Management Consulting vs. Accounting
Management consultants and accountants provide different services to the organization. However, both their contributions are vital to the regular operations and future decisions of top management.
Area of Concentration
The main responsibility of consultants is to resolve the business dilemma of their clients. To execute this, they analyze the scenario presented to them, along with the factors affecting it. This connotes going into the details of the market situation, the company’s financial status, competitors’ strategies and capability of human resources. The recommendations of consultants guide top management in making decisions related to their operations. Management consultants have diverse and dynamic role for they can settle any problem of a company, and they are sent to different sectors, too.
Accountants, on the other hand, focus on managing financial information. They maintain accounting records, develop company budget, process payable and receivables, audit financial documents and compute business taxes. Their records are considered crucial because they reveal the status of the company. They can tell whether the company is financially thriving or is doomed to bankruptcy. Many companies have their own accounting departments, but some just outsource accounting services to external providers.
Management consultants often use accounting documents and consult with accountants as they work on a project. These, among others, become part of the bases of their recommendations.
Significant Skills and Values
Management consultants are required to have critical thinking skills. They must view the scenario from different angles to encapsulate all factors. Breaking complex ideas into simple ones and integrating bits of information to get the entire picture help them understand the situation. Apart from these, they need to be determined enough to address their client’s needs. This may mean working overtime just to beat deadlines.
The most important value accountants must have is accuracy. They need to be meticulous with numbers to generate timely and precise reports for top management. Further, accountants must also hold on to honesty; otherwise, the system will be prone to corruption and fraud. Maintaining objectivity and avoiding conflict of interest are the other requirements.
Both management consultants and accountants must be very comfortable working with numbers since they’ll deal with figures every day. They must be proficient in using spreadsheets, as well. Possessing excellent communication and organizational skills is another qualification that backs them up in performing their responsibilities.
Management consultants can have different educational background, but it often is business-oriented or covers an MBA.
In the other field, professionals must have a degree in accounting. Those who take the licensure examination and become Certified Public Accountant get a better pay and more work opportunities. The license indicates they have reached a higher degree of technical expertise and professionalism.