Now we will look at the structure of a typical consulting firm. A consulting firm is a hybrid organization. Internal clerical and support functions are similar to those in a typical business. The consulting side of the firm uses functional management positions. The staff is allocated according to temporary project assignments. At the end of each engagement, the staff will be reallocated by either returning to the available resource pool or by becoming unemployed until the next engagement.
Figure 1 illustrates the organizational structure of a typical audit firm.
We'll review the structure here:
Managing Partner A managing partner refers to a C-level executive in the consulting practice. This could be a position equal to a corporate president. Managing partners have the responsibility and authority to oversee the business divisions. Various partners in the firm will report to the managing partner.
Partner A partner is equivalent to a divisional president or vice president and is responsible for generating revenue. Their role is to represent the organization and provide leadership to maximize income in their market segment. Partners are required to maintain leadership roles in professional organizations and to network for executive clients. Most partners have made financial commitments to produce at least $15 million in annual revenue along with supporting other business management functions. The partner and all lower managers are responsible for professional development of the staff.
Engagement Manager This is a director-equivalent position with the responsibility of managing the client relationship. The engagement manager is in charge of the audit's overall execution and the audit staff. The engagement manager is responsible for facilitating the generation of new income opportunities from the client.
Senior Consultant This is a field manager whose responsibilities include leading the daily onsite audit activities, interacting with the client staff, making expert observations, and managing staff assigned to the audit.
Consultant This is a lead position carrying the responsibility of interacting with the client and fulfilling the audit objectives without requiring constant supervision. A consultant is often promoted by demonstrating an ability to fulfill the job of senior consultant or supporting manager.
Systems Analyst This is usually an entry-level position. Often the individual is selected for their ambition and educational background and may be fresh out of college. Systems analysts perform some lower-level administrative tasks as they build experience.