What to Look For in an Advisory Services Firm

Like all things in the construction business, choosing the right advisor begins with a plan.

Whether your construction firm is trying to grow to the next level or simply seeking ways to boost performance, having an advisory firm in your corner can make a tremendous difference — provided you’ve chosen the right one.

When seeking an advisory services firm to guide your business, it’s crucial to find a partner that is aligned with your goals and that can deliver the expertise you need. Here are the 8 key criteria to consider when selecting an advisory services firm:

Industry Experience

A reputable advisory firm should have a deep understanding of your specific industry.  For construction firms, it’s not enough to simply understand the basics of job costing or quarterly financials. A knowledge of things specific to your industry – like recent changes to the Davis-Bacon Rules — can make a profound difference in your ability to avoid risks, ensure compliance and secure new projects.

References

All consulting and advisory firms claim trust and integrity. But access to client references will give you the real story as to whether they are able to deliver on time, stick to budgets, communicate clearly and perform as promised. Ask to speak directly with past and current clients. Get a feel for their experiences and the outcomes they achieved. This firsthand feedback can provide valuable insights into the level of service and satisfaction you can expect.

Range of Services

You may reach out to a firm for a specific need, such as tax planning. But as other needs arise, such as a valuation or data analysis, it helps to have someone who already has a knowledge of your business. From financial and strategic planning to operational optimization and risk management, to data analysis, the firm you choose should offer a comprehensive suite of services that address your needs today and tomorrow. This ensures that you have ready access to the expertise you need, without having to engage multiple advisory partners.

Team Expertise

You may hire a firm. But it’s individuals who do the day to day work.  Zoom calls make it easy to meet the specific individuals who will be handling your needs. Assess the expertise and credentials not just of the firm, but of the advisory team that will report to you.

Technology Integration

In the years ahead, your business will want to harness the power of emerging technologies to create efficiencies and improve performances. In this area, it’s important to see if your firm “walks the walk” and is experienced with the technologies you’ll need. Ask about their use of data analytics, AI and other technological tools to drive informed decision-making and optimize business performance.

Reputation and Credibility

Research the firm’s reputation in the industry and verify its credibility through awards, accreditations and affiliations. Have they grown in recent years? Are they financially sound? A firm with a strong reputation and recognized credentials is more likely to deliver reliable services — and be there with you in the years ahead.

Fee Structure and Transparency

In the construction industry, you’re aware of the wide range of bids that might come in for a specific project. The same is true in the world of consulting and advisory firms. Look closely into the firm’s fee structure and ensure transparency in financial arrangements, billing methods, fee components and any potential additional costs. Transparent pricing speaks volumes about a firm’s integrity — and enables you to avoid surprises on the road ahead.

Selecting the right advisory services firm involves thorough research, scrutiny and alignment with your business objectives.  By prioritizing the items listed above, you can improve the likelihood of finding a strategic partner that can put you on the path to success.

TALK TO HORNE

As a Top 25 accounting firm, HORNE offers a broad range of tax, accounting and advisory services. And, with a practice devoted specifically to the construction industry, we offer a level of expertise and guidance that few firms can match. To find out how HORNE can help you take your business to the next level, contact us today to arrange a no-obligation consultation.

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