We've clearly got an Above Top Secret member hanging around the tip box this afternoon: The real unanswered question regarding Echevarria at Deloitte – I can understand that he wanted to announce that he did not want to stand for re-election (possibly he heard from insiders that he wouldn't get re-elected) the real question that […]
Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria to Retire to Pursue Life in Public Service Mr. Echevarria has been at Deloitte for 34 years and has served as CEO since 2011. In a statement issued by the firm, he said he has "determined that this is the right time in my life to pursue my passion for public service." [WSJ] […]
Before he was CEO of Deloitte, talking about creating thousands of jobs, talking to both current and ex-Presidents, and having 1%er problems, Joe Echevarria admits that he had some "rough edges." He group grew up in the Bronx, attended the University of Miami (aka Suntan U.) and didn't have the personal hygiene and fashion sense […]
As you may recall, after Joe Echevarria became CEO of Deloitte in 2011, we learned that his house in Westchester was up for grabs with an asking price of $2.8 million. The 6,000 square-foot spread had hit the market in March of that year listed at $3 mil, so you can safely assume that Joe and his wife Ana were anxious to move the thing.
Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria is confident in his firm's ability to create jobs. He told CNBC that the Green Dot will hire another 17,000 new employees next year (netting "about half of that"). The reason that other, lesser, CEOs aren't kicking ass and taking names is that they can't deal with all the uncertainty out […]
Earlier today we were informed that Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria was a commencement speaker at the University of Miami, his alma mater, this morning. A quick search confirmed Joe E's gig, however, our tipster had this to add: Said he had just come from a meeting with SEC, didn't mention what it was about, lol. This could […]
You don’t have to be Bob Woodward to recognize the formulaic nature of the CEO interview. Reporter goes to CEO’s office, asks loaded questions about the issues of the day, describes the view from the office, elaborates on the person’s exercise regimen, humble (or not so humble) beginnings, people they admire, yada yada yada. Cripes, reading these things makes you want to shave with broken glass but hey! editors get in ruts just li we’re stuck with the puff. By extension, interviews with Big 4 CEOs are worse because they typically occur with General Counsel sitting in the next room zapping their genitals every time a question is asked that necessitates “I can’t comment on that.”
Today’s example comes courtesy of Reuters who interviewed Deloitte’s Joe Echevarria. What prompted this little chat was the PCAOB’s release of Part II of the firm’s 2008 inspection report. It wasn’t exactly a flattering portrayal of a firm who, when asked to brush up on their audit skills, basically told the PCAOB to drop dead.
Accordingly, the firm is running damage control and that involves getting Joe E. in front of some friendly reporters (read: not Jon Weil or Francine McKenna).
Recently faulted by the main U.S. auditor watchdog, Deloitte has told its professionals that skepticism should be the No. 1 focus during the upcoming auditing season for annual financial reports, CEO Joe Echevarria said.
“I know there’s a heightened awareness about professional skepticism in the firm,” he said. “It’s going to take a while for heightened awareness to manifest itself in actions and documentation because humans are involved here.”
The natural follow-up question here would be, “But Mr. Echevarria, the PCAOB asked you to fix things in 2008-2009, are you saying that you’re now just ‘manifesting itself in actions’?” but that brings out the zapper. That’s okay, we’re all used to it. You know what else we’re used to? Talking about the “expectations gap”:
There is an “expectations gap” between what auditors do and what the public expects, but auditors do have an obligation to detect and report material fraud, Echevarria said.
Echevarria is also asked about auditor rotation, IFRS and (for some odd reason) its settlement over the Adelphia fraud in 2005. Why not ask about the swinging insider trading scandal? What about Taylor, Bean & Whitaker? What about associates sneaking bloggers into the downtown W? WHAT ABOUT THIS FAUX TARA REID MARRIAGE? People want these all-important questions on the record and yet it never happens. Sigh.
By the way since it’s obvious that some of you care about these details, Joe is from the Bronx and his office is in Midtown.
