I was one of the many lucky individuals laid off from KPMG US Advisory last October. I was catching up with one of my former colleagues earlier and learned that at least 10 people have recently been hired to the group that I was let go from, ranging in levels from associate all the way […]
With the stench of the performance-based separations layoffs from a couple months ago still lingering in the air at EY, one person who survived the wide-ranging job cuts told us recently that (s)he is already worried about a similar situation happening across the firm in 2021. Here’s what this EYer said: A few weeks ago, […]
While some accounting firms in its weight class, like Crowe, Baker Tilly, EisnerAmper, and Wipfli, have laid off somewhere between 3% and 10% of their staffs due to the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 crisis, Marcum hasn’t resorted to those measures. Yet. During a town hall meeting earlier this afternoon, Marcum CEO Jeffrey Weiner […]
[Updated with additional information.] During the afternoon on Friday, someone posted on Reddit that CliftonLarsonAllen had announced earlier in the day 10% pay cuts to all employees. Checks out. Here’s what came through the tipline late Friday afternoon: CLA announced this morning in a firm-wide webcast that they will be reducing all compensation by 10% […]
[Updated with additional information.] Just got this from the tipline: [BDO USA CEO] Wayne Berson just announced we were taking a 5-10% paycut at all levels (salaried) from May 1st-August 1st (St Louis is the one exception, they’re starting May 16). Hourly is the same, just starting one or two days later after the salaried […]
We got a tip this morning which we were able to confirm with two other sources that in an internal firm video we think was sent to employees last night, KPMG CEO Lynne Doughtie said protecting KPMGers during the crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak was her first priority and that layoffs would be an […]
Public shame By now, everyone knows that PwC partner Brian Cullinan handed the wrong envelope to Warren Beatty which set off the huge Best Picture fiasco at the Oscars. This is the version that was widely reported on Monday and then confirmed by the firm later in the day. Whether his tweeting was the culprit […]
Programming note: There will be no ANR or newsletter tomorrow. More details to come later today. H&R Block and Watson Last year, H&R Block drew the ire of CPAs everywhere with some videos that the AICPA didn’t think were very nice. H&R Block CEO Bill Cobb responded with, “Sorry, not sorry,” and we didn’t hear […]
There seems to be a lot of talk about Deloitte and EY laying off first and and second year associates across the South and Southeast. Strangely, no much reporting or discussion though. Anyone know whats going on?
Here's some not-so-fun news that popped up on Reddit earlier with regard to Deloitte telling some tax people that their services are no longer needed: Couple dozen in Chicago, and many more in the local practice offices. Staff to Senior Manager, no-one is insulated. The OP states further, "Hearing rumors that it will be a […]
The Accountant I saw The Accountant over the weekend and apparently a lot of other people did too as it booked $24.7 million at the box office. As I mentioned on Friday, the critical reviews are pretty rough but Cinemascore gave it an "A" which means people are telling other people to go see it. […]
I work in Advisory services and I know the TAP/BAP program has hired too many people recently and they have not staffed everyone. Does this mean we can expect some layoffs going into next fiscal? how often to big4 firms layoff employees and for what reasons?
Here's one from the mailbag: Big 4 in Houston and Dallas have been laying staff off due to "performance reasons." I wonder if this is going to trickle down to other regions as well given the declining oil market. Good question! Here in Colorado, big names like Anadarko and Encana have shed jobs but there […]
Our editor is taking a personal day so you can post news and questions for discussion in Open Items. We'll be back to full speed on Monday. Prosecutorial Bent Shows in SEC Accounting-Fraud Push, Ex-Official Says [LawBlog/WSJ]A couple of years ago, the SEC started an accounting fraud task force. So, how's it going? […]
It's that time of year when public accounting firms start showing the underperformers the door and we have our first confirmed across the board cut at it has happened at Rothstein Kass. The first we heard of the layoffs was in mid-April when we were informed by an anonymous tip that the firm would be […]
Another one bites the dust (via the tip box): There had been some concern among advisory professionals at EY that there could be a downsizing. It finally happened to me today at the [redated for privacy] office. Told that I appear to have topped out at Sr 3 and would not be promoted this year […]
From the tip box: Just got out of a manager meeting and it looks like KPMG is going to thank a good chunk of their staff for their hard work during busy season with pink slips. Confirmed audit practice only. Advisory and tax are safe. For now. As cryptic as this tip is, our tipster […]
Jack Lew, your next Secretary of the Treasury, has an odd signature. [NYT] Jonathan Weil is encouraged, but not necessarily impressed, with the SEC's action against the two KPMG auditors. [Bloomberg] Robert Khuzami is leaving the SEC. [SEC] AIG Directors Could Barely Get Through A Morning Of Pretending They Might Sue The Government [DB] Promontory […]
KPMG partners hit as profits fall 13pc The big four accountant saw profit last year fall across UK and Europe as flat revenues in key areas such as audit and tax were exacerbated by increased costs. European profit was down from €913m (£743m) to €868m. The accountant described the result as “a creditable performance in tough market […]
With regard to the aforementioned cuts, the good news is that some of you got to keep your jobs. The bad news is many still did not: KPMG lost 275 staff following a restructuring exercise to streamline the business. Earlier this year the firm announced it would reduce its headcount by 3% equal to about 330 […]
The firm regrets to inform five percent of their employees, including "a limited number of partners," that they will soon have a lot of free time on their hands: Mazars could make up to 5% of its workforce redundant, as it begins a consultation process across the firm. Accountancy Age has learned staff were informed this week […]
