Should A Business Consider Engaging Consultants?

By Wajdi Al Jallad, Managing Director of Keypoint

‘Good’ expert advice tends to be both expensive and hard to get. In an uncertain economic climate, where threats seem to be increasing on an almost daily basis, competition is increasing and the traditional fundamentals of business are being replaced by previously unfathomable drivers of change like artificial intelligence and digital transformation. Clients increasingly have high expectations for professional services firms.

I am often asked to explain the value of getting expert advice. At Keypoint our core culture empowers us to provide creative, efficient solutions to complex business needs, drawing on the deep knowledge and experience of our professionals across a number of different areas of expertise.

Experience in a tough regional market suggests that our clients expect us to have the skills and capabilities that the market needs now (and will need in the future), not the skills that were needed ten years ago – or even last year. Clients are increasingly fixed on their bottom lines, expecting us to either reduce our fees or add extra value in other ways (including expanding scope).

We know that we need to better understand client needs now – and in the future. Clients value our skilled, specialised professionals because using those professionals allows key decision makers to redeploy expensive resources from administrative responsibilities to core business areas – where they are much more likely to add significant value and help companies develop a comparative advantage. But the case for seeking expert advice and engaging an external consultant should be more than just financial.

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So why should businesses engage consultants? It is more than just being able to focus on core business matters.

We offer access to specialized, hard-to-find and expensive skill and expertise that few if any, regional businesses can easily justify keeping on staff – such as chartered tax advisors, IFRS specialists or ‘white hackers’. Those skills can either be bought for the long-term (in which case it might be possible that having an in-house resource makes sense) or for the short-term.

Because of the wide range of businesses we work with, we understand (if not set) leading practice, developing an unrivalled understanding of what works – and why. As an external advisor, we deliver the highest levels of confidentiality – a key requisite when organisations are seeking to protect personal information such as levels of pay (and an important reason for the success of our payroll services). Finally, where a professional services firm is engaged to provide a specific, specialist service, it is the firm’s responsibility to ensure any resource substitution – however, it is caused – is dealt with seamlessly. Clients engage us to provide a service – and that service has to be provided.

Why do we do what we do? Over the last 13 years, our market, clientele and staff have evolved and we now employ over 100 qualified, experienced professionals – the core reason for our success – including lawyers and members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts, the Institute of Internal Auditors, the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, the Institute of Chartered Tax Advisors and the Institute of Certified Fraud Examiners , as well as advanced degree holders in a wide range of subjects including law, IT, banking & finance, accounting, economics, management, HR and business administration. Our professionals’ experience and expertise make Keypoint one of the GCC’s most comprehensive providers of professional business services. For over a decade, our dedication and innovation have made us the consultant of choice to local and regional firms, multinational corporations, financial institutions, high net worth individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises and family offices.

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Our people – from the senior director down to our freshest graduates – bring learnings from their previous personal and professional experiences into each new stakeholder engagement – and ensure that they are applying the relevant learning to each new engagement. Our people disseminate knowledge and communicate clearly and effectively with stakeholders across organisations about the impact of our work at both a macro and a micro level.

So – why engage a consultant? In short: so managers can focus on business matters; to give clients access to high end specialist skills and knowledge that are generally found in consulting firms and that a business may not have; to reduce the cost of short-term engagements; to give clients access to leading practice developed on engagements with similar businesses; to protect certain matters from becoming common knowledge within a firm; and because replacement of specialisms is easier with a third party.