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Business services: better results and higher quality using a different way of working
October 3, 2012
By Richard Cornelisse, Big4.com Guest Blogger
In times of economic growth, there is a tendency to achieve increases in scale through acquisitions. In business services, the emergence of the Big4 is an example of this.
The economic recession causes companies to adjust to new market circumstances: demand decreases, fees come under pressure and employee productivity slides, causing the focus to shift to general cost savings and making downsizing necessary.
One complicating factor is that the traditional way of working and the way in which business services are offered is no longer relevant. In times of recession, inefficiency becomes all the more visible when profits fall and there is no room for innovation.
In addition, poor results have an adverse effect on the cooperation among disciplines: employees focus on self-preservation and not on existing or new forms of cooperation.
The tide can be shifted by reinventing oneself and by realizing behavioral changes among employees. The challenge is to change people who have been successful with their traditional way of working for years.
These are difficult and time-consuming processes that are possible only with close management and the involvement of the leaders.
It is no chimera to consider a future involving significant offshoots and where the term Big4 ceases to exist.
The question has been asked more than once and is more relevant today than ever. Does the – relatively less profitable – auditing of financial statements and consultancy still fit under the umbrella of joint profit distribution?
Not only does regulation lead to change, so do the personal motives of the stakeholders. In times of continued economic recession, are people still willing to support each other financially when certain company components consistently underperform?
Time will tell.
Richard Cornelisse is CEO of the KEY Group and worked previously as Big4 Partner in the Tax Performance Advisory and Indirect Tax Practice and blogs on Tax Function Effectiveness and Tax Control Framework developments.