Press Release

Technology and Change Management Dominate in Finance Operations Consulting

ALM Intelligence Releases the Top Rated Consulting Firms for Finance Operations

New York, NY – March 5, 2019 – New research from ALM’s Consulting Intelligence division, formerly known as Kennedy Consulting, reports that robust M&A activity levels, market volatility, and political instability are contributing to a boom in finance operations consulting projects.

“Consulting to finance operations is a fairly productized offering, but the very widespread need for cost reductions, greater operational efficiencies and closer integration with other departments translates into a heavy technology lift for consultants,” said Tomek Jankowski, Senior Analyst at ALM Intelligence. “In effect, in 2019 finance operations consulting projects are becoming synonymous with digital transformation and change management consulting.”

For consulting providers, the chief takeaway in 2019 is that because differentiation on finance consulting capabilities alone is impractical, providers are gaining more traction by investing in their breadth capabilities (especially digital technology) and closely integrating those capabilities into a seamless cross-functional client experience. The Big Four have an advantage in this respect, but are themselves still challenged by resource and capability constraints — while many other providers are trying to move down this same path. For clients, the most successful providers in the 2019 Finance Operations Vanguard were those which were best able to put finance operations into context, “connecting the dots” across the back, middle and front offices, optimizing not just the finance function performance but the finance operations role in client organizations.

In this report, ALM Intelligence explores:

  • How traditional market strategies for providers in the finance operations space — corporate finance, turnaround and restructuring, technology and BPO, and boutiques — are converging, compelling large-scale investments in capabilities all around.
  • How Vanguard leaders in this report were early to realize that new technologies and closer alignment with CFO strategy and other organizational departments require a complete reinvention of the client finance team. Shifting responsibilities, new skill set requirements, greater need for interfacing intelligently with other departments, and new reporting structures all require a more integrated change management element to finance operations consulting offerings.
  • How new technologies are helping, but also driving some of this client finance team distress, leading to team bandwidth issues. Providers are being pressed by clients to help both during and after projects, and many providers are developing software/ function-as-a-service offerings, as well as interim and managed services.

Most consulting to finance operations takes place within the context of an event, an M&A deal, a restructuring, or a regulatory event, and is therefore tied to goals beyond finance. This means that while leading providers continue to strengthen their finance-related consulting capabilities, much of their most impactful investment is taking place on the breadth side: in technology, in consulting to human capital, in risk and compliance, and being able to more seamlessly integrate these services within their finance operations offering. The most dramatic area of service growth for the leaders in finance operations consulting is around as-a-service and interim or managed services.

Providers covered in the report include A.T. Kearney Holdings Limited, Accenture LLP, AlixPartners, Alvarez & Marsal Holdings, LLC; Bain & Company, BDO International, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP; BearingPoint Europe Holdings B.V., Boston Consulting Group, Bridgepoint Consulting, Capgemini Consulting, CrossCountry Consulting, Crowe LLP, Deloitte LLP, EY LLP, Fahrenheit Group, FTI Consulting, Inc.; goetzpartners, Grant Thornton International, Ltd.; The Hackett Group, Heartland Consulting, Horvath & Partners, IBM Consulting Group, KPMG, L.E.K. Consulting, McKinsey & Company, North Highland, Oliver Wyman Group, PA Consulting Group, Protiviti, PwC, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, and RSM.

ALM’s Vanguard research series assesses firms in terms of their relative ability to create impact for their clients. In addition to its overall rating assessments of consulting providers’ depth and breadth of capabilities and best-in-class provider designations, this series includes detailed capability evaluations for each covered provider as well as a qualitative analysis of their consulting organization, approach, and service delivery model.

For more information or to obtain the full version of The ALM Vanguard: Finance Operations Consulting, visit the ALM Intelligence website: http://crp.consulting.almintel.com/#/allreport

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