If you're looking for a professional environment which offers great variety and challenges, you might want to consider becoming an independent consultant.
With a wide array of opportunities, particularly in the accounting and finance industry, independent consultancy in Hong Kong is flourishing market. Chief among the benefits is the flexibility independent consulting offers. Let's take a look at why and how.
Why become an independent consultant?
The 21st century thus far has been a "Golden Age" for project consulting[EM1] . Many companies across Hong Kong are looking for accounting and finance professionals with specialised skillsets and expertise to support their existing team across a wide range of projects.
For example, in the Robert Half Management Resources survey of chief financial officers, 57 percent of respondents said they will require consultants for general finance and accounting services this year. Whilst some plan to outsource more specialized work, such as taxation (42 percent) and risk, governance and compliance (40 percent). Nearly half of all CFOs surveyed said they plan to bring in outside assistance to improve overall company performance and business systems, reflecting the increasing demand in particular for business system analysts.
Is independent consulting for me?
One of the big draws of consulting work – and an example of the flexibility it offers – is the variety of assignments you may see. With a career in independent consultancy, professionals can gain exposure to many companies and industries. This exposure also allows you to build your network as you build relationships (and ideally repeat business) with clients, and meet and work with new people.
Where to work?
One key decision you'll need to make if you plan to consult is whether you will work with a staffing firm that offers project consulting career services or attempt to strike out on your own and establish your own business. Flying solo can be rewarding, but it is also hard work, especially when you're just starting out (and if you don't have any clients).
Working with a well-established staffing firm is another way to take advantage of independent consulting's flexibility. These firms give consulting candidates the ability to pick and choose their assignments. If the duration or timing of a project opportunity doesn't suit your schedule or your desire to consult on a part-time basis, you're under no obligation to accept the assignment. This may not be possible if you strike out on your own.
Other benefits of working with a reputable staffing firm include:
1. Career path guidance – You can rely on the expertise of experienced staffing specialists to place you in roles best suited to your skills and experience as you transition into independent consultancy.
2. Fast placements – Just jumping straight into consulting is hard, but if you work with a staffing firm, you're likely to have faster access to rewarding assignments with leading employers.
3. Greater exposure – Large, reputable staffing firms can present you with opportunities to expand your career horizons by working on projects at companies or in industries you hadn't previously considered.
Independent consulting can be an attractive option for accounting and finance professionals, especially as both businesses and professionals realize the benefits of greater flexibility.
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