Senior-Level Professionals Enticed by Consulting's Flexibility and Compensation, Survey Shows

MENLO PARK, Calif., March 26, 2015 -- What career prospects entice today's financial leaders once they've reached the top of the profession? Research suggests that for many, it could be a move to consulting. In a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey, 83 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) said they find consulting attractive. Respondents cited flexible schedules and compensation as top draws.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world's premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 2,200 CFOs at companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. markets.

CFOs were asked, "In your opinion, how attractive is a career in consulting to senior-level accounting and finance executives?" Their responses*:

Very attractive


Somewhat attractive


Somewhat unattractive


Very unattractive


Don't know




CFOs also were asked, "Which of the following is the most attractive aspect of a career in consulting?" Their responses*:

Flexible schedule


Attractive compensation


Variety and challenge of work


Active employment


Ability to make decisions more autonomously


All of the above


None of the above


Don't know




*Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.

"Many companies seek on-demand subject matter expertise from independent consultants to help guide them through corporate transitions, such as IPOs, mergers or restatements, or managing business process improvements," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. "Professionals who have years of experience directing their organization's financial success are often the ideal resource to provide that counsel."

Robert Half Management Resources offers five tips for those considering the move to finance consulting:

  1. Determine your desired specialization. Do you want to troubleshoot for struggling companies, or manage a firm on an interim basis during a specific growth stage? Or would you prefer to focus on a particular kind of engagement, such as compliance or systems initiatives? Also examine the type of company, by size, industry and product or service, of greatest interest to you.
  2. Identify your most marketable attributes. Once you've established the work that most interests you, pinpoint your skills and experience that will make target companies want to work with you.
  3. Check in with your network. Let your contacts know about your career move. Ask them for their insights and referrals to others who can help. At the same time, be generous with your expertise. In addition to assisting others, offering advice will showcase your skills and knowledge.
  4. Work with a staffing firm. Securing engagements and managing administrative logistics can be difficult, time-consuming and, perhaps most concerning, take you away from why you go into consulting: the work. A staffing firm specializing in the placement of senior-level financial professionals can find opportunities you may not be able to on your own, keep the pipeline of engagements flowing and manage logistical details, including invoices and payroll.
  5. Build your visibility. Organizations want to work with experts who are committed to and passionate about their field. Writing articles for trade publications and presenting at professional association events highlight your thought leadership and dedication to the industry.

About Robert Half Management Resources
Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has 150 locations worldwide and offers assistance to consultants and hiring managers at roberthalf.com/management-resources and on its blog at roberthalf.com/management-resources/blog.

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