Financial Consulting – Creative Ways to Advance Consulting Financial Affairs

Based on statistics, there are now thousands of people who are coming from all points of the globe who are trying to start a career in financial consulting. If you are one of them, you better set yourself apart from the rest as early as now. Here’s how you can do that:

1. You must be an expert. As a financial consultant, you must have the capability to offer sound advice about money management to organizations and individuals. You are expected to help your clients in reaching their long term financial goals. You are to guide them in regards to investing, debt management, and developing savings plan.

2. Choose your clients. By this, I simply mean specialize. There are basically 3 major types of market that you can serve in financial consulting. These are individuals, couples, and organizations. When serving individuals (personal financial consulting), you will need to focus on helping people manage their significant financial resources and investment portfolio. You will need to offer them advice about income management, taxation planning, long term planning, and risk-assessment.

On the other hand, if you are serving corporation, you will be asked to help them in dealing with their financial challenges. They will require sound advice about budgeting issues, managing the company’s debt, and answers to questions about retirement and benefit plans for their employees. You may also opt to focus on serving couples who are seriously thinking about expanding their family. They will ask you about good mortgage rate, the best time to start a college fund, and how and when to save for their retirement. Serve those clients whose needs compliment your educational background and areas of expertise.

Service Management Consultants

On a day if you do not come across any problems, then you are travelling in the wrong path is a famous quote. As the saying goes, life is full of problems and troubles. Similar to a person encountering a problem, a business or a company is also prone to problems. The burden of a problem is reduced to half when shared with others.

Service management consultants are companies that offer management consultations to firms that are in need of one. There are several types of them. Some have specialization in one technology and offer consultation to only companies belonging to one group. The others offer multiple types of consultations. In general the consultations offered by them could be broadly classified into information technology consultation, strategic consultation, financial consultation and business consultations.

Service management consultants have the power of changing the fate of an organization. A lot of organizations benefited from the consultations offered by them. An organization declining towards failure can be made to progress in the positive direction through the consultations rendered by them.

There are lots of companies who cater the needs of several business enterprises functioning worldwide. The cost of the services offered by these consultation companies is extremely reasonable. They have a solution for all the companies irrespective of their size, location and core competency.

For any business to prosper, efficient business strategy is a must. They have the capacity to formulate the best business strategies that will help a company become a world player. They help the business strengthen its supply chain, expand its distribution logistics, improve customer satisfaction, identify the core competency and increase the annual turnover. They provide a complete solution to all types of managerial problems that a business encounters.

Availing the services offered by a service management consultation company is exceedingly easy. All the service management consultation firms have online portals exclusively dedicated to serving their clients. Any company that is in need of a consultation has to visit one of the many service management consultation websites available on the internet and fill up an enquiry form. In most cases, the consultants themselves contact the business enterprises that are in need of assistance. The enterprise has to pay a reasonable fee to the consultants. The consultants on receipt of the fee provide ideal business solutions for the problems encountered by an enterprise.

A small idea can generate a massive success. The services rendered by the management consultation firms are priceless. These companies have highly experience people with professional expertise working with them. These companies in general have branches throughout the world. It is indispensable, for any enterprise should go in for a consultation offered by these service management consultation companies in order to find itself an outstanding place in the market.

If your business is in some trouble, walk-in to one of the many service management consultant companies, today! As always, a stitch in time saves nine!

Are Your Coaches and Consultants Financially Literate?

I was attending a meeting at one of my client companies a couple of years ago. They regularly conducted sessions for the external executive coaches with whom their leaders worked, to provide updates on company results and strategy.

During one segment of the meeting, the presenter used the accounting term “goodwill.” The executive coach seated next to me leaned over to me and quietly asked: “What’s goodwill?” I was flabbergasted and wondered to myself: “How (or WHY!) could or would any company do business with external coaches or consultants who do not have a fundamental understanding of finance? If their balance sheet is a primary indicator of strategic success and their income and cash-flow statements are fundamental indicators of operating success, how can external experts support their business success without a fundamental working knowledge of these documents and their interrelationships?”

