Before we recently learned what was happening behind the scenes with workplace services staff and on-site technology support employees at EY, we got tipped off from someone in client technology that his/her and others’ jobs were being eliminated or offshored. After a couple of weeks of not hearing anything else about what was going on […]
We learned yesterday that EY is transitioning the workplace services portion of its enterprise support services team to real estate firm CBRE, which also specializes in facilities management. So workplace services staff have a choice to make: apply for a role with CBRE or voluntarily take an early retirement offer. Today we learned that about […]
I was one of the many lucky individuals laid off from KPMG US Advisory last October. I was catching up with one of my former colleagues earlier and learned that at least 10 people have recently been hired to the group that I was let go from, ranging in levels from associate all the way […]
When the largest public accounting firms in the U.S. had their employees move their battlestations from the office to home in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, we had no idea what was going to happen next. But some accountants who worked at the Big 4 and the top midtier firms during the financial crisis […]
According to a tipster, here’s the latest news regarding employees getting their money back at Armanino, the 21st largest CPA firm in the whole damn nation: Back in April, everyone took a 10% pay cut as a result of COVID. Yesterday [Dec. 17], our CEO Matt Armanino announced during our fourth quarter webcast that the […]
With the stench of the performance-based separations layoffs from a couple months ago still lingering in the air at EY, one person who survived the wide-ranging job cuts told us recently that (s)he is already worried about a similar situation happening across the firm in 2021. Here’s what this EYer said: A few weeks ago, […]
[Updated on Oct. 19 with information about BDO USA.] In case you haven’t noticed, there have been a lot of salary reductions and jobs lost throughout public accounting over the past couple weeks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. And it sucks. So we’ve started compiling a list of firms that have resorted to […]
Let’s see, since the start of the pandemic, EY has done performance-based separations layoffs in Canada, Israel, Mexico, and, of course, the U.S. Now we can add Ireland to the list. This just hit our tipline: Not as impressive as the few hundred pink slips being given out across the US, but it was announced […]
[Updated on Sept. 30 with additional information.] Two days before the start of KPMG’s 2021 fiscal year, massive layoffs unfortunately occurred at the firm on Tuesday. We received confirmation that 1,400 people, less than 4% of KPMG’s workforce, would be notified this afternoon that they no longer have a job with the firm. In a […]
[Updated on Sept. 23 with additional information.] EY management stuck to their narrative today that the recent layoffs at the firm aren’t layoffs but performance-based separations that were justified, even though many of those who have contacted us after losing their jobs said they weren’t on any type of performance improvement plan. First, before EY […]
[Updated on Sept. 15 with additional information.] While EY in the U.S. is continuing to tell people in its tax, risk, and assurance practices that their services are no longer needed, we’ve been told that a second round of layoffs has begun in Canada, particularly in Ontario. A source said: Another round of firings has […]
Ed note: An EY employee who wished to remain anonymous asked us to post this letter to EY management regarding the recent layoffs at the firm because “management tends to ignore our questions when we raise them internally.” Here is the letter: Integrity and honesty are the foundations of public accounting. With great trust, the […]
[Updated on Aug. 10 with additional information.] We heard from another EY employee in Mexico who told us over the weekend that the situation at the firm is “worse than you may imagine.” This person said that the leadership at EY Mexico has allegedly given employees an ultimatum: accept a 15% pay cut by this […]
[Updated on Aug. 3 with additional information.] PwC Australia CEO Tom Seymour said layoffs last month weren’t as large as anticipated—the firm let go of 250 PwCers instead of the 400 employees who had initially been targeted for involuntary departure by redeploying dozens of staff, according to the Australian Financial Review on Aug. 3: Mr […]
Saw this posted on Fishbowl a little bit ago, and I’m really hoping this is just a sarcastic PwCer having a little fun while working and not someone who believes all the tripe that comes out of management’s mouths:If you think this person isn’t being sarcastic and is trying to be a good soldier at […]
Happy Friday, everyone! Hopefully you all made it through this week unscathed and still have your job. Unfortunately for some employees of Grant Thornton, they can’t say the same. We received this tip a little bit ago: Looks like GT will be cutting some advisory people and furloughing new hires and cutting some executive assistants. […]
[Updated on July 23 with additional information.] Another day, another round of layoffs at a top accounting firm in the U.S. This time it’s No. 17 in your scorecard, Dixon Hughes Goodman, which announced on Wednesday that it’s letting go of 125 employees, nearly all of whom were furloughed by the firm on May 1, […]
Sky News reported some unfortunate news today, as the Queen’s KPMG has reportedly told about 200 employees, including nearly a hundred in consulting, that their services are no longer needed: Sky News has learnt that the big four accountancy firm has decided to axe just under 200 jobs across its UK workforce, the latest sign […]