E&Y Down Under is getting into the act, informing a number of people that their services are no longer needed and the word on the street is that some partners may be next: Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young Australia has retrenched 89 staff amid rumours that partner performance is under review and will […]
KPMG has made good on its promise to send over 300 of its UK employees packing, but, reportedly, there's a bit of a surprise for everyone who remains: Some 340 jobs were cut at KPMG following its headcount reduction plan, and a pay freeze has been implemented across KPMG. An internal email to staff said that […]
Does anyone think that this sounds strange? This week, accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers announced that to help avoid layoffs, employees in mainland China and Hong Kong will be offered a chance to take an additional 12 days’ holiday in the coming months, of which eight of them will be unpaid. The company is also launching a […]
Last month we learned that KPMG's UK operation announced its "regrettable" plans to tell 300 of its people to hit the bricks. While there hasn't been any other Big 4 firms in the Queendom, the news out of the House of Klynveld has people concerned: The job cuts announced by KPMG could be the start […]
Meanwhile, across the pond, a few hundred Klynveldians will have to find something else to do with their time in the very near future: Staff at the auditor and consultant’s UK arm were told on Thursday that it was conducting a review of several business units after reducing its growth expectations. KPMG said just under […]
The aforementioned forced rankings appear to still be taking effect. A tipster laments: I just got laid off from KPMG's Forensic practice in Los Angeles [and] there were a few other associates in my group that got laid off as well. Our tipster claims that this is only happening at associate level although the layoffs in […]
Following up on the news that forced rankings were hitting auditors across the country and rumors that it would be coming to the IT advisory group, the latest word is that various tax groups within the House of Klynveld are also getting into the act: There was definitely chatter in my group (M&A Tax) about […]
Following the news that the IT Advisory group could possibly force some professionals into the underperforming category, I had the following text message exchange yesterday with a source at KPMG that I'll refer to here as Rudy. Rudy: Did you hear about the layoffs? Me: Nooooo. I just posted about the possible layoffs in ITA […]
A tipster informs us that attrition for the IT advisory group was not as high as expected, which poses a bit of a dilemma: I heard that some of the performance managers are being instructed to give their staff 4 and 5 ratings, as there weren't enough in those buckets. Keeping in mind that turnover […]
Apparently some IT professionals were recently informed that their services were no longer needed: Deloitte have laid off nearly their entire IT staff in Hermitage, TN over the last few days. Rumor is that they will start outsourcing their software development to save themselves salaries, benefits and retirement of employees…many of whom have been there in excess of […]
Rick Santorum's tax plan [CNN]The former conservative senator from Pennsylvania would reduce the number of income tax brackets from six to two (10% and 28%) and triple what his campaign identifies as the personal deduction that parents can claim for their children. Santorum would also eliminate the so-called marriage penalty, which often causes two-earner couples to […]
Deficit Deal Might Delay Tax Overhaul [WSJ]
“There could be a two-step process that would hopefully give us pro-growth tax reform,” Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas) said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Mr. Hensarling is a co-chairman of the deficit-cutting supercommittee that faces a Nov. 23 deadline for reaching agreement on a plan to cut at least $1.2 trillion from projected future deficits. The approach could ease the path to an agreement, by allowing Congress to reach the outlines of an agreement on tax revenues and spending cuts this year, while postponing the difficult details of a tax overhaul until nex the issue back to the congressional tax-writing committees. On Sunday, at a press conference in Honolulu where he was hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, President Barack Obama called on Republican lawmakers to soften their resistance to revenue increases as they work on a deal bring the deficit under control, saying he hoped lawmakers will “bite the bullet and do what needs to be done.”
The Folly of the Flat Tax [WSJ]
Figuring out your taxable income can be quite an effort. But once that is done, most taxpayers just look up their tax bill on an IRS-provided table. Those with incomes above $100,000 must perform a simple calculation that involves multiplying two numbers together and adding a third. A flat tax with an exemption would require precisely the same sort of calculation. The net reduction in complexity? Zero.
Olympus Sale Helped Hide Balance Sheet Hole [Bloomberg]
Olympus Corp. (7733)’s 2009 sale of its profitable diagnostics unit may have undermined efforts to expand into health care as the company sought cash to shore up a balance sheet that was hiding decades of losses. Olympus’s then-President Tsuyoshi Kikukawa said the Japanese camera maker was unable to compete in the industry, even as he bought face cream, plastic cookware and recycling companies. A day after Beckman Coulter Inc. (BEC) purchased the Olympus unit, Chief Executive Officer Scott Garrett told analysts the division’s “long and enviable track record of above-market growth” would give an immediate boost to earnings. Barclays Capital upgraded Beckman on the deal.
Rogue Traders, Rogue Firms: The CME, PwC, MF Global and the Legacy of Refco [Re:The Auditors]
FM: “The auditor has complete access, at any time, including to financial systems and reports. They are responsible for issuing an independent opinion on internal controls over financial reporting and for issuing additional reports to the regulators – which they are dependent on- regarding controls over segregated assets per the Commodity Exchange Act. So… When you think about frequency, access, independence, and the fact they get paid well for their services by the shareholders the auditor is in line as the first-responder.”
