Early July is usually when compensation discussions start for the denizens of RSM, fka McGladrey, fka McGladrey & Pullen, fka RSM McGladrey (a division of H&R Block). Lo and behold, very early this morning, a tipster sent us a message: RSM comp thread? Partners begin communicating July 6th through 20th. Normally, we might wait awhile […]
Earlier this year, McGladrey announced that they would be dropping the "McGladrey" from their name and adding "RSM." The new initials goes official on Monday across the globe so I imagine many partners will fling soon-to-be-obsolete letterhead in their hearths this weekend, watching with a mixture of pain and longing as the paper turns to […]
Have you heard? The accounting profession is in crisis. The unemployment rate for accountants is at 2.2 percent, making it almost impossible for a licensed CPA to collect unemployment; and baby boomers are retiring like Brett Farve in 2006 and 2008 and 2009 and 2010, which means that younger CPAs are going to get promoted […]
The PCAOB released its inspection report for the accounting firm soon-to-be-formerly-known-as McGladrey yesterday and it's not the best but it's not the worst, either. Out of 15 audits selected, the inspectors found deficiencies in 7 of them. Most of the issues related to AS No. 5 and AS No. 13. It's all pretty shrug but […]
Some restless Mickey G’s (soon-to-be RSM) employees have been tapping on our shoulders this week:
Stay out of it, golfer. @McGladrey strengthens position as trusted advisor to middle market leaders globally – to rebrand as RSM in October!” — Davis Love III (@Love3d) June 11, 2015 [Earlier]
Yesterday, McGladrey announced they would become RSM. It was an inevitable move for a firm that has had a brand identity crisis over the years. McGladrey LLP today announced it will adopt RSM as a common brand name, uniting with fellow firms of its global network RSM International to further strengthen the organization's position as the […]
Here's a story of hedge fund of fund guys doing hedge fund of fund guy things — onshore fund, offshore fund, master fund, an investment advisor, along with a couple other affiliated companies — and not being very good at some of the finer points: An SEC investigation found that Alpha Titans LLC, its principal […]
Immaterial! Our Philadelphia office celebrating Pi Day! 3.14159265359… #McGladreyCareers #LifeAtMcGladrey #PiDay http://t.co/ChNIIJQDmE — McGladrey Careers (@LifeatMcGladrey) March 13, 2015 Presumably, these Philly McGs are auditors because you KNOW the tax folks will be celebrating the real Pi day at the office tomorrow.
Fresh from the tip box this week, we discover that McGladrey CEO Joe Adams is "personally" trying to get his people in the spirit of the season. Busy season, that is. Yes, please send your kid Joe Adams' regards for celebrating her birthday without you yet again. After all, it's all about that McGladrey experience!
Back in October, we learned that BP was upset with McGladrey over the firm's audit of BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill victim compensation program. The problem? Money, of course: With audit costs allegedly running nearly tenfold over budget and no audit in sight, BP last week asked a federal court to force the claims administrator […]
As we know, BDO and McGladrey have both been on a very busy acquisition streak lately. BDO picked up one of Ohio's biggest firms with SS&G and then grabbed UHY's Texas practice. McGladrey, meanwhile, gobbled up sub 100 firm Cole + Reed out of Oklahoma. We're talking apples and oranges when it comes to size, […]
McGladrey LLP, the nation's leading provider of assurance, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market, announced today the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all the assets of Cole + Reed, P.C., an Oklahoma City-based firm and member of the McGladrey Alliance, subject to the terms and conditions of the transaction. […]
McGladrey isn’t just clinging to the billable hour, they’re trying to put a ring on it.
