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Are Other Small Big 4 Offices at Risk of Closure?

closed.jpgEditor’s Note: Francine McKenna is a regular contributor to Going Concern
We came across a report in the Birmingham Business Journal (subscription required for full article) describing the reduction in professionals of the KPMG office there from 63 to 39 after two rounds of layoffs.
While there doesn’t seem to be any indication that the office will be closing, the reduction is significant enough to get us wondering if there hadn’t been talk about pulling the plug altogether.

On that note, we recalled the Manchester, NH closure we reported on last month and we called up the folks in Live Free or Die country to get the latest. While the receptionist was very helpful, the person we were eventually connected to decided that hanging up on us was the best course of action.
Undeterred, we reached out to E&Y’s national PR team and they provided us with the following statement:

After careful consideration and based on our analysis of the market, we have decided to close our Manchester office by the end of November. As part of that process, a number of our people will transfer to the Boston office, and our clients will be served from the Boston office.

Unfortunately, since “a number of our people will transfer to the Boston office” we can only assume that there will be a number of people that will not transfer to Boston.
We reached out to all the Big 4 firms regarding this issue, with E&Y being the only one to respond and they only addressed the Manchester office specifically. Wanting more perspective, we asked our contributor, Francine McKenna, for her thoughts:

Small office closures mirror the fortunes of local economies they operate in, including the limited number of clients some offices have been built on. Often just one/two parters wanting to be closer to home, have Managing Partner title.

There has been a considerable amount of chatter regarding office closures so we decided a thread on the issue was due. Discuss your thoughts/speculation on office closures (including any more details on E&Y Manchester) for your firm in the comments and keep us updated with your tips.