Business consultants need to know the auditing

Starting a job as an examiner or consultant?

What developments do prospective management consultants have to prepare for? Which skills are critical for your job success? gives career tips that will take you further.

The industry is concentrating: The pure strategy business is more competitive than ever and growth is often only possible through the offer of implementation-related additional services and partnerships with companies from neighboring industries. Economies of scale are becoming more important and experts are already predicting that international strategy consultancies with annual sales of less than 2 billion US dollars will not be able to survive on their own in the long term.
Only McKinsey and BCG are currently overcoming this hurdle, perhaps Bain. And even these traditional houses are experimenting with new sources of income, for example by setting up market research, education or business technology services. Cooperations such as those between McKinsey and Lufthansa Systems or PwC and Google are also gaining in importance.

"There are fewer (top) addresses because the Big 4 are buying the market empty. If you want to go to a“ pure player ”, you will encounter a smaller number of global strategy consultancies and some hidden champions "For the wastepaper basket are out. What is needed is a greater ability to implement concepts developed together with the customer. This requires both relevant experience and a high level of social competence." Dr. Jens Petersen, Partner, Ebner Stolz Management Consultants

Auditing 2.0

Auditing 2.0: The biggest winners are the auditing companies, for whom the consulting business still promises significantly higher margins compared to their auditing and tax services. The Big4 have enlarged their consulting departments through acquisitions and massive new appointments in order to be able to offer their customers all-round service from a single source. While their acquisitions initially focused primarily on specialized boutiques (EY bought J&M Management Consulting, KPMG took over Stratley and CTG), they now dare to do large-scale purchases. Initially, Deloitte acquired the Monitor Group and later PwC turned to Booz & Company to develop a globally independent strategy consultancy under the brand strategy &.

What do these changes mean for your consulting career?

The tasks and career opportunities for young professionals do not change immediately. Consulting remains a challenging and varied field of activity for top graduates. As in previous years, it will always be a major challenge for consultants to respond to the changing requirements of customers. Industry know-how and implementation skills are becoming more and more important when it comes to strategic issues. But topics with a transformative character, such as the advancing digitization in many corporate functions, are also gaining in importance.

It is also to be expected that within the large consulting firms there will increasingly be different career paths with different working hours, travel requirements and salary classes. For example, a newcomer to McKinsey Solutions will do less strategy work, but rather conduct highly complex data mining. At PWC or Deloitte, on the other hand, you may end up in a global strategy consulting unit that has little to do with the traditional implementation-related advisory of the WP companies. When choosing an employer, you should strive to understand exactly where the potential job hangs within the company.

In the course of the consolidation, the fight for talent is getting tougher, so that the consultants have to position themselves as attractive employers. As our Consulting Excellence study by shows, applicants and young consultants now place greater value on work-life balance. In order to further increase the proportion of women among the consultants from an average of 20 percent, the consultations must offer more flexible working models that are compatible with family planning. This now includes part-time models for consultants, such as Personal Time at McKinsey, as well as the option of leaving the company for a year on sabbaticals.

Which skills are critical for your job success?

  • "Initially the same, timeless skills: a good" toolkit ", interest in the actual task, bite, flexibility and always a little tolerance for frustration. But what is becoming increasingly important: method and problem-solving skills. How do I find the right information and solutions? And how Do I use them? This will become the top topic in an increasingly pronounced information society. Stay authentic. Not every consultation is the "right" one for you: a certain amount of research is required for your training, your personality and your career goals to find the right management consultancy. " Dr. Jens Petersen, partner,Ebner Stolz Management Consultants

  • "Overall, our consulting business is changing just as quickly as the conditions and challenges of our clients. Our consultants deal with cutting-edge topics such as Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things or demographic change. This requires more and more specialist knowledge. Almost 30 percent of our consultants are now coming with several years of experience in industry. But the university graduates who join us already have international and professional experience with them. Many are very industry-related. In addition, our consultants have very different backgrounds, from mathematicians to engineers to psychologists . "Dr. Thomas Fritz, Director of Recruiting,McKinsey
  • "In addition to analytical skills, practical experience in industry is an advantage for the consultant job, and especially with Oliver Wyman. Because consultants have to quickly empathize with the respective corporate structure and culture of the customer during projects. A basic understanding for large and medium-sized companies is therefore very important helpful. For newcomers, social competence, pronounced communication skills and flexibility as well as motivation and initiative are decisive at Oliver Wyman. We also attach great importance to non-university and voluntary commitment. Due to the international working environment, newcomers should also have extensive international experience and intercultural competence ".Karen Brandt, Talent Manager,Oliver Wyman

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