We were too busy yesterday making AS5 jokes about KPMG to talk about McGladrey's 2013 PCAOB inspection report, which was released at the same time. McGladrey is used to warming the bench over Big 4 firms so we figured they could wait for us to get around to it. The news is pretty good, at […]
While no one else was paying attention, McGladrey quietly gobbled up a Cincinnati accounting firm, completely dominating the middle market for the fine state of Ohio. First Ohio; next, the world. According to Cincinnati Business Courier: Battelle Rippe Kingston has reached a definitive agreement with Chicago-based McGladrey LLP in which McGladrey will acquire "substantially all […]
We're coming straight out of Comp…ensation today with word that McG is joining the comp party with talks that started late last week: I just wanted to mention that McGladrey has started their compensation meetings so you may want to create a thread at this point. Consider your wish granted, young man. Two things: this […]
Joe Adams has a date at NASDAQ this afternoon: In conjunction with the upcoming "Trends in Business Development Companies" (BDC) conference on Tues., June 10, McGladrey LLP, the leading U.S. provider of assurance, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market, will visit the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square. The BDC conference is co-hosted […]
Well, the PCAOB is slowly but surely cranking out more 2012 inspection reports and today, McGladrey gets to celebrate an accomplishment: being better at auditing than Grant Thornton (though I suppose given GT's embarrassing audit failure rate, that isn't saying much). Not only that, they're slightly better than EY and only slightly worse than PwC. […]
People say a lot of crazy things on Twitter. I know I have. But this guy just said the craziest:
You need to go over to WSJ to read all about how BDO is aggressively gobbling up firms in order to get that much closer to the Big 4's backside. Here's a nibble: BDO, one of the midtier accounting firms below the Big Four, has been aggressively trying to grow faster under Chief Executive Wayne […]
McGladrey has had a great February, folks! First, they got news that they moved up one spot and are now #4 in the critical Minneapolis/St Paul market. And now, they are the seventh largest management consulting firm in Massachusetts. #7! They had to beat out, like, at least 3 other firms and a guy named […]
You can believe everything you read on the Internet, especially when it comes from an accounting firm because trust! Like this bit from McGladrey: Bottom Line — McGladrey clients are more likely to retain us than our competitors’ clients are to retain them. McGladrey measures client and competitor loyalty as part of a broader client […]
Remember your first internship? The thrill of getting that company-issued laptop, of learning the ropes, of being mentored by senior staff in things you didn't learn in college like how to get a coffee order right? Well the McGladrey winterns are busy blogging about it, let's check in with Jamie, a tax intern in Iowa […]
So we're trying to figure out which Manning had it worse — the one who got embarrassed in the Super Bowl or the one who had a long chat with McGladrey and special guests in front of a sponsored backdrop? @EliManningHub shared his #SuperBowl experiences and discussed leadership on and off the field with […]
Can't embed, sorry. The McGladrey card can be found here. You will be GLAD you wasted the 30 seconds of your life clicking it.
You can sort of tell this is not going to end well as soon as the camera pans out and you spot Bloomberg Senior Economist Joe Brusuelas' white socks. It all goes downhill from there. In this chaming fireside chat with McGladrey's Joe Adams and McGladrey client Shurtape Technologies CFO Don Pomeroy, Joe reminds us […]
Unless you work in a soul-sucking environment with a bunch of glory hogging superiors who are constantly kicking you down, you will get several opportunities to showcase your intelligence during your careers.
Well we know who will be serving sparkling grape juice and Sociables crackers later today to celebrate the wonderful news: McGladrey Wealth Management LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor owned by McGladrey LLP, was recently ranked as the nation's 28th largest Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm in Financial Advisor magazine’s 2013 ranking of Top Registered Investment […]
Yesterday was a big day for the gang at Mickey G's as new partners and principals were annointed: McGladrey Promotes 35 to Partner/Principal – http://t.co/fwD7t6eMZu — McGladrey (@McGladrey) October 1, 2013 The 35 is 11 more than last year's partner class of 24. And because it's a firm of the little guy/gal, the non-partners got […]
The man who once led McGladrey as its managing partner, Dave Scudder, is now returning to the firm he once led, McGladrey, as…well, not managing partner. It's a…well, here, read the Mickey G's press release: McGladrey LLP, the nation's leading provider of assurance, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market, recently launched a […]
On Wednesday we reported that McGladrey's Great Lakes leader David Shane was leaving the firm. It seemed a little unexpected given the fact that the announcement was on Monday and Shane would gone on August 15th, but a commenter reminded us of a story we reported on a couple of years ago: Perhaps unrelated to […]
