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Consulting market 'likely to grow'

12/07/13

The financial consulting market is likely to see a period of consolidation over the coming 12 months as client companies, lacking in-house resources and keen to deliver the best results possible to frustrated stake-holders, turn to external expertise for help.

According to joint managing director of Source Information Services Fiona Czerniawska, the slightly disappointing results seen in 2012 should not stop consultants from looking for growth in 2013.

Writing in Accountancy Age, she suggested that surveying organisations in the UK reveals that they have three major aims for the coming year - keeping costs down, growing their business and exploiting the opportunities offered by new technologies.

"There has been a marked increase in the importance clients appear to be attaching to implementation this year. Another word which we're hearing much more is transformation," added Ms Czerniawska.

While she admitted that the financial services sector does not appear to be looking for expansion quite as intensely as it has in previous years, attempts to modernise and embrace new technologies are still widespread.

However, the Source Information Services director admitted that consulting firms in the finance industry are unlikely to see major growth in the future as the Big Four audit firms take on more business in this area.

Many of the stated aims put forward by companies falls nicely into their wheelhouse, making it harder for their smaller businesses to pick up the trade they need.

What this means is that the industry, rather than expanding, is likely to change its approach and begin offering a different range of services to prospective clients.

"Opportunities exist and clients are more confident and willing to consider discretionary expenditure than they were this time last year. But the real story will be around the reshaping of the industry," concluded Ms Czerniawska.

A recent report suggested that more could be done to break the grip of the so-called big four audit firms on the industry, potentially offering more opportunities to small consultancy firms.

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