Romney Tax-Cutting Path to Budget Balance Clouded by Few Savings [Bloomberg]
“Romney may be our only hope, so let’s hope he takes a remedial math course before January 2013,” says former Reagan administration budget director David Stockman. “You can’t get to 20 percent of GDP on spending without taking a fire ax to the Pentagon budget and sharply reducing Social Security payments to the more affluent current retirees.”
Error led to Workforce Central Florida layoffs, controller contends [OS]
Oops: “Three years ago, a former financial controller at Workforce Central Florida says he made a startling discovery. For several months, he said, the agency mistakenly posted expenses twice, making it appear as if Workforce had less money than it really did. By mid-2008, those phantom costs were pushing agency executives to lay off more than 20 workers, he said. The controller said he reported his findings to Workforce’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer, hoping to avert cutbacks. But he said the chief operating officer told him Workforce board members had already been notified about the layoffs, and she was not willing to tell them there had been a mistake.”
KPMG files to shift MF Canadian accounts to RBC [Reuters]
MF Global fired all 1,066 of its brokerage employees on Friday, triggering anger and resentment about the firm’s collapse after bad bets on European debt under former CEO Jon Corzine’s leadership. KPMG said on Saturday it filed the motion with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, seeking authority to transfer certain MF Global Canada Co customer accounts to RBC Dominion Securities Inc.
Sounds like the aforementioned rumored layoffs have begun.
Yes they are occurring and I know as I am one of the individual’s impacted. There was no advance warning. I know one other individual in Philly that was also laid off. We are both in the tax practice. My understanding is that it is nationwide and mostly impacts senior managers.
Keep us updated if cuts are going down at your office.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. […] Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said the investment bank could layoff 1,000 employees globally as part of $1.2 billion in cost cuts.
During a conference call with analysts, Viniar said the potential headcount reduction is “as we sit here now and, of course, things can change,” adding that such layoffs would “come over the course of this year.” Viniar said the cuts could be “some senior, some junior people,” but “it’s really more dollar focused than head focused.” [MW]
~ Sorry about the downtime yesterday. Our best people are on it like ConEd.
Deloitte to be world’s biggest accountant as partners sweep up £590m [Telegraph]
“According to Mr Connolly, when Deloitte publishes its global results in October the firm is set to reveal it has overtaken PriceWaterhouseCoopers to become the biggest of the “Big Four” accountancy houses globally.
However, Mr Connolly, who is set to retire in 2011, predicted the current financial year could prove even more successful despite describing future growth in the wider economy as ‘low and slow.’ ‘We have alr in the first quarter of this year, so I expect we shall return to double-digit growth. The M&A market has started to get much busier and our tax business is growing well again. Changes in regulation also mean good business for us.’ ”
Investors Gain New Clout [WSJ]
“In a decision years in the making, the SEC voted 3-2 in favor of the “proxy access” rule, which requires companies to include the names of all board nominees, even those not backed by the company, directly on the standard corporate ballots distributed before shareholder annual meetings. To win the right to nominate, an investor or group of investors must own at least 3% of a company’s stock and have held the shares for a minimum of three years.
Currently, shareholders who want to oust board members must foot the bill for mailing separate ballots, as well as wage a separate campaign to woo shareholder support. Both are too costly and time-consuming for most. Now, the targeted companies will essentially be footing the bill for the dissidents, including them in the official proxy materials. The new rule will be in place in time for the 2011 annual meeting season next spring.”
Celgene names new chief financial officer [Reuters]
Jacqualyn Fouse will replace David Gryska effective Sept. 27
Herz Resigns As FASB Chair [The Summa]
Professor David Albrecht’s take on Roberto Herz’s decision to step down.
3Par Accepts Dell’s Increased Takeover Offer [Bloomberg]
“Dell Inc. said 3Par Inc. has accepted its increased offer of $24.30 per share in cash, or about $1.6 billion, net of 3Par’s cash.”
Dodging the Ax: How to Avoid Layoffs [FINS]
“As professionals working in financial-services witness the ax drop around their companies, many are living in fear that they could be included in the next round of layoffs. However, there are measures you can take right away to help safeguard your position and make you seem indispensable to management.”
Stanford Used Skimmed $1.6 Billion For Loans To Start-Ups, Witness Says [Bloomberg]
“The $1.6 billion that indicted financier R. Allen Stanford is accused of skimming from the funds of his investors was actually loaned by his Antiguan bank to start-up entities and other businesses he controlled, a fraud examiner testified.
Forensic accountant Alan Westheimer testified before a U.S. judge in Houston today that Stanford Financial Group Cos. comptroller Mark Kuhrt and chief accountant Gilbert Lopez told him they believed the borrowing should have been publicly disclosed.
‘The funds were being passed through as inter-company loans to the entities that were the recipients of the shareholder loans,’ Westheimer said. ‘Within a short period, usually six months, Mr. Stanford would assume those loans and the recipient companies transferred those balances to their underlying capital.’ ”
Remember those PwC layoffs in Tampa a week or so back? Right. Anyway, the St. Petersburg Times decided to poke around this story a little bit more and discovered some things that most of you have known for awhile: there are two very different sides to large accounting firms and PwC is no exception.
PricewaterhouseCoopers has cultivated an image as one of corporate America’s upper-tier workplaces. Competitive pay. Great benefits. A perennial on Fortune’s list of Best Places to Work.
