Remember, lawyers, accountants, consultants, etc., are like anyone else in every other profession. From the local auto mechanic to the doctor at the hospital, some are very good and some are very poor at what they do. Some are ethical and some are not. I have met many socalled experts that were excellent and others who I could describe in no other manner than to say they were incompetent.
Despite what you may think, letters after one’s name does not guarantee they are good at what they do. The only thing it will guarantee is that you will pay more. Whether or not it will be worth it is another matter altogether.
You must verify qualifications and you must check out these people carefully and completely. You should not just worry about wasting your money on their advice, you also must worry about the cost and implications of following their advice. This could be far worse than any money you lose on their fees. The damage resulting from bad advice that you have followed could be irreparable.
With this said, let me also point out that when worked with properly, the right “outside experts”, can indeed be an invaluable asset to your company.They can bring a new perspective to your organization. They can provide you with the expertise you need and when you need it, without having to have this type of talent on staff year round. They can be a tremendous source of input and ideas. They can do things you may be unwilling or unable to do. The key here is to use the right people, at the right time, for specific purposes, under the right arrangement.
The very first question you should ask is – “why do you need the outside expert?”
Any use of outside experts must be cost justified. All too often, consultants and other “outside experts” are used merely to shift responsibility from an internal party to an external party. In other words, you are paying someone outside of your company to do what someone inside your company should be doing. Every single relationship your company has with an outside expert must be very carefully and frequently scrutinized. Ask the questions and seek ways not to justify the relationship, but to justify not having the relationship.