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An industry structural trend which arose in the early part of the 21st century was the spin-off or separation of the consulting and accounting units of the large diversified professional advisory firms most notably Ernst & Young, PwC and KPMG. For these firms, which began business as accounting and audit firms, management consulting was a new extension to their business. But after a number of highly publicized scandals over accounting practices, such as the Enron scandal, these firms began divestiture of their management consulting units, to more easily comply with the tighter regulatory scrutiny that followed. In some parts of the world this trend is now being reversed where the firms are rapidly rebuilding their management consulting arms as their corporate websites clearly demonstrate. 

Rise of Internal Corporate Consulting Groups 

Added to these approaches are corporations that set up their own internal consulting groups, hiring internal management consultants either from within the corporation or from external firms employees. Many corporations have internal groups of as many as 25 to 30 full-time consultants. 

Internal consulting groups are often formed around a number of practice areas, commonly including: organizational development, process management, information technology, design services, training, and development. 

 

 

 

 

Advantages 

There are several potential benefits of internal consultants to those who employ them: 

  • If properly managed and empowered, internal consulting groups evaluate engagement on projects in light of the corporation's strategic and tactical objectives. 
  • Often, the internal consultant requires less ramp up time on a project due to familiarity with the corporation, and is able to guide a project through to implementation—-a step that would be too costly if an external consultant were used. 
  • Internal relationship provides opportunities to keep certain corporate information private. 
  • It is likely that the time and materials cost of internal consultants is significantly less than external consultants operating in the same capacity. 
  • Internal consulting positions can be used to recruit and develop potential senior managers of the organization. 
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