Last month, we shared some bonus news with you courtesy of McGladrey that included a couple of extra days off (including tomorrow), access to baby/pet/parent sitters and yes, there is money involved.
Maybe because there are only less than two shopping days, some people are getting impatient:
Well, it’s the morning of our last day of work before the holiday break and employees still don’t know if they are getting a holiday bonus. It was stated to us bonuses are back but no communication has been sent out. What are they waiting for? Many people are on vacation already since we are off Thursday and Friday. Is Santa going to deliver it to each of us individually?
You think they could communicate that. Or maybe you have to be a hot shot partner to get a bonus. I for one know I will be pretty pissed off if there is no bonus, especially after the company wasted all that money on a 144-foot cake that went to waste earlier this year.
They can talk about how great we all are and what we have to do in the coming years but it’s all hogwash if they don’t give us a bonus. I know one thing, Steve Tait [former President of RSM McGladrey] would have made sure we got bonuses…will C.E.?
– Disgruntled in McGladrey Land
We have three main points here:
• Ranting about “no bonus” after a lengthy email from C.E. Andrews and Dave Scudder explaining that there would be bonuses could easily misconstrued as “psychotically cynical” but perhaps there have been broken promises in the past. If so, we haven’t been made aware of this.
• The email C.E. and Scuds stated “the pool will grow based on our year-end performance,” and “In January, we will be introducing a new program to provide real-time recognition and monetary rewards,” so maybe “nice” is virtue in Minnesota but “patience” obviously isn’t.
• We hate to break this to you but Santa Claus will not be delivering your bonus. Santa Claus is not real.
From the mailbag:
So recently I was found out that KPMG will be conducting a compensation study as to whether or not we are in line with “market” and the effects of the results, if any, will be announced mid-January. This came as the result of the follow up on the Mid-America senior council meeting. Apparently the question was raised in this meeting about why KPMG employees weren’t receiving bonuses similar to the other firms [Ed note: We received the following message prior to the announcement of KPMG’s new bonus program that we reported on Friday.]. During the follow-up call it was told that a “compensation study” was being performed.
I always hear all of the Big 4 talking about how they did a compensation study and found out they were in-line with the market but obviously after all of the posts about compensation raises and bonuses nothing seemed to be consistent. My question to you is where are all of these supposed studies done by the Big 4? They say they perform them but do we actually see them? As an auditor I’m inclined to ask where is the supporting documentation? We don’t take our clients word that they have $50 million in the bank we have to agree that to something, so why don’t we get some proof of this study or in your experience with goingconcern have you actually ever seen results of these studies?
We understand your frustration with regards to these so-called compensation studies. To directly answer your question, we have not seen any of these studies nor do we know how the firms commission them. (If you are familiar, get in touch.) The transparency of the process, as you rightly point out, is virtually non-existent. While your call for more information regarding these studies may get some attention and even a brief consideration, don’t expect any “supporting documentation” in the near future. Keeping the compensation sausage recipe secret is advantageous for the firms and since “in-line with the market” is another way of saying, “right in the meaty part of the curve” people have very little room to complain.
Now, if it appears that one firm say, PwC, is compensating employees in a more generous manner than say, KPMG, the only way to conclude that for certain is to speak to a recruiter who talks to employees from both firms. Sure you can mine the comments of posts here or read Bob Half’s salary report to get an idea of what’s what but if you want to know the actual compensation disparity between two firms (especially for your skill set), you’ll have to do a little digging for yourself.
So, do you have the right to be annoyed by the lack of information around these studies? Of course. But don’t expect an in-depth breakdown firm by firm to be presented at your next townhall or webcast.
What the hell is in the water today?
FYI – “Select” resources in Northeast Advisory are getting notified that they will be getting a small holiday bonus (ranging from $500 – $2000) in their next paycheck.
Happy Holidays 🙂
If you’re not “select” feel free to get Grinchy in the comments and if you are, then go but an iPad.
Welcome to the aren’t-you-glad-healthcare-reform-is-back-in-the-news? edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. In today’s edition, should an incoming associate expect a salary adjustment on day one or they doomed to a pittance?
Find yourself in a jam at work? Do you have eight hours to spare and aren’t sure how to best spend this rare free time? Wondering what you should get Sharon Allen for a retirement gift? Email us at [email protected] and we’ll make sure you stay away from vacuum cleaners.
Returning to our Big 4 in waiting:
Can I expect to have my salary adjusted to market when I start employment? I will be starting in 2011. Reading through some of the articles and comments on here, it seems that new hires easily start with a salary above $50K. I received three offers from three Big 4 firms but all offered salaries were relatively far from $50K.
Each firm was within 1K-1.5K range from each other though. I know that starting salaries have even decreased in my area overall. I am not enjoying the thought of making less than what these firms have proven to have the potential to offer, or even making less than what another firm had to offer (although I knew that was the outcome by choosing this firm). I personally do not think it is worth asking for a raise or a salary adjustment since I feel that would only hurt my future annual raises. Should I just wait it out and see?
[Doubled over, catching breath, holding up hand with ‘I need a minute’]
Oh, dear. We had to take a break for a second, in fact our face hurts from laughing uncontrollably. Sorry about that.
Look friend, we don’t mean to make light of your question but a reality check is necessary here. There is virtually no chance that your firm will adjust to your salary when you start. You write, “I am not enjoying the thought of making less than what these firms have proven to have the potential to offer, or even making less than what another firm had to offer (although I knew that was the outcome by choosing this firm).”
We find this confusing for a couple of reasons – 1) obviously the Big 4 have “proven to have the potential” to pay more than $50k. It just happens this is occurring in a place where you don’t currently reside. If you did reside in one these places, your starting salary would eclipse the magical $50k. Were you expecting a big city salary for your mid-sized city lifestyle? 2) if you don’t like the idea of earning less money, why did you go with the firm that offered you less money? This simply doesn’t compute.
If making $50,000 is such a sticking point for you, move to a city with a higher cost of living so that you can eclipse the magic number you so desperately desire. If that’s not reasonable, then the best you can hope for is a pleasant surprise like PwC gave its recently hired peeps ($500 bonus for those hired post-June 30, 2010).
This may sound crazy but don’t get too caught up in what your salary is at the beginning of your career. So, to answer your question – sit tight and start your career. It’s a little early to be bitching about being underpaid when you haven’t billed a single hour.
Welcome to the squelch-the-tryptophan-withdrawals-with-cyber-Monday edition of Accounting Career Conundrums. In today’s edition, a Big 4 manager is pret-tay sure he is underpaid. How can he broach the subject with a partner without causing major blowback?
Need career advice? Want gift ideas that will score some points with a boss in your life? Wondering where you can find an old PwC backpack? Email us at [email protected] and we’ll sniff out a deal or a homeless person.
Back to our short-changed manager:
I was wondering if you could provide advice in how to determine if I am being underpaid and if I am how to go about asking for an increase? I am a 1st year Manager for a Big 4 firm in Kansas City. I have been with the same firm/office my entire career sans a 2 year secondment I completed in Dublin just in August. In addition, to having my CPA license I also hold the CFE certification and the CFA charter.
My feelings for asking for a raise are based on the additional certifications and knowing that my salary as a 1st year Manager is less than what 3rd year Sr. Associates were making in my office 2 plus years ago. I know the economy has changed during the subsequent 2 years but still feel like I am not fairly compensated. What advice do you propose? I am nervous about sharing my thoughts with my Partner as I am afraid of a potential backlash. Thanks in advance.
Dear Alphabet Soup,
Think you’re underpaid, huh? Seems to be theme around here. However, your situation is more unique than most so we’ll make a run at this.
First thing we noticed about your situation is that you’re a M1 which means you were recently promoted, which also mean you should have just received a better-than average raise. And we’re more than a little skeptical about your assertion that a SA3 is making more than you. That would have to mean that SAs are getting insanely good raises while you – the newly promoted manager – got an abysmal one; it seems unlikely. If this in fact the case, then you’ve had a serious string of bad luck.
As for determining whether or not you are underpaid, we suggest you speak to a professional recruiter in KC to find out whether or not your credentials and international experience or currently undervalued. If the recruiter takes a look at your résumé and starts drooling, you’ll know that he/she can earn a fat commission placing you somewhere else. If they shrug and say, “Look friend, you’re doing pretty well. But let me tell you about this great opportunity…” then your salary is probably fair.
When it comes to talking to a partner about this, be sure you’re speaking to someone you trust and just be honest. Make your case with facts. Don’t go speculating about what a SA3 is making because that turns the conversation to something that is out of your control. Highlight your credentials, international experience and why they bring value to the firm and your partner.
They’ve heard the “I’m underpaid” sob story a million times. You’ve got to prove to them that your case is an exception to the run-of-the-mill bellyaching.
Grant Thornton rolled out some policy updates today related to obtaining a CPA (full email after the jump), including some impressive bonuses for its newest employees (hired after April 15, 2010). The largest available is $10k if you happen to be of the Elijah Watts types and “are among the top 10 candidates earning the highest cumulative scores on the four sections of the CPA Exam in the country.”
Other bonuses include:
• $5k for passing all four sections within one year of full-time hire.
• $3k if you pass within 18 months of full-time hire.
• $7.5k for those in the top ten in their state but not good enough for national recognition.
The firm is also paying a small bonus ($1k) for current employees who have epicly failed so far but��������������������exam between August 1, 2010 and July 31, 2011.
While most people easily get hung up on the money aspect of things, the bigger change is the requirement for new employees (again, those hired after April 15, 2010) to have passed all four sections of the CPA prior to being eligible for promotion to Senior Associate. That goes for both audit and tax employees.
We covered CPA exam policies in a couple of posts earlier this year and the only other firm that has this requirement is PwC for the audit practice. The tax practice requires a CPA for promotion to manager.
So some pretty interesting developments at GT and it seems to be a fair transition – from a timing standpoint anyway – as those hired in the last six months can hardly find their ass with both hands, let alone be ready for a promotion to SA. But again, this is major policy change going forward and GT is, at the very least, making the case that they will be holding all of their associates to a higher threshold of performance than firms that don’t have such requirements.
Sound off your support or displeasure in the comments on the bonuses or promotion requirements below. And for the non-GTers out there, what do you think of your firm’s policy? Does it need updated to keep the pace with GT’s move? Are changes in the works? Keep us updated by emailing us at [email protected].
Important information regarding CPA licensure
At Grant Thornton, we are a dynamic global organization that is committed to making a difference to our colleagues, clients, the profession and our communities. As part of our commitment to providing our clients with distinctive service and the highest quality, I am pleased to announce two important changes effective immediately.
Introducing the CPA Pass Bonus
It is our goal to continue to attract intellectually curious, talented individuals to our firm and to encourage them to pass the CPA exam and earn their license as soon as possible. As such, I am delighted to announce that Grant Thornton will now offer a CPA Pass Bonus.
Grant Thornton will pay professionals who joined the firm as entry-level associates from campus on or after April 15, 2010
· $5,000 – For passing all four parts of the exam prior to or within one year of their full-time date of hire
· $3,000 – For passing all four parts of the exam within 18 months of their full-time date of hire
· $10,000 – For those who are among the top 10 candidates earning the highest cumulative scores on the four sections of the CPA Exam in the country
· $7,500 – For those who are recognized as earning the highest cumulative scores on their initial sitting for the four sections of the CPA Exam within their state and were not national winners
To recognize a transition within the spirit of the new policy, Grant Thornton will pay a one- time “catch up” to experienced associates through senior associates
· $1,000 – For passing all four parts of the exam, if they pass during the August 1, 2010 and July 31, 2011 time period only
CPA requirement for promotion to senior associate
In addition to paying a bonus to those passing the CPA exam, the firm has made the decision to require audit and tax employees to have passed all four parts of the CPA exam in order to be promoted to senior associate.
For employees hired on or after April 15, 2010
· This new promotion policy is effective immediately.
For employees hired before April 15, 2010 or as experienced associates and senior associates:
· Employees who have not yet passed the CPA exam will be “grandfathered” under our current policy. In that regard, we encourage all individuals currently at the associate 2 level or above to pass the CPA exam within the next 2 years. However, they must be a licensed CPA prior to being promoted to manager.
For additional information, please see the CPA Pass Bonus Policy linked here.
If you have any questions about either of these changes, please contact your practice leader or local HR professional.
Ed. note: delirious from a cross-country move this past week, AG mistakenly switched around percentages. This has been corrected and she will be meditating on the matter hoping for forgiveness.
A recent Mergis Group survey reveals 47 percent of women in accounting are
less than content with compensation and the always popular with the ladies work-life balance, leaving us scratching our heads wondering who these 47 percent are (we already know plenty of the 53%). If any of you are in that group or know someone who is, please get in touch, we’re desperate to connect with a woman in accounting who actually feels appropriately compensated for her work and redeemed by the challenges of her career while rewarded with a perfect balance of work and family. Seriously. Anybody?
Women are less satisfied with the progression of their accounting and finance careers than men. Specifically, 60 percent of male workers in accounting and finance consider themselves to be satisfied, as opposed to 47 percent of women.
Women in accounting and finance ranked being challenged (31 percent), compensation (25 percent) and flexibility (15 percent) as the most important factors to satisfaction in their career.
On the other hand, men in accounting and finance ranked compensation (32 percent), being challenged 26 percent) and flexibility (15 percent) as the most important factors to satisfaction in their career.
