Baker Tilly Consulting

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Hi guys,

Anyone familiar with the level of work baker tilly does? They are a management consulting firm, but are a relatively new practice (I think created in 2002).
What are their target hiring schools? I heard they are growing really fast, looking to hire around 60 consultants across the country...
Any insight in terms of prestige? Pay? Exit opps? Thanks.

Comments (18)

 
Nov 4, 2011 - 10:35pm

Baker Tilly is a CPA firm, and a small one (i.e. not very prestigious). Any consulting they do is certainly not management consulting in the same vein as MBB. They are probably doing IT General Control testing, maybe some business process documentation, etc. and calling it management consulting. They will generally be targeting middle market companies, as the F1000 will almost exclusively be using one of the Big4 for that type of work. Exit ops won't be great. Most places looking for the experience you'll have will want it from the Big4. Pay is probably less than Big4.

 
Nov 6, 2011 - 1:38pm

"Management Consulting" is a very nebulous term. The prestigious form of management consulting is strategy - the kind of work that McKinsey, Bain, and BCG do. They work with C-Level execs and help them analyze critical business decisions. These firms hire MBA's from the top 10 schools, with a few PhD's sprinkled throughout, and a very few non-target outliers.

For example, the CEO of a major health insurer may want some help figuring out how to navigate through the recent health care reform legislation. How does it impact the way we currently do business? How do we need to change in response? With guaranteed issue, is actuarial science no longer even necessary? How are we going to compete for individual business on state exchanges? etc. etc. These are the types of things strategy consulting firms (i.e. real management consulting) will deal with. I guarantee you this CEO will never call up Baker Tilly to ask for this kind of advice. They are going to call Mck, Bain, BCG, OW, AT Kearney, Monitor, LEK, Deloitte S&O, etc. I'd be surprised if most F500 CEO's even knew of Baker Tilly. There are so many accounting firms, generally CEO's are going to be familiar with the Big4 and that's it.

The Big4 do a lot of operational consulting, and call it management consulting because they are trying to draw kids like you in with fancy sounding buzz words. The actual work they are doing is large scale systems implementations, internal control design, documentation, evaluation, information security consulting, etc. Deloitte S&O is the only one that does true strategy work in the same vein as the firms noted above.

Then there are the small CPA firms like Baker Tilly that try their hardest to land any consulting gig they can get. If they're lucky, they can snag some of the operational work from the Big4 by undercutting price. So, maybe a smaller company doesn't want to pay $250/hr for internal control consulting, and Baker Tilly will do it for $150/hr. Generally, they aren't as skilled as their Big4 counterparts, so your exit ops will be in accordance with that.

here is some data for you to look through. you can see Baker Tilly is pretty far down the list. They did $238M in total revenue. Compare that to $11B in revenue for Deloitte. And those are just US numbers; I know Deloitte globally does something like $29B, and I doubt Baker Tilly even has an international presence.

http://www.blueandco.com/docs/actodaytop100_2011.pdf

 
Nov 6, 2011 - 1:40pm

oh ok thanks...bummer. I interviewed with them and the impression I got from them was that they actually like the work they're doing but I can't imagine anyone feeling really passionate about doing internal controls designs or system implementations. It's late into the recruiting season so I may just have to take what I can get for the first couple years. Is it possible to move up the chain in terms of consulting jobs without first going back to B-School? Would a firm around the level of Baker Tilly be able to place their consultants into top 15 MBA programs?
Thanks for the detailed responses.

 
Nov 6, 2011 - 4:13pm

It's not out of the question, but my guess is that if you're interviewing with Baker Tilly, you go to a non-target. If you have a sub 3.5 GPA, combined with your undergrad school and middle of the pack accounting firm work experience, you'll have trouble landing at a top MBA program. Certainly top 10 would be out; you might have some luck at Duke, UVA, UCLA, Michigan, and on down, and you can certainly break into consulting from those places, but the number of placements falls off a cliff once you're outside of the top 7-10.

In terms of "moving up the chain", I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean lateral to a place like McKinsey? Or to one of the Big4? Or within Baker Tilly? You definitely won't be making a move to any of the top strategy firms. They won't look at your Baker Tilly experience twice. If you're a very good performer at Baker Tilly, you could certainly jump to the Big4 after 2-3 years. But again, you're talking about a different kind of "consulting". If your true interest is strategy consulting, the likes of which MBB does, then unfortunately that's probably not in the cards for you if my assumptions here are correct. You'll be better off focusing on being a rock star at Baker Tilly, and either getting set for partner there, or making a move to the Big4 later.

 
Nov 6, 2011 - 4:22pm

yeah, I'm a semi/non-target school definitely...we place pretty well for accounting and middle office positions at banks but any real front office or top consulting jobs don't really recruit here with the exception of the top 5% or so of my class. It sounds more or less like if you were to go to a middle-tier consulting firm you're pretty much pidgeon-holed in that place for a long time without much movement (externally). I guess I'll just have to keep searching for a better job and do whatever it takes to score top on the GMAT and hope for some luck once I start looking at MBA programs a few years down the road. Thanks.

