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KPMG Partner Doesn’t Understand Why People ‘Are Dropping Like Flies’

a Persian cat in a KPMG bag

From the mailbag:

Hey Caleb,

Was with a [Midwest city] KPMG Advisory partner this weekend. She said that employees are dropping like flies because KPMG finally unveiled raises after 2 yrs without. Only EP’s were awarded (less than 5%). She said the numbers were in the double digits. What the hell did they expect?

If this sounds a little confusing, it was. We asked our tipster to clarify:

[A]re you saying that she’s under the impression that people are just now leaving because they are upset that they didn’t get raises for two years? And she’s surprised because the raises in the double digits when they were actually in the single digits?

And their response:

[S]he is surprised that so many are leaving especially given the unemployment rate in [midwest city] regardless of how long it’s been since raises were given. It’s not a secret that the other big four have not only given raises but as you report, awarded mid-yr bonus/raises as well.

We went back to some of this year’s KPMG comp threads and the 5% sounds a little suspect, as those rated as “exceptional” were pulling much better increases than that but then again, maybe there were some exceptions that weren’t reported. Also, it seems a little strange that a partner would be so clueless about raises but anything is possible, s’pose.

And as far as the gnashing of teeth because mid-year raises and bonuses are being handed out at other firms, keep in mind that KPMG isn’t even out of their first quarter yet. The rest of those firms have fiscal years that end prior to KPMG’s and they know how the first half of the year is shaping up. Expecting KPMG to start throwing money at people with less than three months in the books is a little ridiculous. At this point, the rumors around the idea of a mid-year surprise should keep you hopeful (but don’t go expecting anything).

It’s been no secret that people have exiting the House of Klynveld (and other firms) – regardless of the unemployment situation – prior to the end of the year (as is typical this time of year). Frankly, people we talk to are pretty optimistic about the job situation for most Big 4 types looking for something new, so this partner may be even more clueless than we thought.

Whatever the case, only 17 shopping days until those left will likely settle for sitting tight through another busy season. If we’re way off base here (or right on the money), feel free to jump in.