Mergis breaks down these results further, pointing out that women in accounting and finance are more than generally upset with the challenges and opportunities offered to them. Hey, they don’t say “it’s a man’s world” for nothing.
“Based on the findings of our Women in Finance survey, more than half of the women surveyed are dissatisfied with the progression of their careers and nearly three-quarters believe they face a separate set of professional challenges in comparison to their male counterparts,” stated Patricia Dinunzio, regional managing director of The Mergis Group. “While there are certainly many different viewpoints in how workers in general define career satisfaction and success , it is interesting to note that both men and women are highly likely to recommend the profession to others. One of the greatest take-aways from this survey is that there is a clear need for mentorship programs within the profession. It is our personal and professional responsibility to enable existing and future accounting and finance professionals to achieve their full career potential. Doing so will only contribute to the future development of the profession.”
My 2¢? The profession – and your career – is what you make of it. Mentors don’t just come along and decide to kick down their knowledge, you’ve got to get out there and find one. We don’t need the AICPA to set up play dates with young CPAs and OGs of the industry in order to accomplish this; instead need to take matters into our own hands if we are upset with how things are working out at the moment. In other words, get off your lazy ass and stop expecting everything to be handed to you, go out and get it if you don’t think you have enough of it.
The disparity is greater between generations than the sexes if you ask me but who is asking me?
Full survey results and methodology may be found here. As always, you are welcome to submit your opinion on surveyed subjects in the comments.
From the mailbag, courtesy of an E&Y senior associate:
I work for EY. Roommates are Deloitte and PWC. I’m hearing from the PWC employees that in addition to a holiday bonus, as well as a March compensation adjustment similar to Deloitte’s, PWC is also giving their employees the last two weeks of December off without requiring them to use their vacation days.
Thoughts on whether EY or KPMG will ante up? Hot topic at my client site today as you can imagine 🙂
Before we get to E&Y and KPMG, it should be noted that PwC is really playing hardball here. A quick recap:
• Mid-year bonuses that include an option for an iPad. Steve Jobs hater or not – that’s a cool bonus.
• Rumors of poaching seniors in Chicago and New York.
• iPhones are now available and Christmaskuh festivities return.
Now there are rumors of a merit increase in March and two free weeks of time off? This is quite the run of employer gratitude. We won’t say “unprecedented” but it is an impressive show of generosity.
Maybe PwC has gone on this offensive because they had a kick-ass first quarter. Or maybe it’s because they lost the number one spot to Deloitte and they still want everyone to know that they’re still capable of equating love with money. OR maybe they’re trying to make people forget about Logogate. Whatever the motivation, the firm is throwing money around with the gusto of Charlie Sheen and they are getting a relative amount of attention for it.
Now, then – Ernst & Young and KPMG. Maybe these two firms are spreading the wealth on the Double-DL but if not, TPTB have to be aware of the what the competition is up to. If not, maybe someone should clue them in. Regardless, there has to be heat to act in some way.
One explanation for the House of Klynveld is that the fiscal year just ended, so it is too early for leadership to communicate “the great first quarter,” thus rationalizing a mid-year bonus. If KPMG comes out to soon with the news, they risk the “Monkey see” effect.
As far as E&Y is concerned, we’re stumped. They have the same fiscal year as PwC and should have a pret-tay good idea how Q1 went. Now that PwC has made the first move, any action by E&Y is going to look reactionary .
So for the E&Y and KPMG crowd – you clearly have some expectations for something but are you hearing anything about mid-year bonuses or will the belly aching continue into the holidays? Discuss below and get in touch with details.
We reported last week about a rumor that PwC would be paying bonuses and making salary adjustments this December and we now confirmation of the bonuses, courtesy of an email from PwC’s Bob Moritz.
BoMo t that thanks to a solid first quarter, the firm would like spread a little wealth around in the form of $1,000 bonuses for “client service and IFS” employees who were with the firm prior to June 30, 2010 and $500 bonuses for those hired after June 30.
The firm is letting employees choose their “recognition payment” from one of the four following options:
• Net payment of $1,000/$500 included in the December 15 pay cycle.
• Visa gift card
• $1,000/$500 charitable contribution to the PwC Foundation in your name – Aka the PwC Human Fund
In addition, Roberto informed everyone that the spot and bonus pools are being increased across the firm. There was also the standard words of encouragement, repeated “thank yous” and whatnot. The email appears in its entirety below.
So, P. Dubbers – doesn’t look like a mid-year salary adjustment but it beats a sharp stick in the eye. Discuss your contentment or your undying resentment in the comments.
Recognizing your contributions
Thanks to your efforts in providing quality service to our clients, our first quarter results are showing a strong revenue increase year over year. We all should be proud of these results. We’ve supported one another, served existing clients and stakeholders at the highest levels of quality in an extremely competitive environment, and won new work–all achieved through delivering the PwC experience and the new brand promise!
Rewarding your efforts
Because your efforts helped us drive our results, we want you to share in the rewards. Last month I told you that we have taken the results of our top-line growth and have begun reinvesting in you through our holiday time off and celebrations, in-person training events, and more. To further acknowledge the role you have played in our success to date, every staff member–both client service and IFS–will receive an after-tax “recognition award.” Those hired prior to June 30, 2010, will receive $1,000. Those hired on or after June 30, 2010, will receive $500. We debated whether the recognition payment should be in the form of cash or a gift, and concluded that you should decide. So, every staff member can choose from one of the following:
An additional net payment of $1,000/$500 to be included in your December 15 pay period.
Order from several versions of the iPad (total value of iPad and gift card will depend on whether you’re eligible for the $1,000 or $500 gift award).
A Visa gift card valued at $1,000/$500 to use for the holiday season, vacationing , technology gadgets or anything you’d like to purchase for yourself or others.
We will make a $1,000/$500 charitable contribution to the PwC Foundation in your name.
More details to come shortly on each of the options above, as well as how to choose your recognition via a special website.
Increased bonus pools
In addition to the benefits we announced previously and the recognition award mentioned above, we have also decided to increase our spot and bonus pools across the firm, enabling us to better recognize and reward those individuals who are truly delivering for our clients and driving our results. As our top and bottom line continue to improve, we are committed to sharing those results with you. Shortly, you will be hearing from your LOS on how these increased bonus pools will be earned and rewarded over the remainder of FY11.
Increased hiring to help your workload
You’ve been working hard, and we recognize that monetary rewards and compensation are only part of the value you look for from your PwC experience. You have told us that personal and professional development, career advancement potential, peer and team relationships, and even having a little bit of fun along the way, are also important to you. We want you to know that we are also working hard to relieve some of your workload through our increased hiring efforts. In fact, to help lighten your load, we’ve hired more than 1,400 new experienced people in the first quarter alone (for comparison, we hired a total of 1,725 in all of FY10), increased our campus recruiting from last year and are bringing resources to our practice from around the world. Many of you played a key role in bringing in that new talent, whether referring people, interviewing potential candidates, or on-boarding new people. Again, we thank you for those efforts and encourage you to keep them up. We will continue hiring resources to support our current and future needs as we look ahead towards achieving our long term goals, while also providing appropriate work-life flexibility for you.
Thanks for all you do
Again, on behalf of the partners, I want to recognize you for all you do for your teams, our clients and other stakeholders. To me, this demonstrates the power of 30,000 people coming together to build relationships and add value for our clients and one another–delivering on that new PwC brand promise! The fact is, you are making a difference, and our collective efforts are paying off.
Join me on Wednesday!
I look forward to speaking with you on Wednesday at 3pm ET during our third firmwide Town Hall webcast. If you haven’t already, check out the blog and help your colleagues get ready to put me and the LOS leaders on the hotseat with your questions.
In the meantime, I look forward to continuing this journey of success together!
I am a senior at Deloitte based in New York.
Our engagement partner and I had a brief meeting- a 8k raise for seniors.
The second year was told a $5k raise for his level.
My manager also spoke to a partner and was told a $6k raise.
Nothing for new hires and senior managers.
There will not be a retrospective adjustment to pay us more for the past two months as if the increase happened in end of August.
The increase is effective starting 11/1/2010, meaning the first paycheck to reflect the increased pay will be 11/12/2010.
1st years – $0
2nd years: $2,500
All seniors: $4,000
All Managers (excluding sr. managers): $3,000
Sr. Managers and up: $0
UPDATE – Friday circa 12:50 pm:
The latest from Houston:
2nd year: $3,500
As you’re no doubt aware, last Friday Deloitte made the announcement that the market for audit salaries had been misunderestimated and a second adjustment was going to be communicated to opiners this week.
Checking with a source inside Deloitte, we’ve heard some of the preliminary returns:
I have heard rumors of 5k in Hartford and 4k in Chicago for Seniors. But nothing to prove them out. The general range I have heard though is 2kish for 2nd years and 5k for seniors.
No word at at this point on what managers are receiving, so if you’ve gotten the news, let us know below.
The question now is – was all this hoopla worth it? Granted it’s early but if the range is in the ballpark, there’s likely a few people that are simply, “meh.” On the other hand, maybe if you got called in for another meeting to be told that you’re getting an extra $2k – $5k you might be really flippin’ stoked. However, many people will likely remind you to get some perspective.
Either way, the tax practice is feeling short-changed and advisory is too busy rolling around in their cash-filled bathtubs to care.
Discuss the situation at present and keep us updated with the adjustment news just as soon as your sit-down is over.
UPDATE – 12:45 ET: This just in:
Deloitte experienced assistant from South Florida – $2k for audit assistants, $5k for seniors.
total raise for the year with comp adjustment – 8%. Could be better but could be the original 4% I got in August…
UPDATE – crica 2 pm ET: The latest:
Miami: 2nd years: $2k, Seniors: $5k
Parsippany: 2nd years: $5K Seniors: $8K Managers: $6K
Or the Kylnvelds, Ernsts, Coopers (aka “c”). Take your pick.
From the mailbag:
All staff just received a voicemail from the firm stating that they will be performing a salary adjustment for all staff 2nd year through manager as they have realized the marketplace is providing different salaries than expected and would like to stay competitive. No word on amounts, one on one meetings with partners are occurring in the next week.
This little Friday Surprise was brought to you by Carlos Sabater (listen to the full message below) and the salary adjustment will be for audit professionals only. We’ll definitely be interested to hear what comes out of the meetings next week so keep us updated.
In today’s edition of “I’d like advice from a bunch of strange accountants,” an experienced accounting associate is interviewing with the Big 4 and wonders if makes sense to waltz in, slam their fist on the table and demand more money.
Need some advice on your next career move? Want some pointers on how to win that coveted item at your local IRS auction? Having trouble with the law and wonder if you should share it with someone your firm? Email us at [email protected] and we’ll get you on the road to sobriety in no time.
Back to our prospective Big 4 associate with dollar signs in their eyes:
I will be going on a job interview with one of the Big 4 firms (currently employed with a large national firm), and they are interviewing for experienced associate/senior associate position. I have experience in an industry their office has a large need for, but not all the candidates to fill it. Even though I am a senior associate at a smaller firm, and may come in as a experienced associate, does it make sense to ask for a pay increase from what I am currently making? I will be relocating to another market, but I would assume the markets are comparable. Just wondering if anyone may have some thoughts on the salary I should be requesting.
Always about the money, isn’t it? Very well, then.
You’re with a large national firm which means you’re near the high end of the accounting salary range already. This doesn’t exactly help your negotiation for a higher salary with a Big 4 firm. To take that a step further, the Big 4 aren’t exactly the negotiating type. The range of salary at the Associate/Senior Associate level isn’t a huge and if you come in at a higher salary than your peers, you’re likely to be on the short-end of merit increases come merit increase time (as this is SOP). Plus, it’s unlikely that your work experience to date will impress the firm you’re interviewing to the extent that they’re A) begging you to join the firm and B) they’ll throw thousands of extra dollars your way (not that it makes that much of a difference).
All right, now that we’ve mercilessly shot you down, you’re ready to hear some good things – if the firm you’re interviewing with really has a need for your experience, it is likely that they are willing to pay you more. If you can demonstrate in your interviews with the partners and managers your knowledge and accomplishments, they will let HR know that want your hot auditing (or whatever) ass ASAP. And that’s the key – what do you offer that the clowns that started with the firm don’t? Run-of-the-mill statements like, “good work ethic, do what it takes” blah blah blah won’t do anything for you. Have you already reviewed other’s work, supervised staff, etc, etc? Differentiate yourself in substantive ways. Make that firm want you for what you bring to the table.
Bottom line: you probably won’t get to “request” your salary, you’ll simply be made an offer. But if you can present your coveted experience in a way that will make your interviewers crave you like Kardashians crave cameras in their faces, coupled with a jump to the higher pay scale of the Big 4, you’re likely to be happy with the salary they offer you.
Now that compensation season has passed for the major firms and most of the belly aching has died down, we’ll present some thoughts from a friend of GC and a Big 4 senior manager who shared the following with us earlier in the summer.
A few of us were talking today at lunch about compensation and how we like reading how much everyone bitches about what % raise they got and what they feel they should have been entitled too. An A1 thinks they deserve a $10,000 raise, and that would make them happy, c’mon give us a break?
It is easy to understand this is a prime area to feel you have been cheated in, however, we thought it might be interesting for some net dollar co effect, for those complainers who feel they were cheated with their raise %.
