Armanino launches risk advisory practice to offer audit compliance services

12 July 2018

California-based accounting and consulting firm Armanino LLP has launched a Risk Assurance & Advisory practice. The new practice will offer audit compliance services, internal audit, cybersecurity, privacy services, and enterprise risk management, among others.

Armanino LLP is an accounting and consulting firm based out of San Ramon, California. Founded in 1953, the firm has additional Californian offices in San Jose, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, San Diego, Woodland Hills, and San Francisco, as well as offices in Portland, OR, and Naperville, IL. Armanino is the largest independent accounting and consulting firm based in California, and one of the ten fastest-growing accounting and consulting firms in the country.

The firm offers client services in its four departments: Audit, Tax, Consulting, and Business Management. Now, Armanino has announced the launching of a fifth service department – Risk Assurance & Advisory. The new department will satisfy increasing client demand for risk and compliance support, including traditional services like SOC 1/2/3 audit compliance, internal audit, and SOX 404. The department will also offer other risk services like cybersecurity, privacy services, and enterprise risk management.Armanino launches risk advisory practiceJoining the new department as managing director will be Todd Bishop, a seasoned consultant with almost two decades of experience in the areas of compliance, internal audit, and IT assurance. Bishop joins Armanino from Gap Inc, where he was Senior Director of Internal Audit & Sox Compliance. Prior to that, Bishop served as Director, Internal Audit, at Dolby Laboratories. Bishop started his career in risk and compliance at PwC, where he stayed for over a decade, reaching the level of Risk Assurance Director. At PwC, he led complex audit engagements, including SOX 404 attestations and Service Organization Control Reports.

“The new Risk Assurance and Advisory practice is an integration of several risk-centric solutions that enables us to provide our clients with a more efficient and effective approach to managing their key risks,” remarked Liam Collins, partner-in-charge of Risk Assurance and Advisory Services. “This combination strengthens the firm’s ability to strategically engage with each client and provide a custom-tailored risk assurance plan that will protect their organization.”

Compliance and regulatory advisory services are a hot portfolio segment in the consulting business these days, as firms struggle to keep up with changing business regulations, often on a multinational level. GDPR compliance regulations, for example, left many firms scrambling for advice on how to implement the new EU internet privacy regulations before the deadline earlier this year. Facing huge penalties for non-compliance, many international websites have been forced to go offline from European IPs as they work on bringing their operations up to snuff.

Demand is spurring non-traditional firms to get into the regulatory consulting game. London-based legal mega-firm Allen & Overy recently launched a regulatory consulting practice to offer broad business advisory services in the realm of financial regulations – rather than the strictly legal services that are the firm’s bread and butter.


Simon-Kucher & Partners reports record revenue growth

14 February 2019

2018 was a banner year for Simon-Kucher. The consulting firm, known for its expertise in pricing strategy and marketing, posted revenues of $360 million – an increase of 23% over 2017. The Bonn, Germany–based firm saw explosive growth in the US, where revenue jumped by 35%.

The results for 2018 were the strongest growth figures that Simon-Kucher has seen in over a decade. Founded in Germany and breaking into the US market in 1996, the firm has seen robust and consistent growth since it shattered the €100 million ($119 million) fee income barrier in 2010.

Demand for effective digitalization services was key to the firm’s stellar global revenue results in 2018. Simon-Kucher CEO Georg Tacke notes that though firms have spent massive sums on digitalization, many have seen disappointing results. “The solution is therefore smaller, clearly defined, and highly-profitable digitalization projects, rather than just digitalization for digitalization’s sake,” explained Tacke. “This is exactly where companies turn to us for our support and expertise.”

Simon-Kucher’s revenue growth rate was boosted by excellent performance in the US, where fee income grew by 35% – driven by consulting work for the booming software, internet, and media industry.

Simon-Kucher & Partners reports record revenue growth

“We continue to be closely linked with the Unicorn ($1 billion+ valuated startup) community in the North America, having now worked with over 25 of them,” commented Brad Soper, partner and Atlanta office head. “Most notably, this year we created a loyalty program for one of the ride sharing companies.” 

Simon-Kucher has also seen significant demand for top-line growth services from private equity–owned firms looking for a boost in portfolio valuation from effective pricing. In total, the consulting firm serves over 20 industries, including banking and financial, consumer and retail, healthcare and life sciences. 

Last year, the firm's business-to-business (B2B) practice supported a top packaged ice manufacturer with a revamped channel pricing strategy, developed a pricing program for a large foam manufacturer, and helped numerous distribution firms plan for tariff impacts.

Uncertain economic times can help drive demand for pricing advisory, as firms look to maximize their top line in less than perfect circumstances – battered by tariffs and risks surrounding international trade, a forecasted global downturn, and fluctuating commodity prices.

The above-mentioned factor will be an even stronger influence on the firm’s 2019 business. “The overwhelming theme this year will be pricing in uncertain economic environments,” remarked Soper.  “Whether we have rising costs due to tariffs or raw material cost fluctuations – companies need to be proactive in their pricing strategy.  In addition, we see many companies continuing to innovate – which calls for a departure from a historical cost-based pricing approach to value-based.”

Meanwhile, Simon-Kucher also posted excellent growth numbers in China, where revenue jumped by over 40%. Tacke noted: “China is becoming increasingly important for the international consulting market. At the moment the share is still low – but if the positive trend seen in recent years continues, China will soon become a permanent fixture for the industry.”

In its home market of Germany, Simon-Kucher’s revenue grew by 25%, outstripping the 8.4% consulting industry average in the country by a wide margin.

The firm is forecasting another strong year in 2019, with a revenue target of $400 million. Simon-Kucher will also look to expand its 1,300-person global workforce with an additional 400 associates this year.

In the US, the company is planning to open its seventh office in Houston this year, presumably to enable greater opportunities in Texas' booming energy sector. The office will be led by partner Philip Daus.

Last year, the consultancy opened a new location in Chicago. Based out of Boston in the US, Simon-Kucher has further offices in Atlanta, Mountain View (CA), NYC, and San Francisco.