2019 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING CONSULTING FIRMS
2019’s Best Business Consulting Companies to Consider
The world has become much more connected in the last 25 years, allowing companies to sell their products and services to countries they might have never dreamed of being a potential market before.
This opening up of the global economy also includes increased competitiveness and the companies with the most efficient operations and knowledge of different sales environments, often come out on top.
It’s difficult for any single company to have expertise in the myriad of areas they would need to capitalize on all these global opportunities, and that’s where top consulting firms come in.
Consulting companies can bring in their vast knowledge and experience to help companies expand operations and sales channels, streamline their operations, and solve challenging problems.
Working with a consultant can often give a business something they’ve been missing to gain a competitive edge over their competition.
Of course, not all business consulting firms are created equal. Some are just in it to get your money, but others – the top-rated consulting companies – have a true passion for helping their clients succeed.
In the following consultancy list, we’ve sought out the best consulting firms with expertise in a wide range of areas as well as a high standard of ethics and values that they operate under.
If you’ve ever wondered whether a business consultant could help your organization, you’ll want to read on to learn more about consulting firms and why these 9 made our list of the best.
Award Emblem: Top 9 Best Consulting Firms (& one to Avoid)
Top 9 Best Consulting Firms (& 1 to Avoid) | Brief Comparison & Ranking
|Top Consulting Firms||2019 Ratings|
|Bain & Company||5|
|Booz Allen Hamilton||5|
|Boston Consulting Group||5|
|McKinsey & Company||5|
|Ernst & Young||1|
Table: Top 9 Best Consulting Firms (& 1 to Avoid) | Above list is sorted by rating
What Does a Business Consulting Firm Do?
The term “consultant” is somewhat generic, and many people wonder, “What does a consulting firm do, exactly?”
A consulting firm actually can do a wide variety of things for a business, and there are specialties that many consultants fall under, such as accounting consultants or strategic consultants.
You can think of the best business consulting firms as bringing in an expert to provide insight, guidance, and fresh ideas to invigorate your company and help you in any number of ways. Here are a few of them:
Some companies are struggling with a particular problem that they can’t solve on their own and they call in a consultant with expertise in that area to assist them. For example, a business may be overcome by growing too big too fast and could have a problem with expanding its manufacturing operations.
A consulting firm has experts with real-world experience and can often approach a problem with a depth of knowledge that can offer unique solutions that have been successful elsewhere.
Technology has become a central part of most organizations these days, but some utilize it better than others to boost productivity and reduce errors.
Top consulting firms that specialize in technology transformations can help organizations upgrade their technology infrastructure to take advantage of process automation and team collaboration tools to make their businesses better and more efficient.
Staff Hiring and Training
The cost of hiring and onboarding a new employee can be significant. If there isn’t a fluid process in place, turnover costs can be high.
Consultants can be brought in to help with hiring and training of employees and to put a structure in place to address any concerns and to help increase efficiency and employee retention rates.
To Take Advantage of New Opportunities
It’s not unusual for companies to get “stuck” and hit a plateau in their sales and operations. The best consulting firms can bring in a fresh perspective, find out what your goals and dreams for the future are, and help to energize your company with new ideas and guidance to move you higher.
2019 AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology
What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top rated lists?
Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top rated firms, products, and services.
Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Consulting Companies
Below, please find the detailed review of each firm on our list of 2019 top consulting institutions. We have highlighted some of the key factors that allowed these firms to score so high in our selection ranking.
Click on any of the names below to go directly to the review section for that firm.
- Bain & Company
- Booz Allen Hamilton
- Boston Consulting Group
- Deloitte Consulting
- McKinsey & Company
- Oliver Wyman
- Ernst & Young
Click below for previous years’ rankings:
- 2018 Ranking: Top 8 Best Consulting Firms (& What Firm to Avoid)
- 2017 Ranking: Top 7 Best Consulting Firms
Partnering with companies to drive real innovation, Accenture is a global strategy consulting firm that believes in combining human ingenuity with smart technology to shape responsible business and benefit society.