Human resources experts with the company have preached to clients about effectively managing workers and using layoffs as th es of crisis.
However, interviews with a half-dozen current and former Pricewaterhouse employees support a different picture of a financial evolution within the company in recent years. The accounting and professional services giant, known as PwC, has quietly and methodically slashed hundreds if not thousands of well-paying jobs, offshoring many functions to cheaper labor overseas.
A perennial on the Fortune list! It’s impressive to see the MSM catch on to the Big 4 M.O. so quickly. Anyway, the article goes on to explain that the accounting firms aren’t like regular corporations because, as we know, the “shareholders” are the partners of the firm:
Pricewaterhouse and the other top global accounting firms “make a lot of money, and they’ve had an increase in revenue for many years,” said Christopher Ames, president and CEO of the Ames Research Group, which analyzes financial data of the world’s largest professional services firms.
“These firms work differently than a publicly traded company. In the firms, the shareholders are the firm and there’s not that many of them. From the partners’ perspective, they want to keep that money … and they’ve done pretty well.”
Not only do the partners do well, St. Pete’s reveals a couple of other things we all know and that is 1) that getting a firm to admit that layoffs have even occurred is nothing short of water into wine and 2) the process and numbers involved are a complete mystery:
Confirmation of the latest layoffs was unusual. Many cuts happen below the radar. PwC has not filed any WARN layoff notices with the state this year for any cuts, including the latest one.
Consultant Francine McKenna, a former PwC employee who tracks the Big Four audit firms in her award-winning blog, re: TheAuditors, was shocked the company even confirmed the layoffs publicly. “They just don’t issue press releases,” said McKenna, who broke news of a previous PwC layoff in November.
Several PwC veterans said that is partly due to the process. A mass layoff is not typical; cuts come in small groups. Workers receive messages to “touch base” with a partner, a telltale sign they are about to lose their jobs. The total numbers are also murky, workers say, because a percentage of dismissed employees are offered either lateral jobs or lesser-paying jobs to stay with the firm.
Remember the November layoffs? If you don’t, it got ugly. The PwC loyalists got their claws out on that one.
PricewaterhouseCoopers spokesman Jon Stoner is quoted throughout but it’s mostly bites from the firm’s previous statement and he stonewalls reporter Jeff Harrington on any meaningful details.
For readers of this here fine publication, none of these tactics are new but Harrington dug up all the right dirt which is refreshing. He includes a quote from a former employee that probably sums it up for a lot of you, “It used to be a great place to work. They took care of their workers. “[Now,] it’s a company of bean counters, and all they care about is saving a few pennies.”
For PricewaterhouseCoopers, layoffs pad bottom line [St. Petersburg Times]
Layoffs, pay freezes, pay cuts. Pretty simple cost cutting solutions for CFOs who’ve got tight budgets. Unfortunately, the slash and burn tactics for personnel may have been better applied in another area – inventory.
A recent survey performed by Greenwich Associates of midsized and small company “financial decision-makers” found that, in particular, midsized companies ($10 million to $500 million in revenue) that reduced their inventory, on average, saved 30% more ($520k inventory vs. $400 layoffs).
While that’s great news, the unfortunate part is that only 17% of the companies survey bothered with that particular cost saving strategy while 47% of those survey used “staffing reductions.”
The survey also found that while 37% of used pay freezes to reduced costs with an averaged savings of $245,000. Crunching the numbers, that’s nearly 53% less savings than the inventory reduction savings.
Of course, not all companies have inventory in the dusty-stacks-of-pallets-in-a-warehouse sense. This is especially true of the professional services/financial services area where, unfortunately, the staff are sometimes considered to be inventory.
That “All-Hands” meeting we told you about on Monday sounds like it was a real snoozer, however, a source who was there did share two interesting details:
The guys in charge basically told us the following:
– They handled the [May 2009] “headcount adjustment” poorly. It was a necessary action; but more communication was necessary to keep people informed.
– Deloitte is better poised to grow over the next few years as compared to their competitors (we saw projections, but no comparisons…)
That took about 1.5 hours.
Since this was an “all-hands” we’re assuming tax people were there? If so, the ones still trudging towards the 15th (one week!) had to be suffering borderline panic attacks. Or maybe it was a brief oasis? Either way it’s unfortunate that nothing came up about increase in comp. Maybe Deloitte is the one firm that is saving it as a big surprise. If the cat gets let out of the bag on comp, get in touch with us.
Happy Hangover Thursday, folks. Hopefully the green food coloring washed off easily this morning.
I was out networking with my Irish brothers last night in midtown New York, quite a few blocks north of my normal after-work locale. Second Avenue bars full of cold beer and burned out white collars, St. Patty’s Day was a welcomed Wednesday relief for those in busy season. The day was over, the night was turning late and, for once, shop talk was put on the back burner. That is, until I heard the phrase “Uncle Peat” used as the object of
affection bitterness for a toast.
Obviously, I couldn’t resist.
DWB: “Are you guys auditors?”
Auditor 1: “Yeah, over at KPMG. Hopefully not for long, though.”
DWB: “Nice, nice. Moving on to better things?”
Auditor 2: “Hopefully.”
Auditor 1: “Not soon enough.”
