A professional consultant is someone who provides expert advice on a particular area of a business. Consultants are either found within the organization or are employed externally by the company. Consultants usually do not have the authority to make changes but are considered influential in relation to whether proposed changes are implemented or not.
Since companies look to consultants’ opinions and advice especially when faced with critical business issues, consultants must have the necessary expertise to provide authoritative advice. Thus, an engineering issue cannot be brought to the attention of a tax consultant since there can be no basis for sound judgment.
Internal consultants form part of the organization and are available to be consulted by other members or departments of the company. External consultants usually work for a company on a temporary basis. Their services are availed of for a specific period of time and for a particular purpose which necessitated getting their services. While internal consultants are included in a company’s regular payroll, external consultants are hired and paid with an agreed fee.
The main advantage of hiring professional consultants for businesses is the access it provides to higher levels of expertise which may not be available in-house to the company. Because the fee is usually higher depending on the level of expertise, companies have the choice of just how much service they will avail of and for how long. In a way, this is considered to be more advantageous since hiring of professional business can be done on a “need” basis. This arrangement eliminates unnecessarily retaining the services of consultants which may not be needed by companies on a continuous basis.