Professional services

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Professional services are infrequent, technical, or unique functions performed by independent contractors or consultant whose occupation is the rendering of such services. While not limited to licentiates (individuals holding professional licences), the services are considered "professional" and the contract may run to partnerships, firms, or corporations as well as to individuals. Examples of professional services contracts include: accountants, appraisers, archaeologists, attorneys, business consultants, architects, engineers, law firms, physicians, performing artists, researchers, and real estate brokers. The selection of an independent contractor or consultant providing professional services is usually based on skill, knowledge, reputation, and creativity. Price may be a secondary factor in the selection.

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[edit] Categories of professional services

In general, there exist three branches of business services to serve the three major issues businesses must deal with:

1. Strategy consultancy - providing senior management with tactical and strategic advice or direction. This usually involves a deep analysis of the company and situation, followed by strategy formation and potentially implementation. Companies such as McKinsey & Company or BCG are perhaps the most well known.

2. Operational services - the outsourcing of some function to an external service provider, whether on an ongoing or project basis, in order to add new capabilities to the firm. Examples in this large branch could include logistics and supply chain, information technology or software implementation, legal and regulatory, financial services like accounting or auditing, advertising and PR, and a host of others.

3. Human resources - this branch includes staffing and recruitment companies, executive search, outplacement, and operational HR companies (such as payroll and staff training).

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Professional services

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