Do You Have the Experience You Need to Land Financial Consulting Jobs?

By Robert Half December 6, 2018 at 7:47pm

Consulting jobs are becoming more attractive to senior-level professionals seeking a flexible schedule and the opportunity to work on a variety of challenging assignments. At the same time, consultants are becoming more attractive to companies that need highly skilled financial talent on an interim basis to help them address a wide range of business challenges. But you’ll need to have the right experience to land these engagements.

If you're interested in senior-level financial, accounting or business systems consulting jobs, here's an overview of the experience that most employers — and the financial staffing and interim management firm you might work with — will want you to bring to the table:

Overall expectations

To land financial project consulting jobs or interim management positions, you must have a bachelor's degree in your field. Most successful consultants also have their graduate degree in a related discipline or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Be sure to also include a description of your work ethic in your resume, along with details about your work experience.

Communication abilities, including both written and verbal communication skills, are also a must for financial consulting jobs These roles typically require the ability to interface smoothly and productively with clients and team members.

For more insight on the types of nontechnical abilities needed for today’s accounting and finance jobs, including financial consulting jobs, check out this post.

There are many ways you can serve as a financial consultant. Here's an overview of requirements for three of today's key roles:

Financial consultant

Most financial consultant roles will require previous financial planning and reporting analysis experience. Consultants also often possess at least one of the following certifications:

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
  • Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

Learn more about in-demand certifications in the accounting and finance profession in this post.

Accounting consultant

While all consultants need analytical and problem-solving skills, accounting consultants specifically should demonstrate strong mathematics and Excel proficiency.

Accounting consultants also must have a CPA or CMA credential. Some additional certifications may include:

  • Certified Bank Auditor (CBA)
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
  • Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
  • Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)
  • Enrolled Agent (EA)

Being well-versed in different types of software, like enterprise resource planning (ERP), can also give you an advantage over other consultants. Engaging in continuing education demonstrates a thirst for knowledge that makes you an attractive candidate for many consulting jobs.

Business systems consultant

Business systems analysts are in high demand, and most organizations look to hire business systems consultants with strong research and organization skills. While many employers look for a degree in computer science or an applied mathematics field, industry certifications, like the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) designation by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), are also becoming more valuable.

Working knowledge of MSP loan servicing systems, Microsoft SSIS Packages and ELI (Electronic Loan Interface from MSP) is a bonus. Experience with a variety of data mapping technologies and tools could make you a more marketable candidate as well.

Consulting can be a rewarding path, and it's a good time to consider making the move. Many firms are becoming increasingly more reliant on a flexible labor force that includes teams of specialized consultants who help businesses keep pace with current demands, seize new opportunities and also respond to unexpected challenges. If you have the right skills and experience to meet the high expectations of today's employers, you'll position yourself well for financial consulting jobs.

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