We've heard from a few people that McGladrey's Great Lakes Regional Leader David Shane is leaving the firm and it seems a little unexpected. Mickey G's CEO Joe Adams sent this message out on Monday: I’d like to inform you that David Shane will be leaving McGladrey effective August 15. Jim Mansk will act as […]
If you're of the House of McGladrey and you can't find the compensation thread, let me point you this way. Since conversations started on Friday, reactions are just starting to roll in and will continue through next Friday, but one source responded to our question of people's expectations this way: Tempered would be a good […]
Historically, mid-July is when things get rolling at McGladrey and yesterday we received the first notice that things were starting this week. Email went out that compensation and bonus discussions would begin on 7/12 and conclude by 7/26. I think a McG comp thread is in order. So you have all of today to gird […]
Nebraska – the birthplace of both the McRib and TV dinners as well as allegedly the "Happiest Place in the Nation" – is about to get happier: McGladrey — one of the nation's leading accounting, tax and business consulting firms — has opened an office in Lincoln. The company announced this month it has opened […]
This guy on Reddit is a tad upset (not to mention a bit preoccupied with fellatio as it pertains to earning brownie points in public accounting): I hate the corporate accounting world, and small private firms suck too. I don't want to get too into depth. Just a long rant and hoping someone can offer […]
These are your new McGladrey National Industry Leaders: Alternative Energy – Dustin Petersen (Des Moines, IA) Business and Professional Services – Barry Rosenthal (Chicago) Consumer Products – Carol Lapidus (New York) Federal Government – Mark Waterman (Vienna, VA) Financial Institutions – Jeff Baker (Des Moines, IA) Financial Services – John Hague (Chicago) Gaming – Keith Stoneburner […]
You have to admit it — auditing is a rough gig. You're expected to meet expectations of both regulators and clients, all the while, keeping enough employees on hand so the job can actually get done in a reasonable amount of time. Oh! Then there are the investors; they fit in there somewhere (or so […]
HEY, everyone remember that really sloppy audit that 3 (then) McGladrey & Pullen auditors got smacked on the wrist and/or face for when the PCAOB found out they threw in a bunch of necessary documentation after the fact? Jonathan Weil over at Bloomberg seems to have unpuzzled the whole thing and is saying the mystery […]
Everyone knows if you're going to add evidence after an audit is over, you have to do it before the documentation completion date and you better be sure to document the additional material thoroughly. But for McGladrey (then McGladrey & Pullen) auditors Dale Arnold Hotz, Jyothi Nuthulaganti Manohar and Michael Jared Fadner, an impending PCAOB […]
Welcome to Rock the Recruitment Season. We'll be winding up the 2012 series very soon so if you still have a question about recruiting season, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with "Recruiting Season Questions" in the subject line. The recruitment season questions have slowed to a trickle, so you best get them in while you can, […]
As you may have heard, there’s a bit of a storm brewing on the east coast. Everything is more or less closed but if your firm is of the general opinion that the heavy stuff won’t be coming down for quite a while and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be at the office until the lights go out, please let us know (and some pictures might be nice).
Welcome to Tuesdays with More Anxious Accounting Recruits. Have a question about recruiting season? Email email@example.com with "Recruiting Season Questions" in the subject line. Just a friendly reminder – if you have received an offer from a public accounting firm, by all means, share your excitement with us. We've received a fair amount so far, […]
Twenty-four lucky lads (18) and ladies (6) got seats at the big table as partners or principals on October 1. Joe Adams is busting: “Each of our new partners and principals demonstrates McGladrey’s values of respect, integrity, teamwork, excellence and stewardship in their interactions with our clients and with one another,” said Joe Adams, managing […]
Perhaps Kenny G isn't your cup of tea but the combination of working at McGladrey and, say, a musical taste similar to Paul Ryan's, this morning's development could result in you considering anger management. From the mailbag: So I pulled up Pandora this morning as I got into the office and rather than music, I got […]
Are you wondering what happened to Colin's numerous typos? Curious why we don't let interns run our Twitter account? Want to see me virtually pie a failed CPA exam candidate on Skype? Editorial questions, comments and complaints are welcome, just don't expect us to actually read them. Hey there cynical GCerz I have a question […]
We received a tip last night and confirmed this morning that Mickey G's is putting a big stake in the ground in Chi-town. We may not beat the press release, as the news should be announced any minute in conjunction with the Chicago Mayor's Office. All McGladrey employees got word this morning but Managing Partner […]
