What is the Difference Between Professional Services and Consulting?

Both professional services and consulting involve providing expertise to a customer or client. There are many types of consultants that fall under the umbrella of professional services, such as marketing consultants and IT consultants. Professional services are defined as a person or company that is hired to provide tactical or operational services. The scope of work for your commitment (e.g., project, contract, request for proposal) is what will determine if the purchase falls under one or the other.

If you are unsure, contact the purchasing department. According to the BPS Procurement Directive, organizations must competitively contract consulting services, regardless of dollar value. Non-competitive hiring of consulting services is only allowed in certain circumstances described in applicable commercial agreements. See the non-competitive hiring provisions for these permitted circumstances. Consulting services refer to the provision of experience or strategic advice that is presented for consideration and decision-making.

A non-consulting service provider is a person or company that is hired to provide services other than consulting services, such as real estate agents, talent scouts, or trainers. The differentiating factor between consulting and non-consulting services is whether the services involve thinking and if they are strategic or tactical in nature. Before the start of the services, it is the responsibility of the department's applicant to determine if the service being contracted is a consulting service or not. If it is a consulting service, they must follow a competitive procurement process regardless of the value in dollars. The department's applicant must also obtain approval in accordance with the consulting services schedule of the Procurement Approval Authority of the University's Procurement Policy. Professional services are occupations in the service sector that require special training in the arts or sciences.

Examples include architects, accountants, engineers, doctors and lawyers. Other professional services include providing specialized business support to companies of all sizes and sectors; this may include tax advice, accounting support, IT services, public relations services, or management services. Consulting falls within the scope of professional services and can be provided as a standalone service or as part of a larger package of professional services. A consultant can be hired at the beginning of a technology project to help a company compare different solutions and recommend the best one based on its individual requirements. The key difference between professional services and consulting is that professional services are a broad term that encompasses several services, while consulting is an aspect of professional services. A pre-sales consultant from the professional services team will evaluate several business factors before proposing a solution that will make the technology work for the organization and its current technology suite. IT consulting services help companies evaluate technology strategies before defining their own digital transformation strategy in line with their broader business objectives and long-term plans.

Professional services teams can also provide comprehensive advice on broader technology strategies, evaluate their effectiveness, and ensure that technology selections are appropriate both for the project in question and for long-term business objectives. In conclusion, professional services are services offered to a customer so they can focus on core elements of their business or bring experience to their organization. Consulting falls within this scope and can be provided as part of a larger package of professional services.

Léo Poitevin
Léo Poitevin

Certified pizza specialist. Incurable food evangelist. Tv advocate. Amateur travel lover. Hardcore pizza practitioner.