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

Category: Advisory and Consulting

The Three Types Of Independence You Must Cultivate With Clients

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By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

You need to cultivate and exercise three kinds of independence from your clients:

Intellectual independence. Sometimes, advisors and service providers forget that one of the reasons they are being employed is to provide independent perspectives. They want to be supportive of a client at every stage of the relationship, and sometimes this desire compromises intellectual integrity. [...]


The extraordinary Harry Hopkins–President Roosevelt’s most Trusted Advisor

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By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

In January of 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt invited Wendell Wilkie, who had lost his own bid for the presidency the year before, to visit him at the White House. Sitting in front of the fireplace in the Oval Office, Wilkie steered the topic of conversation to Harry Hopkins, who was Roosevelt’s most trusted advisor.

Hopkins [...]


The Secret to Winning Your Next Sales Pitch

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By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

Clients hate sales pitches. You probably do, too. How do you like to sit still while someone presents PowerPoint slides to you?

Clients don’t like boring pitches, but they love to learn. So turn your next sales presentation into a collaborative, value-added session for the client. Role model what it would be like to actually work with you [...]


Values And Direction Generate Employee Engagement And Strong Organizations

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By Michael VanBruaene, Big4.com Guest Blogger

Focusing on having the best products/services and processes will not be sufficient for your organization’s optimal effectiveness and long term success.  You must also address the human element of your organization, i.e. how to fully engage your employees and their talents. 

For effective employee engagement with highly productive and committed interaction and [...]


Eight Reasons Why You Lose Clients – And What To Do About It (Part II)

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By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

Sometimes client relationships end for appropriate reasons. But you never want a good relationship to end avoidably.

In Part I of this article I described four of the eight most common reasons why client relationships end. These were:

1. A reorganization or executive [...]


CEO’s/Executives – How To Evaluate And Improve Your Organization And Yourself

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By Michael VanBruaene, Big4.com Guest Blogger

CEO’s and Executives should annually evaluate their performance in key organizational areas and also plan for the upcoming year.   How did the organization improve in key areas and how do you plan to improve and move the organization forward in the upcoming year?

The results of self-evaluation can also be the basis [...]


Career Strategy Should Be A Dynamic Process And Focused On How We Want To Live

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By Michael VanBruaene, Big4.com Guest Blogger

Career strategy should be an ongoing process that reflects the dynamic nature of our personal lives, our work and the world.  It should not be something akin to an exercise resulting in specific objectives and actions, rather it should bring into focus how we might best live and be ready to [...]


How Do You Get Your People to Collaborate More?

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By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

Every executive I speak to would like to see more collaboration among their professionals, especially to better serve clients. Collaboration among dif


Eight Reasons Why You Lose Clients – And What To Do About It (Part I)

Andrew Sobel New Headshot 2014

By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

The playwright Oscar Wilde defined a gentleman as someone who “is never unintentionally rude.” Likewise, you never want to have a good client relationship end unintentionally and without a sound reason.

Unfortunately, relationships often avoidably come to an end. Clients usually just vote with their feet and don’t carefully explain to you why they [...]


Specialists Do Better Than Generalists. But Deep Generalists Do Even Better.

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By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

The new wisdom is: Become a visible expert in a niche. If you do you’ll command high fees and be sought after. You’ll get noticed. You’ll out-compete generalists.

All true.

But even more true is this: Add some breadth to your depth, and then you’ll really shine. I call it the deep generalist. (Actually, someone else suggested [...]


The Importance of Breakthrough Moments in Relationships

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By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

Regardless of what stage you’ve reached in a client relationship, you need to look for and seize what I call breakthrough moments. In examining the careers of great professionals, I have found there are always notable moments when they perform in extraordinary ways. The result is a major increase in their stature and in the [...]


Why Having A Great Brand Can Lead You to Fail in Sales

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By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

So you have a strong brand. Congratulations.

You walk into a prospective client’s office feeling confident and self-assured. You bask in the trust and respect that a good brand confers.

But wait—this particular meeting may not be the bowl of cherries you expected. In fact, the executive you’re talking to may have a pre-conceived notion of who [...]


4 business development lies you need to stop believing if you are to rapidly grow a partner-sized client portfolio

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These four business development myths are rife within Big 4 and large firms. Believing them could be very dangerous for your career. Heather Townsend, co-author of The Go-To Expert and How to make partner and still have a life, explains why…

Business development, or should we actually call it ‘marketing and selling’, tends to be seen as a dark [...]


SMB IT – Mid Size Companies –Today’s IT Challenges

Timothy E. Reed

Timothy E. Reed

Despite their unique challenges, mid-size companies tend to have many of the same IT priorities as their much larger counterparts.  The IT Challenges mid-size organizations face today are complex.  A recent McKinsey poll of senior IT executives identified the following key IT challenges,

- Generate more value from Data

- Improve Security

- Reduce cost of [...]


Six Rules for Evoking Curiosity

Andrew Sobel

By Andrew Sobel, Big4 Guest Blogger

In the 1987 movie Wall Street, Charlie Sheen plays a young, ambitious broker named Bud Fox. He goes to see Gordon Gekko, a renowned financier–played by Michael Douglas—to pitch him stock ideas. At every turn, Gekko rebuffs him, telling him his ideas are either old news or just plain bad. Rejecting his final idea, Gekko [...]