 
Nov 6, 2011 - 4:46pm

Yea, you maybe don't even want to think of Baker Tilly as a consulting firm. Think of them as an accounting firm, because that's really what they are.

 
Nov 7, 2011 - 11:18am

I don't mean to heap it on here but I have never been impressed with anyone from BT with one exception. I feel like everyone I know that works there is a CPA that tries to pass themselves off as a consultant.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford
 
Nov 7, 2011 - 7:58pm

Lots of people from JMU, UMiami, Penn State, etc...although there are a few there from mid-Atlantic target/near-target schools. Most senior people are ex-Andersen and at least the ones I met were very cool and open about pretty much everything. I was impressed with that, however the fact that's it's essentially a "Big 4 Jr." type of accounting firm with a small "consulting"/advisory arm wasn't really a turn on. Echo what others have said about brand name importance, especially for 1st FT job.

 
Nov 7, 2011 - 10:05pm

I didn't mean to be a debbie downer. I just wanted you to know what you really had on your hands. If your alternative is nothing, you should definitely take the BT gig. You can lateral to the Big4 later, or maybe you end up loving the BT gig. I know a bunch of people that went to Grant Thornton over Big4, and they loved it. It's a different feel - a little more collegial, friendly, not as cut-throat, etc. BT is probably similar, although smaller by quite a bit than GT. I guess my point is, don't get too hung up on the prestige because honestly, you let that ship sail a while ago. If you wanted to land at McKinsey, you needed to start planning for that years ago. Make your choice now based on fit - you seemed to like the folks you interviewed with, and that will do more for your success at this point than any futile last minute prestige whoring you try to do.

 
Nov 8, 2011 - 10:20pm

OP I believe we attend the same school, and I also received an offer from BT, which I will most likely choose over several other consulting/finance firms. Many of the firms in the DC area focus on Public Sector internal controls largely because that is what is generating revenue. I would highly encourage you to ask staff, and seniors about the projects they have worked on to see if they align with your goals. As the above posters mentioned, true strategy work is very competitive to get into, and will most likely require a few years before transitioning. A top MBA program is my goal as well, and I would not short change yourself just because you did not start at XYZ company. Will it be easy? I highly doubt it, the odds are against you, but its definitely doable, and I have several friends who can attest to that.

I might be justifying my own decisions, but from what I have gathered BT does some very interesting work, you have to know what you want. BT consulting works with many commercial clients with revenues between $5-250 mil., government contractors, and higher education institutions. You will not have as much access to f1000 firms, but those projects do exist; they are just not the firm's focus.

BT does offer transaction services, valuation, etc. for closely held companies. The valuation practice is growing, and the senior(s) I spoke with said they have worked on several M&A due diligence projects, as well as a large valuation engagement.. IMO this is a strong skill set to build upon, and I am hoping can easily set one up for a larger firm if they wanted to transition (opinions anyone?). Also, from what I hear the gov't contracting work doesn't sound too bad. That is typical where their larger clients are, and they do everything from competitive pricing to bid/dispute resolution.

Also check out this job postings (experienced hires, but give some insight into the work):

Your responsibilities will be to:
Complete valuations of primarily closely-held companies for purposes of mergers & acquisitions, debt and equity investments, buy-sell agreements, financial reporting, gift & estate tax requirements, and shareholder disputes.
Provide timely and high-quality services and work products that exceed client expectations.
Provide research on various topics related to valuation.
Support the pursuit of new business development opportunities with existing and new clients.
Maintain active communication with clients and engagement team to manage expectations and ensure client satisfaction

Any further insight on BT and their transaction/valuation services would be much appreciated.

 
Nov 8, 2011 - 10:21pm

Baker Tilly Consulting? (Originally Posted: 09/23/2013)

Hey guys, I recently got an interview offer with Baker Tilly (sophomore year). From what I heard from the people, its not too appealing as it involves mainly government contracts, non-profits (universities), and I believe IT/Risk. I am a little confused because I looked at their website and they make out their MC practice to be a lot more than what it sounds. On top of that, when I checked out the company database, there appears to be M&A advisory positions available.

I checked out the only previous thread on Baker Tilly and it seems to be somewhat consistent with what the employees are saying (focused on internal controls and public sector). Does anyone have anything to add?

 
Nov 8, 2011 - 10:22pm

Baker Tilly's IB group (Baker Tilly Capital) is only in WI and IL now and is being wound down. The firm is still battling litigation that arose from many failed capital raises circa 2007.

I would definitely not count on being able to lateral to that group, as it likely won't be around in the future, unless someone puts a significant amount of work into it.

Haven't heard much about the consulting practice, but it depends what you specialty is. If you like IT-related roles, firms like Baker Tilly, Wipfli, and Clifton Larsen Allen are going to have plenty of opportunities in the Upper MW. If it truly is non-profit or government, try the other two.

 
Nov 8, 2011 - 10:25pm
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