Interesting idea, we thought. Our muse suggested the following assumptions: 1) 40% tax rate – federal and state combined 2) 24 annual paychecks.
Our friend/source continues:
Would be interesting to see and shed a different light on a cash pay basis what the real difference is in pay for those who think they got cheated from a 8% raise and only got 6% or something, does the $35 per paycheck really require a personal vendetta or hours of frustrated Facebook status updates? Probably not.
My guess is that on an after-tax, per paycheck basis, some of these raises are equivalent to cutting out the morning Starbucks run, or latest iTunes download.
So we decided to dust off the Excel skills and crunch a few numbers to see if our Senior Manager friend was onto something.
We took a humdrum salary of $70k and applied the 8%, 6% comparison and tabled it:
|$ Raise (Annual)||$5,600||$4,200|
BFD you say? You got a 6% raise while some clown who couldn’t audit their way out of a paper bag got 14%? Fine, we’ll take a look at that too:
|$ Raise (Annual)||$9,800||$4,200|
So let’s say you’re the average shmo with the 6% raise and your friend/sworn enemy is getting the 14%. Are you really spitfire pissed that you’re missing out on $280 a month? We’re not talking life-changing sums here. If you’re consistently average over your career, maybe this will add up but hopefully your better sense will grab ahold and you’ll either A) step up your game B) move on with your life C) eliminate the competition (not condoning violence here, just pointing out that it’s a variable in the equation and maybe that it’s an option).
Rebuttal? Agree? Let it rip.
Robert Half rolled out its annual salary guide today (available for download here) and they’re saying that “compensation for accounting and finance professionals should see commensurate gains” with the “slight uptick in financial hiring,” that RH predicted last month.
You could interpret this as exciting news since “slight uptick” beats the hell out of the consistent “disappointing outlook” that we’ve seen over the ars.
Anyway, Roberto reports that for most positions, salaries rose anywhere from 1% to 3% but if you’re the type to sell out to the highest bidder (you know who you are) you’ll be most interested in the following:
• Senior business analysts are expected to see the largest boost in base pay in 2011, with their average starting salary rising 5.0 percent to the range of $66,500 to $85,500.
• Projected base pay for tax accounting managers at midsize companies ($25 million to $250 million in sales) is $69,500 to $92,500, up 4.9 percent.
• Starting salaries for financial analysis managers at both large (more than $250 million in sales) and midsize companies are predicted to climb 4.8 percent; senior financial analysts at midsize companies are predicted to see their base compensation rise to $60,000 to $78,000, a 4.7 percent increase.
• Senior compliance analysts at small companies (up to $25 million in sales) are anticipated to receive starting salary offers between $58,750 and $75,250, a 4.1 percent increase.
• Average starting salaries for tax services senior managers and directors as well as senior tax accountants at midsize public accounting firms ($25 million to $250 million in sales) are expected to climb 3.9 percent in the year ahead.
• Base pay for senior auditors at midsize public accounting firms is expected to range between $62,000 and $81,750, up 3.8 percent over 2010 levels.
• Within financial services, compliance managers can anticipate a 4.4 percent gain in base pay, to a range of $64,500 to $89,000.
Emphasis is Bob’s. What do these numbers mean? Honestly, not much for anyone that is happy with their current job situation. However, since compensation news season has more or less ended, those that are not happy with the news they got this year will be looking to the hot positions. A little bit of our own digging and impressions are as follows:
Mining through the report, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many surprises. If you’re looking for a Corporate Accounting gig, something with “Controller,” “Director” or “Compliance” in the title is going to have some of the highest salaries.
If you jump down to the rank and file you’ll find that if you’re a tax, IT or audit maven, then you’re likely to do better than your average humdrum general/cost accountant.
Likewise, an “analyst” of any stripe will have a little more earning power than your average non-analyst, although “Financial Analysts” saw a larger bump in salary than its fellow non-financial analysts.
Salaries for tax, audit and “management services” are surprisingly tight with audit on the low end followed by MS and then tax. This is consistent across all levels (i.e. associate, senior, manager, senior manager/director).
Also noteworthy is that public accounting salaries keeps pace with the in-house gigs at their relative corporate ladder levels. For example, an audit manager at a “Large Firm” makes only $4k less than a Internal Audit Manager at a “Large Company” and actually does better than many analyst positions at the “manager” level.
In other words, if you’re considering a lateral move, DON’T. You likely won’t make more money and you may end up making less. If you’re dying for changing, this of course means that you’ll have to find your way into a position that is a step above your current job to get a significant boost in salary.
You could argue that based on the data, this report at gives a lot of credence to the “Staying Until Manager” when it comes to salary and entry into a top-level position. As for practical experience, that’s a debate for another post. And based on our traffic numbers, accountants are all about salaries.
Some of you may have heard enough KPMG compensation news but judging by traffic patterns, most of you have not. And reports are still coming in, so it’d be a disservice to keep you in the dark.
The latest news out of Chicago:
This info is for Chicago, Audit. Most of us had our talks Thursday or Friday, however I hear that some are still continuing into Monday.
A2 to SA1, SP+ rating, received 10% raise and 2% bonus. Same level, EP rating, received 13% raise and 5% bonus. I am also finding out that SP vs. SP+ has no difference at all. This is based on a salary of $56,000 which was our original starting salary (also included a $5000 sign on bonus) as we received no raise last year. This is pretty much in line with what the now S2’s received over the past couple years, as they got 5% raise after their first year and 5% raise for being promoted to senior last year when everyone’s salaries “stayed flat” as my partner put it. What I would really like to know is what A1’s to A2’s received, as last year they had the same starting salary and bonus as what I began with, so they were essentially making more than A2’s for an entire year due to the bonus.
SA 2 to SA3, EP rating, 8% raise and 5% bonus. My managers also don’t seem to excited, but I obviously did not ask them what their actual numbers are.
I believe everyone on my team feels this is what they expected raise wise, but are rather disappointed with the bonuses. Some additional information, raise numbers are consistent across all business units within the office.
It’s also our understanding that convos are still going on in New York this week, so continue to keep us updated.
Just a quick follow-up to our earlier post on KPMG compensation. There’s been a fair amount of bellyaching about the less serious comments on the thread so we’ll alleviate some of the bitching with reports from trusted sources:
Senior associate promote in West advisory, SP+ rated, 11% raise, 3% bonus. Raise was higher than expected but bonus was definitely lower than what I thought it would be. It was explained to me that the 11% is inclusive of the promotion bonus so it’s really 5% promotion + 6% merit
And back on in the East:
NY Metro M1 to to M2: 10% base increase, $2,600 bonus, SP+ using 9-box system.
We understand that there are still sit-downs going on so do keep us updated.
Apparently some Klynveldians (we hear in NYFS) will get the esteemed pleasure of sweating this out through the middle of next week. We also had a mini-Flynn close to the situation inform us that “1st year managers can’t be exceptional performers [highest rating in the House of Klynveld].” Keep the tips coming in.
This just in (late on Friday):
Heard from a partner in our office, corroborated by the HR manager, that they can officially start having comp discussions with employees starting on Monday, 9/27.
So if you’ve got a scheduled sit-down or call today to have a little chat, let us know how it goes and spare no details. This includes – but is not limited to – percentage raise, bonus, your subsequent tirade (or jubilation) to hearing the news, any explanation that your messenger offered to make you feel better, the number of people crying in conference rooms, etc. And if you too shy/ashamed to share, just email us and we’ll update the post.
This is just in:
Multiple partners in my office (including a sit down meeting with all senior associates) have floated numbers from 8% to 12-14%.
We’ve been toldHearing that we will be “pleasantly surprised” by the numbers and that they will be higher than what Johnny V said this summer. Partners have received the comp numbers but have NOT yet been given the green light. Later today is the plan.
UPDATE 2: The latest from a Southern KPMG office:
SP: 5-7%, 2% bonus
SP+: 7-12%, 4% bonus
EP: 10-14%, 6% bonus
Range is attributable to prior year ranking and individual performance. For example, there may be a “really good” SP+ who was an SP last year, who may get 12%, or a “barely there” SP+ who was an EP last year getting 7%. Needless to say, morale is fairly high.
Also, all practices and divisions are having “EOCircle” events, which are small events ran by the partner. Mine is occurring at a bar, for example, for a happy hour. These are occurring this week.
UPDATE 3, September 28th:
Early reports are in:
I’m an SP+ SA3 (I was an EP each of the last few years) and got a 6.7% raise with a 2.5% bonus. I know an SP+ SA3 who was an SP/SP+ (no differentiation in prior years) who got 10.3% bump with a 2.5% bonus. We are now both making the same. It looks like the percentages were relatively correct but that the bonuses are slightly below what was originally communicated to us.
Today in accountant avarice, a youth took a cut prior to their start date last year and now wonders if this year’s crop will be raking in more. Will bringing injustice to a partner’s attention help?
Have a question about your career? Need help crafting the perfect prose in an email to your firm’s CEO/Managing Partner? Are you a firm thinking about getting a makeover but don’t know where to start? Send us an email to [email protected] and we’ll give the best free advice you can possibly find.
Back to our accountant in the poor house:
I work at a regional firm for about one year now. Prior to my start date my offer was reduced due to the economy. After recent discussions with the partner, I was told that I will be getting a “raise” but even after the bump, my new salary is below my original offer amount. Is there any chance, new hires coming in can make more than I, because my revised offer seems below market and I think my firm will be offering higher salaries to the new hires to remain competitive? Also, should I bring this up to the partner’s attention because I don’t think that they know my salary has been reduced and how would I go about doing this?
First, before we answer your question more directly, we should point out that worrying about what other people are making at your firm will drive you crazy. But because of the world we live in, knowing whether a co-worker is making more or less than us is a God-given right, we understand your desire for this knowledge.
As to whether the new grasshoppers at your firm are making more than you, we suggest checking out our salary thread from late last year, our map that shows salary by region and this year’s Big 4 starting salary thread to give you an idea where you fall on the scale.
But the short answer is, yes, it is possible that your first year associate is making more than you.
Now, what to do about that exactly? Well, before you scream at the cruel and unusual universe for being completely unfair to you, do your research and get a really good idea of what you think you should be making. Nothing will get you thrown out of a partner’s office faster than, “I need a raise because I said so.”
But market research may not be enough. You’ll need to demonstrate to the partner getting your pitch why you’re a valuable resource for the firm and point to specific accomplishments that support your argument. As a second-year associate, that can be a pretty tough sell.
What have you accomplished in the past year? Are you making it rain? Are you a trusted go-to on anything and everything for your clients? Are you involved advancing the firm’s brand and culture and mentoring other colleagues to do the same?
Partners like to hear about all that stuff because A) it gets their blood boiling in the nether regions and B) it means that you care about making them (i.e. the firm) more money and advancing its reputation.
So yes, you can bring your concerns to a partner but be prepared to sell yourself all over again because it’s a “what have you done for me lately?” situation.
It’s bad enough that KPMG is the last of the Big 4 to announce their compensation numbers.
But here’s the real problem Klynveldians – now that the Fighting Irish have blown two big games, two weeks in a row, to two Michigan rivals, John Veihmeyer is desperate for a Lou Holtz pep talk which means watching the old man on TV. This also means suffering through the shallow diatribes of the horrendous Mark May which we don’t wish upon anyone. But that’s a whole other matter.
What concerns us is whether J. Veih manifests his frustration by going back on his word on merit increases and bonuses from earlier in the summer. While this would be unprecedented show of loyalty to Touchdown Jesus, it probably wouldn’t do much for the morale of the firm.
Gridiron failure aside, it’s our understanding that more than a few people are getting antsy over the compensation news and now that KPMG has announced the new partners, the only thing left is to share the shockingly good or heart-wrenchingly disappointing news to all the mini-Flynns.
We invite those with first-hand knowledge, well-researched theories or wild-ass guesses to share their thoughts on KPMG’s eagerly awaited compensation news. And of course, keep us updated with any weepy communication from John. That is, if he managed to get out of bed this morning.
Thomas Dooley, CFO of Viacom, received a total compensation package of more than $26 million in 2009. John Killian of Verizon Communications made a lot less–a mere $9.6 million. And Ian G.H. Ashken of Jarden Corp. got $9.5 million.
Those fellas are the three highest paid executives included among the 25 most richly compensated CFOs in the Big Apple, according to a list just published by Crain’s New York Business, drawing on data from compensation research firm Equilar.
Indeed if you’ve been wondering how CFOs in big New York-based companies have fared during these tough times, the answer seems to be: pretty darn well. The lowest paid on the list, Laurence Tosi of the Blackstone Group, made a mere $4.6 million. Second to last Adena Friedman of Nasdeq OMX Group: $4.8 million.
The biggest jaw dropper, however, is Dooley, who received $10 million in non-equity compensation and $10 million in stock awards. That, in fact, is somewhat of an anomaly among the group members. Generally the CFOs received a hefty sum in either non-equity compensation or stock and option awards, not in both. (An exception is Colm Kelleher of Morgan Stanley, who made $9.4 million but got zip in both non-equity compensation and stock/option awards. He did, however, get a $64 million bonus).