Among the slew of messages we got yesterday regarding the layoffs this week at PwC Canada was this one from a PwCer who was among the hundreds of employees told they were no longer welcome at the House of Marcoux: PwC Canada, just a week ago, was “proud” to announce their new 2020 partners, while […]
[Updated on July 16 with additional information.] Ugh, here we go again. Another big Canadian firm is cutting employees during the pandemic, and the latest victims are from PwC. We got this tip around lunchtime on July 15: Lay offs have started in a few offices in PwC Canada, including me. I’m only aware of […]
This came in through the tipline about an hour or so ago: BDO Advisory US had a RIF yesterday… about 3% of workforce… low performers but also told it was due to economic conditions… guess the comp reduction didn’t “keep our family together.” So the email I got yesterday from a person saying (s)he was […]
[Updated on July 11 with additional information/comments.] A tipster brought to our attention this morning that several people on his LinkedIn feed who worked at PwC in Brazil no longer work at PwC in Brazil as of July 9. Here are a few of the posts, translated from Portuguese to English: And today my journey […]
[Updated on July 10 with additional information.] Unfortunately we are hearing more news of Canadian accounting professionals losing their jobs. Although we haven’t been able to confirm yet if there have been firm-wide job cuts at BDO Canada, we were told by a source at BDO in Vancouver on July 9 that several people at […]
Hearing word today that RSM Canada has started handing out pink slips, and the culprit seems to be lower-than-expected revenues due to a downturn in business caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a source, a practice leader sent out this email to staff on Tuesday: Although as a firm we remain in a strong […]
Today is New Year’s Eve Eve in the Ernstiverse, and with the 2021 fiscal year starting on Wednesday—and with COVID-19 not going away anytime soon—we’ve been told that quite a few EYers in the U.S. will be shown the door soon. Rumors have been swirling for a while now—from 300 of the 3,600 (8.3%) U.S. […]
[Updated on June 26 with additional information.] A source at Moss Adams told me that, according to a video message from CEO Chris Schmidt today, 103 of the 370 furloughed employees were let go on Thursday. [Updated on June 25 with additional comments.] Another sucky day in public accounting during this pandemic. We’ve been told […]
In addition to the 350 or so people who we were told lost their jobs in the KPMG Digital Nexus group on Monday, we learned from a source that at least 40 people in KPMG’s marketing department were also laid off that day. A KPMG spokesperson confirmed Monday’s marketing layoffs this morning but couldn’t comment […]
[Updated on June 23 with additional information.] Another person who will be leaving KPMG involuntarily told us on Tuesday evening that Monday’s layoffs affected more than 350 people in the Digital Nexus group. Fourteen people had over 25 years, I personally have been here for 19. The 350 number came from my manager and several […]
Deloitte, which couldn’t help patting itself on the back last week for forecasting a record-breaking $48 billion in global revenue for FY 2020, has just sent hundreds of more employees to the chopping block. First, the firm sent between 300 and 400 Canadian employees packing in May, then more than 5,000 U.S. employees have received […]
Over the past three months, we’ve chronicled as best we could all the job cuts—which unfortunately have affected several thousands of professionals so far—that have occurred at U.S. public accounting firms during the coronavirus pandemic. Incredibly we haven’t been made aware of or read about any layoffs that have gone down at the biggest accounting […]
[Updated on June 12 with some additional information.] We’ve got some new info to share today, at least from the Deloitte & Touche side of things. A tipster told us the following things were said by D&T CEO Lara Abrash this morning during a call with her audit and assurance peeps: She confirmed what we […]
[Updated on May 20 with additional information.] Nearly a month after RSM US told a slew of underperformers that their services were no longer wanted, we got word on Monday afternoon that furloughs and job cuts have started to hit the firm’s recruiting staff. A source told us: As of right now, it is most […]
We were told the other day that Grant Thornton recently got rid of some GTers who were not meeting their utilization goals. ’Tis the season for cutting loose low performers, regardless of a deadly pandemic and a shitty economy. Here’s the tip we got: They’re “optimizing” people at GT US in certain departments. Digital transformation […]
Just the other day Adrienne and I were chatting on Slack about which public accounting firms among the top 15 or so in the U.S. have we not heard a peep about in regards to job cuts, pay cuts, or furloughs. One firm brought up was Plante Moran. The other was CohnReznick. Interesting timing because […]
We got word recently that the Purple Rose of Chicago Toronto has shown some people the door at a few offices in Grant Thornton’s Southern Ontario Business Unit. Here’s what a source told us: 1. Layoffs occurred on March 30th and April 14th. Appears select few senior leaders in GT are short term layoff decisions […]
[Updated with additional information.] Cherry Bekaert is the latest midtier public accounting firm to tighten its belt during these crazy and uncertain economic times caused by the coronavirus pandemic. We were told that Managing Partner and CEO Michelle Thompson outlined staff pay cuts in an email this morning. The pay cuts will last through July. […]
Unfortunately here’s another top 20 accounting firm that we’ll be adding to our tracker of layoffs and pay cuts in public accounting during the coronavirus pandemic. Wipfli Managing Partner Kurt Gresens announced earlier today that the firm is cutting staff headcount by 5%, according to two sources. One source told us: Some have already been […]