Deloitte pressing for more skeptical audits (God, the headline is even awful) [Reuters]
Deloitte has announced today that Joe Echevarria will become the new CEO and Punit Renjen (who is oddly well-coifed for a leader at Deloitte) the new Chairman Board of the firm effective June 1. None of this is really news to anyone that frequents this site since we reported who the candidates were back in February. Joe takes over for Barry Salzberg who will assume the global CEO position and Punit will assume the Chairman role from Sharon Allen who is retiring.
This officially marks the end of the Deloitte election process that we brought to light after a partner reached out to us over concerns that the process is seriously flawed (or in that partner’s words, “broken”). Whether or not the rumored poor turnout had any effect on the timing is not known but the results remain the same, much to the chagrin of many partners at the firm who share the frustration of a unrepresentative election process.
[caption id="attachment_29175" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Renjen"][/caption]
Both guys seem genuinely pleased with the result, “I am deeply honored to be elected by my partners and principals to be CEO of this great firm. As the largest professional services organization in the U.S., we have an obligation to lead,” said Echevarria. “Excellence in all of the professional services we provide constitutes the foundation of our success. As markets were shaken and major players disappeared overnight, we’ve made a clear choice to focus on superior performance, innovation and growth across all our practice areas. Great firms are growth firms.”
And Renjen, “This is a great privilege, and I deeply appreciate the partnership’s confidence in me,” he said. “I share Sharon Allen’s vision for Deloitte – to be the ‘Standard of Excellence.’ Setting this standard demands effective governance, transparency, accountability and uncompromised quality. I am committed to leading the board in providing valuable oversight and strategic guidance to management, and also to representing our exceptional organization and culture with external stakeholders.”
Congratulate your new leaders, green dots; these are the men you’ll be receiving a monstrous number of emails from for the next four years.
Earlier this month our resident big man on campus, DWB, put out a call for all the schwagtacular gear that recruits were snatching up this fall. We didn’t get much for submissions at first but luckily a friend from the north passed along photos that ranged from “a bunch of junk” to Dr. Seuss to a PwC cookie describe as “soft” and “amazing.”
Things have quieted down since then but thankfully, another enterprising young recruit who is right in the wheelhouse of recruiting passed along a couple more pics that include examples of loot from Deloitte and Grant Thornton.
First our tipster’s thoughts on GT’s offering: “The GT cup is ok but the straw is totally useless.” And for the gazillionth time, purple just sucks.
According to our tipster, the Deloitte sanitizer is really the most perplexing item: “I am not sure what to think of Deloitte’s hand sanitizer.”
So what do we make of this? It’s not a surprise that Deloitte isn’t a “If it’s brown flush it down; if it’s yellow keep it mellow” kinda place but what does this bottle of freshness really communicate? Do they simply think college students are unkempt? Is Deloitte making the assumption that all the recruits are applying there because the Occupy movement rejected their applications? Or, since there is fairly new leadership in place, does this speak more directly to the firm’s position on germs in general? Put simply: Are Joe Echevarria and Barry Salzgerg germophobes? I’m inclined to go with option 3 but would entertain other theories.
They really, really, really don’t appreciate it when you blow off their recommendations. Here’s the statement from the Board:
The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, in anticipation of questions about the publication of previously nonpublic portions of its May 19, 2008 inspection report on Deloitte & Touche LLP, issued the following statement today:
“The quality control remediation process is central to the Board’s efforts to cause firms to improve the quality of their audits and thereby better protect investors. The Board therefore takes very seriously the importance of firms making sufficient progress on quality control is n inspection report in the 12 months following the report. Particularly with the largest firms, which are inspected annually, the Board devotes considerable time and resources to critically evaluating whether the firm did in fact make sufficient progress in that period. The Board can and does make the relevant criticisms public when a firm has failed to do so.”
So to clarify, Deloitte had until May 19, 2009 to get their methods up to par but failed to do so. To put this into a little bit of context, Jim Doty was not yet the Chair of the PCAOB and Barry Salzberg was still the CEO of Deloitte’s U.S. firm. Does this mean that the PCAOB has been stepping up its game and this is the first instance of many to come? Hard to say but the audits that this inspection report cover are nearly five years old, so it’s debatable as to the value of Part II being made public now.
