An ex-KPMG expert also drew attention to software companies like TCS and Infosys moving up the value chain and adding consulting to their basket of services. However, such services are expected to be more global than local. Mr Choksi said that such services from software firms will primarily be in the IT domain and can exist alongside the consulting firms. Consulting has become a very wide concept and sound IT platform is necessary.
Taxation has also undergone vast changes according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) executive director-tax & regulatory services Prashant Deshpande. With VAT implementation and expansion of service taxes, this area may also see more opportunities from the consulting angle.
Experts observe a trend of ex-employees of the big 4 firms, getting into independent consulting services at fees that are much lesser than any of the bigger firms, particularly in accounting. Nevertheless, Mr Choksi feels that it does not really mean stiff competition. No chartered accountant remains without work, but the geographical spread of these individuals will not match the network of the bigger firms.
The consulting business is driven by profit-orientation of industries and regulation. With the risk perception increasing, the regulatory mechanism has also recognised the same and has been introducing things like capital adequacy norms. These developments are opening up more scope for services, especially for accounting firms.