[Updated with additional information.] Rumor had it that the hammer would be dropped on hundreds of RSM US employees on April 21. We can confirm that layoffs did occur on Tuesday in multiple offices, we don’t know how many people in total lost their jobs (but it wasn’t the 300 that was rumored), and from […]
[Updated with additional information.] We just got word that during a presentation this morning, EisnerAmper CEO Charles Weinstein announced that there have been layoffs at the top 20 accounting firm, according to two sources. According to one source, 44 employees were laid off today and those people did receive a severance package (unknown terms) and […]
[Updated with additional information about the layoffs at Weaver.] The other night while I was trying to get some more information about the layoffs at Crowe and Baker Tilly, we got a tip saying that another top accounting firm had just laid off 60 employees. I hadn’t seen these layoffs discussed on Reddit or Fishbowl, […]
[Updated with additional information.] In the past 48 hours, we’ve learned that hundreds of people were laid off at Crowe this week and many others were let go at Baker Tilly. Here’s what we’ve been able to piece together about the layoffs at both firms based on tips that have come in to GC: Crowe […]
We had a bad feeling more public accounting firms would be laying people off this week due to the current economic situation caused by COVID-19. We really hoped that wouldn’t be the case. But it happened. Today. This morning we learned via Reddit that Whitley Penn, which has six offices in Texas, was the latest […]
[Updated with additional information.] Ugh, the hits just keep on coming. We received two tips on Tuesday morning about layoffs going down at Armanino, specifically in Los Angeles and Dallas. But another source told us on Wednesday that the firm’s newest offices in Seattle and Irvine, CA, were hit the hardest; however, we don’t know […]
Another top 50 accounting firm based in New York City has laid off employees during the COVID-19 crisis. We got a tip on April 3 that there was a number of staff layoffs at Berdon LLP and the third-party outsourcing group based in India had also been let go. But our source didn’t know the […]
First it was KPMG Canada earlier in the week, now Edmund Tadros of the Australian Financial Review is reporting some grim news regarding job cuts at the Australian House of Klynveld: Professional services firm KPMG will cut 200 roles and slash the pay of equity partners by almost 17 per cent in response to the […]
While my layoff news certainly can’t beat that of my colleague who shared late yesterday that it’s a bloodbath up at KPMG Canada, I’ve got something a little closer to home as Layoff Watch ’20 rages on. A tipster informed us that Prager Metis staff found out Monday that some were out of a job, […]
[Updated with additional information.] We’ve heard from a couple people on Tuesday morning who confirmed what we saw on Reddit last night about layoffs that have occurred at several different KPMG locations in Canada. Unconfirmed reports put the number of layoffs at around 200 throughout the country. Here’s one message we got on the tipline […]
[Updated with additional information.] Remember that article we posted last week about layoffs? You know, the one about that recent Fishbowl survey that revealed 41% of accountants believe job cuts will happen at their firm because of the COVID-19 pandemic? Unfortunately that became a reality on March 26 for more than 50 people who worked […]
The 2019 financial year at the Queen’s Ernst & Young would probably be considered below expectations. Revenue increased but only by 1.5% to £2.45 billion for the year ended June 30, while profits went up from £472 million in 2018 to £477 million this year. EY’s transaction advisory services and tax businesses both had a […]
“Project Zebra” strikes again. The London Evening Standard has the latest about the bloodletting going on at KPMG. Apparently some people in HR are being told to hit the bricks: The Evening Standard can reveal that KPMG is taking the knife to its internal training team – which it calls Learning Deployment Operations – who run […]
KPMG U.K.’s better-late-than-never belt-tightening endeavor called “Project Zebra” is leaving carnage in its wake almost on a weekly basis. First, about a third of the firm’s 630 administrative assistants are losing their jobs. Then, employees had to give up their work-issued mobile phones. Next, average pay per partner is reportedly being cut by 10% over […]
Let’s face it, 2019 hasn’t been the best year for the Queen’s Grant Thornton, and neither was 2018. Let’s recap: 2018 Stopped bidding for new audit work at the largest U.K. companies. Patisserie Valerie accounting fraud; Grant Thornton was the auditor and is under investigation by the Finanical Reporting Council. Fined £3 million by the […]
Fresh from the rumor mill (and by the rumor mill we mean Fishbowl) comes word that 90 people got the chop at Deloitte Digital. We haven’t gotten any official confirmation on this so if anyone would care to confirm, feel free to give us a shout using the contact information at the bottom of this […]
So sayeth the Financial Times: KPMG UK plans to make redundant about a third of its 630 administrative assistants in a wave of cost-cutting. Between 200 and 250 administrative support staff are expected to leave in the savings drive at the Big Four accounting firm. Those who are lucky enough to remain at the House […]
The Dallas Morning News reported today that UPS is eliminating 64 accounting jobs at its facility in Coppell, TX. The reason? Outsourcing, of course. A UPS spokesperson told the newspaper that the package delivery company is outsourcing transactional finance and accounting work in order to let employees “do more strategic work that can make a greater […]
It’s Brad Preber’s first day on the job as interim CEO of Grant Thornton after now-former CEO and hero of the wastes Mike McGuire noped on up out of that seat. And boy did he have a shitstorm to deal with first thing. Rumors of Grant Thornton layoffs started swirling earlier this week, and no […]