Founded in 2003, Accenture’s core areas of expertise include strategy and partnerships, digital, organization and program strengthening, and technology. Accenture’s expertise and specialized skills cover over 40 industries.
Key Factors That Led Us to Rank Accenture as One of the Top Consulting Firms
In today’s economy, partnering with globalized consulting companies can offer significant benefits to organizations of all kinds.
Accenture currently has approximately 482,000 employees working with clients in over 120 countries around the world.
This makes Accenture one of the best business consulting companies for multinational businesses, those that want to expand their customer base and operations overseas, or any company looking for a globalized perspective.
Best Business Consulting Firms
The key reason why Accenture was chosen for our list of the top business consulting firms is the company’s dedication to digital strategies, which they find a necessary component of impactful business transformations.
For this best consulting firm, understanding the intersection of technology and business is an essential piece of helping businesses evolve and ensure they’re not left behind as technology advances.
Technological consulting services include providing clients with transformative apps, platforms, architecture, and tech through the following areas of focus:
- Artificial Intelligence
- High Velocity ERP
Accenture also provides an industry focus, compartmentalizing its business management consulting into sectors to allow its team of professional experts to work in their respective areas of expertise.
Accenture puts a strong focus on digital and technology consulting, ensuring that clients take advantage of the efficiencies and cost savings that technological innovations offer. Accenture’s wide global footprint also makes them a perfect choice for large multinational firms.
With a philosophy of making a positive impact on society and a wide range of industry expertise, Accenture is awarded 5-stars as a top consulting firm to consider working with to transform your business in 2019.
See Also: Top Political Consulting Firms
Bain & Company Review
Helping its clients define the future, Bain & Company is one of the world’s largest consulting firms specializing in management consulting. The company’s passion is driving results that provide an extraordinary impact.
Founded in 1973, Bain operates from 58 offices in 37 countries around the globe, offering its clients the ability to work with them wherever they’re needed.
Key Factors That Led Us to Rank Bain & Company as One of the Top Consulting Firms
When it comes to the best consulting firms, Bain & Company has been a global leader for over forty years.
The company’s strong track record of success means that the firm continuously offers the background, expertise, and industry knowledge to help executives transform their decisions into results-driven actions.
Bain & Company has worked with not only Global 500 firms, but also regional and local businesses, nonprofits, and private equity funds and has expertise in approximately 40 different industries
The change management system utilized by Bain & Company is called Results Delivery®. This trademarked concept encompasses the fact that 70 percent of other major change efforts fail.
Results Delivery® was created to go beyond these odds, and the focus of this approach includes risk management and prediction to ensure proper preparation for anything. The goal is to go beyond the change itself, operating on a deeper level to alter the way people behave and ensuring long-term success.
What comes from Results Delivery® is a significant increase in the odds that transformative change will be successful.
This top-rated consulting firm doesn’t just deliver reports, they deliver results. They believe in bold decisions, a passion for transformation, and doing the work to ensure positive results that are long-lasting.
With a talent for prioritizing a company’s most critical issues and a goal of delivering pragmatic solutions, Bain & Company solidifies a 5-star rating as a top consulting firm to consider partnering with this year.
Don’t Miss: Top Healthcare Consulting Firms This Year
Booz Allen Hamilton Review
With a heritage that spans more than a century, Booz Allen Hamilton is a top global consulting firm that believes in empowering people to change the world. Its multicultural community of problem solvers helps clients find innovative solutions for a variety of needs.
Headquartered in Washington D.C., this top-rated consulting firm has approximately 26,100 team members located in North America, Middle East/North Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Key Factors That Led Us to Rank Booz Allen Hamilton as One of the Top Consulting Firms
When you’ve been around since 1914, you’re bound to have blazed some paths along the way. Booz Allen Hamilton is proud of inventing the management consulting profession at its founding and to continually being on the front line of innovation.
A few examples of the pioneering consulting work of Booze Allen Hamilton include:
- Working with the U.S. Navy to reinvent itself to become a critical force in World War II
- Consulting with the National and American Football leagues to help create the Super Bowl
- Being on the front lines of supply chain management innovation for enterprise clients
Working with a firm that has a history of innovating and being a leader, means that they’ll likely be a leader as business, technology, and markets continue to evolve, guiding their clients to blaze a trail rather than try to play catch up.
