October 20, 2021

Compensation Watch ’21: So Many People Are Bailing That KPMG UK Had to Change Its Bonus Structure

Attrition is the word on everyone’s lips these days, and you can bet that the ongoing Big 4 exodus is keeping plenty of partners up at night. Given the aforementioned stress-related insomnia, surely firm leaders are spending their extra awake hours coming up with creative, generous ways to hold on to the staff they have and signal to unhappy grunts at other firms that they are taking extraordinary steps to pay their people what they’re worth, revenue be damned. Right? RIGHT??

If you chortled heartily at the suggestion that firms will start paying people more in order to keep them, congratulations, you win a prize. Not an actual prize. Just the prestige that comes with winning a prize.

A tipster informs us that in a recent firmwide call, KPMG UK announced its solution to large numbers of people leaving. Spoiler: it doesn’t involve bags of money. More like keeping the bags of money hostage until loyalty has been sufficiently proven. At least it’s still the carrot; they haven’t yet gotten desperate enough to deploy the stick.

Recently we’ve had UK wide calls about comp in UK audit as issues with attrition are starting to cause big issues, due to unsustainably high numbers leaving post qualification.

The solution has been to remove all annual performance related bonuses for junior staff, and replace them with payments a few years after qualifying – subject to 2 year clawbacks.

As part of the initiative they’ve also released pay for all the different grades and office bandings! (Attached)

And here are the slides provided by our lovely tipster, who obviously ignored the directive from KPMG UK to stop talking to the media. Thanks, friend!

For your convenience and to facilitate easy searching for KPMG UK salaries, I’ve put everything into a table.

KPMG UK Audit pay:

Our tipster adds that they are “very interested to hear/see what other UK firms are doing about high levels of attrition” as are we so if anyone else out there is in possession of new salary data and would like to share with the class, give us a shout. Hell, give us a shout if you just want to complain, whatever.

Photo by Anthony from Pexels

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