December 2, 2020

Grant Thornton to Staff: ‘Don’t Expect Raises or Bonuses This Year, Sry’

We’ve gotten news this afternoon from a few sources that Grant Thornton has broken it to their loyal employees that no one should expect raises this year, with one exception.

One tipster writes:

GT firmwide call – promotions continuing with raise commensurate with level, no raise or bonus to anyone else

Another tipster informs us that there will be fewer promotions than prior year; as we understand it there was no mention of whether or not raises tied to these promotions are expected to be on par with promotion raises of years past.

In an April 5 letter to GT staff, CEO Brad Preber outlined a cost-cutting and capital investment plan that would affect partners first and foremost:

While our firm was on a path for record financial performance in fiscal year 2020, and today our financial resources are more than sufficient, we are acting in an abundance of caution given the uncertainties of the road ahead. To ensure our firm has the financial means and flexibility to come through this crisis in a position of strength and leadership, the leaders of the firm are taking steps to maintain ample liquidity and ensure a strong balance sheet. These include reducing discretionary spending, pursuing opportunities to help clients navigate the current crisis, and participating in federal stimulus and regulatory relief programs.

[…]

We are reducing scheduled interim profit distributions to partners and principals during the coronavirus pandemic, with the majority of partners and principals having monthly draws reduced by 25% through the end of Grant Thornton’s fiscal year (July 31, 2020).

As an additional demonstration of stewardship and confidence in the firm, partners and principals will contribute to a capital call, in effect making an incremental investment in the firm. This will enhance the firm’s already strong balance sheet should market turmoil dramatically worsen.

All six managing directors on our firm’s National Leadership Team have volunteered to take a 20% cut in their salary payments through the end of the fiscal year. They are doing this as an act of solidarity with the firm’s partners and principals.

To date, Grant Thornton US has not joined the ranks of public accounting firms large and small that have been forced to institute staff layoffs, pay cuts, and/or furloughs due to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. We’re told staff are understandably a bit unhappy about today’s announcement however sympathetic to the difficult choices firm leaders have made in these troubling times.

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