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Finding the Numbers

Dear Dave
My partner and I have a new engineering consulting firm with two other employees, and we’re growing quickly. Could you recommend a source for industry standards information for the financial management of consulting firms—e.g., gross income per employee, overhead rates, billing rates, etc.?

Dear RA
Good news. There are a number of organizations and firms offering annual financially-oriented surveys of engineering and architectural firms. Here are three to get you started: American Consulting Engineers Council (ACEC) 202-347-7474. Birnberg & Associates 312-664-2300. Zweig White & Associates 508-651-1559.

It is refreshing to hear you and your partner are interested in learning more about the business of running an engineering firm. I wish more firms getting up and running would do likewise. Trust me, developing a good business sense is about the best thing any young firm can do to ensure a prosperous and long future for your new firm. Best wishes.

Wahby and Associates