And the winners of the “Asshole of the Month” award are … : Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing says he reprimanded executives for having expensive custom suits tailored the day that mass layoffs hit the troubled bank’s offices in London, New York and Tokyo. Two tailors were photographed coming out of the German bank’s London office on Monday […]
The Charlotte Business Journal reported last week on some doom-and-gloom news for Walmart accountants based in the Queen City: Retail giant Walmart Inc. will lay off hundreds in Charlotte starting later this year as it outsources its finance and accounting operations. The retailer filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification with the N.C. Department of Commerce this […]
There was some big news coming out of Dearborn, MI, yesterday, as Ford Motor Co. said by August it will have given 7,000 white-collar workers pink slips worldwide, a 10% reduction in its global salaried workforce, as part of a restructuring plan to reduce bureaucracy and increase revenue. And accountants are reportedly among those losing […]
Not-so-good news today from the Associated Press: United Airlines says it will cut about 100 accounting jobs in Houston in July and shift the work to a contractor. The airline reported the layoffs in a letter this week to the Texas Workforce Commission. It did not identify the contractor that will handle accounting of revenue […]
Some unlucky folks at Grant Thornton U.K. are taking the hit for the firm’s miserable 2018, which saw GT stop bidding for new audit work at the largest U.K. companies, the CEO not seeking a second four-year term after a partner revolt, revenue dip from £500 million in 2017 to £491 million last year, partners’ average […]
Here's some not-so-fun news that popped up on Reddit earlier with regard to Deloitte telling some tax people that their services are no longer needed: Couple dozen in Chicago, and many more in the local practice offices. Staff to Senior Manager, no-one is insulated. The OP states further, "Hearing rumors that it will be a […]
Here's one from the mailbag: Big 4 in Houston and Dallas have been laying staff off due to "performance reasons." I wonder if this is going to trickle down to other regions as well given the declining oil market. Good question! Here in Colorado, big names like Anadarko and Encana have shed jobs but there […]
ParenteBeard, the largest accounting firm based in Philadelphia with nearly 1,000 partners and staff in 19 offices in Pa., N.J., and N.Y., laid off 22 employees on June 2, including 6 from its Philadelphia-South Jersey region, the rest spread around the firm's network of central Pennsylvania, New York and North Jersey offices. Separately, Albert Miller, […]
It's that time of year when public accounting firms start showing the underperformers the door and we have our first confirmed across the board cut at it has happened at Rothstein Kass. The first we heard of the layoffs was in mid-April when we were informed by an anonymous tip that the firm would be […]
Another one bites the dust (via the tip box): There had been some concern among advisory professionals at EY that there could be a downsizing. It finally happened to me today at the [redated for privacy] office. Told that I appear to have topped out at Sr 3 and would not be promoted this year […]
With regard to the aforementioned cuts, the good news is that some of you got to keep your jobs. The bad news is many still did not: KPMG lost 275 staff following a restructuring exercise to streamline the business. Earlier this year the firm announced it would reduce its headcount by 3% equal to about 330 […]
The firm regrets to inform five percent of their employees, including "a limited number of partners," that they will soon have a lot of free time on their hands: Mazars could make up to 5% of its workforce redundant, as it begins a consultation process across the firm. Accountancy Age has learned staff were informed this week […]
E&Y Down Under is getting into the act, informing a number of people that their services are no longer needed and the word on the street is that some partners may be next: Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young Australia has retrenched 89 staff amid rumours that partner performance is under review and will […]
KPMG has made good on its promise to send over 300 of its UK employees packing, but, reportedly, there's a bit of a surprise for everyone who remains: Some 340 jobs were cut at KPMG following its headcount reduction plan, and a pay freeze has been implemented across KPMG. An internal email to staff said that […]
Last month we learned that KPMG's UK operation announced its "regrettable" plans to tell 300 of its people to hit the bricks. While there hasn't been any other Big 4 firms in the Queendom, the news out of the House of Klynveld has people concerned: The job cuts announced by KPMG could be the start […]
Meanwhile, across the pond, a few hundred Klynveldians will have to find something else to do with their time in the very near future: Staff at the auditor and consultant’s UK arm were told on Thursday that it was conducting a review of several business units after reducing its growth expectations. KPMG said just under […]
The aforementioned forced rankings appear to still be taking effect. A tipster laments: I just got laid off from KPMG's Forensic practice in Los Angeles [and] there were a few other associates in my group that got laid off as well. Our tipster claims that this is only happening at associate level although the layoffs in […]
We're getting word things are becoming a little claustrophobic over at Uncle Ernie's house. From the mailbag: In NY – FSO (EY) apparently there are so many high performers at staff 2 that discussions regarding ratings are still ongoing to help normalize the rankings. "Normalize" is never a good word. Animal shelters "normalize" their populations in the […]
