How to Design Agility into Your Business
When To use a Consultant
The reasons and benefits of bringing in a consultant are both varied and plentiful. Some of them are obvious, while others might be enlightening. Bringing in a consultant could improve the quality of your life while at the same time, better the performance of your company. The reality is that most of us have a seemingly endless amount of work to do. We are of the view that bringing in the right consultant will personally help you get more work done and benefit your company simultaneously. The trick of course, is identifying the opportunities that provide you leverage.
Here are the 10 most common reasons for bringing in an Accounting or Finance Consultant:

• Staffing Turnover
• Medical/Maternity leave
• New technical guidance evaluation and/or implementation
• Annual audit or budget
• System selection, implementation or upgrade
• Hiring freeze
• Business transformation
• M&A related activity
• Improve retention
• Growth/expansion

Here are 8 compelling arguments that you can use with senior management to secure a consultant:

What is Your Time Worth?

When someone announces they are leaving, they typically provide 2 weeks’ notice. Assuming you want to replace them with someone excellent, that person is likely working for another great company and it will take 90 to 120 days to recruit them. That’s a lot of time to be doing some of their job + your job. Projects may be delayed, and deliverables may need to wait.

Overwork Leads to Burnout

When an employee leaves, many companies try to allocate the deliverables to 3 other individuals. If your team is spread thin, they may resent the increased workload. If more employees leave, your company could be in dire straits.

You Must Justify Your Permanent Headcount

If you devise an elaborate plan to allocate the former incumbent’s work and succeed, you may have another problem on your plate. The company may wonder why you need to hire a replacement.

What if They Don’t Come Back?

If they leave for a medical or maternity leave, what is your contingency plan if they decide not to return? Start getting that work done now.

Outsource the Low Value Work so You Can Provide Real Impact

Use a consultant to take on the remedial day to day work so you and your team can add to your resume by acquiring new skills to implement a new system, evaluate and implement a new accounting pronouncement, or to drive change in your current business processes.

You Need Some Fresh Ideas

Consultants have a diverse background of skills and experiences. Bring them in to improve and automate your processes and deliver the first perspective you need to drive the change you were looking for.

Your Culture is Resistant to Change

Outside consultants don’t have to worry about a promotion or burning political capital. If you have been tasked with a project that requires stakeholders to do work or interrupts their day to day lives, you might want to give that work to a consultant.

An M&A Event Requires 100% of Your Time

If your company is approaching a potential transaction, it’s likely that it requires your undivided attention. Focusing on the momentum needed to get a deal done may require you to give up pieces of your day job for a period of time. A consultant can help

When and how you decide to use a consultant is always going to be unique to your circumstances. If your company can afford the investment, make your case for bringing in the help. Your staff, peers, and stakeholders will thank you!


Patrick Coggins