Independent Consulting vs. The Team Approach

Until recently, I was an independent consultant, and before that I had my own consulting business. I’ve spent a few years offering accounting services to a wide variety of clients across several different industries. There are several differences to being an independent contractor versus the team approach as practiced at TGG Accounting.

As an independent, I had to be all things to my client. If a client wanted work done I offered the “soup to nuts” approach. This meant that regardless of the size of the job I inevitably spent time doing everything from entering journal entries, cleaning up the chart of accounts, reconciling accounts, entering payroll, and creating financial statements. The amount of time I was able to devote to advising the client to make good business decisions was reduced by the size of their budget and the amount of time the preparation consumed. At TGG, we have the luxury of being able to maximize a client’s budget by assigning work across a wider range of people at varying levels of experience and bill rates.

Another issue was availability or band width. My bandwidth was very narrow. I only had as much time as there were hours in a day. Many times I ended up working into the night and on weekends to satisfy my client’s needs. Yes, I know that sounds familiar, but often the time I now spend after hours is because I’m spending more time during the day managing the project than actually doing the detailed work. When I run out of time I know there is always a way to ask for help and have someone else jump in and complete the work.

One of the big benefits to being on a team is that it adds significant resources when I don’t know the answer to a question or I need to bounce ideas off of someone with either knowledge in the industry or of a specific topic. As an independent consultant, I developed a network of friends and professional acquaintances that I could call. However, there was a limit to how often I was going to use that network. None of these people were being paid for advice, so I had to make sure I wasn’t a) taking advantage of them and b) had reciprocated in kind reasonably recently. There’s only so often you can call your brother who is a partner in a local CPA firm and “pick his brain” since that’s how he makes his living professionally. Here at TGG, I can (and do) send out an email to a variety of people and ask if anyone has experience or expertise in a particular field. So far, I’ve always gotten either an answer or a suggestion on how to get one. Personally, this is one of my favorite parts of being part of a team. Not everything we do has a black and white answer. There are usually several different ways to “skin a cat” as the saying goes. I enjoy exploring ideas on the ways to accomplish best practice. Sometimes it’s just plain intellectual curiosity I’m satisfying.

TGG brings this team approach experience to its clients. Not only does the client gain a full accounting team, but it gains the wealth of knowledge from the entire organization. To be part of our team, call us today.

Written by:
Nancy Brzezniak
TGG Accounting
 
 
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