Following up on the news that forced rankings were hitting auditors across the country and rumors that it would be coming to the IT advisory group, the latest word is that various tax groups within the House of Klynveld are also getting into the act: There was definitely chatter in my group (M&A Tax) about […]
Former Olympus CEO Michael "Go ahead and fuck with me, I'm from Liverpool" Woodford took a big risk blowing the whistle on the $1.5 billion accounting fraud at his old employer. In a show of thanks for finding the booboo, the company promptly fired him. A questionable strategy it seems because Mr. Woodford sued Olympus […]
Following the news that the IT Advisory group could possibly force some professionals into the underperforming category, I had the following text message exchange yesterday with a source at KPMG that I'll refer to here as Rudy. Rudy: Did you hear about the layoffs? Me: Nooooo. I just posted about the possible layoffs in ITA […]
A tipster informs us that attrition for the IT advisory group was not as high as expected, which poses a bit of a dilemma: I heard that some of the performance managers are being instructed to give their staff 4 and 5 ratings, as there weren't enough in those buckets. Keeping in mind that turnover […]
Apparently some IT professionals were recently informed that their services were no longer needed: Deloitte have laid off nearly their entire IT staff in Hermitage, TN over the last few days. Rumor is that they will start outsourcing their software development to save themselves salaries, benefits and retirement of employees…many of whom have been there in excess of […]
Three hundred fifty preparers and two hundred locations won't be included in any future tax seasons: Kansas City-based H&R Block said the company plans to eliminate 350 positions and close about 200 underperforming offices. The announcement was part of a broad strategic realignment that the company announced Wednesday. H&R Block said the plans were designed to […]
When informing people that, despite their best efforts, they don't have what it takes to be a resident of the House of Klynveld, management has decided that a pre-recorded message will be best in avoiding uncomfortable situations: An email asked 500 of the firm’s management consultants to dial in to a pre-recorded message giving details […]
More specifically, he was told that his services were no longer needed: Here is the scoop on why I am leaving McGladrey… Given the recent $600 million transaction that McGladrey completed this fall, there have been some resulting changes – one of which is a significant restructuring. As a result, I was informed recently […]
You may have heard some carefully coiffed pols shouting about the need for our government to “cut spending.” If you’re a Republican, this means everything is fair game with the exception of the defense budget. For Dems, it’s entitlements. Since these two sacred cows of the federal budget dare not be touched, all the stuff in between is on the chopping block. One of the easier areas of government for pols to offer up for sacrifice is the Treasury Department, specifically the IRS. Because GOD KNOWS we don’t need “a goon squad 5,000 IRS agents tromping around the country.”
It appears that all the budget thumping has worked and the IRS is looking for volunteers to help move this along:
The Internal Revenue Service has offered buyouts to 5,400 employees as it begins preparing for a likely budget cut of more than 3 percent.
The agency, which had 94,711 workers in fiscal 2010, plans to accept no more than 1,600 buyout applications. A second round of buyouts could follow. The Obama administration has said that as many as 4,000 IRS jobs could be cut over the next year, including some that would reduce tax enforcement and collections.
“This is really focused on trying to deal with the current budget situation and the uncertainty that we’re facing at this point in time,” Beth Tucker, deputy IRS commissioner for operations support, said in an interview today.
IRS officials directed the first round of buyout offers to back-office employees who don’t interact with taxpayers. A potential second set of cuts would affect “a wider range of employees who deal directly with taxpayers in service and enforcement matters,” commissioner Douglas Shulman wrote in a Nov. 4 memo to employees.
First off, putting 4,000 people out of work won’t make for a balanced budget. Secondly, I’m not saying these “buyouts” are actually “layoffs” but if you consider the fact that these “buyouts” include current employees will receive money and not be required to report to their cubicles EVER AGAIN sounds pretty similar to how “layoffs” work. Maybe it’s just me.
IRS Offers Buyouts to 5,400 Employees [Bloomberg]
Sounds like the aforementioned rumored layoffs have begun.
Yes they are occurring and I know as I am one of the individual’s impacted. There was no advance warning. I know one other individual in Philly that was also laid off. We are both in the tax practice. My understanding is that it is nationwide and mostly impacts senior managers.
Keep us updated if cuts are going down at your office.
From the land that brought you Michael Andrew:
KPMG is to push ahead with a round of voluntary redundancies following a slowdown in merger and acquisition activity. The privately-held firm launched the cost cutting program this week, offering voluntary redundancies and part-time working options for its 5000 Australian-based staff.
[…]”We’re seeing a tough, uncertain, challenging and patchy market,” KPMG’s Australian chief executive officer, Geoff Wilson, said yesterday. But he declined to say how many staff would be affected by the shake-up. “While we’re experiencing year-on-year growth, we’re seeing some softening in that growth. [We are trying to] create flexibility in response to the patchiness we’re seeing in the market,” he said.
Crikey. I guess by “create flexibility” Mr. Wilson means, “Your work-life balance is going to get a whole lot easier.”