Broad Market Expertise
This top-rated consulting firm has expertise in a broad range of markets, working with a diverse array of both public and private-sector clients. No problem is too difficult for this team of professionaly, and they welcome the opportunity to solve a client’s most difficult issues.
They not only serve all of the cabinet-level departments of the U.S. Government, but also some of the largest organizations in critical sectors such as energy, healthcare, manufacturing, and financial services.
Main markets served by this top business consultant include:
- Civil Government
- Defense & Intelligence
- Energy, Resources & Utilities
- Financial Services
- Homeland Security & Law Enforcement
2019’s Best Business Consulting Firms
There are few firms that have a history of positive impact and innovation as Booz Allen Hamilton. This top consulting firm has a reputation for highly skilled technological capabilities and enduring results for its clients.
With a rich legacy of problem-solving and an unyielding commitment to character and exceptional client service, Booz Allen Hamilton scores 5-stars as one of the best consulting companies to consider working with this year.
Boston Consulting Group Review
A pioneer of bold, new approaches to running a company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a top consultancy that’s been helping organizations and their leaders gain a competitive advantage since 1963.
BCG has over 18,500 employees and offices in over 50 countries and 90 cities. As one of the best consulting firms, many of the company’s clients rank in the top 500 largest corporations.
Key Factors That Led Us to Rank BCG as One of the Top Consulting Firms
Rather than take a retread approach to business consulting services, BCG uses the Four Approaches to Business Model Innovation, a signature offering from this top-rated business management consulting firm.
The Four Approaches looks at transformation with the perspective that not all innovation is the same, effectively catering each approach to the unique objectives of each company:
- The Reinventor: Designed to respond to fundamental industry challenge, such as a new regulation
- The Adapter: Aimed at addressing change without causing a disruption to core business
- The Maverick: Centered on startups and designed for businesses that are completely disrupting the industry
- The Adventurer: Seeks to expand the footprint of a business by guiding movement into new areas
Each of these approaches is based on the idea that flexibility, change, and innovation are necessary elements to successfully compete within the uncertain and volatile business world of today.
Wide Range of Capabilities
As one of the top-rated consulting companies, BCG offers a wide variety of business management consulting services. While there are too many to list in detail here, below are a few that we found especially intriguing:
Big Data & Advanced Analytics
Addresses challenges from technological advancements and disruptions to help clients unlock and transform value, organization, technology usage, and ecosystems.
Lean & Manufacturing
Sustainable challenges are addressed through the creation of a trained workforce and a strong leadership team.
It’s important for businesses to develop the standards required to meet these goals, leading to lowered costs, higher quality, and improvements in productivity.
Supply chains evolve and become increasingly complex. In spite of this complexity, businesses are required to improve both efficiency and quality.
Working with BCG can help clients navigate complexity in operations to ensure success regardless of the environment.
Successful change management involves employing business management consulting services specifically designed to address the massive failure rates of change programs.
Working with BCG’s team will boost levels of certainty while managing change in the most productive and effective ways possible.
Rather than having to divide focus between efforts on improving profitability or having a strong business foundation, BCG can show clients how to do both well.
BCG takes a unique approach to business consulting and devising customized strategies that match each type of challenge. They offer a wide range of capabilities coming from a global perspective.
With industry accolades for fostering an excellent workplace and a reputation for facing challenges head-on, Boston Consulting Group earns a 5-star rating as one of the top global consulting companies to consider partnering with this year.
Related: Best Management Consulting Firms
Deloitte Consulting Review
Delivering measurable and sustainable results for clients and communities, Deloitte has a 150-year history of driving consistent results for its clients and striving to make a difference that matters.
This top-rated consulting firm has a reach that spans 150 countries and territories and they have a team of 245,000 people. They help clients realize ambitions in concrete ways that go beyond facts and figures into creating a positive societal difference.
