Big Four & Leading Accounting and Consulting Firms – news, opinion and career opportunities for aspiring & current professionals & alumni

Category: Advisory and Consulting

Does Money Make You Collaborate?

Andrew Sobel

By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

I once had a client whose leadership constantly talked about teamwork. They wanted professionals from disparate areas of the organization to work together in unison in the service of their customer base. They even installed monetary incentives for better “Teaming.” But, the same leadership group got along very poorly. They were rarely seen together. In [...]

Seven Ways to Connect With Someone Older Than You

Andrew Sobel

By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

It’s not uncommon to find yourself working with a client who is quite a bit older than you. You might be a 35 year-old woman, for example, who needs to build a relationship with a 60 year-old chief financial officer who is male. It may seem, on the surface at least, that you have very [...]

From Impossible to Loyal: Seven Types of Difficult Clients and How to Win Them Over

Andrew Sobel

By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

Early in my consulting career I had a client who slowly became downright abusive. When we first met he was relaxed, confident, professional, and even charming. But underneath that veneer he was a mean-spirited tyrant. As time passed, he became every-more demanding and even vicious. One day, I walked into his office with a three-page [...]

The Seven Deadly Sins of Client Advisors

Andrew Sobel

By Andrew Sobel, Big 4 Guest Blogger

Executives tell me it’s not easy to find an advisor with the right balance of experience, expertise, relationship skills, and client orientation. That’s not surprising. It’s a difficult role to pull off well. There are also lots of bad habits that professionals fall into when it comes to serving clients.

Here are seven types [...]

How To Develop An Effective Organization Structure

Silouhette friends (2)

By Michael VanBruaene, Guest Blogger  

Organization structure, which is the arranging of work activities, is a means to achieving organization objectives.  There is no inherently right or wrong structure, and it’s not a question of flat versus hierarchical.  The focus should be on what works best and results in effective and efficient work processes and the quality [...]

How the smart professionals use valuable content to attract clients

Heather Townsend


Heather Townsend, author of The Go-To Expert and How to make partner and still have a life, explores how savvy professionals use valuable content to make their networking and relationship building more effective.

In the third of our newly published ‘The Go-To-Expert‘ inspired blog posts (get your free chapter of the book here) we look at how you can use [...]

How To Manage Your Organization’s Growth

Arrow going into bullseye

By Michael VanBruaene, Guest Blogger

Growth, particularly when it’s steep and occurs quickly, can substantially strain your organization; and negatively impact customers, finances, business processes and employee effectiveness and morale.  And you may find yourself continually compelled to resolve too many daily problems resulting from the growth.  To effectively manage your growth focus on the following organizational areas:

Why You Started [...]

How To Get The Most From Your Executive Team

By Michael VanBruaene, Guest Blogger

Your executive team is a critical element of your organization. You want each member, and the group, to perform at the highest level to sustain and improve your organization; and the functions and operations for which they are responsible.  Your and the executive team’s actions will affect how employees and work groups throughout the organization [...]

Financial Consolidation Software – Corporate Performance Management – Evaluation

By Tim Reed, Guest Blogger    

Financial Consolidation Software – Corporate Performance Management – Evaluation

The winds of technical change and opportunity are in full force today… just look at what is going on in the area of Corporate Performance Management (CPM) and the new suites of tools and capabilities.  The legacy toolsets used for financial consolidation and financial reporting [...]

Special Big4 Offer to Attend Bank and Capital Markets Tax Institute (BTI) 2013


For 48 years, the annual Bank and Capital Markets Tax Institute (BTI)  has brought the leading regulatory, government, and compliance experts from the banking industry to discuss the regulatory updates and this year will be no different.

Conference participants get essential updates on key industry topics, including general banking, IRS Developments, Capital Markets, and Loan Workouts.

Further, BTI continues to offer [...]

How To Integrate Continuous Improvement Into Your Organization’s Culture And Daily Activities

By Michael VanBruaene, Guest Blogger

A continuous organization improvement program can be easily implemented and very beneficial using minimal organization resources; and become inherent in your culture and day-to-day activities throughout you organization.

Use These Guidelines To Foster A Continuous Improvement Focus.

Top Management Must Lead
Integrate Improvements Into Performance Reporting
Staff Meeting Agendas That Include Improvement Status
Rigorous Analysis of Improvement Ideas
Position Descriptions Include Improvement Contribution [...]

Identify The Strengths Of Your Services And Where Improvements Can Be Leveraged

By Michael VanBruaene, Guest Blogger

Improving the production and delivery of your services can positively impact customer satisfaction, competitive advantage and efficiencies.   The key is to identify where to make improvements and which improvements will deliver the greater benefit.  This easy to use tool will help you to identify and make those important improvements.

The criteria in this tool cover these [...]

How To Succeed In A Continually Changing And Unstructured Workplace

By Michael VanBruaene, Guest Blogger

Many workplaces employ relatively few people and have substantial ongoing change, along with minimal organization structure and informal work processes.  It’s also normal to “wear many hats” and change work focus with little or no advance notice.   This is particularly evident with startups and entrepreneurs.

Some people thrive in this workplace, others find it very challenging. [...]

Important Considerations For An Organizational Restructuring

By Michael VanBruaene, Guest Blogger

An organization restructuring will create substantial impacts that can extend throughout the organization and also with external relationships.  It should be evaluated with great care.  When you consider a restructuring apply these factors:

Establish and document the reorganization’s objectives
Where the organization will be in 2-5 years.
Alignment of current positions with organization strategy.
Should the position or the [...]

Performance Self Evaluation – Use Your Own Critiera

By Michael VanBruaene, Guest Blogger


We should use own criteria for evaluating our work performance and determining what we want to achieve going forward.  In a fluid world economy that requires self-reliance and self-definition we cannot rely on an organization to set our work standards and evaluate our performance (granted we will have to live with the criteria set by [...]