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A code of ethics for consulting services

Posted by dawson12 on March 17th, 2015

You may be a freelance consultant or an industry bigwig but you can never turn your back on the ethics involved in the consulting service industry. As a consultant, your clients trust you to provide him or her with expert knowledge and information relevant to the issue. Their business depends on your expertise and there is no replacement for ethics in such a situation.

A client pays you for your service based on the trust they have on your advice. Ignoring ethical practices jeopardises both your client’s and your business. If you deal with them with honesty they are bound to recommend you to other firms and you rest safe in the knowledge that you do good and above the board work. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind so that you stay on the right side of the moral line.

Can you do the job?

There are two aspects of this particular question. When you advertise your consulting services, avoid painting a false picture of what you can do. Do not invest in a puffed up advertisement when you cannot provide all the services mentioned. This creates a bad impression on clients when they finally meet you as it pretty much amounts to a lie.

When dealing with existing clients, be honest about how much responsibility you can or cannot take on at a particular time. If you are too burdened, ask if you can outsource to another consultant. Avoid taking on more clients than you can handle, since it isn’t fair to either your new or old client. They deserve your best quality work.

The importance of discretion

As a consultant, you are privy to your client’s confidential information. You have access to information that is crucial to the successful functioning of your client’s business and it is a powerful tool in your hand. At no point of time should you give away your client’s business plans and ideas to benefit your own company or some other client’s. Discretion is the mark of a professional consultant and will add value to the service you provide.

Time allocation and consulting fees

Be honest and generous about the fees your charge for your services and make sure you bill your clients accurately. Keep track of exactly how much time you devote to a client so that you can send them exact figures on the bill. Make sure there are no mix ups while charging your clients. A company shouldn’t have to pay for work that wasn’t done for them.

Client relationships

As a consulting service, you must maintain a professional relationship with your clients. A good relationship can be professional without straying over the line and becoming personal. Forging a personal relationship with clients is unethical as it clouds your objectivity towards them.

Avoid conflicting interests

While serving a client, make sure your business interests or the interests of some other client aren’t compromised while doing the job.

As hard as it may be to run a tight ship, if your management and IT consulting services can be made prominent for its work ethics, there will be no dearth of attractive business opportunities. Ethics should be your unique selling point since it can be hard to come by.

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