From the mailbag:
Heard this from a Director in the firm: Deloitte layoffs coming. Lists are made…cuts coming soon. Said a lot of it has to do with thinning out the ranks (too many people jumping ship because their level is top heavy and promotion nowhere in sight) as well as letting go underperformers.
As you probably noticed, 2011 hasn’t had much in the way of layoff news with the exception of some support staff that were cut at McGladrey, Grant Thornton, and KPMG. That said, this seems like an opportune time to kick a few people to the curb. If you wait until November, well, that just looks bad.
Keep us updated with any news and if you’re in the know, get in touch.
If you’ve been in public accounting for a number years, you’ve certainly seen your share of colleagues get shown the door either due to work performance that was not up to par, “a slow down in the marketplace,” or engaging in office antics that are typically frowned upon. This is typically handled in a manner befitting of a professional accountant. That is, a very solemn conversation in a partner’s office with regrets, thanks for service, yada yada yada.
William Ernst (no relation, I’m guessing) is a Bettendorf, Iowa businessman that owns a chain of QC Mart convenience stores, and he was sick of his employees acting up. Fooling around behind the counter, bad language,
smoking grass wearing hats. Poor clerking. To help make his point, Mr. Ernst decided to start a little contest and sent a memo to employees laying out the groundrules:
“New Contest – Guess The Next Cashier Who Will Be Fired!!!
To win our game, write on a piece of paper the name of the next cashier you believe will be fired. Write their name [the person who will be fired], today’s date, today’s time, and your name. Seal it in an envelope and give it to the manager to put in my envelope.
Here’s how the game will work: We are doubling our secret-shopper efforts, and your store will be visited during the day and at night several times a week. Secret shoppers will be looking for cashiers wearing a hat, talking on a cell phone, not wearing a QC Mart shirt, having someone hanging around/behind the counter, and/or a personal car parked by the pumps after 7 p.m., among other things.
If the name in your envelope has the right answer, you will win $10 CASH. Only one winner per firing unless there are multiple right answers with the exact same name, date, and time. Once we fire the person, we will open all the envelopes, award the prize, and start the contest again.
And no fair picking Mike Miller from (the Rockingham Road store). He was fired at around 11:30 a.m. today for wearing a hat and talking on his cell phone. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!”
Any firms considering cuts in the near to intermediate future, could really do well by this method. Although, since we’re dealing with a workforce that’s a little preoccupied with money, you’ll probably have to up the award to $100.
Layoffs occurring at director levels in the support staff and maybe other areas.
This included a director in communications, another in Knowledge Management and “others are forthcoming.” Email us updated with the latest details if you’re in the know.
Apparently a few IT support folks in the South were recently told their services were no longer needed:
I have a friend who works in their Tampa office. He said they’ve let go the few IT support people in his office as well as others in other offices in the region. [This occurred] 3 weeks – month ago.
Hot off the grill from Mickey G’s:
Some people let go at McGladrey. Heard it was like 15 [UPDATE: SEE BELOW] from the corporate marketing department and a few others. Some head scratchers going on. Moved people around including a few changes that have people baffled. People who have no business being promoted promoted.
Earlier in the summer, we heard a rumor about layoffs in the Northern Plains region and at the time our tipster said that the firm “spread[s] the terminations over months instead of doing them all at once,” which has more or less become the norm. ANYWAY, we’re trying to get some more info from tipsters and the firm but in the meantime, drop your knowledge below or get in touch.
UPDATE: A McGladrey spokesperson has informed us that the firm did recently “announce a restructuring of our marketing department to better align with the organizational structure and business objectives outlined by our firms more than a year ago,” adding, “This resulted in the elimination of 11 positions within the marketing organization.”
The head scratching was not specifically addressed. Carry on.
Contributor note: As can happen when assembling posts for a tabloid publication late at night after too many beers and not enough sleep, we bumbled some simple facts on this one. We appreciate an astute reader reaching out to correct us and will spend the remainder of the day in the punishment corner thinking about what we’ve done.
It wasn’t that long ago so all of you should still have PwC’s recent Tampa “scandal” fresh in your minds but in case you need a refresher: 390 PwC employees in Tampa were impacted by a restructuring which left some out of a job and others i h other companies.
PwC fired a little under 500 IT people in Tampa (moving those jobs to an outsourcing firm in India) and that pissed everyone off so to be nice, PwC decided to hire 200 new people and build a new $78 million office smack dab in the middle of Tampa (after hiring 487 employees in Florida for FY 2011). Isn’t that sweet? Well yes, it was, but that wasn’t the problem the press had an issue with. It was the fact that PwC was going to get $2 million (give or take a few pennies) in subsidies for doing it.
That didn’t go over very well (understandably) and as of yesterday, PwC had their Tampa lawyer – one Kenneth Tinkler – shoot a quick “oops, our bad” note to the mayor and city council stating they would no longer seek the $1.1 million “in incentive payments already approved by the City and County.”
Not the kind of firm to be accused of bitching out on a big deal like this, PwC will move forward with the plan to build in Tampa’s Westshore and hopes to have its entire Tampa workforce settled in there by 2013.
