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February 8, 2023

Help, My Friend at EY Makes More Money Than I Do at KPMG

You could go ahead and substitute any firm for any other firm here, but for this particular reader question, it’s KPMG v EY. Let’s make a little popcorn and see what’s going on:


I hope you’re well.  So about a month ago, I heard that EY gave second round raises to the entire West Region because the firm was losing so many people, as all the firms are.  However, in talking about this with my friend at EY, I realized that she was now making $6K more than me as a second year staff – I’d say a rather large disparity.  So I brought this up to the appropriate people in the firm and was told that they wouldn’t consider raising salaries because we have “the best culture” and we are paid in experience.  I think that you should post an article about it now, especially while intern recruiting is going on because I think kids should know that they are lied to – like I was – when KPMG told me that my pay was the same as the other firms.  I will admit I love the people here and the culture way more than the other firms, but money talks….
Also, note that the other firms also pay for phones for associates, which KPMG does not.
I think this story would get a lot of comments/traffic from KPMG people (and everyone who likes to bash on KPMG) and hopefully inspire change for the better.
I would appreciate anonymity as well!
Thank you!
Everyone is “paid in experience,” that’s such a bullshit answer. Then again, saying “well my friend at EY makes $6k more than me” isn’t exactly an argument for a raise either. Colin makes more money than I do, you don’t see me complaining about it, do you? Then again, I’m a woman so I should just be happy for my 77 cents on the dollar and get back into the kitchen to make myself a sandwich. Oops, the bitterness escaped for a minute there. What this is is a sign from the universe that your firm undervalues you — literally — and that it considers you unworthy of $60/month for a corporate phone. You’re not going to get the response you want by bringing this fact to the firm’s attention, they already know. And they definitely won’t suddenly dig in their pockets and find $6,060 to give you. The partner who told you they aren’t going to give you $6060 because you’re swimming in culture probably has that conversation 50 times a day and he or she could not give any less of a shit.
You said: “I think kids should know that they are lied to – like I was – when KPMG told me that my pay was the same as the other firms.” Well you shouldn’t have believed the firm in the first place but now that you know the score you are doing the right thing preaching the gospel to others. Before we get super outraged and go on a tangent about cheap ass firms though, quick question: is it possible that your friend at EY is also working on much more difficult clients, has already gotten their CPA, isn’t a whiny, money-grubbing brat etc etc? I jest. You’re fine. We like money-grubbing. It’s the entire foundation of our capitalist system after all and you, as guardian of said system, should be paid fairly. “Competitive” pay means “the very least they can get away with paying you,” often because the Big 4 oligarchs are in cahoots to keep their salaries equally comparable so they avoid situations like the one you’re in now where one firm is paying significantly more than another.
If you want more money, why not get a referral from your friend and go over to EY? I mean screw it, why be loyal to a firm that is totally ripping you off to the tune of $6000 and a phone plan? This firm is never going to pay you more just because your friend is slightly less disrespected at their firm.

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