Also noteworthy: About nine of the executives received these breathtaking compensation packages even though the company had a net loss from 2008 to 2009. Gregory Hughes of SL Green Realty Corp., for example, made $6.1 million, while the company had a loss of 84.9 percent. Pierre Legault got $4.9 million even as the corporation had an 82.8 percent loss.
Of course, this pay isn’t typical of the compensation at most companies. “These CFOs are going to get paid more than your typical CFO, simply because they’re in a large metropolitan area and a large company,” says Aaron Boyd, head of research at Equilar. According to Boyd, a recent report on CFO compensation among the S&P 500 found median pay to be around $2.5 million.
Hey I’ll take it.
The news from the House of Salzberg continues to roll in; following the news from the audit practice yesterday:
The Deloitte advisory P/P/D group had a call today discussing the raises for this year. The raises will run between 5%-15% for anyone rated 1-3. 4s will get no raise. The breakdown will be based on level, promote status, rating and some potential variable factors to determine percentages. Most likely staff and seniors will get the best raises, as they are most likely to bolt once bonuses (AIP) are paid.
No word on what bonuses are, as this can vary much more on a person to person basis.
Tax practice was supposed to have their call this morning; was there a mass hari kari or a riot?
From the mailbag:
Managers in the Northeast for Deloitte had their compensation call today, raises for [audit] senior promotes (2nd year to 3rd year) are confirmed at 5 to 9 percent, depending upon rating. 1st year to 2nd year are 2 to 5 percent, depending upon rating. Experienced seniors are 4.5 to 6.5 percent with bonuses from $3k to $7k depending upon rating.
This is materially flat year over year for Deloitte. Although they are giving bonuses and raises to experienced seniors which did not happen last year.
Discuss and keep us updated.
UPDATE, August 18th: This just in:
Confirmed on audit senior compensation webcast this morning:
Base salary increase for New Managers by Rating:
1 – 24%
2 – 23%
Base salary increase for Experienced Seniors by Rating:
1 – 9%
2 – 6.5%
4 – 0%
Bonus for Experienced Seniors by Rating:
1 – 7k
2 – 5k
3 – 3k
Base salary increase for 1st to 2nd year staff:
1 – 5%
2 – 3.5%
3 – 2%
4 – 0%
Base salary for new hires will not change from prior year.
The first reports of Deloitte raises for audit professionals have come in from the Mid-America Region:
I’m surprised to see absolutely nothing posted about Deloitte raises. We have had the raise discussions in my office for staff and seniors, no double digit raises in sight. AIP (bonus) for Seniors and above. Managers- TBA.
Mid America Region- it’s looking like 2-9% for staff/seniors. AIP is supposed to be in the range of 2-12%, but that is the range for both seniors and managers. I spoke with a friend in another office in my region and their raises are looking pretty consistent, if not lower. Starting salaries are frozen- start classes from fall 09, 10, 11 will all at the same rate.
This is the earliest word we’ve received and comments have suggested that more news would come early next week. The tax practice still has their town halls next Tuesday but that could be to explain the numbers if in fact they are similar to audit’s.
So this could be a John Kerry-esque exit polls effect or maybe this is a sign of things to come. Either way, if you’ve gotten word, discuss below and keep us updated with any developments.
Per a request from our earlier post on full time offers for interns:
I think it would be interesting to start a post on full time/internship compensation offers that have been rolling in and will continue coming to students for the next few months. Are the firms trying to lower starting compensation?
And a reader considering a mid-tier offer:
I am going into my fifth year this fall at a large university in the Southeast. I recently received an offer from mid-size firm to the tune of $49k, no signing bonus, and no CPA bonus (firm policy). My question is, in this market, is that what students are being offered in public accounting? I would just love to know what my friends at the Big 4 are getting! Because of these numbers, and me not being sure about whether or not I want to work for them, I am tinkering with the idea of going through another recruiting season. Do you think it’s a bad idea to keep this mid-size firm waiting?
So then. For those starting this fall in the Big 4, kindly enlighten the requesters with 1) your starting salary 2) your office 3) practice 4) signing bonus (if applicable) 5) Bonus for CPA (if applicable).
And give your thoughts on the reader’s question – should they keep the mid-tier firm waiting or take what they can get?
Or the commenter – are salaries looking lower from previous years or are the A1s already making A2s jealous?
On Monday we learned that Deloitte Tax had a STD and now there’s more chatter about the firm’s performance that could maybe, possibly affect comp for this year:
A new set of video blogs came out from the northeast regional managing partner. He announced double digit growth in perdiods [sic] 9-13 of FY10 and a plan for “continued double digit growth through FY11”. I know everyone is getting antsy over compensation (discussions are supposed to take place beginning next week, with raises hitting on the 9/3/10 payroll), and they keep dropping comments about “substantial raises” and “double digit growth.”
So while some people remain skeptical, it appears that Deloitte is warming you up the troops for a nice surprise next week. Deride if you must but can Dr. Phil & Co. really afford to come in with lower raises than PwC and E&Y?
For a firm that talks like they’ll be numero uno in a few short years, it would be pretty embarrassing to bring in some paltry raises while the firm they’re chasing managed to make it up to at least a few of their people. Discuss the latest and keep us informed.
Rejoice Deloitte Tax Troops. Your wait is nearly at an end, although from the sounds of it, you might be disappointed:
Word from our office tax managing partner has been that the compensation pool for raises is about 4-5%, which I think is going to make a lot of people pretty unhappy. But I guess with all the rumors out there and with Deloitte being the last of the Big 4 to release comp numbers, they decided to hold this forum. I’m expecting the same song and dance (weak revenue, highlighting all the other benefits besides comp) to try to stem the tide of people leaving. Since January, we’ve lost about 15 people (at all levels) out of about 110 in our office tax practice, and I doubt the news regarding comp will keep others from jumping ship.
Who: All US Employees
What: Overview of FY11 US employee compensation, including:
• Review the objectives and strategy of our compensation program
• Review the components of compensation
• Review the FY10 annual incentive plan
• Review the Tax compensation process and next steps
• Answer your questions
When: Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Time: 8 am to 8:30 am –regional compensation town hall
8:30 to 9:00 am -optional local office debrief with practice lead
Depending on how the town hall goes, the “optional” debrief could be an extremely interesting discussion. If audit or advisory have receive similar communiques, send them our way and we’ll continue to keep you updated on the countdown.
So far there are several reports of low to mid-teens and some as high as 20%, which some simply don’t believe.
We do have some specific details for assurance associates in New York and they don’t sound terrible:
NYC first year associate went from $55k to $64k, associate raises [are] coming in around 11-18%
So if you’re keeping score at home (and we know you are) it appears that the partner at E&Y who prognosticated that raises at his firm would beat PwC’s Raises appears to be right in some cases but perhaps not all.
Sooo, Ernie troops – are you happy? Disappointed? Suicidal? Ready to jump ship? Or calling your friends at PwC to brag how you’re keeping the pace? Discuss.
Salaries of financial executives and their staff continued to outpace national averages in 2009, and raises were also larger than other white-collar professionals. But the pay of lower level finance professionals outpaced those of CFOs and other senior-level types.
Average annual salaries for financial professionals increased by 2.5 percent in 2009 and were 13 percent above the national average, according to the Association for Financial Professionals’ 2010 compensation survey.
But like other workers, CFOs, treasurers and their staff also enjoyed smaller salary growth than what they had been used to. The average salary increase for financial professionals in 2009 was a full percentage point below the average increase reported in 2008. Salaries went up 3.4 percent in 2008 and 4.5 percent in 2007.
But in previous surveys, executives and management-level financial professionals earned the largest salary increases, but that wasn’t the case in 2009. Instead, staff-level financial professionals experienced the highest salary growth, with a 2.7 percent increase on average compared with 2.5 percent for executives and management.
On a more granular level, budget analysts averaged the highest base salary increase within staff professionals, with a 3.4 percent increase. Treasurers saw the highest average increase of all senior executives, with a 3.2 percent boost, and assistant cash managers received the highest average salary increase within the middle management tier, with a 3.8 percent increase, also the highest increase of all positions.
With high losses at banks and the prospect of regulatory changes impacting Wall Street as well as great technological innovation in 2009, financial professionals in the Western half of the US earned the most, although those in the East had earned the most in prior years. Financial executives at technology companies earned the most in 2009.
The latest AFP compensation survey also found that the economy had almost no impact on bonuses of financial professionals. In 2009, 71 percent of organization awarded incentive-based compensation bonuses to financial professionals, down four percentage points from 2008. Incentive pay in 2009 was stable at about 14 percent of base salary.
By now everyone is borderline freaking out due to Deloitte partners’ ability to remain coy throughout this process, using words like “substantial” and “better than last year” which, considering the love shown last year, is ironically accurate.
Annnnnnddd it continues. A source dropped us part of an email from Nick Tommasino, Deloitte’s Chairman and CEO of audit and enterprise risk services:
Understand your compensation package
• Deloitte provides a comprehensive Total Rewards package, which is designed to:
· Attract, retain, motivate, recognize, & reward high-performing talent
· Demonstrate the value of individual contributions as it relates to business performance
• When your individual compensation discussions occur in mid-Aug, keep in mind these main financial components of the Total Rewards package:
· Base salary
· AIP*, aimed at eligible high-performing seniors, managers, & senior managers (Reminder: AIP payouts will be subject to taxation & 401k deductions)
· Rewards & Recognition program, which includes Applause Awards, Outstanding Performance Awards, Promotion Awards, & Service Anniversary Awards
• Key compensation dates include:
· Mid-Aug: Compensation discussions begin
· Sun, Aug 22: New salaries effective
· Thu, Sep 2: Updated compensation statements available on DeloitteNet
· Fri, Sep 3: New base salary & AIP award amounts reflected in pay statements available on DeloitteNet
The motivation behind such a message is subject to interpretation. Some may think this is a friendly reminder (one of several, no doubt) of the upcoming discussions OR it’s a friendly reminder that doubles as a reality check that this isn’t 2005-2006.
Meanwhile, in the consulting part of the house, one commenter is claiming that news is going to be extra good, courtesy of some Punit Renjen prognostication:
Punit said “Compensation will be highest in history” via video for Consulting…
So who knows! The good news is that you will know soon enough but numbers remain a mystery. Unless someone finally coughed up a range. In that case, we strongly encourage that you share.
Last time we checked in on E&Y in the comp department, convos on promotions and ratings were to have gone down by last Friday. That appears to have happened right on cue and now we’re told that starting this week, the numbers will be coming down from 5 Times Square:
Latest regarding compensation (exact $ amount) in both FSO/New York and Northeast/New York regions is discussions should start today and run for 2 weeks. Big push right now in all business units to try and appear to care about people; people advisory board members have been reaching out for ways the firm can improve.
Feel free to speculate as to why the “caring” and “reaching out” is happening at this particular time of year (and if the Facebook downloading is at all related). Also, if you’ve had the talk and have great/disappointing news to report, do share or get in touch with us.
UPDATE: Word is that meetings are still being had this week and the numbers are still good. One source (Manager) in the assurance practice reported a 5 rating and a 21% bump. Not too shabby.
From the mailbag:
Just got off an “All Hands” call for Deloitte Advisory (not Audit). TPTB said to expect “substantial” base salary bumps for staff and seniors, but that they are moving toward a “base+bonus” structure for managers and up. As such, the bulk of the increase in salary pool will be to staff/seniors.
I dont know what that means – it would sure be nice to see 12-15% percent, but I dont think that is being too realistic. Whatever the case, I doubt there will be bonuses for staff/seniors like you saw at PwC. They bandied about a “$36MM” number a couple times, but that is really irrevelant without a discussion of the distribution.
People are sure giving a lot of credit to PwC. Maybe firing out of the gate was a way to put pressure on everyone else but don’t forget, not everyone at PwC is thrilled with their compensation season.
We aren’t expecting official word out of Deloitte for awhile but in the meantime, feel free to speculate on ‘substantial’ and keep us updated.
One unhappy Mickey G’s employee would like to get something out there:
Now that salary adjustments have been communicated to employees, many are griping at McGladrey – and for good reason.
More than a few people are grumbling about the recent golf signings and ridiculous sports marketing platform as well as the fact the company spent money on a 144-foot cake, but only gave thousands of people 1 to 3% raises.
Combined with the fact that no one got raises last year, and with inflation, rising costs of benefits and everyday living expenses, well, many employees are not too happy about this slap in the face. Let one thing be said, if you are not looking out for yourself with this company, then you are doing yourself a disservice. The company doesn’t care about you, they only act like they do.
The great place to work platform is BS – it’s a marketing crock.
McGladrey? Heck, I’d rather be McLuvin and at work at McDonald’s…they treat employees better.
Since it’s Monday in late July (and many people probably had one old fashioned too many last night) we figured this day would have gotten off to a slow start. Well, we’re in luck! KPMG comes roaring out of the gate today with a little compensation update from none other call me Rudy” Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer.
The news? Well, the promotions bonuses have caused some belly aching so the boys thought they would give you a sneak peak at what you can expect come merit increase time:
Update on Our Plans for 2010 Compensation
A Message from John Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer
8:19 AM ET, July 26, 2010
In April, we told you that there would be compensation increases for the great majority of our people and, assuming KPMG meets its FY10 plan, higher bonuses than last year for EP performers, and bonuses for higher performing SP employees as well. Now, as we head into the fourth quarter, we would like to provide you with an update on this matter. As you view this information, please keep in mind that compensation increases are determined on an individual basis, and reflect each employee’s role, skills, performance, geography, and experience, among other factors.