A round of drinks later (toast to Uncle Peat not included) and these Irish-for-the-day gentlemen filled me in about an email circulating around KPMG’s NYC audit practice regarding a temporary rotation into the Transaction Services (TS) practice. TS specializes in mergers & acquisitions work and was — most likely — hit steeply by the rounds of the falling guillotine back in 2008 and 2009.
How does a practice that was hemorrhaging money and resources a year ago now have business blowing through the door at such a fierce rate? If you read anything beyond the usual busy season distractions, it’d come as no surprise to you that the markets are slowly picking up. But service firms typically lag in response, both on the positive (Woo-hoo, new business!) and negative (Sorry, this isn’t about you – this is about the numbers) sides of the equation. Nonetheless, Uncle Peat’s auditors should be leaping at this opportunity. A rotation out of audit can be refreshing, even in the quieter months of summer.
Did KPMG’s advisory shake up and realignment pay off? Is the firm’s leadership blowing smoke to perk up the down-trodden auditors currently drowning in busy season? Was a picture of a giant carrot on a string used in the email? If you received this email, I’d love to read the text. Last night’s informants promised to send it over, but they probably called in with emergency doctor “appointments” this morning.
We’re hearing more about layoffs in E&Y’s North Central offices today. The chatter is that cuts are now hitting advisory professionals in Detroit, Toledo, and Cincinnati. Our source indicated that it was 2 – 3 professionals in each office which puts the total number of layoffs in the region over 30 since this latest round started last month.
Rumor also has it that the Columbus office — home of dollar beer night — could also get into the axe swinging but we’re scant on details at this point.
These cuts in the advisory practice would be the first we have heard of since the dozen layoffs (that we confirmed) in the Pacific-Northwest.
Continue to keep us updated with the specifics.
Earlier: (UPDATE) Layoff Watch ’09: Update on Ernst & Young
Just a little more context on the latest E&Y layoffs that we reported on this morning.
A new source has indicated to us the cuts were absolutely based on utilization:
The staff confirmed that no counselor was addressed.
The staff confirmed that no personnel with whom the individual worked within the past 6-8 months was consulted, including manager and above.
The staff confirmed that no performance reviews since April 2009 were referenced.
You better have a strong anchor client that keeps you going year round, and good luck if you lose them. So much for people.
We don’t feel further comment is necessary but if you have any thoughts, please share them in the comments.
We’ve received multiple reports of layoffs that occurred last week in the audit practice of the Los Angeles office.
The numbers have been described as “a few” and the news has been “hush hush” making us wonder if these cuts were some unfinished business from either the August and September rounds.
There also have been rumors about additional layoffs in Dallas tax but we don’t have any more details than that.
If you’ve got any details for these layoffs or details for other cities, get in touch and discuss in the comments.
We thought E&Y layoffs had finally quieted down but unfortunately late yesterday we learned of an additional ten cuts in the tax practice of the North Central region including Cincinnati, Detroit, and Pittsburgh.
These cuts in Cincy and the ‘Burgh are on top of the initial cuts we reported but this is the first tip we’ve received about layoffs in Detroit. Jump back to the main thread for the latest discussion and continue to keep us informed with details.
We received more details late yesterday on the E&Y layoffs. The latest cities reporting layoffs are now Minneapolis and Milwaukee.
We also learned that there were approximately ten layoffs in the tax practice last month in the Chicago office. These were all at the associate and senior associate level.
Check back to the original thread for the latest and continue to keep us updated.
From a reliable source on the west coast we have learned that the advisory practice of E&Y was feeling left out and has decided to get into the act.
Twelve advisory professionals — we’re speculating that it was all staff at this point — were laid off today in the Pacific-Northwest Region. The only confirmed city that we have so far is San Jose. Emails were sent out last night and meetings with partners were held this morning. For an added personal touch, our understanding is that the staff met with partners that they were not previously acquainted.
Our calls to E&Y have gone unreturned. An E&Y spokesperson declined to comment.
Jump back to this post for all the details on this round of E&Y layoffs and get in touch with details for your city, practice, and severance.
The Pacific Northwest Area leaders have a town hall meeting in the Area offices. The retiring Area Managing Partner and incoming partner both show videos of each other to “introduce” them to the little people. These videos brag about how one collects ferraris (shows other partner in his ferrari at the show room) and the other shows the incoming partner’s closet full of Jimmy Choo shoes. And the best part?? It was at this meeting where they tell people (everyone from admin to partners) that they are making 5% cuts in December…And then of course they proceed to go through multiple rounds of cuts – Dec, March, June and not sure if it is over.
We enjoy an Italian sports car as much as the next guy but for crissakes, using it to segue into layoffs? Do you think they ran this script by anyone or did they just wing it? If you’ve got other stories of tawdry behavior, by all means, pass them along.
It’s been fairly quiet since this past Tuesday’s layoffs but it sounds like lots of cuts occurred in national support services in Montvale, NJ. We also received a tip that the Richmond office let go a few professionals from their Internal Audit Risk & Compliance team which adds to the advisory cuts that were reported last week.
We also got more details on the Chicago office’s layoffs of tax professionals:
In addition to the 5 from ICS there were at least these:
• 4 in Fed Tax (Consumer Markets) – 1 manager, 2 seniors, 1 associate
• 1 in SALT – manager
• 1 in EVS – senior manager
• 3 in Fed Tax (Real Estate) – 1 managing director, 2 seniors
There were lots of rumors of it continuing this week, so continue to keep us updated. The bright side is today is New Year’s Day in the land of Klynveld.
