Accounting Firms Want You to Like Them

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Plante & Moran #26 (2011)

Early January marks another edition of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For and unsurprisingly, accounting firms are littered all over it. If it were any other year, we could give a rat crap and would cover the list out of basic necessity. However, this year an interesting development has occurred – the highest ranking accounting firm is not a Big 4 firm. Now we realize that this may come as a surprise to you but P&M has been on the list for 13 straight years, topping out at 12 in 2006, so this is hardly a fluke.

Anyway, let’s get to the tape, shall we?


Plante & Moran – Previous rank: #66. Fortune informs us that good times have returned at P&M after a year off, “Employees cheered when the accounting firm reinstated its annual gathering, eliminated in 2009.” Also, the firm throws around busy season survival kits that include “aspirin, stress balls and candy.” No word if they help employees survive cranky spouses and kids but the line has to be drawn somewhere, s’pose.

Stats of note:
New Jobs (1 year): -61
% Job Growth (1 year): -4%
% Voluntary Turnover: 9%
No. of Job Openings at 1/13/2010: N/A
Most common salaried job: Audit staff with average salary of $64,300
% Minorities: 6%
% Women: 54%

It’s interesting to note that the number of new jobs, % job growth and average salary are all down from last year, while % voluntary turnover is up and yet the firm jumped 40 spots in the ranking. Perhaps the leap is due to a HR policy change from last year: the firm now has a nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation and offers partner benefits for same-sex couples. Regarding these issues last year, we said this:

The firm offers onsite child care during busy season but does not have a nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation nor does it offer domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples.

We’re not saying the latter two reasons are why they fell from #12 but it might help them jump back into the top 50.

Not that we’d dream of taking any credit but could a positive change in human resources policy result in a forty spot jump, despite the salary and hiring stats being down? It certainly didn’t hurt. Discuss P&M’s minor upset and we’ll get to the rest of the firms in due course.

Earlier:
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Plante & Moran #66

How To Get “Monitoring The Conversation” Right

Being an incendiary, I’m used to getting unfollowed, ignored and even blocked (yes @mark_to_market blocked me, Lord knows who else, I stopped caring at 2000) and I’m definitely used to seeing the rats scatter across my stats every time I mention [insert firm or company name here] so it’s obvious to me from my various online interactions that some communications departments are keeping an eye on the conversation.

Since we’re all interested in the accounting side of things, I have to say that I notice more “official-looking” Twitter activity from firms based outside of the US (generally Big 4 coming from the UK or Canada) that leads me to believe most of them are at least keeping an eye on the Google alerts. PwC had the large pair to follow me once, very early on, and probably unfollowed when I started ripping on them for bumbling Satyam. Anyway, someone has to watch what’s being said and a company (or organization) can only choose to engage or not engage.

Engaging, of course, comes in several forms but to vaguely pin down what “engage” means, I’d define it as any activity that alerts others they are listening and/or give a shit.


For Comcast, they swarm Twitter responding to complaints about their crappy service, extortion boxes, and complicated remotes. Not all companies choose to take that route, nor should they be expected to. Protecting or guarding your brand means figuring out how much “engaging” is appropriate as any more or less than is appropriate for your particular organization’s needs will come off as fake, lame or just forced. And no one wants to interact with that.

For Dave and Buster’s, I give them credit for totally engaging me by following me. I’ve been publicly ripping on them for at least a week but I’m not doing it just to be mean, I’d really really like to know what went down with E&Y (welcome to your new gig, KPMG). I’ve never actually been in a D&B and any inquisitive tweets on my part were not returned but so far they haven’t sued me so I guess I’m doing well on that front.

Some agencies choose to completely ignore some of the more “questionable” interaction that isn’t exactly a pissed off customer. They’re already trained to handle that (any social media idiot can teach you how to talk to customers who talk about you in a list of 3 items or more) but they aren’t likely prepared for a fake accounting firm to ask them if newly-single D&B would want to try them out as auditors.

I don’t expect Dave & Buster’s to answer or acknowledge that but following me shows that they are at least aware I’m trying to egg them on and aren’t afraid of my bitch ass. Unlike the fake accounting firm, I’m a voice out there spreading whatever I know about [insert company] to a huge audience. They can’t send me 10,000 free tickets to shut my trap and I’m not exactly making a complaint they can resolve so what can they do? Keep an eye on me?

I admire that tactic. And may leave them alone… I’m more likely to do so if I get a tweet about what happened with E&Y but won’t be holding my breath for that particular @.

Attention: Deloitte Is Handing Out Donuts On Thursday

For crying out loud, this is what we’re talking about people. If you’re in the DC area, get your hungry hippo ass over to Kogan Plaza at The GWU on Thursday from 10 am to 12 pm. Accounting firms don’t skimp on this stuff so consider doing a jay before going and update us on how many you put away.

Any other firms feeding your faces with fried goodness on campus? Better get in on it while you can.

Deloitte is Baiting the New Hires

iphone.jpgOn a day like today, we never thought we’d be telling you about a firm actually spending money but color us surprised.
Deloitte will start issuing iPhones to partners, principals, and directors starting Monday, according to a tip we received and will be available to “eligible personnel on Monday, September 14.”
So the obvious question is who the hell is eligible? The trend seems that senior associates haven’t been getting squat so our money would be on the new hires getting the new toys gadgets business tools in order to write down everyone’s order for take out but we’ll keep our fingers crossed for you SA’s.