During a meeting at another client company, an external executive coach said the following to me: “I just don’t understand why companies treat people development as an ‘expense’ and not as an ‘investment’. Whenever expense reductions are required, training and development get cut.” My reaction – out loud this time: “People development is treated as an expense because it is. Maybe one day, accounting rules will allow training and development to be treated as a capital expense rather than as an operating expense. If that happens, an annual increment could be expensed as depreciation. I think that more accurately expresses how training and development ought to be booked, as the value of new knowledge and skills depreciates over time. What do you think?”

He said, “I agree,” but I know down to my socks that he had no idea what I was talking about.

I know a woman who makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year selling HR solutions to large companies for a top three, international HR consulting firm. One day when we were discussing her investments, she said to me, “I generally sell a stock when it hits $100.” I looked at her incredulously and said, “I think you need professional help managing your investments,” while thinking, “How can she possibly help her clients create value if her investment acumen indicates her overall lack of financial literacy?”

Here’s my bottom line (pun intended) on this matter: If you are doing business with external experts, they need to have at least a working knowledge of finance. Otherwise, they cannot possibly understand how your company makes money. If they don’t understand how your company makes money, they cannot possibly appreciate how to help you create value for the buyers of your products and services. If the professional services you purchase do not, at some point, translate into value for your customers, YOU ARE WASTING YOUR MONEY!!!

What should you do about this? I’m happy you asked.

As part of your triage process, engage professional service providers in a discussion that enables you to subtly (or not so subtly) ask the following questions. These are issues and terms that are critical to a company’s success. Your consultants and coaches must have a basic understanding of them in order to create value for you:

o What is EBITDA and why is it important?

o What does “hurdle rate” mean, in the context of a company considering internal investments?

o What are “net present value” and “discounted cash flow”?

o How does the prospective valuation of “goodwill” affect the valuation of an acquisition candidate?

These are NOT complex concepts. An outside expert pitching you on his products or services ought to have at least a fundamental understanding of income statement and balance sheet issues if he is to be a partner in your success.

Copyright 2010 Rand Golletz. All rights reserved.

The Benefits of Having a Financial Director

There are points in almost everyone’s life when a little bit of specialist advice is just what’s needed – and never is this more true than when your business is in need of help.

This could be for a number of reasons – It could be that your company is facing problems, for example, rising sales could be causing problems with cash flow. Or perhaps you want support in emerging from a particularly difficult time in the company’s operations. Alternatively, you might be approaching a transaction of some kind – whether that be a merger or acquisition, or fundraising activity.

Because financial directors fully understands the commercial implications of the financial data put in front of them, they can look at the business objectively and work out where you should be channelling resources to get the maximum return. This will not only give the owner the confidence to make better decisions (and faster), but the expertise of a financial director is invaluable in presenting the facts and figures to the board – indeed, the same goes for presenting to the bank should fundraising be required, and the presence of an experienced financial director can really reassure investors.

An FD is not simply the gatekeeper of the purse strings, or, as some might think, a glorified management accountant or bookkeeper. Instead he or she is a strategic financial expert who has the skills and experience to ensure the fulfilment of commercial objectives. Another myth is that a financial director has to be a permanent, full-time member of staff. This simply is not true, and means that having access the skills and expertise of an FD might not be as expensive as you may think. In fact, a financial director can be very cost-effective – or even save you money!

If you don’t need support on this intensive basis and simply cannot justify the cost of a full-time FD – all these skills and experience unsurprisingly comes at a cost – why not consider a ‘virtual financial director’, or put more simply – a consultant financial director?

Working a set number of days for an agreed daily rate, top-flight FDs can bring a wealth of specialised expertise to your boardroom table for a fee that you can afford. The best way to source one would be to speak to your accountant initially to see if they would be able to fulfil this role – after all, who knows your accounts better than your accountants? Otherwise, use contacts to recommend financial directors that they know, or turn to an interim FD through a recruitment platform. Remember, having a consultant FD means that the emphasis is on them to provide you with an excellent service, otherwise you can easily replace them with an FD that performs better.