As we continue to trudge on through the heat of compensation season, we finally heard from one of Mickey G's sherpas: Promotions are being [communicated] from 7/6-7/20 and then raises and bonuses are being announced 7/20-7/27. Soooo blue and green archers, discuss and kvetch as you see fit but we'll just remind anyone who thinks they'll […]
It is common knowledge that very few public accounting grunts go on to make partner. There are a multitude of reasons for that; some people just aren't that driven, most can't put up with the amount of crap required to get to that level in your career and a handful are smart enough to realize […]
Considering interviewing with McGladrey? You might want to reconsider, lest your email inbox get blown up 2 years later. Or just hit the unsubscribe button the first time they follow up with you. Consider yourselves forewarned. From the tip box: Hello, I'd like to share with you the continued failure that McGladrey thrive to be. […]
Being an auditor for a public accounting firm is a tough job. There is extensive travel, complex accounting rules to learn, client expectations to manage, partner egos to massage, and long hours to work. All for very little money and even less gratitude. Fortunately, leaders within these firms try to assist their auditors in various […]
Kevin Hudson is not quite the bounder that Reznick Group's Joe Mudd is, but he has seen a few firms in his day: [Prior to Grant Thornton], Hudson served as a National Director with McGladrey’s Private Equity Services Group and was their Regional Private Equity Leader for the Northeast and Southeast regions. He has more than 19 years of […]
This just in: Just wanted to let you know that there will be a McGladrey webcast from Joe Adams tomorrow. Last time we checked in with McGladrey, they were experiencing technical difficulties that drew the concern of many employees. Luckily, it was all a mix-up and things have, as far as we know, returned to […]
Let's say you work at McGladrey. You arrive at your office on this particular Monday thinking about all the fun you had this past weekend. You're chatting up co-worker as you debate Coffee-Mate flavors and then mosey back to your Herman Miller to settle in for your morning dose of news and email. As you […]
Way back in June of 2010, RSM McGladrey (aka McGladrey) and McGladrey & Pullen (aka McGladrey) announced that they would be branded under one name – McGladrey (aka McGladrey). There was a giant cake in the shape of a putting green – that NO ONE jumped out of – to celebrate the occasion and one office even […]
Similar to the Purple Rose of Chicago, our tipster informs us that Mickey G's needs seniors/supervisors badly: CPA policy In 2010 a change was made to the CPA policy requiring the completion of two parts of the CPA exam before an associate could be promoted to senior associate. Going forward, we have decided to eliminate […]
The PCAOB continues tearing through audit firms like a Texas twister on a random Tuesday during tax season, as it unleashed its fury on McGladrey yesterday. How bad was it? Well, Deloitte can certainly feel better about itself. The Board reported deficiencies in nine of the nineteen (~47%) audits inspected. Deloitte, if you remember, had […]
Newly-minted KPMG billboard, Stacy Lewis is defending her title at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, and as luck would have it, she's been paired with fellow accounting firm check casher, Natalie Gulbis: Off at 12:46 today with @natalie_gulbis! Perfect pairing for the day, can't wait for the first tee! — Stacy Lewis (@Stacy_Lewis) March 29, 2012 […]
This story is a bit stale, but we're running with it anyway. The Sedona, Arizona Fire District ("SFD") engaged McGladrey to perform a special audit to evaluate its management and spending. SFD paid $190,000 for the pleasure, and at a recent meeting of the Governing Board, it was expressed by SFD Business Manager Karen Daines […]
The Kansas City Business Journal reports that former McGladrey President (and former Andersen Global Managing Partner) C.E. Andrews had his employment contract terminated by H&R Block yesterday. But don't worry, his landing will be nice and soft: According to a separation agreement, Andrews will receive cash payments totaling $957,226, minus deductions. He also will receive […]
Rose Gonzalez, 59, drove her Nissan into the front of the New Bern, North Carolina McGladrey location yesterday which is as funny as it sounds. It's okay, no one was hurt. Mickey G employees said she was there to sign her tax return and it must have been a doozy because Ms. Gonzalez claims she […]
As many of you are aware, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue hit stands yesterday with the typical fare. Prior to the rise of the Internet, this was probably one of the most important dates on the calendar of the average American man. Now that porn flows like wine, there's very little left to the imagination […]
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 […]
This just in from a tipster (confirming a Tweet that was pointed out to us) inside the newly reconciled laugh factory known as McGladrey: All McGladrey employees are getting a 3G iPad January 3rd. We found out in a big conference about our rebranding and RSM buyout. It's still technically "company owned" so it's probably […]
Back in August, we learned that 1040 factory H&R Block was putting RSM McGladrey (aka McGladrey) out to pasture. By all accounts, H&RB was pretty excited to get rid of RSM (aka McGladrey), as the business was a bit of a drag on the rest of the company.
