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February 8, 2023

(CONFIRMED) Rumor Mill: It May Have Been a Black Tuesday At Two Top 40 Accounting Firms

[Updated with additional information.]

We got a couple of tips late on Tuesday night about layoffs and pay cuts that occurred at two more accounting firms earlier this week: one is a global accounting firm with U.S. headquarters in New York City, and the second is a prominent firm in the Southeast.

Because the tipsters seemed to have heard about the layoffs and pay cuts second-hand, and because I haven’t been able to confirm the news yet and haven’t seen anyone post about them on Fishbowl and Reddit, I’m not going to name the two firms.

HOWEVER, I’m going to give you guys easy-enough clues so you can guess the names of both firms, and hopefully someone can contact us to let us know if these rumors are true. Sound good? Good.

OK, here are the two clues for Firm #1 and the tip we received:

Firm #1 (Confirmed: Mazars)

  • Clue 1: May or may not prepare Donald Trump’s tax returns.
  • Clue 2: Rhymes with “bazaars.”

I know of a dozen people let go for sure. All levels. 5-10% pay cuts.

[UPDATE] We’re hearing that 85 employees, or 10% of the Mazars USA workforce, was laid off on Tuesday. A source told us “people were given either zero severance or terrible severance across the board.” Another source confirmed the layoffs and added that a mandatory 5% to 10% pay cut will be going into effect on May 1.

They said:

Layoffs seemed targeted — folks who senior management wasn’t a fan of were let go. No info given on how much of a pay cut the partners took. Justification given was that they weren’t going to hit their forecasted projections.

We were told that these pay cuts would be re-evaluated in the July/August time frame, but the general consensus among the staff is that even if salaries go back to normal, raises and bonuses will be slim to non-existent.

Firm #2 has two words in its name. One clue will be for the first word and the second clue for the second word. In the second clue, fill in the “XXXX.” OK, here are the two clues plus the tip we received:

Firm #2 (Confirmed: Elliott Davis)

  • Clue 1: The name of the boy who became E.T.’s best buddy.
  • Clue 2: “She got Bette XXXX eyes.”

Word is [they] cut 90 people and reduced all comp by 8 percent. They will not say how much partner comp was reduced.

[UPDATE] A source emailed us on Wednesday afternoon confirming that there were workforce reductions at Elliott Davis on Tuesday, adding that 10% of the firm’s workforce was apparently laid off. This person wasn’t able to confirm the 8% pay cut, though.

However, another source emailed us on Wednesday evening confirming the layoffs and the 8% pay cut. This person said:

A list of names firmwide was not provided but 10% sounds about right from information I have gathered, there were also some furloughs to non professional staff that are unable to work remotely. Confirm an 8% comp reduction to all active employees for 3 months with us being told that partners have much larger cuts, no known % reduction for partner comp. Purpose to save as many jobs as possible is explanation for across the board 8% comp cuts.

If anyone else has any additional information, get in touch with us using the contact info below.

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Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

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