For Deloitte’s part, here’s current CEO Joe Echevarria’s statement:
“Deloitte is committed to the highest standards of audit quality and as newly elected CEO, it is my foremost priority. Our commitment extends from the top and cascades throughout our entire organization. We place great value on the PCAOB’s input and continue to work with the Board in support of our shared objectives. We recognize that audit quality is fundamental to protecting investors and ensuring the effective functioning of the capital markets.
“We have complete confidence in our professionals and the quality of our audits, and agree that there were and always will be areas where we can improve. In our drive for continuous improvement, we have been making a series of investments focused on strengthening and improving our practice, and will continue to do so to make Deloitte the standard for audit quality.”
In other words, a non-response response. However, it’s much more measured than Deloitte’s response to the initial release of the report. Their response letter spelled out their feelings quite clearly:
Professional judgments of reasonable and highly competent people may differ as to the nature and extent of necessary auditing procedures,conclusions reached and required documentation. We believe that reasonable judgments should not be second guessed and therefore disagree with a number of comments as indicated[.]
Deloitte’s letter is located Appendix C. You can read the full report, including all the details from Part II that were previously unpublished, on page 2.
Accounting Today released its Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting (free registration required) late yesterday and it seems to be a tad more interesting than in years past. Sure, there are plenty of predictable names and faces in the list but any list that has Dave Albrecht, Paul Caron, and Grover Norquist is okay by me.
That said, it’s still in alphabetical order which may not appropriately present who the influenciest influencers are. I mean does sticking a man with a last name that starts with “N” and ends in “quist” somewhere in the middle of the pack (only a few spots in front of the POTUS) truly show how influential he is? It’s just a question.
ANYWAY, here are some notables that you’ll probably recognize:
Dave Albrecht – Associate Professor at Concordia College, The Summa
C.E. Andrews – President, RSM McGladrey
Paul Caron – TaxProf Blog
Stephen Chipman – CEO, Grant Thornton
James Doty – Chairman, PCAOB
Joe Echevarria – CEO, Deloitte
Michelle Golden – President, Golden Practices
Tom Hood – CEO, Executive Director Maryland Association of CPAs
Hans Hoogervorst – Chairman, IASB
Robert Moritz – Chairman and Senior Partner, PwC
Caleb Newquist – Founding Editor, Going Concern
Grover Norquist – President and Founder, Americans for Tax Reform
Barack Obama – President of the United States
Barry Salzberg – CEO, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Mary Schapiro – Chair, SEC
Doug Shulman – IRS Commissioner
Jim Turley – Global Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young
John Veihmeyer – Chairman and CEO, KPMG
Jack Weisbaum – CEO, BDO
I cherry-picked this list obviously because it’s a bit of a pain to re-type all of them, so don’t hold that against me. Still how two Swedes and two Barrys got mashed together is kind of odd. And on a more personal note, I’d really feel awful if I was the one who took Dennis Nally’s spot. Go check out the full list and discuss at your leisure.
Perhaps it’s no accident that Joe Echevarria’s Q&A dropped in the Journal today because we also had the good fortune to have the list of new partners and directors forwarded to us earlier today. We still waiting for confirmation of the details from various Deloitte PR folks so we won’t give you names but we’re sharing a number of cities and practices after the jump.
Altogether there are 144 new partners and 190 new directors for fiscal year 2012. These numbers vary a little bit with our first report of the new partner numbers from a few weeks back. In that post, our tipster informed us that had there were 146 partners and 180 directors. These differences, for our purposes, are deemed immaterial, although we’re sure anyone directly affected would disagree.
AERS: 55 Total. Cities with the largest numbers of promotees: New York – 12; Chicago – 4; Wilton, CT – 4; Los Angeles – 3; Dallas – 3; San Francisco – 2; Orange County -2.
Consulting: 48 Total. Big winners: Atlanta – 5; Chicago 5; San Francisco – 5; Los Angeles – 4; New York – 3; Orange County – 3; Kansas City – 3; Boston – 3; Arlington – 3.
