What is Financial Consulting?
Financial consulting is a service provided by Certified Financial Consultants® to large corporations, government agencies and individual clients. The role of a financial advisor is to provide an expert, independent opinion on a proposed business plan or decision. There are two main types of financial advice: business and personal.
Companies that require expertise in accounting, finance, insurance and other aspects of finance hire a corporate financial advisor. Individual clients use the services of financial advisors to manage their investments, properties and long-term financial plans. The skills required for these two roles are slightly different, as are customer expectations.
A Certified Financial Consultant® (CFC®) is a professional designation earned by The Institute of Financial Consultants® upon successful completion of an educational program and exam. This designation is internationally recognized and is an important professional credential for a position in this field. CFCs® are required to complete professional development courses each year to ensure they are current on the latest business theories and practices.
In a corporate financial advisory arrangement, the client has a specific plan or concept on which they want an independent opinion. The consultant's role is to review the proposed plan and identify strengths and weaknesses. They should also provide advice on risk management, pending government regulations, industry trends and long-term viability.
This type of work requires experience in accounting, finance, insurance and business management. Consultants typically have ten to fifteen years of practical experience in a wide range of related positions before becoming consultants. These experiences add value and perspective.
Personal financial advice is often a service required by people with significant financial resources and a complex investment portfolio. These services include investment advice, tax planning, income management, risk assessment and long-term planning. These issues need to be actively managed by a professional to get the most benefit with as little risk as possible.
Consultants specializing in this area usually have experience in accounting and financial planning. A minimum of five years of personal finance management experience is important, as is an open communication and review process. While some companies offer estate planning, always consult an attorney on these matters to avoid problems for your beneficiaries. Financial consulting offers a range of opportunities for employment, career advancement and career growth. If you are interested in a career in finance, explore consulting as a career path.