Holiday Parties Cancelled!

PwCers Got a Holiday Concert, What’d You Get?

It’s about that time to start comparing what paltry branded goods everyone is swapping in the name of Christmas (or Hanukkah or winter solstice or whatever it is you choose to celebrate in this, the last mile of the year), a favorite pastime of accountants everywhere. We’re hearing PwCers were treated to a “concert” (via […]

Operation Bear Hugs Debrief

Thumbnail image for Tim_Bear_King_jpeg.jpgSeriously Kylnveldians, we were hoping for a stellar report on last Friday’s nationwide Bear Hugs but so far we’ve heard nothing (other than some people were bolting early to get their drink on).
We’ll take your radio silence as admission that you had an awesome time and that not having an open bar rager wasn’t so bad after all. Besides, it’s for the kids.
There’s video of the New York Office’s get-together over CBS2 where we learn that there was actual sewing involved and a dancing bear to keep everyone entertained.
Share your thoughts on the experience including if your bear’s head ended up on its ass, if you couldn’t resist spiking the punch, or if you were MIA and what your punishment is.

Will Tim Flynn and Phil Mickelson Have to Cancel Their Sweater Vest Exchange?

Thumbnail image for mickflynnsanta.jpgWho knows if there is such a glorious event but if there is would TF put the kibosh on it to set a good example?
Since Deloitte is opening up the cafeterias and training rooms (Boston is up Friday!) and E&Y FSO is getting down at TOTG this may inspire the less fortunate of you to take matters into your own hands.


If, that is, your firm doesn’t wag their finger at you first. According to John Carney over at Clusterstock (via JDA) Team Jehovah has explicitly told (via voicemail) its angels to NOT have Christmaskuh parties in their homes:

The firm has canceled its annual holiday party, just as it did last year. It also instructed the smaller business units that they should not organize their own smaller parties, which had been a long tradition at the firm. The parties are banned even if no firm money goes to pay for them.
But Goldman employees were surprised to hear that even parties within private homes fall under the ban. The firm apparently believes that it would be inappropriate for its employees to be seen partying while the economy is still so shaky and unemployment is so high.

We realize that accounting firms aren’t quite as high on Heaven’s org chart but it’s entirely possible that your office could follow suit. Celestial hierarchy and all.
We’re inclined to believe that TF will do what’s best for the firm but canceling a time honored exchange of sweater vests — with a golfer that can keep it in his pants — would be a tough decision.

The KPMG Dress Code Now Accommodates Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Ugly Sweaters 130.jpgAt least for one day, anyway.

You’re all acutely aware that many firms are opting to forgo holiday parties this season in favor of charitable activities.

Regardless of your desire — and our sincerest hopes for you — to get cop-slugging drunk on your firm’s dime, the commitment of time to charity is admirable. KPMG is spending an entire day building bears and wrapping them with books. We’re not sure how that will work but whatever.

As an added bonus, we heard that at least one office is attempting to make things more festive:

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If some of you aren’t able to get behind the celebration of hideous Clark Griswold-esque sweaters for the sake of sport, shame on you. In fact, since the charitable activities are mandatory (as we understand), we’d go so far to suggest that the donning of ugly sweaters should also be mandatory. Judging by many or your fashion proclivities, this will be as easy as opening your closet.

Will PwC and KPMG Reconsider Canceling Their Holiday Parties?

mickflynnsanta.jpgDoubtful! But with the news of sugarplums dancing in some Big 4 heads, we got to wondering if any of the offices of KPMG and PwC might reconsider the firm-wide kibosh on the Holiday jamma-lamma-ding-dong.
Maybe this would be a coup d’état of the highest order but we’ve heard of offices going rogue in the past, so it’s worth mentioning.
Perhaps we’re expecting too much but it seems possible that partners in your local offices could rally the troops by pooling together some of their own cash and springing for cheese trays a few kegs of Beast.
Partners, you wouldn’t necessarily have to let anyone use the bathroom (especially the new associates, we know how they overdo it). You could set up Rent-A-Johns in the driveway.
Because as it stands right now, it appears that Bob Moritz will only be handing out fresh undies, and Tim Flynn will argue that the Phil Mickelson sponsorship is the gift that keeps on giving. That may fly with some but certainly not all. Discuss your hopes for an eleventh hour fiesta in the comments.

Rumor Mill: PwC Jumps On the Cancel Christmaskah Bandwagon

Thumbnail image for pwclogo.thumbnail.jpgFollowing the Grinchy yet charitable ways of KPMG and E&Y, rumor has it that P. Dubs is passing on holiday parties in all offices and donating $1.5 mil to charity instead.
Odds on Deloitte making a similar announcement prior to Halloween to complete the Scrooge Superfecta are currently going at 5-2.

Rumor of the Day: E&Y Considering Coal in Your Stocking

Possibly following the Radio Station’s lead, E&Y’s New York office is giving consideration to ix-nay on the Holiday Party-nay.
This really makes sense since 5 Times Square is in the middle of all the action, everyone can go to TGI Friday’s instead. Separate checks of course.
E&Y did not immediately reply to our request for comment.

For the Record

Radio Station NYC finally sent out the email today notifying everyone that the fiesta in Times Square got the kibosh. FTW.

KPMG Incommunicado?

We’re getting mixed reports on the email going out to Radio Station employees about canceling the one thing to look forward to in the month of December.
We heard the email got sent out to some offices in the West but also that New York hasn’t heard a peep so we’re getting suspicious if the big dogs in NY are reconsidering their Grinchiness.
Let us know whether or not your visions of sugar plums have been dashed or not in the comments.

