• Digital work now accounts for nearly 25% (almost US$1bn) of all consulting revenues in Canada

• Canada’s accounting firms grow faster than any other firm type...

SStrong growth of 5.5% in 2018 helped Canada’s consulting market pass US$4bn (US$4.1bn) for the first time. This solid growth is largely credited to Canada’s strong—if slowing—economy and an increasingly urgent digitisation agenda.

Digital work now accounts for nearly 25% (almost US$1bn) of all consulting revenues in the country, with demand for consulting support growing in the areas of data & analytics, RPA integration—increasingly aided by sophisticated AI technology—and blockchain. At the same time, consulting firms are stepping up efforts to digitally transform their own businesses, which will allow them to function more efficiently and also showcase the solutions being offered to clients.

This data is published today (17th June 2019) in a new report by Source Global Research, the leading research and strategy firm for the global professional services industry.

The report reveals that Canada’s consultants are, however, keeping a careful eye on the nation’s suddenly fraught trade relationship with the US, as a renegotiation of NAFTA continues to threaten the economy. Meanwhile, other changes in US policy have benefited Canada, as President Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration has led highly skilled workers to pursue Canadian visas, increasing the flow of digitally savvy talent to the north.

B.J. Richards, Senior Editor at Source Global Research, said:

“Canada’s consulting market continues to look robust, even if there is growing concern about what’s on the horizon. With further slowing predicted for the Canadian economy and the fate of North American trade agreements unresolved, some consultants report that client confidence is beginning to waver. For now, however, the economy remains strong enough—and the pull of digitisation powerful enough—to support healthy levels of demand at least through the end of the year.”

The Source report also found that consultants in Canada saw growth in every sector in 2018. Healthcare and retail remain smaller markets but saw the fastest growth last year. Consulting to the financial services sector also enjoyed robust growth due to an appetite for innovation and a sweeping digital transformation agenda.

Strategy was the fastest-growing service line, although it remains one of the smallest. The two largest service lines, technology and risk & regulatory, also experienced strong growth.

The consulting arms of Canada’s accounting firms—a group dominated by the Big Four— grew faster than any other firm type in 2018 (up 7.3% to US$1.7bn) due to client appetite for wide-ranging, multi-year transformation programmes, which fall soundly within the Big Four’s wheelhouse. Strong growth in the financial services and risk markets—the traditional heartland of these firms—has also been a factor helping to drive good levels of demand, as has an uptick in interest in managed services and assets.

The Source report also found that the Canada consulting market is seeing an explosion of boutique firms that are satisfying clients’ need for deep technological expertise, and which are becoming attractive acquisition targets for the largest firms in the market.

Tim Christmann, CEO, Consulting at Deloitte Canada added:

“There are many more boutique players now thanks to the onset of digital transformation. The market is like an incubator for smaller players, and then they are acquired.”

For more information on Source reports contact ella-sian.jolley@sourceglobalresearch.com, telephone +44 (0)20 3478 1204, or visit www.sourceglobalresearch.com.read more