“I was very surprised to hear that they were turning down the incentives,” said Tampa City Council member Mary Mulhern, who apparently exercised professional skepticism during the subsidy approval process. “But I am very glad that they have reiterated their intention to stay here.”
See, what happened was apparently the Tampa/Hillsborough County Economic Development Corporation got the facts wrong
PwC fudged the facts a bit when it applied for the money on PwC’s behalf (as is standard), saying it needed the incentives to keep 1,633 jobs in Tampa. At the time, Tampa City Council members and Hillsborough County commissioners didn’t actually know the unnamed financial services firm applying for the incentives was PwC. According to the St. Petersburg Times, a written application made on the firm’s behalf said it had competing offers from South Carolina, India, Singapore and Argentina. But PwC denies that it ever planned on moving any jobs out of the area. “We never considered moving those 2,000 jobs out of Tampa,” the firm’s Florida market managing partner Mario de Armas told the St. Petersburg Times.
Update: Mario later corrected his earlier statement by telling the St. Petersburg Times “PwC has openly communicated to the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. that when it originally evaluated potential sites for the firm’s new Enterprise Solutions Center, the firm was considering either a short-term lease renewal in the existing building in Tampa or constructing a building in Tampa with a long-term lease commitment. Although we did not contemplate an immediate move of 2,000 jobs out of Tampa, a short-term lease arrangement inherently leaves open the long-term question as to where our Enterprise Solutions Center would be located. Instead, our decision to invest in a new building demonstrates a sustained, long-term commitment to the Tampa area. PwC was forthright and consistent in its communications with Florida’s state and local economic development officials throughout this process, and so now we are very much looking forward to our partnership with the greater Tampa community and to maintaining and potentially increasing our work force in Tampa.”
The entire letter from their lawyer is included here for your reading pleasure:
Remember when PwC laid off
500-ish 470 people in the Tampa area last year? The townies weren’t impressed and the local press, including the St. Petersburg Times, was all over the firm about it. At the time, PwC insisted that they would create more jobs in the area to make up for things. Frankly, no one took them seriously and probably chalked it up to “something PR has to say.” So it was a nice surprise to learn that the firm is not only hiring 200 new people but they’re spending $78 million on a “build-to-suit building.”
Typically when these kinds of things happen, the local and state governments like to subsidize a bit of the project and this situation is no different. The firm is reportedly receiving $2 million but a source at PwC, who wants to keep their identity secret because DUH, told me that it’s actually closer to $1.2 million. It consists of approximately $800k and some change from the state of Florida and $1.1 million (yes, I know the math doesn’t work you twerps, so save it, they didn’t have exact numbers) from the city and county, the latter being part of the Premier Business Bonus Program.
Rather than simply say “Thank you, PwC for bestowing your autumnal hues on our otherwise hot, sticky, green and tan town…oh, and the jobs are okay too,” the Tampa Bay Businees Journal is poking around the “$2 million” in subsidies. The focus of the story caused our source to be a little perplexed since, you know, the firm is spending nearly $80 million and hiring 200 people. Not to mention the people that will build the $78 million whathaveyou. Did they think the current PwC employees were going to bring their tool belts and slap together some framing and drywall? Plus, the firm doesn’t get the
$2 million $1.2 million unless they spend the $78 million and they hire the 200 people. 197 simply won’t do (I asked).
Does it make up for the 500 layoffs? Maybe not. But a story about subsidies that probably wouldn’t pay for Dennis Nally’s annual travel? There’s far more interesting things going on in Florida. I assure you.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. […] Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said the investment bank could layoff 1,000 employees globally as part of $1.2 billion in cost cuts.
During a conference call with analysts, Viniar said the potential headcount reduction is “as we sit here now and, of course, things can change,” adding that such layoffs would “come over the course of this year.” Viniar said the cuts could be “some senior, some junior people,” but “it’s really more dollar focused than head focused.” [MW]
Welcome to the I-still-don’t-know-who-Casey-Anthony-is edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. In today’s edition, a tax senior was just laid off from his local firm because of a “lack of work.” Can he jump to a regional or a Big 4 firm without any trouble?
Is your latest raise an insult? Need some rumors debunked? Thinking of giving it all up for your dream of creating the world’s best burrito? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give you the best average advice you’ve ever gotten.
Back to ranks of the funemployed:
Dear Going Concern,
I’m a tax senior and was just laid off from a local accounting firm with about 50 employees due to a “lack of work.” The firm has been losing clients and a lot of the staff has been sitting around lately with nothing to do.
How difficult would it be to move from a small, local firm to a larger, regional one or the Big 4? Thoughts?
A Loyal Reader
Dear Loyal Reader,
Sorry to hear that you got the axe. That’s never a good feeling. If lots of other staff are sitting around twiddling, they’ll probably be joining you before you know it. But forget about them; you’re thinking about your options which is good, so let’s try and sort this out.