FAS: Six total: New York – 3; Dallas – 2; Los Angeles – 1.
Tax: 32 Total: New York – 6; Chicago – 5; Houston – 3; Washington – 3; Atlanta – 2.
USA: Three total: Atlanta, Washington and New York each had one.
AERS: 56 total. Show-off cities: New York – 14; San Francisco – 3; Cleveland – 3; Salt Lake City – 2; Princeton – 2; Philadelphia – 2; Parsippany – 2; McLean – 2; Chicago – 2.
Clients & Industries: Six total: New York – 3; Philadelphia, Charlotte and San Francisco all had one.
Consulting: 53 total. Notables: San Francisco – 6; Chicago – 6; New York – 5; Atlanta – 3; Boston – 3; Minneapolis – 3; McLean – 3; Washington – 3.
FAS: Four total – Washington 2; New York and Chicago – 1.
Field Operations: Two – Atlanta and Hyderbad
Finance: A pair in Hermitage, TN.
Markets & Offerings: Two in Chicago and nine cities with one each.
Other Shared Services: One lonely soul in Wilton, CT.
PR/Communications: One in New York and one in Wilton.
Research/Innovation: Hermitage and Wilton with one each.
Strategy, Brand and Innovation: One happy camper in Los Angeles.
Talent: One each for Chicago, Parsippany, Boston and Indianapolis.
Tax: 38 total: Chicago – 7; New York – 5; San Francisco – 4; Atlanta – 2; Boston – 2; Los Angeles – 2; Philadelphia – 2.
Tech: One each for New York, Camp Hill, PA and Hyderbad
USA: One soul in Stamford, Rosslyn, Arlington, Richmond and Wilton.
So congratulations to all the new partners and directors. Leave them some well wishes in the comments. The only question now is, which one of these rainmakers is buying Joe’s house?
Newly minted Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria is upgrading his digs and he needs your help! His 6,000 square foot house in Westchester is on the block for $2.8 million and he dropped the price just last month, so now i
There are all kinds of nice amenities including: fireplace, high ceilings, patio, sprinkler system for the lawn, walk-in-closets [!], and a walkout basement and more. If that doesn’t sell you, read the broker’s description:
Spacious, striking residence in prestigious Matthiessen Park, built for gracious living & comfort. The home embodies spectacular craftsmanship with superior attention to detail. Beautiful stone entryway from local quarry, masonry fireplaces, soaring ceilings with dentil molding, red oak herringbone inlaid floors. Expansive family room, breakfast area & deluxe kitchen. Elegant library with exquisite mahogany millwork. Additional 2,000 [square feet] in finished lower level.Seasonal views of the magnificent Hudson River.
Sounds lovely, no? Anyway, take a peek over the next few pages and then hit up the team at Houlihan Lawrence to make an offer.