Key Factors That Led Us to Rank Deloitte as One of the Top Consulting Firms
Impressive Global Network
There is a large network of professional firms operating under the Deloitte name, providing business management consulting services around the world.
These independent firms provide audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, tax, and other similar services.
Deloitte has one of the largest networks of experts across the globe, making them one of the best consulting companies for multinational organizations to consider working with.
Top-Rated Consulting Firms for Business
Strong Company Culture
You can learn a lot about a consulting company by taking a look at its internal culture and working environment.
Business consulting firms that maintain a supportive environment for consultants also tend to have a client-centric reputation, believing that happy employees produce happy clients.
Deloitte is proud to have an inclusive, diverse corporate culture, and even conducts regular research on its benefits. Potential clients can easily access reports on topics like:
- How organizations can advance inclusion
- How to encourage individuals to avoid “covering” their authentic selves
- Understanding the millennial cultural mindset
Insights gained from the firm’s research are directly applied to Deloitte’s internal culture, fostering an environment of respect, integrity, and diversity.
Deloitte stands out among other top-rated consulting firms because of its focus on people first – both those that work for them and those they serve. They believe that no matter how large Deloitte is, what defines it is the team’s drive to make a positive impact that matters.
Popular Article: The Best HR Consulting Firms This Year
Using deep industry expertise and rigorous analysis, L.E.K. is a top global consulting firm that helps its clients with better decision-making, greater shareholder returns, and improved organizational performance.
Founded in 1983, this consulting firm employs over 1,400 professionals that work from 19 offices around the world. They work with a wide range of industries from energy and environment to travel and transport.
Key Factors That Led Us to Rank L.E.K. as One of the Top Consulting Firms
L.E.K. relies on four basic principles to structure its approach. These principals encompass:
- Basing recommendations on evidence, rather than opinion
- Applying tailored, expert, and detailed research to every project
- Using real-world experience, deep industry expertise, and hands-on engagement
- Collaborating closely with clients to support commitment and transformation
What makes this approach truly unique is that each tenet fosters customization and engagement, two critical factors in successful business management consulting.
While many business consulting firms cast a wide net, L.E.K. is laser-focused in its areas of expertise, offering a select set of capabilities:
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Marketing & Sales
- Strategy Activation
For clients that are looking for these distinct business consulting services, a narrow focus is a great sign. It means that the firm is well aware of its strengths and has dedicated substantial time and resources towards becoming an expert in each individual area.
L.E.K. offers a more boutique experience due to the firm’s specialty focus, yet offers many of the benefits of the large global business consulting firms. The firm’s core talents include research, benchmarking modeling, analysis and strategy development.
Will well-tuned expertise in some of the key consulting areas companies are seeking and a talent for building strategic partnerships, L.E.K. is awarded 5 stars as one of the best business consulting firms to consider partnering with this year.
Don’t Miss: Top Economic Consulting Firms | Ranking
McKinsey & Company Review
With a talented and diverse team, McKinsey & Company is an international consulting company with the ability to send the right people with the right expertise and knowledge to clients anywhere in the world.
This top-rated consultancy has a team of 30,000 that spans 130 cities around the world. It was founded in 1926, and has a history of innovation as well as public service, taking on pro bono work for many nonprofit organizations over the years.
Key Factors That Led Us to Rank McKinsey as One of the Top Consulting Firms
Investments in Knowledge
The success of McKinsey is founded in a detailed, in-depth understanding of each client’s institutional context, sector dynamics, and economic environment.
Researching these aspects is something that the firm is passionate about, investing over $600 million each year to studying markets, trends, and best practices across the globe.
Not only does McKinsey share its findings with its clients, but they also publish the results of the firm’s research on a regular basis, supporting a global community of thought leaders and innovators.
For companies seeking a partnership with a company that truly understands industry on a global scale, McKinsey is one of the best consulting firms to consider.
Gender Diversity Research
As a top-rated consulting firm, McKinsey’s services are not only driven by industry expertise, but also by deep research into global trends.
One of the firm’s marque research initiatives is called Women Matter, which explores the importance of gender diversity on both a localized and a global scale and the benefits that arise when women are given an equal place at the table.
