers offer lots of opportunities for professional growth, this sector is not for everyone.

Accounting advisory consultants face some of the same challenges as consultants in other sectors, including:

  • Landing projects with new clients
  • Keeping old clients
  • Managing client expectations
  • Increased competition
  • Tight timelines

But if you’re prepared to take on these challenges, accounting advisory can be a very rewarding career.

What’s next?

Interested in pursuing a career as a financial accounting advisory consultant? Check out our jobs board for a list of current openings. Remember to select Accounting + Finance from the practice area drop-down menu to target your search.

Got more questions about the industry? Visit the Accounting + Finance team homepage to learn more about where we place candidates and contact our specialized recruiting team.

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Green Key

2020’s Best Accounting Firms Are All Pandemic Winners

What are some of the best accounting firms to work for?

Accounting Today knows. Over the summer, the publication announced the best small, mid-sized, and large accounting firms to work for. Now, culled from more than 250 entrants, the lists have been compiled in a special supplement appropriately entitled, “Best Firms to Work For 2020.”

The 100 firms (based on size) are as small as Measured Results CPAs 16 employees to Kearney & Co.’s 677 and hail from all parts of the nation. Yet what they all have in common is they’ve learned how to adapt and even thrive in a business environment unlike any other.

Some, like New Jersey’s WilkenGuttenplan (ranked 17th among mid-sized firms) already had a remote culture. Transitioning their 124 employees to full-time remote work was “seamless,” the firm said. The firm holds online social hours and coffee breaks and encourages all communication among the staff be by video.

Others had to learn how to work remotely. The No. 1 ranking mid-sized firm, Martin Starnes & Associates in North Carolina, said that since going fully remote, they’ve adapted to remote hiring and onboarding and helped their clients with limited computer skills become more fluent. “We have new ways to communicate and get what we need from our clients.”

These “best firms” all had to confront the kind of work-life balance and other issues that have always existed, but which the COVID pandemic suddenly brought front and center.

“Today’s workforce compels us to think about things like alternative work arrangements, diversity, technology, and job satisfaction,” Rockville, Maryland’s E. Cohen & Co. told Accounting Today. The firm says it’s “met this challenge head on by creating a positive work environment.” That it has indeed is borne out by the firm’s low, 6% turnover.

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash


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Green Key