Redefining Professional Services

Professional service firms are facing new, higher customer expectations that require redefining legacy business models and services. This was a challenge before COVID hit, but the pandemic accelerated these changes.

Buyers of professional services look for accountants and management consultants who have experience in their industry, lawyers who have litigated similar cases, and surgeons who have performed the same procedure many times.

Business Consulting

The business consulting sector consists of people offering intangible assets to help businesses manage or improve a particular part of their operations. These providers impart expertise on niche areas of business such as finance or law and allow the client to focus on delivering their own products or services.

Professional services may be provided on a contract or private practice basis, with either billable hours or fixed prices. Client satisfaction is a primary focus for many firms, and this can be achieved with the use of tools like CRM software.

Professional services teams are often sensitive to metrics such as employee utilization rates. This is because they are tasked with managing the success of projects, and any hurdles that occur in the delivery process can impact team profitability. Ineffective project definition is a common problem, and this can result in insufficient time spent on the task at hand or insufficient deliverables. Unethical compromises must also be avoided, as such tactics damage the reputation of the professional services industry.


Professional services firms are particularly sensitive to factors like employee utilization rates, which can signal problems with resource management. For example, a law firm or accounting practice might set its target utilization percentage to emphasize billable time over other forms of work.

It’s harder for marketing to distinguish one professional service from another than it is a consumer product such as a box of breakfast cereal, which can be differentiated by adding a new ingredient or putting on a celebrity face. For professional services, the distinctions are usually intangible: one title search or accounting audit is not the same as another.

Adams Brown helps professional services clients manage their financial data and build meaningful reports to support business decisions. Our accounting services include bookkeeping, accounts payable (A/P) and more. Contact us today to learn how we can help your professional services company. We serve businesses located throughout the U.S., including Manhattan, NY; Newark, NJ; and Center City Philadelphia, PA.

Human Resources

HR professional services offer a variety of functions that support employees from hiring to onboarding to performance management and communication. They help to develop a culture that drives employee engagement and productivity while minimizing uncontrollable costs, liabilities and risks.

These firms often have a revenue/profit charter and are established primarily to drive intrinsic, direct financial performance and profitability. As such, these firms are uniquely sensitive to factors like employee utilization rates and place billable time at the forefront of their project priorities.

The best HR and payroll service providers will have a deep understanding of the entire employee lifecycle and how it impacts a company’s overall health. Their experience with a wide range of HR projects, policies and programs allows them to provide much more value than your in-house team. They also understand the nuances of your specific industry and can apply their insights to your business. This will help to ensure that your company meets or exceeds compliance standards and improve its employee retention.


Professional services teams can offer a wide range of marketing services to clients. These include developing physical and digital promotional materials, like posters and one-pagers, for a customer event or expo, as well as creating ad copy for print and online ads.

Depending on their specialty, professional services companies can also provide marketing research and strategic planning to their clients. For example, a law firm may conduct market research to determine how many potential clients there are in a specific geographic area, while an accounting firm might use marketing analytics to identify and target new customers.

Because a professional services company depends on billable hours, they are especially sensitive to factors that affect employee utilization rates. For example, a legal or accounting firm will prioritize the timely completion of work for clients over the long term profitability of individual projects. This makes a strong emphasis on client satisfaction and quality control particularly important. In addition, the firm must be careful to track project costs, such as software, travel and other expenses, and remember to bill these expenses.