KPMG Cancels Christmas Hanukkah Kwanzaa the Holidays in August

8ball.jpgTo round out the year, KPMG is kindly reminding everyone about the SPEND SMART initiatives implemented this year and with just two months to go in the fiscal year, the Radio Station has decided that some additional belt tightening is necessary.
We understand that the email we received will be sent out by each Office Managing Partner to each individual office. We have not received confirmation that employees have received the email. We are reaching out to KPMG for corong>See the Firm’s statement below.
According to the email obtained by GC, Radio Station’s leadership has decided that all offices will suspend this year’s holiday office parties. Instead offices will host “community service events” between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. We find this commendable that the firm wants to give back in this fashion but we imagine some of you probably would probably still like to get your holiday party drink on.
Some other cost cutting measures for August and September include:
Check out the entire text of the email, after the jump


To: All Partners and Employees
From: ANY OMP
Additional SPEND SMART Initiatives
First, I want to thank everyone in the ANY office for following the many SPEND SMART initiatives that the firm has implemented this year. Your compliance with the firm’s travel and meetings policies, as well as careful management of other costs, has enabled the firm to reduce our expenses by hundreds of millions of dollars.
In spite of some indicators that the economy may have hit its lowest point, businesses everywhere are still feeling the impact of the economic crisis, and that includes our firm. And while there are indications that the economy is at the beginning of a recovery, no one can accurately predict how long that will take.
With that in mind, the Operations Committee has identified some short-term cost management initiatives for travel and meetings that–if implemented immediately–can help us begin FY 2010 in a stronger position. Those measures are outlined below and remain in effect until October 1, unless otherwise noted.
During the next two months, the firm will be reviewing all of our Time and Expense policies to align with our cost structure for FY 2010 and beyond. However, we’ve made one decision now that will impact the way we celebrate the holiday season.
Community Service Event
The end of the calendar year is traditionally the time when KPMG offices hold parties to celebrate the holiday season. A great deal of time and planning go into these events and they are a great opportunity for all of us to get together in a festive atmosphere. However, given the impact of the economy on so many people’s livelihoods, people throughout the firm–at all levels–questioned whether there would be other ways we could create this same sense of community during the holiday season while giving back to those in need. After careful thought and consideration, firm leadership has decided that all KPMG offices will suspend this year’s holiday office parties and instead host a community service event between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
You may recall that last year, in lieu of a holiday gift, the firm donated a full week of meals to families in need through an organization called Feeding America. In total, we donated 1.6 million meals in the communities where we live and work.
This is a tremendous way for all of us to come together to help make a meaningful difference for people in need during the holiday season. You’ll be hearing more about this effort and how you can get involved later this fall.
In the meantime, please do all you can to follow the SPEND SMART guidelines we announced in October and the additional initiatives I’ve outlined below.
Meetings and Travel
· Additional Travel Restrictions – Airfare is one of our largest travel expenses. Currently, our policy provides partners and employees with a choice of airlines when traveling. Until October 1, the travel team will book the lowest cost flight for your destination and travel times, regardless of the airline. We also ask that you continue to limit non-client travel as much as possible, and verify the criticality of all international travel.
· Car Service – Until October 1, car service may only be used when a taxi or one’s own car is not available. We also ask that you use taxis for transportation to and from airports, rather than a car service. If taxi service is not available in your city or area, or the cost of using a taxi exceeds that of using a car service, a car may be used. We will continue to honor our car service policy for employees required to work past 8:00 p.m. during winter and 9:00 p.m. in the summer; however, we expect that during August and September the need for this service will be rare. Click here for information about our transportation policy.
· Meal Reimbursements – During August and September, we are putting the following policies in place regarding meal reimbursements:
Lunch – Lunch for partners and employees while traveling will not be reimbursed since this is a meal that one would buy during the workday regardless of location. We will continue to reimburse lunch meetings with clients.
Non-client Meals – During these two months, the firm will not reimburse non-client meals held outside our offices. Meal expenses for those traveling for internal training or meetings are subject to the expense limits allowed by our meal policy. As always, team leaders should use their judgment when ordering meals for groups working overtime.
Cell Phones, PDAs, and Other
· One Mobile Device per Person – Effective August 1, we will no longer reimburse individuals for both a cell phone and a TreoTM or Blackberry®. People who have both devices have the option of adding phone service to their PDA. If you wish to keep both devices, you will be charged the full price of service for one. In addition, per our existing policy, we will deduct $20 a month from everyone using firm-supplied cell phones or PDAs. We also encourage you to review your current plan to determine whether you need all the features to which you’ve subscribed. To learn more about the various mobile plans available to you, please click here.
· Inter-office Mail: Use Scanning and e-Fax – Going forward, we will be looking at ways we can reduce the cost of handling interoffice mail, including the frequency of delivery. In the meantime, we encourage you to make use of all the technology available within the firm to send documents between offices, including scanning documents that can then be e-mailed to colleagues or clients. When scanners are not available, make use of our e-Fax capabilities. Check with your local OneStopOps group to learn more about these services.
In closing, both the ALL partners and I want to thank all of you for your ongoing support of our SPEND SMART initiatives. Your efforts have made a difference and we continue to welcome suggestions to help our office and the firm run more efficiently.
Even more important, we want to thank you for your high-quality service to our clients. We all know that these are difficult times, but that is why our clients are depending on us to deliver our highest standards of service and professionalism.
Thank you for your continued support.
UPDATE, 5:51 pm EST: We reached out to KPMG regarding the Grinchiness and we were provided with this statement:
“Like businesses everywhere, we’re identifying cost-saving opportunities that will provide the most benefit while still allowing us to provide high quality service to our clients.”