Naturally, you’ll want to look at a few photos
Former Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria will join Pfizer's board of directors effective immediately, according to a company press release. That's a decent gig! The release also mentions that Joe E is on the board of Bank of New York Mellon. He landed that back in February and serves on the audit committee. Presumably, he'll serve […]
If you recall, we wondered out loud last week who might take up the esteemed chair that will soon be missing Joe Echevarria's ass. As we know, current CFO Frank Friedman will at least keep the chair warm until the formal election process is completed. Now, we have a self-nominated contender who has thrown his […]
Last Friday we learned that Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria had decided to call it a career after 34 years at the Green Dot. The news came as a bit of surprise, especially since Joe is only 57 and would be able to serve another four years in the big chair without reaching Deloitte's mandatory retirement […]
James J. Schiro, Lead Director at Goldman Sachs, Dies at 68 [NYT]He also spent some time at PwC: "In more than three decades at Price Waterhouse, he rose to chairman and senior partner. On its merger in 1998 with another big accounting firm, Coopers & Lybrand, he became chief executive of the combined company." New […]
*ranked from the Accounting Today Top 100 #10: BDO Wayne Berson has done wonderful things for BDO but I definitely wouldn't do wonderful things to him. Nope. Sorry Wayne but… just no. The good news is you're one makeover away from being Eric Cantor, in which case, email me. #9: CliftonLarsonAllen It's a known fact […]
Happy New Year's Eve, capital market helpers. To quote another, "Everyone sober? Close enough." We figured it was about time we dug up some stories from the past year that we, the Going Concern staff, found enjoyable. We have been slaving over a hot blog the entire year just for you and now we're going to reacquaint you […]
Back in 2011, Deloitte swung open the doors on a 107-acre, $300 million spectacle in Westlake, Texas known as Deloitte University; its centerpiece being a 700,000 square-foot building that has thirty-five classrooms, thirty-six "team" rooms, a ballroom, an amphitheater that seats 176 people, 800 guest rooms, three restaurants, and a state-of-the art fitness center. It's perks like "The DU"1 that make […]
One possible alternative title for Accounting Today's "scorecard for new SEC audit clients" would be "Jesus, PwC and Deloitte Lost a Lot of Audit Clients Last Year." I'll go out on a limb and say that it probably didn't even make the short list. AT went with "E&Y, KPMG Top 2012 for Audit Client Wins" which is […]
We've grown accustomed to Big 4 people dropping huge hiring numbers in order to get oooohs and ahhhhhs out of media people and Joe Echevarria was on Bloomberg TV today doing more of the same: Sara Eisen: Are you picking up jobs from Wall Street as Wall Street sheds and shrinks? Joe E.: Absolutely. We're […]
In case you weren't aware, the World Economic Forum is an annual ego-strokefest held in Davos, Switzerland. It brings together the leaders of business and a whole scrum of other people who are willing to plunk down a metric asston of money to hobnob with other people that are willing to plunk down a metric asston […]
Audit firms sued in HP's Autonomy acquisition [Reuters]A new shareholder lawsuit over Hewlett-Packard's acquisition of British software firm Autonomy has named Big Four audit firms Deloitte and KPMG as defendants, alleging they missed numerous red flags about Autonomy's accounting. The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in federal court in San Jose, California, also named HP's board of […]
To Whom It May Going Concern is a roundup of our favorite emails, tweets, and other messages. Gotta beef? Are your knickers in a twist? Feel the need to come at us, bro? Email us at [email protected], drop us a line in the tip box, or tweet @ us on Twitter. As a reminder, all messages […]
After sending out a few fluffer posts in July to get everyone worked up, we've heard from a couple of people who had their compensation discussions today. So far the news has come from one audit and one advisory professional out of NYC. As is typical with many of you who send in tips, the […]
Deloitte CEO defends firm's Standard Chartered work [Reuters]Deloitte LLP Chief Executive Joe Echevarria on Monday fought back against allegations that his firm helped Standard Chartered hide transactions with Iran, saying charges by the top New York state banking regulator were "distortions of the facts." […] The regulator cited an email from a Deloitte partner saying he […]
Deloitte is appointing a new Chairman and CEO of its audit subsidiary, Deloitte & Touche, and the new man in charge is actually an old man in charge – Greg Weaver. He led D&T from 2001 to 2005 and with this triumphant return to big chair, this basically making him the Grover Cleveland of the […]
In the past, we've called attention to some of the brutally boring interviews that Deloitte bigwigs have done with various outlets. Joe Echevarria. Barry Salzberg. Deb DeHaas. We read these so you didn't have to. You're welcome. Today, however, we read an interview with Deloitte Chairman Punit Renjen that wasn't half bad. It was done […]