Powered by The McKinsey Global Institute (awarded as the leading private-sector think tank in the world), this business consulting firm has conducted extensive research into advancing women’s equality.
Women Matter has celebrated over a decade of global research, outlining the definitive attributes of an inclusive organization and working to promote diversity of all kinds.
In sync with the company’s gender diversity research initiative, the McKinsey quarterly publication Five-Fifty includes a series of reports and articles exploring why women continue to be under-represented in management.
World’s Top Consulting Firms
McKinsey & Company has a reputation for having its finger on the heartbeat of global trends and working to make a positive difference around the world. From helping unlock the value of digitizing the physical world to extensive research projects, McKinsey’s guidance makes their clients more successful.
With a talented and diverse team, an approach that believes nothing is impossible, and a history of making a difference, McKinsey & Company earns 5 stars as a top-rated consulting firm to consider partnering with in 2019.
Popular Article: Best Marketing Consulting Firms
Oliver Wyman Review
With a history dating back nearly 50 years, Oliver Wyman is a top global consulting firm that helps clients reach their true potential. They have a number of consulting capabilities that span corporate restructuring, digital technology, brand innovation, and more.
This global management consultant has a team of over 5,000 professionals and offices in 60 cities and 29 countries. The company prides itself on its deep industry knowledge and specialty expertise in several areas.
Key Factors That Led Us to Rank Oliver Wyman as One of the Top Consulting Firms
Oliver Wyman has experts in multiple industries to help its clients avoid steep learning curves. Years of knowledge in a specific industry allows Oliver Wyman consultants to get right to work on a client’s issue, already having an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of their industry.
This top business consulting firm seeks out rare individuals for the team. The company wants team members that possess both an analytical vision and a human touch. They believe that to best serve their clients’, they have to offer both expertise and communication skills that go beyond what other competitor consultancies offer.
Industries that Oliver Wyman’s team specializes in include:
- Aviation, Aerospace & Defense
- Business Services
- Communications, Media & Technology
- Distribution & Wholesale
- Financial Services
- Health & Life Sciences
- Industrial Products
- Public Sector
- Retail & Consumer Goods
- Surface Transportation
- Travel & Leisure
Oliver Wyman Labs
The ability to analyze data and “read the tea leaves” has become a component that helps companies gain a big competitive advantage. Oliver Wyman Labs is a special division of the company that helps the client maximize the value of their data.
With a team of 100, Oliver Wyman Labs focuses on four key areas of data analytics and how they apply to business decisions.
- Making Sense of Your Data: Building agile and accessible data platforms that integrate data from different sources to support comprehensive analysis
- Unearth Hidden Knowledge: Using advanced analytics to gain a deeper understanding and uncover hidden gems of insight with predictive power
- Surface Insight Where You Need It: Delivering data to the right people via dashboard reporting that makes sense
- Reinvent Your Decision-Making: Using decision-centric applications that embed commercial insights, making data-based decisions easier
Oliver Wyman offers clients the advantage of specialized industry expertise and expert research and data analytics. These enable their clients to make faster, more accurate, and better decisions to drive their companies forward.
With a focus on choosing exceptional people and a values-driven approach, Oliver Wyman is one of the best business consulting firms to consider partnering with this year.
With a commitment to integrity and transparency, KPMG is a business consulting firm that takes a multi-disciplinary approach. In addition to top-rated consulting and advisory services, the firm also provides audit and tax services.
The firm has offices in 155 countries around the world and over 207,000 employees. They are considered one of the “Big Four” global accounting organizations.
Key Factors That Led Us to Rank KPMG as One of the Top Consulting Firms
The best business consulting firms understand the importance of establishing a foundation of trust with their clients. KPMG is committed to complete transparency, which helps foster that base of trust.
Each year, this business management consulting firm publishes an annual transparency report to articulate the firm’s methodologies, internal structure, and unique approach.
Clients can find information on committees, senior management, partners, company culture, audit processes, and more. Additionally, the firm also publishes its Code of Conduct on its website, which also speaks to the company’s commitment to transparency.