There are several cities where we can confirm layoffs but total numbers are hard to come by and KPMG is not returning our calls/emails at this time. Here are cities that we definitely know got hit:
• Chicago – At least five in Int’l Tax. At least one in financial services tax.
• Denver – Transaction Services
• Kansas City – Six to eight in Tax
• Houston – Transaction Services
• San Fran – Five in Fed Tax
• LA and OC – Several comments report ten to twelve in tax for LA, five for OC
• DC/Tyson’s Corner/McLean – Between five and eight total in tax and advisory.
• Silicon Valley – Thirteen total.
Five to Seven Mostly in Tax, possibly some in EVS and one in Transaction Services.
• Seattle and Portland – Two in Tax for each
• Salt Lake City – Three in Tax
• Detroit – Three to five in Tax
• Jacksonville, FL – Two in Tax
• New York – Three in the transfer pricing specialty group in the tax practice. Three in the real estate practice. According to our source, these were performance performance related.
• Boston – Two in Fed Tax and one in M&A
• Nashville – Two in Tax
• Tampa – Two in Tax, one manager and one SA
We haven’t been able to confirm much out of the New York office, although it sounds as though Transaction Services has had some cuts. If you’ve got new details on any city, let us know.
UPDATE: See updates above. Altogether it appears to be over thirty-five in the west alone. Continue sending us updates.
UPDATE, Thursday, 11:54 am: Information is still crawling in. We heard that the number of nationwide layoffs for Advisory was 50, including 20 in the NY/Boston offices but we’re still waiting on more information. Continue to send tips in and make sure you note which office you’re in. Oh, and apparently the Dallas office needs SA’s in audit.
UPDATE, Friday, 12:30: Still a few tips coming (see updates above) in but it seems the worst (hopefully) is over.
UPDATE, Monday 3:04 pm: Just a couple more updates above for Nashville and Tampa.
Frankly, this is getting ridiculous. We got wind of more staff layoffs going down in the Metro audit practice in New York today. Sounds as though emails may have been sent out last night and meetings are being held today.
One explanation we heard was that associates not currently assigned to a client were let go which seems dubious, even for an accounting firm, but we’ll run with it. If you’re one of the unlucky few, or have details on rumors concerning next week, drop us a line or discuss in the comments.
Received word late last night that layoffs went down out west yesterday. According to our source, the breakdown is as follows:
• Two in LA
• Two in Irvine- tax (one staff 1)
• One in San Diego – tax (staff 2)
• A few in Vegas- Audit only
We reached out to an E&Y spokesperson, who declined to comment.
Our source says it was performance based but that particular reason has been a matter of debate for some time. If you’ve got your own theories, discuss in the comments and send us any more details if you’ve got them.
Here’s hoping that Ern isn’t getting warmed up…
True Partners Tax Consulting (TPC), who provides “Intelligent Tax Advice” according to its website, decided that it didn’t seem some of its intelligence. According to a tip we received, the Chicago office decided that it really didn’t need some of its intelligence:
Details, after the jump
[TPC] just cleaned house in Chicago. I can tell you for sure that they laid off at least 20 employees (non-partners), most of whom were mid-level or juniors, and that they just rescinded the vast majority (28 out of 36) of outstanding offers of employment. Apparently, the tax attorneys were hit disproportionately hard. I personally know three University of Illinois College of Law newly minted tax attorneys who were just given the axe before they even started work. I have no idea about the firm’s other offices, but I assume they are undergoing a nation-wide bloodbath.
We’ve reached out to TPC who has not responded to our request for comment.
Since it’s possible that many of you aren’t familiar with TPC, we took the liberty of checking them out. TPC has fourteen offices worldwide, including New York, Chicago, LA, London, Munich, and Paris and they specialize in a wide array of tax and business consulting services.
TPC was also listed 9th on Crain’s Chicago Top 20 Places to Work in the spring. PLUS: “There’s free beer and wine after 5 p.m. and a big-screen TV, Nintendo Wii game system and pingpong table for quick escapes from the daily grind.”
If you keep reading the Crain’s piece, you find out that your abrasive assholey ways will not be tolerated, “True Partners won’t hire anyone who can’t pass the collegiality test and will not keep anyone on board who doesn’t display respect and selflessness toward peers.”
Okay, think we got it. So are we to assume that the 20 let go were all dicks (around 20% of the Chicago office) and the offers were rescinded because it was decided those people couldn’t be trusted to play nice? We’ll start there. Help us out with this one and if you know someone that works at this tax utopia pass it along to them. At very least find out what kind of beer they stock in the fridge.
We’re slowly getting details on PwC layoffs that occurred a few weeks ago that were part of the newly stripped down performance rating that we talked about last week.
More, after the jump
I was one of the employees involved in these so called layoffs out of the Boston office. I can say that these staff cuts are coming at a time in which PwC, specifically it’s advisory services, has seen a dip in it’s numbers concerning profit…The lay off that I received came as a big surprise to me. For one I did not recieve a single negative reveiew throughout the entire performance year. I was actually on track for promotion and was reccommended by numerous individuals to be promoted to senior associate…From what I have heard, these staff cuts have been happening at all levels and all lines of service.