Not exactly the best way to start a new job: Deloitte said the chief executive of its Dutch arm had stepped down with immediate effect after breaking internal rules on owning stakes in companies whose books are audited by the accountancy firm. Deloitte Netherlands CEO Piet Hein Meeter, who took up the job on Jan. 1, […]
Yesterday, Monday Morning Auditor that everyone loves to hate, the PCAOB, announced that they would be having an open meeting on March 21-22 that will focus on auditor independence and rotation. Sorry! I meant auditor term limits. Anyway, there are going to be several big names on various panels including Paul Volcker, Harvey Pitt, Arthur Levitt, […]
Communications teams at accounting firms, particularly the Big 4, have a difficult job. And for the most part, they're nice people. I've talked to plenty of them. NO! I'm being serious. They work for private companies that are notoriously secretive, newly regulated, but still have come under heavy scrutiny as capital market servants, thus, leading nosy […]
Short Selling of Stocks Banned in France, Spain [Bloomberg]
France, Spain, Italy and Belgium imposed bans on short-selling to stabilize markets after European banks including Societe Generale (GLE) SA hit their lowest level since the credit crisis. “While short-selling can be a valid trading strategy, when used in combination with spreading false market rumors this is clearly abusive,” the European Securities and Markets Authority, which coordinates the work of national regulators in the 27-nation European Union, said in a statement after talks ended late yesterday. National regulators will impose the bans
Monsanto to Pay $80 Million to Settle Charge of Improper Accounting [NYT]Do you remember the matching principle? You know, one of the most basic guidelines in accounting that says that expenses should be recognized in the same period as revenues? It rings a bell, I'm sure. Monsanto seems to have had some trouble remembering it, […]
Recently the Washington Post interviewed new Deloitte & Touche CEO Joe Ucuzoglu about how he has always liked numbers and stuff. We don't necessarily recommend that you read it, as that's one of the services we provide around here — reading horrible interviews with Big 4 bigwigs — but there's one topic of discussion mentioned that the opiners […]
Deloitte plans to hire about a gajillion people this year. If you don't believe me, just ask them! Even if the humblebragging gets a little old, jobs = good, so we (the royal kind) should all be grateful that the likes of Deloitte, EY, et al. are trying to solve the unemployment problem all by themselves. […]
Do you like your firm's CEO? It's really an odd question. When I worked at KPMG, Tim Flynn was at the helm and he seemed likable enough, but I only knew him through scripted emails and one very bizarre townhall meeting at the Javits Center when Stephen Colbert showed up. I guess the more important question […]
Career conundrum got you down? Want someone to tell you how to spend your bonus? Need gift ideas for your secret workplace lover? Email us the questions that burn deep in your loins. Do you think that the Big 4 are comparable to the 4 houses in Harry Potter? Deloitte: Griffindor [sic] PWC: Slytherin […]
We here at GC received the following email in our inboxes this Moanday morning:
Finally!!! See below 🙂
Direct Pay makes managing your expenses easier
With the implementation of Direct Pay, managing your business expenses just got simpler. Direct Pay is the process where Deloitte pays American Express directly, on your behalf, for your business expenses that have been imported into DTE.
There is no change to billing dates, the point rewards program, or the way you enter your expenses.
Direct Pay will begin for U.S. professionals with expense reports dated December 17 (U.S. India professionals are not part of Direct Pay at this time.)
The process is simple:
• Use your American Express corporate card for business expenses
• Import your expenses into DTE
• Deloitte pays American Express for the imported expenses
Professionals will still be responsible for paying American Express directly for any minor non-business corporate card charges, or any American Express business charges that are manually entered into DTE. To help you with this process, there is a new tool in DTE that reconciles your monthly American Express charges to what you have imported.
Sweet Baby Jesus, it doesn’t take much to excite the Green Dots these days, does it? It’s impossible for us to tell whether or not our contributor is a traveling worker bee or the executive assistant of some traveling Big Wig (Joey E!), but it doesn’t really matter because they are SUPER PSYCHED. Is this what it’s come to for us? Forget about holiday bonuses or even some free schwag; filing expense reports just got only slightly marginally sorta kinda maybe better. No word yet on a charge code for the strip joint, errrr “Big Ben’s Steakhouse.” Continue to pay those charges with your excess per diem.
So this got us thinking. What other kinds of techy improvements would improve your lives at work? Some off-the-cuffers:
1. Partner calls sent straight to voicemail.
2. Starbucks, delivered.*
3. The ability to work from home and have a work/life bal…oh wait. Nevermind.
Who is else in a dizzy tizzy about Big D’s technological advancement? Spill your joys below.