· Merit and Promotion Increases – For employees who are not being promoted, we expect SP performers will receive merit increases that will range from the low to the mid-single digits; EP performers will receive increases up to the high-single digits and in rare cases double digits.
In addition to any merit increases, employees who have been promoted should expect to receive a promotion increase of approximately 5 percent, with one exception: newly promoted CSD Managers should expect to receive a promotion increase of approximately 10 percent.
· Variable Compensation – The FY10 pool for variable compensation will be more than double what it was last year. This means that EP-rated employees will generally receive bonuses that are significantly higher than those of last year. In addition, approximately the top half of our SP performers will also receive variable compensation awards.
Please keep in mind this information is preliminary. Final compensation decisions will be made based upon our full-year results, so the ranges above could be adjusted based upon our firm’s performance between now and September 30. But, consistent with our commitment to keeping the lines of communication open, we wanted to share with you our best current forecast about these important matters.
In line with our compensation philosophy and our focus on a high-performance culture, we remain committed to sharing the rewards of the firm’s financial performance with our employees and providing a competitive total compensation package that differentiates exceptional performers with superior rewards. As we have said before, the strong foundation we have built within the firm, as well as our near- and longer-term business prospects, make us very optimistic. But to finish this year strong and begin FY11 on a positive track, it is critical that we continue to drive a high-performance culture by doing our best work, providing the highest-quality service to our clients, growing our business, and operating efficiently.
Thanks again for your continued hard work and for all you do to help our firm succeed!
So now that you have that to chew on for your last Monday in July, feel free to discuss the “low to the mid-single digits” for the strong and “high-single digits and in rare cases double digits” for the exceptional. And if you’ve got thoughts on the variable comp pool, you can go there too, if you like. Keep us updated.
Ed. note: The following post was submitted to Going Concern by a reader who wished to remain nameless. The author works at a “local” CPA firm somewhere in this great land of ours.
The topic is actually very amusing and can cause several different angles over the almighty dollar. As an American culture, we seem to be quick to talk about the personal financial well being enclosed in our own homes. The items that separate the big dogs from the goldfish are numerous. Below are the reasons why I am a big dog and why you need to show me the money.
Know who you’re trying to convince – People often equate success to dollar figures, and I personally think salary or raises don’t always speak of high ethics or quality of a pe ords of caution are: know how your boss judges success. My boss judges it on money. The buck stops at that point. Therefore, when I spoke of my personal salary to him, I adjusted my strategy accordingly. He always talks with me about how he is doing personally, and how he is doing better than people at his level. This is due to the amount of responsibility and client base he possesses. Therefore, I changed the pace of my conversation so my point of view mirrored his. I brought up the point that the work I do helps him with his client base, and that my level of responsibility is more than a vast amount of my peers. As such, my salary should be adjusted accordingly.
Have the math to prove your position – Being in public accounting, we deal with numbers every day. Therefore, I made a spreadsheet that listed out changeability and realization (for those who don’t know, we bill by the hour). My numbers are then compared against my peers and when they are, statistics don’t lie. I am a big dog swimming with mostly fish. Point is again related to your audience in a way they can understand you. Accountants love numbers.
Tout your level of responsibility – I manage a large client base so the partner I report to doesn’t have to get involved as often as most. The reason for this is because I have set up and maintained client relationships so the client calls me instead of the partner. The clients understand that this is cheaper for them and also job security for me. When you do this, you make yourself more marketable and the partners see me as someone that his clients trust. With those client relationships come higher dollars. You have to separate yourself from your peers by going above and beyond. If you want to do the average and be a run of the mill employee, then expect the run of the mill pay.
I am involved in the community – By coaching little league football at a well known church, I interact with parents that might need a CPA firm to help them with tax issues or own a business that might need accounting services. Also by doing this, it shows the firm that I have no problems interacting with successful business people and can help them in various situations. I can grow the firm by doing this. Again, my peers don’t involve in the community as much as I do. This should be financially rewarded. I have an interest to bring in business, and should be compensated because of it.
I can leave this at any time – If my boss did not give me a descent raise, I was going to quit. I saw the storm coming, and therefore did all that I could prior to my salary evaluation. Quitting a job without another one lined up is a dumb move and would put my wife and me in jeopardy. I had (have) a job currently lined up and I could take it in a heartbeat. Therefore, I had my ducks in a row when I started to see the storm brewing three months ago. Always have a current résumé.
Be ready for the rebuttal – I know my weaknesses and had to be ready to discuss what I was lacking. I have not passed the CPA exam yet and that’s a huge drawback in my profession. So when I went in there, I had to tell him where I was in the process. Him knowing that I am taking care of it and not blowing it off, gives him a piece of mind that I am not average.
Case in point, just saying you want a raise and basing it off “because your deserve it” would make the employee look uneducated and should be embarrassed. You need to have a firm understanding of the reasons to justify your pay. In a pinch, always look at numbers. There is a reason 2+2=4 and will never equal 5. In a tough economy, you better have everything straight prior to walking into the boss’s office. When the economy settles, I’ll be expecting another sizable increase. If not, I will be very upset and will repeat the mentioned steps.
Why? Because the partners seem to be pretty good at keeping a lid on things:
[N]o word on raises or communication of raises- all I’ve heard from some partners is “they will be better than last year, but not as good as they have been in the past”, I know most people around here are starting to get anxious.
As we mentioned on Friday, PwC and E&Y have been having a pissing match of sorts but only P Dubs has dropped actual numbers. E&Y will be coughing up official word in a couple weeks-ish or so, but Deloitte? Our understanding is that D’s comp news won’t be known for another month.
Some vets of the firm are used to it. Like GuestDT:
This is really just the blueball conversation for most people – there are a handful who will get unexpected drop in rating or not promoted, but most of that stuff is hinted at as we plan for the next audit year. This is the time of year to go to lunch and hear your counselor say, “Noone’s really said what compensation will be…” But you do get a free lunch.
But the NKOTB are more anxious. D&T 1st Year:
We’re all sitting on our hands as we see managers coming out of counselor meetings crying because they didn’t get promoted to SM. Worse yet, being a 2nd year next year will be rough as we are all going to be senioring our jobs as there are no seniors left. Look out 5th years, you might be senioring again next year too.
So what to do (besides console your emotionally unstable manager)? Start tickling partners until they cough up some ballpark figures, pull out a dartboard or just drop your best guess below.
Hard to believe that it’s been nearly two weeks since we first wondered out loud about the waning patience at GT. From the Blagojevich Circus grounds:
GT is releasing salary info across the US this week. Can we get a thread going about it?
Preliminary reports are looking bleak, per the last thread’s comments, including
Just had my fears confirmed…comp adjustments will be throughly disappointing. So much so that the partner charged with communicating those adjustments is stressing. That’s a great sign, right?
a 5% raise and i am a 4 overall. grant thornton can watch their firm progress with one less person…
I could wipe my ass with the raise I got. Actually, I better not wipe my ass with it, it may be the only I can afford bread and water
Oh. Dear. So here’s your fresh thread – spread your joy/misery/reactions to your comp news below.
From the mailbag:
I heard some scoop and wanted to share with my fellow indentured servants in the big 4 field. Word on the street is that P-dubs gave 10% raises to staff 2s becoming senior 1s (early promote) and 16% raises to staff 3s becoming senior 1s.
However, P-dubs doesn’t hand out the 5k bonus that Uncle Ernies offers to its staff 2s becoming senior 1s. I’d like to see how EY will top this, per an earlier promise from a partner that EY raises will be higher than P-dubs (maybe can some low performing partners?). In addition, the variance between average performers and high performers at P-dubs is only .6% (not significant at all).
If you forgot what this is referring to, back in April we reported a tip out of the Ernstiverse that a partner had claimed that the raises at E&Y would beat PwC’s. The reports out of PwC have been better than expected, although not for everyone.
So if this partner’s prognostication holds up, how will they pull it off down the stretch? Seems like a good question. Conversations are going on right now and the official news will reportedly be out in a couple weeks.
Since we’ve got half of the Big 4 involved here we’ll just mention that the belly aching at KPMG is in full force on the bonus front but maybe there’s hope for a strong move down the stretch?
As for Deloitte, apparently communication has occurred for promotions but it sounds like word on comp could be more than a month out. If you’ve got the scoop get in touch with the details and discuss this four horse race but as it stands right now, it looks as if PwC has E&Y by a nose.
From a voracious reader of Stephen Chipman’s blog:
GT just announced the admission of 22 new partners/principles notably 5 from NY, 5 from Alexandria and 3 from NC – 9 from audit 3 from tax and 3 from advisory
Yes, we realize the numbers don’t work but we’ve confirmed the details we’ve got. We hear there’s an email floating around out there so if you’ve got it handy, fire it our way.
UPDATE – July 14, 2010: We received a copy of Stephen Chipman’s email which we’ve presented here for your reading pleasure.
Internal distribution only
One of the highest and most visible forms of demonstrations of stewardship within a partnership come thorough admitting new partners and principals. This represents a critical underpinning for our continued vitality and success. It is within this context that we are pleased to announce the following individuals will be admitted to the Firm as partners or principals, effective August 1, 2010.
Having outstanding partners and principals is an important differentiator for our Firm in our ability to serve our clients with distinction. Each of these professionals has demonstrated their dedication to making a difference – to our clients, to our profession, to our communities in which we live and work, and to our Firm. Their commitment is reflective of personal responsibility, sacrifice, and accountability which we now pause to recognize.
Please join us in congratulating them on this significant recognition of their contribution and in wishing them continued success as partners and principals of Grant Thornton.
And here’s a further breakdown of the promotions by service line:
Global Public Sector – 5
Transaction Advisory Services – 2
Corporate Tax – 2
Audit – 9
Corporate Advisory and Restructuring – 2
Corp. Strategic Federal Tax Services
(can some demystify this acronym?) – 1
State and Local Tax – 1
And by city:
Alexandria – 5
NYC – 4
McLean – 1
Kansas City – 1
Cleveland – 1
NY – Melville – 1
Charlotte – 2
L.A. – 1
Raleigh – 1
San Diego – 1
Denver – 1
Atlanta – 1
Wisconsin (Milwaukee?) – 1
Chicago – 1
Congrats to all the new partners and principals at Grant Thornton!
Straight out of the Bubba Gump Shrimp location up the street from 5 Times Square:
Ernst & Young, Financial Services Office, NY
Received communication that our annual ratings were finalized and discussions between counselors and counselees to occur by July 30. Promotions are still not final, but promotions and compensation will start to be communicated in August (to be effective October).
So t-minus three weeks (give or take a day here or there) until “you’re not going to be disappointed with raises” which apparently could mean that they will make PwC’s raises look like chump change (for auditors anyway).
BUT! In case you need a refresher on the numbers so far: 3-5% is what we last heard for those in the meaty part of the curve. No word on what top performers are getting but speculation is welcome. Keep us updated.
Here’s one thing you don’t have to worry about: whether your employees care a great deal about getting a raise. Looks like they’re not all that focused on their pay, as long as they can keep their job.
A recent study asking employees to rate contributors to job satisfaction conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management found that compensation dropped to number five for the first time since the organization started doing the survey eight years ago. It was number three on the list last year.
But top on the list of contributors was “job security”. That outranked such choices as “benefits,” “the work itself,” “opportunity to use skills,” and “feeling safe in the work environment.”
What’s more, a new contributor to job satisfaction, “organization’s financial security”, also outranked compensation, placing fourth on the list.
It wasn’t always thus. In 2006 and 2007, compensation was the winner. In fact, in 2006, 67 percent of respondents picked that as the most important factor in job satisfaction. In the most recent survey, just 53 percent chose pay.
Apparently, that attitude is not shared equally among all levels of the organization, however. Job security ranked at the top for non-management and middle management employees. But it didn’t make the top five for executives, who chose “the work itself” as the number one contributor.
Other data indicates that it’s probably a good thing employees are less focused on pay than they were in better times. According to a survey of small businesses by SurePayroll, a Chicago-based payroll processing company, the average paycheck dropped .4 percent year-to-date. June marked the first month this year with negative year-to-date paychecks. In fact, pay hasn’t been this low since October 2005.
The bottom line: Quite simply, for most employees, it’s the job, stupid. And that means wage pressure is unlikely to require employers to raise prices to maintain margins anytime soon.
Because “early July” becomes “mid-July” in about two days and some people would like to get this over with:
“Just as an update to GT’s “early july” announcement about raises. It hasn’t come yet, but some have been told that they’ll be getting promoted (I’m guessing seniors and managers) and were told that National is still trying to figure out what they’ll be.”
So you can take that as “Chipman and Co. are stuck in an epic game of Risk and can’t be bothered at the moment” or something else entirely if you like. If your anxiety level is at double-Lexapro levels or if you’ve heard something other than the earlier rumors, discuss below.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers compensation post is still a hot thread, as the majority of news was about double-digit raises and bonuses have been reported from many although at least one commenter was skeptical that all the news was good in the PwC world:
“[P]robably the people most willing to share are the ones who got the most $.”
That comment was in response to someone who assumed PwC was throwing around “1” ratings (the firm’s highest) like boomies at a Phish show. Of course, not everyone can be so lucky and apparently there are a couple of terms being thrown around by the less fortunate.
