Rates for SOX work 1056

  • So the bottomline is that fellow professionals here should not accept anything less than USD100 all inclusive for Financial Controls SOX efforts and USD125 all inclusive for ITGC SOX efforts.
    Know your worth folks.
    Please note that second tier firms like BDO, Gladreys, Thorntons charge USD180 per hour and USD200 per hour respectively.
    But, I beg to differ with Cheryl. Market is not that hot as was two years back. There is more demand for ITGC side compared to the financial side because of clients moving towards CSA’s. ITGC testing is more specialized therefore, cannot be covered under CSA’s due to lack of dedicated IT professionals at remote business units (normally outsourced).

  • Hi David / Cheryl,
    Please do not be confused as I was not attempting to squelch an open discussion of rates to deliver SOX Advisory Services. I agree with you that this Forum may be an appropriate and useful vehicle to discuss rates or specific contract terms if one is interested to know current market conditions.
    However, beyond a discussion of what some clients will reimburse (travel expenses, out of pockets, etc.) my point was simply to highlight that the determination of chargeable rate is a unique exercise, driven by market factors, the competency of the Consultant, the engagement requirements, regional factors, and other considerations. For this reason, I do not believe it is possible to compare chargeable rates easily to achieve meaningful or actionable results. Incidentals are simply that and insignificant to the big picture.
    Consulting services by their very nature, are considered personal services. If you could not honor your client commitment, the client may not accept your sub-contracting the work to another consultant without obtaining prior approval.
    As a Consultant, you are being paid for your individual contributions, professional competencies and abilities–your billable rate as accepted and negotiated in the marketplace, is ultimately the end result, like it or not.
    It has been my experience that truly value-add consultants needn’t constantly seek out future consulting assignments. Yes, there are periods ‘in between’ clients that result in downtime and a go-getter will do all possible to minimize downtime. But when is the last time that you came across a SOX professional who was ‘on the bench’ who was fit for anything other than sitting as a ‘bench warmer’. The marketplace is mericlessly effective…ineffective Consultants are quickly weeded out of the SOX garden.
    Effective consultants tend to ‘roll off’ one engagement to another with relative ease and irrespective of current market conditions. It is the Consultant’s reputation, engagement successes and client satisfaction that determines the next consulting assignment–not charge rate or specific reimbursement terms. The value performers are in this field not because it is ‘hot’ at the moment, but because he or she has demonstrated expertise in the subject matter supported by an exceptional portfolio of satisfied clients.
    I applaud anyone with the tenacity and motivation (however misguided) to execute SOX implementations. However, I wouldn’t employee just anyone for a SOX implementation.
    It was stated that external firms are in it for the money only and that the SOX professionals that they employee do not have the requisite skills and competency to carry out the work. A comparison was made regarding the current charge rates to the work performed and asserting that the professional abilities and core competencies of these persons is simply window-dressing.
    I could not agree more. Yes, the rates charged by some firms is significantly more than the rates charged by the ‘lone wolves’. However, a consultant from a large service provider also brings with him or her, an assumption of risk that is borne by the professional services firm, reputation of the firm, and is supported by the firm’s other resources…methodology, frameworks, tools, etc. Often, individual Consultants do not have this support structure and depth, and therefore, will not command the same rate in the marketplace.
    Additionally, the external firms have resources that can take on the resources requirements a large project (>10k hours). It is impractical for large companies to engage twenty ‘lone wolves’, each with a separate consulting contract, rate, terms, etc. It may also be difficult to attain strategic focus when resources are independently sourced. In short, the disparity in the billable rate reflects these real differences.
    As for being driven by the lure of money only and maximizing revenue, I can only comment that money comes and goes. If you truly enjoy your craft, money is of secondary priority at best and will always come with consistent client successes and personal job satisfaction.
    Next time, I prefer to be called a ‘doer’ not a dreamer. I dream sometimes, but my dreams ain’t about SOX.
    Robert Half published a 2005 Salaries Study for Accounting professionals. It is pretty useful and contains adjustments based on regional factors. The document can be modified as appropriate to assess if you are commanding your worth as a SOX consultant.

  • I feel I should clarify my earlier comments. As a recruiter I simply (or not so simply at times) act as an alternate set of eyes and ears in the market place. I may be able to offer benefits and projects to consultants or lone wolves that they would otherwise source on their own or never come across. I offer the option of a rate and travel and incidentals OR an inclusive rate. If the consultant chooses one or the other that’s completely up to them. Some consultants find that they make more with an inclusive rate over their typically pay rate and travel and incidentals if the project calls for a considerable amount of OT. It’s very subjective and I’m not the one to make the call as to it’s validity for a particular consultant.
    There was a comment to the effect that we’re all in it to make money and that is very true. We wouldn’t be having this conversation is it were not. I’m in it for more than the money as are a number of the consultants I come across. I enjoy what I do and tend to work with people who also enjoy what they do as a consultant and that’s really the key factor for me.
    A discussion on appropriate pay rate and secondary service bill rates are something most of us could benefit from. It certainly can’t hurt. Rates are very subjection, quality of work and competency of the contractor is not.
    Everyone has their own opinion on the subject of Executive Recruiters. I’m certainly not here to change anyone’s mind. If a consultant and the client find it beneficial to work through an Executive Recruiter than it’s a win for everyone; especially when the client needs a team of consultants with diverse disciplines’ to tackle their particular compliance hurdles.
    Just another view on a very interesting topic.

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