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December 2, 2022

Someone Looked Up Audit Senior Salary Ranges at the Top 25 Firms to Catch Them Breaking the New NYC Pay Transparency Law

Time Square in New York city by night

A week ago, u/DoritosDewItRight visited the websites of the top 25 public accounting firms to find out if they’d listed reasonable salary ranges for open positions, as required by a new law effective November 1 that requires employers in New York City — or employers of employees who will perform their work in New York City — to list a salary range on all posted job ads, promotions, and transfer opportunities. Any business with at least four employees (including the owner) where at least one employee works in New York City is covered by the law.

Doritos chose audit senior positions for their research since that tends to be one of hardest to fill roles. If the firm didn’t operate in NYC, then they looked up their salaries for Colorado, which has a similar law in effect, and if they didn’t have posting in either location, they looked up fully remote roles which are included in both NYC and CO transparency laws if the job can be performed by a NYC or CO resident. (I’m sorry, Doritos, I basically just copy pasted what you wrote here. I’m tired ok)

They then conveniently uploaded the results in both crunchy imgur jpg (embedded below) and Google Sheets form:

a screenshot of research into accounting firms and pay transparency

Here are their notes and observations:

  • I assigned compliance grades in column C, based on if they provided salary info and included a reasonable range. About half (12 of 25) of the firms are received an “A” grade, most notably KPMG.
  • Firms that provided wide ranges received worse grades. Deloitte’s claim that they might pay an Audit Senior in NYC $58,100 is ridiculous. And PwC’s range of $74k-191k is obviously flouting the “good faith estimate” requirement
  • Of the firms that provided reasonable ranges, the highest salary band was CornRedneck CohnReznick at $135,000. Not bad!
  • Six of the top 25 firms are openly violating the law. I’ll cut a little slack to Carr Riggs Ingram, who has no physical presence in NYC or CO and probably wasn’t aware that the law applies to remote workers too. RSM, BDO, and Baker Tilly are the three large national firms who are noncompliant and really ought to know better. But the most egregious firm has got to be EisnerAmper, who is headquartered in NYC and has chosen to hide their salaries anyway.
  • FORVIS is delusional if they think they’ll find a senior in Denver for $70k

r/accounting has asked them to do the same thing with tax next.

On a related note, the Colorado Sun wrote a long and interesting piece about pay transparency over the summer, the gist of it being only three employers have been fined for non-compliance with the pay transparency law that went into effect on January 1, 2021. The state can issue fines of between $500 and $10,000 per violation.

When the Colorado law first went into effect, some employers were simply excluding Coloradans from their remote jobs to get around the law. The CO Department of Labor put an end to that, hiring a temp to “scour the internet” to find these listings. The state then sent nasty letters to these employers and warned them that they had any presence in Colorado, they must comply with the law or get fined up to $10,000 per violation. This isn’t supposed to be a problem anymore but the site Coloradoexcluded.com maintains a database of job listings that exclude Colorado employees and currently shows 24 companies avoiding hiring in Colorado.

In case you need it, here’s the pay transparency factsheet from the NYC Commission on Human Rights:

NYC Salary Transparency Law Factsheet by Adrienne Gonzalez on Scribd

As of November 1, employers are required to provide salary ranges on job posts in NYC, so I made a list of what the top 25 firms are paying audit seniors. I also noted which firms are breaking the law, including RSM, BDO, and Baker Tilly. [Reddit]

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3 Comments

  1. Where did you look at the job postings? Company website or Linked In? I noticed that some companies had them listed on their internal site but it wasn’t included on Linked In.

  2. The PWC range looks accurate based on the broad scope of the law. The range is not NYC based resources, but any resource that may work in NYC. I would venture to say KPMG only listed NY-based positions, because that is not what they pay in the Midwest, so they are the ones not accurately reflecting their pay range for that position across anyone who may work in NY.

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