Late last week a source close to PwC dropped us the following:
“Fonus”– noun; the much-diminished bonus Big 4 firms give to borderline staff they can’t afford to pay properly, but don’t want to quit.
Not to be confused with the ‘nonus,’ which is no bonus at all.
Apparently these terms have emerged this week as fonuses started appearing in people’s paychecks.
So not to worry “as expected” staff that can’t afford to quit your jobs! If you ended up with the 6%/0% instead of the 14%/10% or whatever, whathaveyou, you’re not alone! Plus, there are some fun terms you can throw around to help you bitch about it. Continue to discuss and keep us updated with any other fallout from the discussions – verbal creativeness or otherwise.
Lots of news this week on the compensation and promotion fronts with Grant Thornton, KPMG and PwC all making announcements or soon-to-be making announcements (that we’ve heard; are you holding out on us, E&Y?).
The latest out of Deloitte is that the discussions are starting (although maybe not today since it sounds like most are off) but the news on yay or nay on promotions is starting and now the anxiety around comp will increase over the next two month:
The year-end ratings and promotion decisions have been approved by National; so the process of communicating both to Deloittians is starting…At a high-level, I heard that promotions this year were tough – that being said, plenty of people made it through. For the most part, people are now waiting to hear about comp – scheduled for communication the last two weeks of August.
We did hear one rumor about the number of new partners expected, “at a recent partner meeting, it was announced that there will be more than 60 new PDPs nationally, with more than 10 being in the Northeast,” so you can toss that around your meat-ingestion fest this weekend if you so choose.
Discuss your epic/tragic news re: your new promotion if you’ve received word and keep us updated on the comp rumors.
From the depths of 666 Third Ave:
In New York:
Associates look to come in at almost $10k less than they did in 2007
Senior 3’s are looking to make almost $10k less than Senior 3’s in 2007
New Managers are looking to make almost $15k less than New Managers in 2007
Senior Managers are looking to make almost $15-20k less than Senior Managers in 2007
Raises (without promotion) are looking to be:
3% for employees rated under a 4
6% for employees rated a 4 or 5
Our source indicates that these are all rumors at this point but based on the last Communique de Chipman, the official numbers should be known soon (“early July”).
In the previous thread lots of numbers were getting thrown so who knows; maybe GT is pulling a PwC and promising low, delivering high? Discuss.
It’s raining bonuses and raises over at PricewaterhouseCoopers these days. Unfortunately, all I’m seeing are news tips (monetary tips or buybacks at the bar are always appreciated). All of my sources are from the NYC office, so if you’re elsewhere in the country, please share your numbers in the comments below. Here’s what we know so far:
• Advisory/Consulting senior associate received a raise north of 18.5%. No, that is not a typo. So in the advisory practice it’s safe to assume the spread is 0% to 19% for raises this year, with the average being about 6% as reported by Caleb earlier.
• A recently promoted associate to senior associate in advisory received a 10.5% raise and a $3,000 bonus.
• Tax bonuses are being handed out now as well. Size matters in this instance, people. Cough up the details below.
This indicates that resources are being spent on what is being determined to be the right people in the right practices. Average performers should expect to receive 4-6% and take it to the bank.
Audit people, what are your numbers looking like? Email us or post your comments below. Practice/office/level are always appreciated
Thanks to everyone that is sharing information. Enjoy the weekend.
I’ve always been a nerd.
Not a dork, a nerd. The financial services industry and its incredible economic influence (from tax structuring to secondary industries like cab drivers and event planners) has always interested me. So it should come as no surprise that I am an avid reader of the Wall Street Journal (I have the dual paper/online subscription…obviously).
There was an article in today’s edition that has to do with getting “the salary you want.” If only it was as easy as these five points. For what it’s worth, here’s my summary of, and input on, how these
rules suggested guidelines if you are looking to transition out of public accounting:
• Do your research – The article makes a point to research what current salary ranges at the potential place of employment could be. Salary.com, Payscale.com, and Glassdoor.com are all mentioned. My advice – remember to do your research with grains of salt in easy reach. The greater number of employees that contribute their statistics will lead to a more accurate number. (Glassdoor.com lists PwC’s “audit associate” salary average salary as $53,358. Is that accurate? You tell me.)
• Don’t give out the first number – When you get beyond the confusion of that statement, you realize the article is referring to the pay day you would love to receive if given the job. My advice – Don’t give a number. Here’s exactly what you need to say if asked “what is your ideal salary:” “For me the role and opportunity is what is most important.”
Yes, that is a vague statement. But it is your recruiter’s job to fight for your salary; remember their pay day is dependent on yours.
• Don’t lie – Listen to your mother. My advice – this is self-explanatory. Your current salary will be verified. Lying to your recruiter about anything – most notably salary and background check details – is a way to sever ties indefinitely.
• Don’t take the first offer – The article goes back and forth about negotiating salaries, something that you won’t do if you use a recruiter. However, if you are not using a recruiter, I recommend reading this bit. My advice – People typically have two magic numbers in their head: 1) the salary they’ve dreamt of and 2) the number they really need to receive in order to commit to leaving. Be honest with your recruiter. They will fight for you, or they will talk you off the ledge of asinine expectations.
• Once that’s locked in, go for other benefits – The article pretty much shoots itself in the kidney on this one. Read it. It’s 17 seconds you’ll never have back. My advice – consider the benefits part of your total compensation. More or less vacation days? Summer flex programs? Cheaper health benefits? Better 401k? List everything out and compare with your current situation. Due to fair employment practices, companies are usually hand-tied to offering equal employees different (or “better”) benefits.
That’s all I have. Oh and for the record, the difference between dorks and nerds is simple. Dorks read the Journal with coffee. Nerds read the Journal with scotch.
Grant Thornton has been on strict radio silence lately which makes us wonder if Stephen Chipman had given up on blogging or if they had simply given everyone the summer off.
The blog remains a mystery but we do have some news on GT bonuses (the jury was out for awhile) and merit increases and it seems to be good news but extremely short on details and extremely long on Chipman prose:
Additional guidance on bonuses and compensation
On our last all-employee call, I told you that I was optimistic that the firm would award bonuses this year. I am pleased to share with you that we are now in a position to say with certainty that we will be paying bonuses for 2010.
As you know, the overall level of bonuses is dependent on our financial results at year end. We are currently working on this modeling based on our economic forecasts and will have the final numbers next month. However, I can let you know that we plan to pay the bonuses in the mid-September timeframe.
Similar to our merit increases, our bonus payments are based on our pay-for-performance philosophy, where we strive to recognize and reward individuals commensurate with performance. We’ve held this philosophy for a number of years, but could have done better executing on it. You reminded us of this in our Voice Your Experience pulse survey, and we are striving to do better. This year — and even more so going forward — we will be giving larger merit increases and bonuses to our top-rated performers to ensure greater differentiation.
Merit increases should be finalized in the next couple of weeks and your local office will begin communicating with you in early July. New compensation is effective on August 1. The increases are based on extensive market information for each of our practices and your individual contributions.
As we work to differentiate our firm through providing consistently distinctive client service, we will continue to move towards a model that rewards each of our people relative to their contributions to the success of the firm.
I’m excited about our direction as a world-class firm that truly makes a difference, and hope you are too. Thank you for all that you have done, and continue to do, for Grant Thornton.
So whether or not this puts your anxiety to rest is another matter. Discuss and keep us updated in the coming weeks.
Need help deciding what you want to be when you grow up? Check out the rest of our posts on credentials for accountants.
If you’re really into internal audits and information systems, want to make decent money and never want to worry about having to find a job, you may want to look into the CISA.
None that we know of, beyond what you’d need to secure a job in the field to gain required professional experience.
CISA candidates must have 5 years of relevant experience in IS auditing, control or security work and adhere to the IASCA Code of Professional Ethics. Experience must be obtained in the 10 years before taking the exam.
The exam is administered twice a year (June and December) and candidates must register no less than two months before the exam date. The exam is made up of 200 multiple choice questions that must be answered within 4 hours. The score is graded from 200 – 800 points and a CISA candidate must score at least 450 points to pass. It covers the following areas:
IS Audit Process (10%)
IT Governance (15%)
Systems and Infrastructure Lifecycle Management (16% of Exam)
IT Service Delivery and Support (14%)
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (14%)
The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) sets the standards of and administers the CISA examination.
PayScale has some interesting figures on compensation for those with the CISA and we have to say, it’s one of the more lucrative credentials we’ve covered thus far. Interestingly, GT pays its CISAs far better than P-Dubs.
|Deloitte||$59,942 – $86,500|
|Ernst & Young||$60,737 – $90,757|
|KPMG||$70,736 – $111,331|
|PricewaterhouseCoopers||$58,448 – $97,657|
|Grant Thornton||$56,500 – $143,400|
IS Auditors make between $60,047 – $82,842 while IS Audit Managers can make up to $108,226. The money is good if you’re willing to put in the hours and pass a little more than half of the exam.
Last we checked on Deloitte’s compensation news, it was news of the wealth being spread around more than last year, although no one was really impressed based on the discussion that followed.
But now out of Ronaldo Fan Club HQ we’ve got an opening bid:
“It was announced at a Tax meeting last Monday that the average raise for NE Tax would be 5% this year.”
Since Dr. Phil recently said that raises weren’t going to return to “pre-recession levels” an average raise of 5% may be in the ballpark. Then again, this is only the tax practice…
Anyhoo, our source told us that reactions boiled down to:
1. After axing or transferring everybody from the Stamford, Wilton and Hartford offices, they better pay the remaining people more!
2. At least it’s more than the average of 0% last year…
If you don’t fall into either camp 1 or 2, make your opinion known. Otherwise, get back to watching your fantasy team suck.
It’s been awhile since we’ve heard any news on the E&Y comp front but we finally received a preliminary report from one source late last week:
[Roundtables] went the same way they always go. Surprisingly, less pushback on proposed ratings for the portion I was involved in. I really think they may be scared to lose more people. Indications are raises will be low (3-5% range for most, more for 4/5 rated people) Bonuses are probably non-existent for the masses. Annoucements of promotions for other levels will be made in August (staff to senior, senior to manager, manager to senior manager) they will also do comp increase discussions then. Effective 10/1…
So despite Ernst & Young re-reassuring merit increases the 3-5% for the meaty part of the curve and no bonuses isn’t exactly what “the masses” were expecting.
That being said, this office may be catching some bad luck since we that at least one E&Y partner was confident that the raises would beat PwC’s.
Although, some lucky E&Y soldiers have seen some “spot bonuses” for their hard work but it’s not clear how widespread that generosity is.
On a marginally-related note, we’ve received word that the partner promotions were announced but we’re still trying to run down some details. Get in touch with us if you’ve got the scoop on the new partners, what you’re hearing about comp in your office and discuss below.
UPDATE, Wednesday June 16th: A couple more accountants familiar with E&Y have their own take on the comp situation:
I heard that we “we’re not going to be disappointed with raises” here at EY. I don’t know what that means. And I tend to believe, that as you posted today, 3-5%, is a more realistic view of what’s going to happen (though that’s just my own pessimism).
and that is coupled with another source, “Haven’t heard anything further on comp other than ‘moderate.’
Continue attempting to decipher the latest. As you were.
From a Klynveld Quaker:
In recent meetings with PA Business Unit leadership with all audit staff (i.e. A and SA’s), we were told that of the 32 inidivudals up for promotion to Manager in the combined three offices (Philly, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh), that 22 were officially promoted. Of the 10 that weren’t, at least 1 just came back from international rotation, and either 2 or 3 (can’t remember which) hadn’t passed the CPA exam and therefore couldn’t be considered for promotions. All raise and bonus theories were squashed (as to hard percentages), though we were told to expect some form of raise as well as variable comp at FYE.
So just a shade better than two-thirds of the Keystone KPMGers eligible for manager will be in the new manager class. As you may remember, this is pretty close to the breakdown for one office in the Rockies but a little less than an office in the northwest.
Since the firm has four months to go in its fiscal year, the fact that the local leadership wouldn’t even give a hint comes as no surprise. That said, it hasn’t stopped people from speculating about what they think the increases will be. We encourage you to share what you know, what you’ve heard, or your own wild-ass guess. And keep us updated with the latest in your office.
Last Friday’s post by Caleb surrounding the Bonus Watch at Deloitte sparked a handful of intuitive comments from GC readers.
In case you didn’t read the post and subsequent commentary, Commenter Anon51 responded to the question “what do readers suggest firms do to retain practitioners” with the following:
1. treat every team member with respect
2. you can’t just force your team to work harder year after year with fewer people and a smaller budget
3. pay 4-7 year people more, pay new hires less, so it seems there is an incentive to working harder
4. reward your people with an extra day off without having to utilize vacation time, especially after a really busy month/audit
Point 3 is bolded because it resulted in the following comment from Guest:
“That’s a really good idea, and I’m not being sarcastic. There is no reason why new hires fresh out of college need to make $59k ($55k + $4k sign-on bonus), when they would happily work for $50k. Then, a $5k bump every year would be a reward, with maybe a higher bump during promotion years…Pay disparity is a bigger issue than actual pay.”
