How can you set yourself apart from the competition?

How can technology and industry trends give you a distinct advantage in the marketplace?

How can Deltek help you position your firm for growth this year?

What is the Deltek Clarity AE Study and why should you care?


Now in its 37th year, the study gathers metrics from AE firms in the areas of financial statistics, market outlook, business development, project management and talent management.  Deltek conducts the study in collaboration with ACEC, ACEC Canada, and SMPS.

The study focuses on the following areas:  Business Development, Project Management, Finance and Accounting and Talent Management.  The participants are divided in to (2) distinct groups:   High Performers and All Other Firms. Comparisons are made throughout the study to the High Performers identifying Best Practices and Profitable Trends.


The “Seller-Doer” model is alive and well and firms are employing more dedicated BD staff

Top PM challenges reported were:

  • Accurate project cost forecasting (52.3%)
  • Collaboration and communication (47.4%)

Overhead Rate – 160% ▼ (down from 2013)
Employee Turnover Rate 13.7% ▲ (up from 2013)

Excerpted from the 2014 Deltek Clarity Study


Key findings from 2014

Business Development

High Performers and All Other Firms are equal in having an average of 36% of revenues representing top 3 clients.  The percentage climbs to 45% for small firms and Architecture or Architecture/Engineering.  In the large firm category, the percentage drops to 20%.

Project Management

Another metric provided is where firms selected their top (3) challenges.  In the above graph, over 50% of firms selected accurate project forecasting with over 20% selecting as their primary Project Management Challenge.  2014 saw Project Managers struggling, but not with difficult clients or projects.  The top challenges included accurate project cost forecasting, collaboration and communication and inexperienced project managers.

Finance and Accounting

The Operating Profit Metric is displayed as a year over year trend.  Firms experienced a 6% year over year growth between 2013 and 2014, with a very similar participant base in the study.

Talent Management

Staff Growth is compared to High Performers vs All other firms.  What’s interesting is that in 2014, High Performers were adding net new staff at 3 times the volume that all the other firms were.

These are just (4) examples of the findings and metrics reported. There are many more.

Wondering what the results of the 2015 study will be?  Please join us at one of our Clarity Tour events for highlights of the study and receive a copy of the completed report.

In addition, if you have specific questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at (800) 438-6860 x711 or [email protected].