You’re a senior associate, so that’s a plus. Most firms, regardless of size, are hurting for seniors so that puts you in a good spot. You’re also in tax which requires a more specialized knowledge base than audit, so that’s a benefit too. Depending on what kind of clients you have served (I’m guessing individuals and small businesses), your best bet is start with the regional firms in your area. Odds are your experience will match up better with a regional firm, so they’re more likely to take an interest in you.
As for making the jump Big 4, this is a little trickier. I’m not saying it can’t be done, as I made the jump myself but it’s really dependent on your experience. If you’ve mostly prepared run-of-the-mill 1040s, chances are they won’t give you much of a look. On the other hand, if you have a lot of work in a specialized area (e.g. transfer pricing or M&A) on your résumé that will catch their eye.
Bottom line is that if you can find a firm that offers services and has clients that match up your experience, you’ll be a good fit. Good luck.
Nationally, after three consecutive years of declines, CPA firms “finally” are projecting positive growth between 3% and 4%, said Allan D. Koltin, CEO of Koltin Consulting Group, a Chicago firm that specializes in the accounting profession. The industry had enjoyed enormous growth and enormous hiring between 2003 and 2007, Mr. Koltin said, but the recession year of 2008 ushered in a dark chapter.
Many firms instituted hiring freezes and made cuts. Most of the 100 largest firms let go of anywhere from 10% to as many as 20% of their accountants, he said. “It probably was the worst bloodbath of layoffs that the accounting profession has had in well over a couple decades,” Mr. Koltin said. “The bloodbath is definitely over. Firms all over the country, Cleveland and everywhere, for the first time are doing serious hiring after a serious drought.” [Crain’s]
Deloitte’s Sharon Allen recently had a little chat with our friends at FINS as part of their coverage of Women in the Workplace series over the next two weeks. Ms. Allen will be coasting into retirement as her second term as the firm’s Chairman (her preferred term) comes to end.
The Allen interview covers all kinds of fun stuff so let’s get to it, starting with those pesky regulators:
Some of us are still getting comfortable to having the PCAOB sticking their beak into audits:
The public accounting arena has indeed changed a lot. It’s now a regulated profession with oversight that’s provided through the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. We are still, both the regulator and the profession, trying to work through that, with the common objective of improving audit quality. We’re learning how to work within a regulated environment that some years ago we just didn’t live with.
None of the firms chose to be the “Big 4” it just sorta worked out that way:
Just last week, we were talking at our global board meeting about how the profession got narrowed down to this number to begin with. The last reduction wasn’t the choice of the profession with [Arthur] Andersen out of business.
And speaking of four, she’s pretty comfortable with that number:
You have to have concentration of enough business to service the clients properly. If you spread that across eight firms, there just isn’t enough that supports that kind of that activity. In some of the major countries, the additional number of firms make sense, but when you look at it across the world, it doesn’t work. We’re not opposed to the competition; there are next-tier firms that are very good, and we encourage them to be in the mix in terms of proposal opportunities. It’s healthy. But the reality is the concentration will and probably should continue.
Term limits have somewhat led to SA’s retirement but there’s at least one person who’s especially happy about her quitting early:
I’m approaching the end of my second four-year term as chairman. We have a limit of two terms. While I’m not at mandatory retirement age yet, I concluded that it’s a really good time to make this move. I’ve had a fabulous 38-year career. But I’m also very comfortable with the transition leadership and the state of the firm. It’s a good time for me to leave at the top of my game. My husband is looking forward to spending more time with me.
FINS went ahead and asked Allen about the leadership election process, even though they already knew how the process went down.
We have a nomination process that we undertake. We interview through a nominating committee chosen by the board. They interview about 1,300 partners for their input on the type of attributes they’d like to see in the chairman and CEO positions. Then the committee interviews some individuals who match up with those qualities and ultimately proposed the nominated person.
One of the biggest challenges Allen has faced as Chairman was dealing with this clusterfuck of an economy. Luckily for the Green Dots out there, Deloitte management saw this coming and was able to save a bunch of you:
We were a little ahead of the game in anticipating the downturn that allowed us to prepare well for the difficult times to come. We had some reductions in our workforce, but they were not as substantial as they might have been had we not appropriately planned for the downturn.
And as a high-flying executive, there has to be coping mechanisms:
[Julie Steinberg of FINS]: How do you handle all the travel you do?
[Sharon Allen]: I drink a whole lot of water. I’m also fortunate to be able to adjust to time zone changes relatively easily. I work on domestic flights, and I do take my iPod and my computer.
JS: What are you listening to these days on your iPod?
SA: I’m a country music fan.
Chesney just came to mind for some reason (FYI Sharon: I can get you into the sold-out Red Rocks show, so reach out if you’re interested). But maybe she’s more of Toby Keith person, I can’t possibly know not having had the pleasure of seeing what ended up on the cutting-room floor. You’re invited to speculate as to artists (I’m pulling for Willie Nelson myself) and react to anything else you see above.
Deloitte’s Sharon Allen on Big Four Domination, Self-Promotion and the Corporate Lattice [FINS]
Earlier: Deloitte’s Sharon Allen Never Misses Date Night, Discovered Early on That She Wasn’t Meant to be a Car Hop