Well said, Guest and Anon51.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the Big 4 are constantly in cahoots with one another with regards to hiring benchmarks. So I propose that TBig4PTB get together and reassess their starting salaries. Behold, a template for all Big Wigs to follow:
1. Decrease starting total packages (salary + sign on) by seven percent. Lower the bar from the get-go.
2. Now is the time – blame the decrease on “a firm wide strategic response to the economic risks of being a major player in the professional services industry. Unofficial response – did you see the DOW sink like the Titanic the other day?!”
3. Spread gap created by initial decrease in salary over the next two years. This will create an artificial sense of accomplishment and praise.
4. Send internal emails stressing the “increase in raises for well deserving employees.” Everyone cheers.
5. In three years college graduates will not know the difference; this “decrease” becomes a non-issue.
Guest’s comment that “pay disparity is a bigger issue than actual pay” can become a non-issue with very little effort. Is this fair or ethical? Mehhhhh. I personally think it would be a slap in the face to those of you who have busted your humps and sacrificed career and personal opportunities all in the name of KPDeloitterhouseErnstMG. But it certainly wouldn’t be the most desperate attempt made by one of the firms in recent memory.
Raising morale – hardly. What are your thoughts?
Can we have a show of hands who takes a list of employers published by Time Warner seriously? Fine. To hell with you; for this particular exercise we’ll assume that the list is 100% accurate.
Here’s the breakdown for the Big 4 on the CNNMoney’s 100 Top MBA Employers, Where MBA students say they’d most like to work:
#12 – Deloitte
#44 – PricewaterhouseCoopers
#45 – Ernst & Young
#75 – KPMG
So Deloitte dominates when you look at the Big 4’s performance. To put it in a little bit of perspective, Deloitte ranks ahead of The Blackstone Group and Morgan Stanley while the rest of the Big 4 rank behind the State Department.
Is this possibly due to the fact that they are the only firm to keep their consulting (not Advisory) practice in-house? Do they simply do a better job of selling their firm? Or is it possibly because male-patterned baldness is not discriminated against in leadership positions?
Or maybe we’re making too much of this. All the firms have a spot on the list and Google beats everybody’s ass with extreme prejudice, so is this one of those “it’s just a thrill to be on the list” moments, which results in the fliers all over your office and in the halls of Career Services at B-schools?
But forget all that for a minute. What’s really surprising (or perhaps not) is that the expectation of MBA graduates whose preferred field is public accounting are expecting an average salary of $59,176 for their first job after graduation. That amount is less than those for academic research ($79,590), education/teaching ($76,138), government/public service ($77,943) and “Other” ($92,110). Oh, and it’s behind “Auditing/accounting/taxation (corporate)” at $64,841. The average salary for preferred fields is $90,990.
Five years after graduation, those same graduates expect to make $92,075. Again, dead last. The average salary being $157,324.
Whether this says more about the state of the accounting profession or the firms that court those seeking accounting focused MBAs, we’re not really sure.
But in the grand scheme of things, it might just say that Deloitte’s position on the list may be – gasp – meaningless.
100 Top MBA Employers [CNNMoney]
Last month we told you about some Deloitte partners in the Northeast that were dropping some “Applause Awards” on “strong performers,” possibly to help calm some nerves.
At that time, our sources indicated that “partners have also hinted at more money coming their way.” It now sounds like those hints are resulting in some greased palms:
[S]ome $1,000 [Outstanding Performance Awards] have been circulating in NE AERS for “performers”. Similar to the $100 applause awards for the larger segment of consultants, I think partners are trying to head off a mass exodus; not sure if the 1k will make a difference; but it does seem to be keeping people from quitting prior to hearing about their year-end comp adjustments
So regardless of what some Deloitte HR types might think, there are partners out there that are worried about people leaving and they seem to understand that throwing a little cash around does wonders for cooling some anxious heads.
It’s been, in the words of one source, “a hell of a week” at KPMG. John Veihmeyer & Co. have been on a whirlwind communications tour, people up for promotion are getting the good/bad news and the whole summer blast thing has people soiling themselves with excitement.
Since they’ve been on such a tear, we’ll update you with a little more news out of the House of Klynveld, returning to promotion and compensation news.
First the bad news – we’ve learned from multiple sources that newly promoted SAs in the audit practice won’t be getting much of a merit increase for their new positions. The news is that the new promotees will receive an early 1.25% increase later this summer that will be followed up by another increase, although those raises will be subject to the firm’s performance in the last part of the fiscal year.
Now the good news – After hearing from a couple offices in the west, most of the SA3s that are up for the promotion to manager seem to be getting the bump. From one office in the northwest:
Despite rampant speculation about widespread non-promotion of seniors to manager, only 3 (of around 15) 3rd year seniors didn’t get the bump. One CPA licence issue, and two performance issues. Nothing out of the ordinary even in a regular year, let alone in one where the holdbacks are supposed to be so numerous that they are creating a new 4th year senior training.
The percentage of SA3s in a Rocky Mountain office that are getting promoted is a little lower with approximately two-thirds of the class getting the bump. So far, only the (un)lucky (i.e. non-promotees) ones have received the news while the new managers continue to sweat it out. For this particular office, the decision to promote/not promote was a little more confusing that its counterpart in the northwest.
Based on the information we’ve gathered, each office is essentially given a number of promotees by the boys at 345 Park and the local office leadership is tasked with figuring it out from there. Criteria for promotion to manager (as we understand it) is that 1) the eligible SA needs to be “ready to be a manager” and 2) they need a business case (i.e. have clients to serve).
In the case of this office, it sounds like this was scrapped. Rather, it was decided that historical rating was the determining factor and not the criteria we outlined above. In other words, if you received high ratings (“EP” at KPMG) as an SA1 and SA2, that was more important than whether you actually have clients to work on as a manager. If you were in the meaty part of the curve (“SP” at KPMG), despite your strong “business case” you are SOL. Our source told us that, in the past, they were always told that “my historical rating would not be a determining factor when it came to promotions.”
So basically it boils down to how your particular office is doing. If you’ve got a strong market with plenty of clients, things should go fairly smooth (with a few exceptions). If you’ve got a competitive or shrinking market, your odds of getting the bump go down, in some cases, way down.
As always, keep us updated with your office’s developments, and congratulations and good luck to the new SAs and Managers!
While some people are still sweating out to hear if they’re part of the new manager class, John Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer did more casual chatting with the troops and this time it was about everyone’s favorite topic to bitch about – compensation.
Specifically, some e asking about raises for FY ’10 and 401k match. Strange thing is, JV has already addressed the issue of KPMG raises in a previous communiqué by saying:
“[B]y year-end, we fully expect that the pickup in market and business conditions will drive compensation increases for the vast majority of our people. Also, assuming we meet our plan, as we are on track to do, our goal is to enhance our variable compensation pool from last year—meaning higher bonuses than last year for EP performers as well as bonuses for deserving SP performers.”
Good thing he doesn’t mind repeating himself:
Inquisitor #1: I was just wondering, if it’s likely that employees will get raises this year?
Veihmeyer: We are very optimistic at this point that that is exactly what’s going to happen. We all need to stay really engaged in what’s going on in the marketplace at this point to make sure that the second six months of our fiscal year also tracks the plan that we put in place. If we do that, we are very committed to sharing the rewards appropriately across KPMG.
As we assess the market right now – means that the vast majority of our people will be getting compensation increases this year. We are just as committed to increasing that variable compensation pool to the maximum extent we can reflective of how our results play out over the next six months.
Keizer: And in terms of variable compensation at the EP level that will translate into larger rewards and our deserving SP performers will also receive compensation rewards.
I am confident – based on what we see out in the marketplace, the foundation we have within the firm, the indicators of economic vibrance that are coming back – that we will be able to reward our people better and to be able to restore some of the things that we had to eliminate in a very measured and prudent way.
And John Veihmeyer was just wondering why you didn’t read his previous statement (or websites where it might appear) on the matter. Since V seems like a nice guy he managed to say what he said before only this time without saying “Yes” outright. Whether the absence of this explicit confirmation is a cause for concern can only be determined by you. Hank chimes in about the bonuses, presumably so he doesn’t feel awkward (at least that’s how we picture it).
So what about the 401k match? Is that returning to pre-financial apocalyptic levels?
Inquisitor #2: You mentioned earlier that we recently brought back the Standing Ovation award into the Encore program. Can we expect to see a change in our 401K match?
Veihmeyer: With an eye toward maximizing the immediate financial rewards to our people – to a level that we all can feel good about – we have some goals and objectives around base and variable compensation that in our view will take precedence over 401K as we reinstate and are able to shift those rewards. But it’s something that if the circumstances change and our ability to reinstate some of those things evolve, we will continue to look at it.
In a word – No. First things first you rubes – We’ve going to get every single Klynveldian feeling great about their immediate financial rewards. Until that is accomplished, your retirement will have to wait. The time frame of “we all feel good” was not given.
Some straight talk from Barry Salzberg:
Barry had a [recent] session in LA at which time he said essentially the following about comp:
1. Raises and bonuses will be distributed this year
2. Raises and bonuses will be larger than last year, but are unlikely to return to “pre-recession” levels any time soon
3. More people will be receiving raises and bonuses this year
Unfortch, Deloitte doesn’t seem to be getting involved in the pissing match with E&Y and PwC by putting a number out there but “more people” and “larger” are both somewhat encouraging, no? Well, not really, according to our source:
To my knowledge, we’re not getting any more info. On the people side; the video didn’t say anything new and everybody knows that the economy’s getting better and that Deloitte’s doing better; so we all assumed it was going to be like he said. Without a number benchmark, words are pretty much useless.
From an accountant familiar with E&Y:
We got two voicemails today, one from head of Banking and one from the Vice-Chair of people, both talking about compensation. I think the underlying fear is that we don’t have enough people anymore in our practice because they keep stressing all the things that the partners are going to do besides compensation to boost morale (like have a lunch with staff sometime around cinco de Mayo).
The last month and a half has been a bit, shall we say, tough on the E&Y and the troops. That being said, the news that Ernie would beat P. Dubs raises may or may not have got some people to relax but it appears that the firm’s leadership is still on the offensive to keep spirits high.
After discussing it with our resident HR expert, the problem with these little wine & dine events is that at this point they are too little, too late. People don’t want they faces fed. They want answers. They are crawling the walls with anxiety about three things:
1. What raises will be.
2. If there will be a bonus pool.
3. Who is getting promoted.
And they want to know the answers ASAP. Raises have been triple-reassured at all the firms and people want to know that number; they want to know if there’s a bonus pool.
Everyone at the point of promotion has made up their minds about what they will do if they get promoted or not. Plus everyone who is not up for promotion is talking about who will get promoted, who won’t and the reactions that will result (e.g. storming out of the office or a nervous breakdown).
The reality is that these things take time. The fact that PwC put a number out there was impressive (and some have said, desperate) shows that partners are aware of the anxiety and they’re trying to get people to relax.
Deloitte is up first, as their fiscal ends 5/31 and we’ve heard that there has been generosity passed around there but it will ultimately depend on the the merit increases. We hear their all hands webcast is coming up soon and that discussions are occurring this month so it won’t be long.
No amount of margaritas, $100 bonuses or NHL playoff hockey tickets will change the fact that people have worked it out in their heads about what they will do when they get the news. And once that news is known, people will act fast. We would encourage everyone to be patient, try and be rational etc. etc. but we also know that’s an futile request.
On Friday, Grant Thornton had a firm wide call to discuss several things including layoffs, compensation, and grab-bag questions.
Headcount Reductions – Steve-o believes that the worst is over and that “restructuring efforts are substantially behind us.” If there happens to be additional “headcount transitions” it will be to refine operations or part of the no He went on to say that the people that are GTers now will, “in very large part,” remain GTers. So can we assume the action in Cleveland and Chicago was the last of it?
Compensation: GT seems is making big push towards a “pay for performance” model for its employees which means compensation adjustments will focus on top performers (“5s” in GT world) and market based adjustments (i.e. keeping up the Joneses) won’t be happening. SC cited a downward trend of salaries in the accounting profession based on a survey that GT does with Mercer (sounds convenient) for the phasing out of market adjustments. He said there might be some exceptions to this.
The size of the merit adjustments have not yet been determined because it all depends on how well 1) GT performs through the end of the year and 2) individual performance. Chip said that enough people were belly aching about the old adjustment system that a change was warranted. This will be implemented slightly for this fiscal year (can’t get all Darwin about it 3/4 of the way through the fiscal year) and will be the main methods for next year and going forward.
Bonuses: SC cleared this whole issue up saying that it has not been determined if bonuses will be paid this year. It all depends no the firm’s performance in the final quarter of the fiscal year. He did say that he’s pre-tay, pre-tay, pre-tay optimistic about the firm “being in a position to pay bonuses” but they’re still crunching the numbers so there’s no telling if it will be a mini-windfall, pocket change, or a set of steak knives.
Not to worry though, as the top performers will certainly get something if everything goes well at the firm overall.
This “new” focus on pay for performance seems kind of familiar since all the firms assign rankings to employees (with their own bizarro methodologies) and are paid accordingly. It makes you wonder if those that fall in the meaty part of the GT curve will get such a small adjustment that it will be another twist on the forced ranking trend amongst accounting firms.
