September 22, 2021

Compensation Watch ’21: Did EY Redeem Itself In the Eyes of Their Employees?

2020 was a pretty ugly year for the Black and Yellow—and especially for EY employees. Let’s recap, shall we?

And EY’s bad look continued into early 2021, with ultimatums being given to workplace services coordinators and on-site technology support employees, and a lame (and expensive) television ad that aired during the Super Bowl.

But as this year progressed, the tempest that raged through EY had let up and things seemed to be getting closer to pre-pandemic normalcy. Small mid-year salary bumps were handed out a few months ago to try to placate the masses, and PBBs came back in July. Then a little over a week ago, EY employees got what they’ve been waiting all year for: their new compensation amounts. Their raises would most certainly be better than last year’s, but how did they compare to previous years?

To find out, I examined the 2021, 2020, and 2019 EY comp threads on r/accounting, as well as the 2017 EY comp thread on Going Concern. I then calculated the average raise percentage for each step up in rank or promotion where data was available (i.e, Staff 1->Staff 2, Staff 2->Senior 1, Senior 1->Senior 2, Senior 3->Manager 1, etc).

These averages don’t take into account factors like location/cost of living, line of service, academic degrees, rating (below expectation, met expectation, above expectation, and significantly above expectation), and bonuses/awards. This is just the average percentage of how much base pay increased per step up in rank/promotion.

Did EY redeem itself? Let’s find out:

Staff 1->Staff 2

  • 15.8% (2021)
  • 8.3% (2020)
  • 10.1% (2019)
  • 7.6% (2017)

Staff 2->Senior 1

  • 26.3% (2021)
  • 8.2% (2020)
  • 20.1% (2019)
  • 14.4% (2017)

Senior 1->Senior 2

  • 20.4% (2021)
  • N/A (2020)
  • 13.4% (2019)
  • 12.6% (2017)

Senior 2->Senior 3

  • 17.8% (2021)
  • N/A (2020)
  • 11.8% (2019)
  • 9.6% (2017)

Senior 3->Manager 1

  • 24.8% (2021)
  • 12.3% (2020)
  • 19.8% (2019)
  • 13.7% (2017)

Manager 1->Manager 2

  • 11.5% (2021)
  • N/A (2020)
  • 10.5% (2019)
  • 6.8% (2017)

Manager 2->Manager 3

  • 15% (2021)
  • N/A (2020)
  • N/A (2019)
  • 7.8% (2017)

Manager 3->Senior Manager 1

  • 19.5% (2021; only one entry)
  • N/A (2020)
  • 17.8% (2019)
  • N/A (2017)

Senior Manager 2->Senior Manager 3

  • 15.7% (2021)
  • N/A (2020)
  • N/A (2019)
  • N/A (2017)

Senior Manager 4->Senior Manager 5

  • 5% (2021; only one entry)
  • N/A (2020)
  • N/A (2019)
  • N/A (2017)

For the most part, EYers seemed pretty pleased with their raises, moreso than what they got for their PBB. Some of the reactions in the Reddit comp thread included:

  • Honestly a bit blown away.
  • Relieved.
  • Far more than I expected.
  • Pleasantly surprised.
  • Happy with this.
  • Shook!
  • Not too shabby, I do declare.
  • Best raise I’ve ever seen in my time in Big 4.
  • Probably will stay for another year or so.
  • I’ll definitely be sticking around.

Then there were those who decided to analyze whether their raise was actually that great or not, like this newly promoted senior, who said: “27% seems high but with no raise last year it’s really 10% for last year, 10% for this year, and 7% inflation from 2019 to now so really nothing crazy.”

Overall, though, this year’s raises probably puts EY behind PwC and ahead of Deloitte in the ranking of “Best Big 4 Raises in 2021.” We’ll have to wait until late September/early October to find out how KPMGers did.

Related articles:

Compensation Watch ’21: How ’Bout Them Raises At PwC?
Compensation Watch ’21: Deloitte Staff Gets Some Encouraging News About Raises and Promotions

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