When it comes to the client-firm relationship, KPMG is dedicated to confidentiality, quality, engagement, and ethical practices, setting high standards for business consulting firms.
A strong selection of core services is part of what makes KPMG a best business management consulting firm. Among its wide range of consulting services, core areas of expertise include:
- Management Consulting: Helps businesses identify what is working, what isn’t, and how to overcome challenges within sectors like operations, distribution, technology, and staffing, and how to better serve their customer base
- Risk Consulting: Turns risk into a competitive advantage through services designed to address challenges from cybersecurity, compliance, fraud and misconduct, and third-party risk
- Deal Advisory: Business management consulting services designed to help identify, evaluate, and implement programs for successful growth and partnerships
- Strategy: Helps businesses develop dynamic strategies to improve profitability and help them make better decisions
With plenty of key business management consulting options to choose from, KPMG is well-positioned to offer clients the assistance they need in any number of operational areas.
Top Business Consulting and Advisory Firms
KPMG has a deep knowledge of multiple industries and practical services and a level of transparency that you won’t find at all top consulting and advisory firms. They pride themselves on offering objective, actionable insights that help their clients implement growth strategies.
When comparing KPMG to the other top-rated business consulting firms on our list, however, there were a few weaknesses that caused KPMG to be scored with a 3-star rating.
First, our review found the firm’s website somewhat difficult to navigate due to a multi-column layout, particularly through extra columns for social media updates and “Featured Content”.
Second, our review could not find specific information on the founding and history of KPMG on the company’s website, which could make it more difficult for potential clients to fully evaluate the firm.
By improving the website readability and creating a clear path to corporate history, KPMG could easily move from a 3 to 5-star rating in the future.
Ernst & Young Review
With a purpose to build a better working world, Ernst & Young (EY) is a professional services firm and business consultancy that sees itself as a guiding light for organizations looking to overcome challenges and those working on world-changing innovations.
EY is a global force among business consulting firms, with over 260,000 employees around the world all working to promote sustainable economic growth for their clients.
Although EY is consistently ranked favorably by media outlets, our review found that businesses may be better served by opting to work with another consulting firm, at least for the time being.
You can find our reasoning for this below in our overview of why EY earned a 1-star rating, and what the firm can do to improve its ranking in the future.
Although Ernst & Young demonstrates a collaborative and expert approach to consulting, the firm has experienced a few significant legal issues over the past few years, generating questions over its corporate ethics.
In 2015, EY settled for $10 million in a New York lawsuit which accused the firm of assisting Lehman Brothers with deceiving investors through their role as auditors.
In 2016, EY settled for $9.3 million in a lawsuit that accused some of the firm’s team members of establishing inappropriate client relationships which compromised the EY’s ability to remain objective during an audit.
Additionally, the firm has also been under the IRS criminal investigation about the potential promotion of tax shelters.
Ultimately, although it remains a very well-known and highly regarded consulting firm, these are significant legal issues dealing with the firm’s ethics that should make potential clients think twice before contracting this business consulting firm.
Looking to the future, the best way for EY to improve its rankings is to approach these issues with transparency, and perhaps reconsider the way that firm values are exemplified and enforced.
Related: Top Boutique Consulting Firms
Conclusion – 2o19 Finding the Best Business Consulting Firms
As you can see, working with a consulting firm can help organizations in a number of ways, from getting through a specific challenge or project to guiding your company to the next level and putting it ahead of the competition.
When looking for the best business consulting company to work with, you want to look for several of the qualities shared by these top-rated firms on our list. These qualities include integrity, expertise in multiple industries, and a team with a history of success.
Additionally, the best consulting firms should be able to provide you with more than just reports and be able to deliver tangible results that can be measured in multiple ways.
Whoever you decide to work with, the top consultants will provide insights and expert views you may have never considered and that can be the missing piece you’ve been looking for to propel your business forward.
Rate Table Disclaimer
Click here to read AdvisoryHQ’s disclaimer on the rate table(s) displayed on this page.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer: Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info. Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.