Steve-o then shared his general optimism about the direction of the economy and what it means for the firm, a few recent client wins, yada yada yada. He also updated everyone with some very vague details on the firm’s new strategy “Unleashing Our Potential” that will be rolling out in the next fiscal year. Basically all non-partners will have the chance to drop their $0.02 on this strategeroy very soon but other than that we couldn’t tell if the new strategy involved a lunar landing or full-scale assault on financial reporting fraud.
Last but perhaps most importantly, Steve-o admitted to enjoying the Masters very much, however he was quite clear that he was less than thrilled to see KPMG on Phil’s lid. We’re sure it’s nothing personal against Phil but those may be fightin’ words directed straight at Johnny V.
I said it on Tuesday and I’ll say it again. HERE. WE. GO.
Caleb ran a post yesterday about Ernst & Young raises that as of deadline time had no comments. Zilch. Nadda. I was surprised by this because if anything guarantees comments on GC posts it’s talk about layoffs, Overstock.com shenanigans, and money (not in that order). Needless to say, I think this update will change things.
GC received a tidbit from an EY reader about the recent phone call:
“I did receive a voicemail from Steve reassuring compensations but, it appears that the firm will concentrate giving raises to its “high performers”. So, this potentially could mean that only EYers rated a 5 (need to catch a fraud to get this or have really sore knees) or 4s (need to be well liked all the way up the pipeline on an audit) will have a respectable raise.”
So – if you burned through busy season working yourself to the bone for Uncle Steve but stopped short of needing knee pads (it should also be noted that the parts in parentheses above are part of the original email…) you might be shit out of luck for a respectable raise.
“In addition, I checked with a partner and the August 1st early pay increase is a rumor. The rumor appeared believable since EY is a monkey see monkey do type of firm but, our partner said that EY’s raises although be start on October 1st, will be higher than what PwC will offer to its auditors.”
Boom. To quote my man and crime fighting detective Marcus Burnett, “Shit just got real.”
Shit. Just. Got. Real.
Is there any credibility to this? Sure there is. To think that the upper leadership from every firm does not talk to one another about compensation targets is ridiculous. Merely for the sake of the partners’ bottom line, it’s necessary to know what ones
competitors peers are paying in compensation. Why some loose-lipped partner is sharing this information is beyond me, but hey, it’s dedicated readers fed up with their own compensation that forward these tips on. Now, let’s talk it out.
Which would you prefer – every 10 key cruncher receiving a mediocre payout or just the stars receiving something slightly-better-than-insulting? Comment below, regardless of which firm you work for. Be sure to shed some light on the timing of EY’s payouts if you know any details.
Last week we kicked off our certification series by looking at the CFE for those of you interested in becoming numbers sleuths that also have the figurative iron-clad stones that Sam Antar insists are imperative for any CFE.
This week we look at the Certified Management Accountant (“CMA”) credential and while it’s probably not as sexy as the CFE, a lot of you may want to consider the CMA if you see yourself spending a good portion of your career working as an in-house accountant or finance pro.
The credential is administered by the Institute of Management Accountants whose website states that “85% owork inside organizations, where expertise in decision support, planning, and control over value-adding operations are crucial elements of operational success,” and boasts 60,000 members worldwide.
Here’s the rundown on the CMA:
You can meet the education requirement by verifying that you have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or that you have a professional qualification, such as a CPA (here’s a partial list of global certifications that qualify).
The professional requirement for the CMA is two continuous years of experience in management accounting or financial management. This can be completed prior to the application or within two years of passing the CMA exam. The website states that, “Qualifying experience consists of positions requiring judgments regularly made employing the principles of management accounting and financial management.”
There is a long list of experience that will satisfy this requirement including financial analysis, budget preparation, management information system analysis, financial management, management accounting, auditing in government, finance or industry, management consulting, auditing in public accounting, research, teaching or consulting related to management accounting or financial management.
The CMA Exam is currently transitioning from a four-part format to a two-part format. The two-part format rolls out on May 1st but testing of the four-part format will be available through December 31, 2010. The new format will focus on financial planning, analysis, control, and decision support. The two four hour exams consist of 100 multiple choice questions and two 30 minute essay questions.
Part 1 breaks down like this:
Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting (30%)
Performance Management (25%)
Cost Management (25%)
Internal Controls (15%)
Professional Ethics (5%)
And Part 2:
Financial Statement Analysis (25%)
Corporate Finance (25%)
Decision Analysis and Risk Management (25%)
Investment Decisions (20%)
Professional Ethics (5%)
There’s a lot of information on the new exam format including fees, testing windows, and more that can be seen here.
After certification, you are required to complete 30 hours of CPE annually, of which, 2 hours are required to be in ethics.
Many CMAs work in budgeting, financial planning, cost accounting, performance evaluation, asset management and other various capacities. The work often times result in internal reports that will help management make prudent decisions rather than just taking wild stabs at running their respective companies. So it goes without saying that this is important stuff.
For those of you still working in the public realm, you can get benefits out of a CMA too. Our favorite Exuberant Accountant, Scott Heintzelman, has a CMA and he told us that it helps him better understand the needs of his manufacturing clients, “I had a bunch of clients in the manufacturing space and many of the controllers were CMA’s. I thought taking the time to get this certification would give me more creditability with this group…it helped me gain more manufacturing clients as they saw me as one of them, not just a CPA.”
Compensation and Other Benefits
According to the IMA’s most recent survey, CMAs earn 24-31% more than their non-certified colleagues. Those surveyed that have both a CMA and a CPA have even higher salaries. Now, we know what that you’re hung up on money but there are some other advantages too.
According to Scott, “Partners then had this belief [then] that the CMA was a brutal test (and it was). So a year later I started the process and actually was fortunate to pass the entire test on the first attempt. I had also passed the CPA exam on the first attempt a year earlier and so my partners suddenly thought I was some super smart young accountant and many believed I was ‘fast tracked’ to partner. I believe I just worked my butt off to learn that stuff, but none the less several of my partners looked at me differently. A very key moment in my young career.”
Multiple sources have told us that Bob Moritz has put a number out there for comp adjustments during the firm’s webcast today :
Sitting in the Bobby Mo Firmwide Townhall Webcast. Raises: 5% to 8%.
But don’t start high-fiving just yet:
PwC expected to be 5% to 8% raises this year, but still a “quarter to go” per Moritz on today’s townhall webcast.
Early reports also are that internal firm services (IFS) will be getting 3-5%.
Thoughts? Your move, KPErnstDeloitteMG.
Here we are, it’s April, and most of you are happy to be bored (relatively) at work for the first time in months. Now that your brain isn’t saturated with numbers and/or what you’ll eating at your desk, you may be weighing your options. As we’ve mentioned, Big 4 partners are expecting this and naturally they want to keep their top performers. How best can they do this? Bribery of course!
And at Deloitte, this method seems to be gaining steam. An accountant close to the situation gave us the rundown on the recognition programs at the firm:
• Applause Awards (whenever)
• Outstanding Performance Awards (whenever)
• Merit Bonuses (annual)
For the most part AAs ($100 to $500 – tax adjusted) and OPAs ($500 to $5,000 – non-tax adjusted) were frozen for the last 2 years; with MBs only being processed for 1s and sometimes 2s (we’re rated on a scale of 1 to 5 – 1 being the best, 5 the worst – with typically 5% 1s, 10% 2s, 80% 3s, 5% 4s and 5s).
Now that you have the background, there’s this:
Based upon what I’ve been hearing very recently, strong performers have been getting [Applause Awards] for $100 in the NE [Advisory] practice. In some limited instances, partners have also hinted at more money coming their way (seemingly in the [Outstanding Performance] realm). Seems like the partners are noticing that people, especially performers, are getting antsy; and are trying to keep the peace until compensations are adjusted in September…
Well! Good to see that Deloitte partners are taking their firm’s advice (combo of #2 and #5). This could work out well for those of you that are rockstars at Deloitte (and are easily swayed by monetary reward) but for the other 80% that fall into the unexceptional categories, you may just have the longer ladder to look forward to.
In the past week or so, merit increases have been communicated or reiterated by three of the Big 4. While the news of the resurrected raises is widespread, most people we’ve talked to (and commenters) are not believers. Most see it as a preventive measure to delay the exodus (or at least keep it within expected ranges).
Since the rest of the Big 4 have already been covered (KPMG, E&Y, PwC) we decided to get proactive on finding out the scoop on Deloitte. We contacted a reliable source and it turns out there may be some communication very soon:
[S]o far nothing. I’m going to an all-hands meeting tomorrow in NYC, so maybe they’ll mention something there. For now, all that I can really say is that there’s whole big bunch of people waiting to jump ship, pending the results of this year’s comp, so they better put some serious increases in…
So it’s safe to presume that if the Deloitte brass doesn’t communicate a satisfactory message, the streets may be flooded with Green Dots. If you’ve gotten guarantees, denials, or anything that remotely resembles an official word on this year’s Deloitte comp, get in touch.
KPMG’s newly announced Chairman John Veihmeyer knows that you’ve been anxious, so in a message to Klynveldians, Johnny gets right to the point, “I want to take a moment to address a question that I know is on the mind of every KPMG employee: Will there be raises and bonuses this year? The short answer to this question is ‘Yes.'”
For the “vast majority of our people” and bonuses will be available, “our goal is to enhance our variable compensation pool from last year—meaning higher bonuses than last year.”
How’s that for a Friday morning message?
As we reach the midpoint of FY 2010, I want to take a moment to address a question that I know is on the mind of every KPMG employee: Will there be raises and bonuses this year?
The short answer to this question is “Yes.”
As we communicated during this year’s town hall meetings, the business environment is showing measurable signs of improvement. In fact, I am pleased to report that thanks to your efforts the firm is slightly ahead of plan. So by year-end, we fully expect that the pickup in market and business conditions will drive compensation increases for the vast majority of our people. Also, assuming we meet our plan, as we are on track to do, our goal is to enhance our variable compensation pool from last year—meaning higher bonuses than last year for EP performers as well as bonuses for deserving SP performers. Assuring that we recognize and reward our best performers is an integral element of our compensation philosophy and a critical ingredient of the high-performance culture we intend to maintain.
We are optimistic. But along with this optimism, we must maintain realistic expectations. Keep in mind that our FY10 plan is more challenging in the second half, and reliant on significantly improved performance in the spring and summer.
What does this mean? It means that now more than ever, we must come together as a team to do our best work and make 2010 a successful year—one that brings the improved business results that enable us to restore the financial rewards that we all desire. If you’re in Audit, Tax, or Advisory, it means driving business and providing the highest-quality service to clients. If you’re in a Client Service Support role, it means providing our professionals and teams with effective tools, resources, and information they need to win business and deliver excellent service to clients. And all of us need to continue our Spend Smart efforts and do our parts to drive efficiencies in the way we operate.
Whatever the remainder of 2010 brings, you can be sure that KPMG remains committed to its philosophy of providing our people with an attractive and competitive total compensation package that differentiates exceptional performers with superior rewards. And, we remain fully committed to being an Employer of Choice and a great place to build your career.
Thanks for all your contributions to our firm’s success.
A little more from inside E&Y to round out the week. We got a tip earlier in the week that there was an oddly-timed town hall going on in Chicago this week. Our tipster indicated that the meetings usually occur after the June 30 year-end or in September.
We asked around and from the sounds of it, the meeting amounted to an extremely sober pep rally. The need for a little HR cheerleading is completely understandable, considering the month E&Y has had.
“[T]hey just talked about how they know morale is down, yet no plans for how to fix it. Additionally, they said there would be raises this year, but no mention of how large or small…[and] your basic HR ‘Thank’s for your help’ stuff.”
We haven’t heard the details for the cause “low morale” but it’s quite possible that it could be due, at least in part, to the ehmanlay rothersbay uckshowfay. Plus, busy season is in the home stretch and most people are just over it at this point. As far as fix for morale, our suggestions of Canadidan Tuxes, Timberlands and Hitler videos are obviously being ignored with extreme prejudice. We’re all out of suggestions. Maybe they aren’t the best ideas but at least we’re trying.
The silver lining here is that comp increases are still on the agenda after the initial announcement made by Steve Howe back in January. If they go back on this promise — we’re confident they won’t — you can just blame it on Dick Fuld.
There’s been some whispering about PwC moving up its compensation and adjustment time frame from September to July and that’s got people curious.
At first glance this makes sense because the firm has a June 30 fiscal year-end. PLUS! Since Bob Moritz has already made it abundantly clear that there will be raises for 2010 we figure everyone would be excited to hear that the bumps would be coming a little earlier this year.
However, since everyone likes to jump to conclusions over the slightest little change, we’ll indulge. There have already been whispers of layoffs at PwC here and there but nothing that we’ve been able to confirm so people are probably antsy. And if the adjustment date is moved up we’re sure people are worried that means layoffs will be happening sooner rather than later. We can’t read anyone’s mind but we’re thinking this should be in the ballpark…
But if you’re anxiety is well founded, tell us why or get in touch.
UPDATE, a shade before 1 pm: One of our sources inside PwC shared their thoughts with us:
I think the overall feeling was positive…it will probably make some people happy (depending on the %) and hopefully limit the higher performers from going out into the market, however, it may also help some people look for jobs sooner (i.e. they don’t have to wait until September now, if the raises are low). Most people still have a lot of questions, including the estimate of the increase for each band of the rating system, what the bonus pool is going to look like, and although that is not being paid until September, whether we will know what the bonus amounts are in July.