A Move to Consulting Attractive for Most Financial Leaders

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By Robert Half March 31, 2015 at 4:12pm

What does the future hold for today’s financial executives? The results of a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey indicate a move to consulting may be in the cards for many.

More than eight in 10 chief financial officers (83 percent) said consulting is an attractive career for senior-level accounting and finance executives. Respondents cited a flexible schedule and compensation as the most enticing aspects.

It’s not just executives who are likely to be excited by the prospect of becoming consultants, though. Organizations welcome the ability to work with a deep base of independent, highly experienced specialists and business leaders.

“Many companies seek on-demand subject-matter expertise from independent consultants to help guide them through corporate transitions, such as IPOs, mergers or restatements, or managing business process improvements,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “Professionals who have years of experience directing their organization’s financial success are often the ideal resource to provide that counsel.”

Perhaps it’s not surprising so many financial leaders are interested in consulting and many companies want to work with consultants. These opportunities allow accounting and finance professionals to do what they love most about their careers, according to a separate Robert Half survey: solve problems.

Making the move to finance consulting

As executives look to go solo, they can take comfort they don’t have to go it alone. Check in with your network about potential opportunities.

Also, reach out to a staffing firm specializing in placing senior-level financial consultants. These firms can ease the transition by securing engagements and managing the logistical aspects, such as invoices and payroll, allowing executives to focus on why they become a consultant: the work.

To enhance your marketability, determine the type of work of greatest interest for you, and pinpoint your skills and expertise that align with it. You can also heighten your visibility and reputation as a thought leader by authoring articles for trade publications and presenting at industry events.

As options open for executives, it’s clear a career as a consultant is a highly enticing one for today’s financial leaders.

Photo credit: Ace playing cards, by Enoch Lau, [CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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