*Interns do not count.
Welcome to the East Coast Earthquake edition of Help! My Accounting Career Is Doomed! In today’s edition, a young auditor is curious how much of an advantage a good golf game will give you on the road to partner/CFO. Not honed soft skills. Not a preternatural talent for Microsoft Excel. A laser-straight drive and wicked short game.
Back to our young duffer:
I am a first year audit employee for a large accounting firm. My question is this; how much does your golf game factor into your ascent to partner, or perhaps ascent to CFO after jumping ship to a private company? Thank you.
Not Tiger Woods
I’ll try to articulate my thoughts on golf as succinctly as possible for you: IT’S STUPID. The clothes are stupid (it’s double stupid that people can wear an outfit to work that also functions as a golf outfit). The rules are stupid. The announcers are stupid. The fact that you even have to ask this question is stupid because it just goes to show how shallow the accounting industry can be. “You’re a scratch handicap? Great! We’ve got some WASPy clients that value someone who knows their way around a double-dog leg par 5.” STUPID.
But back to your question – how much does exceptional short game combined with dazzling iron play factor in putting you on the fast track to partner? Simply put: Zero. Zero times Zero. Zero cubed. ZERO FUCKING INFINITY. On the scale of importance, your golf game ranks far below your ability to actually do something productive and far, far below your personal hygiene. Will it function as a nice ice-breaker with your senior/manager/partner who is also interested in what Davis Love III shot over the weekend? Possibly but will they think, “Ol’ Joe has some game, let’s promote him!”? HELL NO. If that does happen at your firm, then you work for shallow assholes. I’ve seen above-average employees with exceptional golf games get passed over for promotion. I’ve seen above-average employees with exceptional golf games get laid off. IT. DOES. NOT. MATTER. if you can shoot in the 60s on a regular basis. Plus, what the hell are you doing at an accounting firm if you can shoot scores like that?
How golf became one of those things that “makes a difference” is beyond me but it has sure fooled a lot of people. In reality, golf is one of those things that accounting professionals think will give them a leg up on the guy who prefers to practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but in reality that guy is WAY SMARTER than you and, believe it or not, that still counts for something.
It’s the final day of fiscal 2011 in GreenDotville and it seems fitting that we have a little comp discussion:
Word is coming out of the senior manager meeting last week that raises and bonuses are going to be “very good” this year. Of course, those are just rumors, and that’s what the firm said in 2009 when comp increases averaged less than 1% across the board. Other than the mid-year salary bump last fall, there have been no raises, bonuses, or any other incentives to keep slaving away since last summer.
As you may know, Deloitte moved to a decentralized audit planning approach this year, causing hundreds (if not thousands) of additional hours to be added to each engagement. With a shortage of seniors and managers as it is, it’s been close to a breaking point for everyone in the audit function. And, of course, it’s an internal mandate, so unlike the glut of work that came as a result of SOX, Uncle-D is unable to recover any of those costs from clients. Senior management is aware of the problem (Steve VanArsdell said it was the worst busy season he’s ever seen in his 36-year career), but as yet no solutions have been offered other than to say that “year 2” of the new approach should be easier.
Interestingly, the Ivory Tower here at D&T has been suspiciously quiet regarding comp and other issues. Consensus among the employees is that they’re panicked and haven’t yet figured out how to dig out of the hole that they dug for themselves over the past few years. They’ve moved up the timetable on the compensation and rating process by a couple of weeks, which means that we’ll be getting our raise and bonus information in early August instead of mid-August this year (to which, most employees have responded with, “BFD”). To most of us working here, it feels like it’s all going to be too little, too late to win back the loyalty of the current workforce here at Uncle D.
But hey, I hear PwC is hiring!
Our tipster sounds pretty glum for a NYE celebration, so if you can cheer him up with contrary rumors, please do so. Of course, you can always corroborate his suspicions if that’s what you’re hearing as well. And don’t forget to drop all your new leaders a good luck email. Everyone deserves a little thumbs-up on the first day in a new job.