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BDO USA Is Cutting Everyone’s Pay to Stave Off Layoffs

[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 guys.

The paycut will be on a sliding scale, starting from employees making 60k or more annually.


We got another tip that BDO USA employees found out about the pay cuts via a recorded message from Berson that was emailed at 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m CT.

We were told that Berson called the pay cuts a “temporary sacrifice so that we can emerge from the crisis stronger.” He also mentioned that everyone at BDO should “contribute to protect the livelihood and jobs of many.”

Here’s a breakdown of the pay cuts, according to another tip we received:

  • Up to $60,000: no cut
  • $60,000 to $75,000: 5% cut
  • $75,000 to $100,000: 6% cut
  • $100,000 to $250,000: 8% cut
  • More than $250,000: 10%

Pretty much all of the people from BDO who contacted us about the pay cuts said with the industry in so much flux and the economy as bad as it is due to the coronavirus crisis, they were OK with losing some pay if it meant staying employed.

One source said: “These are unusually trying times and with so many people out of work (6.6 million filing for unemployment last week), I feel even accounting is not going to be the safe job many people that enter the field believe in, especially with the news out of Canada this week.”

On Monday, KPMG Canada handed out a lot of pink slips to KPMGers in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary (that we’re aware of), across all service lines and across the spectrum of performance.

Another BDO employee told us: “If a small pay cut means people don’t get laid off and can keep feeding their families, I am all for it. Hopefully this passes soon, but I know it could not have been an easy decision for management. Most of us are thankful to be employed while so many in the country are struggling. Perspective helps.”

Before we got these tips, AG and I saw on the interwebs early this evening that an unnamed large non-Big 4 global firm told its employees about firm-wide wage cuts today. We put 2 and 2 together and came up with BDO. The firm is apparently cutting pay so it won’t have to cut its headcount during the age of COVID-19.

If anyone else from Bravo Delta Oscar has any additional information to provide, shoot us an email or text us using the info below.