What’s not clear is how each office determines the timing of the layoff. We haven’t gotten any indication that there is one big whacking day or if it’s staggered among offices to keep on the DL. The one thing that seems clear is that PwC whackings come with little or no warning as performance ratings seem to magically change for the worst.
This seems to be all occurring while Denny Nally was spreading good cheer this Spring. Via an email we received from a reader:
While I am realistic about the challenges ahead, I continue to see the glass as half full and, based on the picture we have right now, I am committed to moving forward with our people strategy. That means, even though in some markets and in some practice areas we may have excess capacity, we will continue to manage our cost structure and explore all available options before we consider reductions to our staff.
Not exactly sure what “all available options” includes but it sounds like those have been exhausted because “reductions” are certainly occurring and all indications have been that everything remains “performance related” and that all levels are affected.
If you’ve got details on your PwC office’s latest layoffs shoot us some details, including numbers, city, practice, and severance.
As if you didn’t need another excuse to go on a three day bender, we received a tip that audit professionals will be getting laid off at the Dallas Radio Station next Tuesday, the 18th. Tax professionals will get their turn in September, most likely after the filing deadline.
Word is that no one level is safe as the cuts will be made at all levels including partners.
did not immediately respond to our request for declined to comment.
If you’ve got more information on the sitch or you’ve heard similar rumors for other offices, drop us a line at [email protected].
A quick follow-up on the layoffs we mentioned in last week’s firm watch that went down at the PwC Denver office. We heard over the weekend that it was approximately a dozen employees that got the boot and it occurred at all levels including at least one senior manager.
The layoffs, which occurred last month, were deemed to be “performance related” which has been P. Dubs’ consistent story regarding cuts. Similarly, everyone seems to consistently disbelieve that story. If you have more details regarding these layoffs or if there were recent layoffs at your office, let us know at [email protected].
Over the weekend we received an email that basically confirmed our suspicions that many of you were working over the weekend. Considering the time of year, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that hours are starting to pile up and you’re spending at least one hour a night deciding where you’re ordering take out from.
We received word over the weekend that tax groups at
KPMG PwC all the major firms are working like crazy already in anticipation for the September 15th and October 15th filing deadlines.
There have also been whispers among some in the tax practice at KPMG that layoffs may occur after the deadlines due to large number of idle hands that will be around after the deadlines pass.
Tax associates out there, let’s know what your hours have been, what you’re hearing about post-deadline layoffs, and where you don’t want to get take out from ever again.
Getting laid off sucks. It has happened to me twice in the past 23 years. I’ve also been fired once for poor performance, but unlike the two times I was laid off, I knew exactly when I was being fired. I hated my job, I hated my boss (I was her only employee and she […]
If you’re a regular visitor to this website, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out which Big 4 firm we’re referring to: Carillion, loads of fines from the Financial Reporting Council, chairman’s rant leads to his resignation, Carillion, “unacceptable” bank audits, partners who are bullies, lawsuits, and layoffs. And did we mention Carillion? Yes, […]
Today Fortune released its 25th installment of its 100 Best Companies to Work For, a ranking we’ve covered off and on for the past 12 years. And the No. 1 bestest company for 2022, according to Fortune, is Cysco Systems. Congrats to them. In the professional services category, notables include Accenture at No. 6, Protiviti […]
As of February 2022, inflation in the United States has hit a 40-year high at 7.9%; the last time inflation was this bad, many of you weren’t even alive so yay, think of this like Halley’s Comet, some day in the distant future you’ll get to say “I was there!” You don’t need us to […]
Most people who leave public accounting have absolutely no intention of going back. These days public accounting would probably take you back in a heartbeat if you changed your mind. But if you feel like you could use another “drink from the firehose” to help propel your career forward and provide you a missing experience […]
(Updated post from Aug. 18 with a comparison of average raise percentages per promotion from 2018 and 2016.) 2020 was a pretty ugly year for the Black and Yellow—and especially for EY employees. Let’s recap, shall we? No performance-based bonuses. Raises only to those who received a promotion. Lots and lots of layoffs. Unlimited PTO; […]
Good afternoon and happy Monday, grunts. Boy do I have something that is going to warm your cold black hearts. As we can all agree, the last year and a half has been rough. We’ve all had to make sacrifices, though thankfully many of us have at least gotten through it without having to put […]
[Updated on June 11 with information about employee raises.] Plante Moran is the darling of the F100BCTWF, having made the list for the 23rd time; however, PM is dangerously close to dropping out of the top 100, falling from No. 21 last year to No. 91 this year. Despite the huge drop in the rankings, […]
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Next up in the 2021 F100BCTWF are the darlings of the Big 4, PwC. Somebody on one of the chatter sites said recently that the reason why PwC attracts so many new recruits, capital market servants from other Big 4 firms, and has such a good reputation is because it has a charismatic and very […]
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For years now, we here at Going Concern — much like most of the accounting profession at large — have been engaged in dramatic hand-wringing over the possibility of robots edging accountants out of their jobs. And — again, much like the greater profession — we have mostly come to the conclusion that even when […]
[Updated this evening with additional information.] This was sent to our tipline last night: All workplace services coordinators at EY will have to go work for a contractor or be fired. They are telling employees tomorrow. They are making a big deal by saying this is not a lay off. Admins and IT will be […]
When the largest public accounting firms in the U.S. had their employees move their battlestations from the office to home in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, we had no idea what was going to happen next. But some accountants who worked at the Big 4 and the top midtier firms during the financial crisis […]
[Updated on Dec. 14 with additional information.] Heard through the grapevine recently that a third round of job cuts happened at Deloitte Canada in October. A source told us: They did it on a rolling basis in the entire month across service lines. They probably did this in advance of the new hires starting in […]
Christmas came early for those donning the orange, red, and yellow, as PwC employees were told the following today during a firmwide webcast, according to a tipster (bold emphasis added): PwC avoided layoffs by freezing pay, paid (smaller than target but still substantial) bonuses in the fall, now increasing base pay for nearly all staff […]
In a Wednesday message to staff, Deloitte Australia CEO Richard Deutsch shared the good news that although the firm had instituted pay cuts earlier in the year when no one really knew how bad things might get, they’re pulling a Mike Ehrmantraut and making their guys (and gals) whole. Financial Review reports: Big four consulting […]
There are a few things those of us who live in and around Chicago can count on every single year: bad Chicago Bears quarterbacks, the Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day, a new lineup of Goose Island Bourbon County stouts on Black Friday, and Deloitte being Chicago’s largest accounting firm. The Green Dot […]
[Updated on Oct. 28 with additional information.] A tipster provided us this week with a post-busy season update about the goings-on at Andersen, and it seems like good news all around: All offices and laptops were closed on 10/16 and 10/19 to give employees 4 days of uninterrupted time off. Then the following announcements were […]
Late on Friday a couple people told us about some good news for BDOers, especially for those not getting raises this year. Not sure about Audit and other Departments but BDO just announced they would be paying back the salary that was reduced in May – July with the Dec. 15 paycheck. And from the […]
[Updated on Oct. 19 with information about BDO USA.] In case you haven’t noticed, there have been a lot of salary reductions and jobs lost throughout public accounting over the past couple weeks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. And it sucks. So we’ve started compiling a list of firms that have resorted to […]
Let’s see, since the start of the pandemic, EY has done performance-based separations layoffs in Canada, Israel, Mexico, and, of course, the U.S. Now we can add Ireland to the list. This just hit our tipline: Not as impressive as the few hundred pink slips being given out across the US, but it was announced […]
[Updated on Sept. 30 with additional information.] Two days before the start of KPMG’s 2021 fiscal year, massive layoffs unfortunately occurred at the firm on Tuesday. We received confirmation that 1,400 people, less than 4% of KPMG’s workforce, would be notified this afternoon that they no longer have a job with the firm. In a […]
Welp, it’s been another depressing day covering the world of public accounting. About 1,400 people lost their jobs at KPMG on Tuesday, and since the pandemic started, thousands of other Big 4 employees in the U.S. have been let go from Deloitte, EY, and PwC. Another firm that put its employees through the ringer a […]
We heard some good news late on Friday for those serving the capital markets at CliftonLarsonAllen. From the tipline: Lost wages are planned to be paid back to all employees therefore making all employees whole for 2020. This will happen as of Oct. 19, our tipster added. It’s been an interesting six months for CLA […]
[Updated on Sept. 23 with additional information.] EY management stuck to their narrative today that the recent layoffs at the firm aren’t layoffs but performance-based separations that were justified, even though many of those who have contacted us after losing their jobs said they weren’t on any type of performance improvement plan. First, before EY […]
We meant to post this a few weeks ago, but with the layoffs, angry letters about the layoffs, FY 2020 global revenues, and new partner promotions at EY taking up a lot of our time of late, this got put on the back burner. Thanks to a source, here is the return-to-the-office update from Jay […]
We saw this being discussed on the chatter sites earlier this week, but because our website has been hot garbage (as I’m sure many of you noticed) off and on since last Sunday, we couldn’t post anything. However, now that GC is back online and we’ve gotten tips from two sources at KPMG within the […]
[Updated on Sept. 15 with additional information.] While EY in the U.S. is continuing to tell people in its tax, risk, and assurance practices that their services are no longer needed, we’ve been told that a second round of layoffs has begun in Canada, particularly in Ontario. A source said: Another round of firings has […]
Ed note: An EY employee who wished to remain anonymous asked us to post this letter to EY management regarding the recent layoffs at the firm because “management tends to ignore our questions when we raise them internally.” Here is the letter: Integrity and honesty are the foundations of public accounting. With great trust, the […]
[Updated on Sept. 10 with additional information.] Back in late June, we were told that Plante Moran employees wouldn’t be getting raises this year, that the firm was only paying out bonuses at 75%, and that there wouldn’t be a 401(k) match, presumably due to the COVID-19 crisis. Well, we got an update this week […]
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In April of this year, we reported that RSM had begun performance-based layoffs which likely had little to do with that whole Rona thing that caused multiple firms to start laying people off and slashing salaries back then. Then in June we reported that more than a few tipsters were upset to hear raises would […]
It feels like it’s been four years, not four months, since BDO USA told employees their paychecks would be a little bit lighter for a while as the firm began to navigate the rough waters caused by everyone’s favorite pandemic. But that 5% to 10% pay cut BDO staff had to endure from May 1 […]
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Thanks to the four denizens of CliftonLarsonAllen who were eager to tell us today and over the weekend that the firm restored employees’ full pay to pre-Rona levels on Aug. 1. CLA was one of the first top 10 firms to come out of the gate announcing employee pay cuts due to the uncertainty caused […]
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