Crain’s reports that the deal finally closed today and at least one McGladrey (aka McGladrey) partner is equally excited to have their old RSM (aka McGladrey) back:
The move means the reunited McGladery, which has 6,500 employees—600 of them in New York—should be better positioned to compete against such industry-leading firms as PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte. “We are a great alternative to the Big Four,” said Tom Ferreira, who heads McGladrey’s Northeast practice. […] “We’re happy to be independent again, all together under one roof,” he said.
Your loss, H&RB (not aka McGladrey).
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Residents of the blue and green arches got news of their raises (or lack thereof) back in July and the results were mixed. Some we’re pretty happy while others could barely afford to celebrate with their own punch and cake party.
One way or another, the sound of the incessant bitching reached someone of importance in the Great Lakes Region because a tipster passed along the following:
Intended Audience: External Client Service Associates through Directors
You said it – and we listened. During this past performance review our leaders delivered what they thought was a ‘good news’ message about your October 1st salary increase. “The market is flat, business is below plan, your performance is great, and this is really a good increase – all things considered.” And yet, many of you still felt that your hard work and long hours and extra effort was not being recognized.
Now it’s time for us to step up and do what is right – for you! YES – You’re important to us and important to our success. You work hard all year and pull out all of the stops during the ‘busy seasons.’ Interesting phrase, “busy seasons” – we are always busy, and then there are those times when we feel we have delivered more than we even thought we could deliver. To recognize this and thank you for your hard work and commitment to our clients, effective October 16th [Yes, this was three days ago], you will be receiving a base salary increase! These raises are in ADDITION to any October 1st increases which were communicated during the most recent annual review cycle and will show up in your October 31st paycheck. The increases were determined by level and applied consistently across lines of business and geography. Anyone hired on or after May 1, 2011 are at market so no salary adjustment will be made.
There was a great deal of thought that went into the decisions that were made to continue to move salaries in the right direction. We looked at the market and considered how quickly it has moved, we revisited our competitors’ compensation data, compared this to what you are earning and what you could earn in comparable jobs at other accounting firms, and then made a decision to make adjustments so it is even more competitive than before.
You deserve this – and we’re glad you shared your thoughts with us so we could make some changes.
The Great Lakes Management Team
Well, this sets a very dangerous precedent, doesn’t it? Any year too many Mickey G’s employees find themselves slightly dissatisfied with their raises, they’ll simply piss and moan until someone at the adult table gets annoyed enough?
The questions now are 1) What the second raise will be? 2) Will that will satisfy the masses? 3) Would handing out autographed posters of McGladrey-sponsored golfers have solved this whole problem?
Your reactions are welcome below.
They were so unimpressed with it, in fact, that they are fining the firm $900,000 and partner David Shane $100,000 to settle up.
Mickey G’s issued an unqualified audit opinion for One World Capital Group’s 2006 financial statements and also stated that the company’s internal controls were just fine and dandy. Neither of these things turned out to be true. And when you read the CFTC’s press release, you really have to wonder if anyone was really auditing this company:
[T]he order finds that One World’s 2006 financial statements were materially misstated in various ways including: (1) the 2006 Statement of Financial Condition states that liabilities payable to all customers were over $6.9 million, when in fact information available in One World’s records showed that it may have owed at least $15 million just to forex customers alone, for whom One World served as the counterparty; and (2) the 2006 financial statements materially misstated the nature of One World’s business by failing to reflect that One World served as the counter party to its forex customers for over 90 percent of its business, according to the order.
In addition, McGladrey failed to report material inadequacies in One World’s accounting system and internal accounting controls, including the lack of a customer ledger, and an accounting system that did not properly identify the number of forex customers or the amount of customer liabilities, according to the order. These material inadequacies reasonably could, and did, lead to material misstatements in One World’s 2006 financial statements, the order finds.
Back with another edition of “Decide My Life for Me – Public Accounting Edition.” Today, an antsy Big 4 employee in a large city wants to know if moving to second-tier firm in small city will mean a demotion or cut in salary.
Do you have trouble matching your socks? Need help making sense of your cryptic performance review? Are you worried that someone with a bun in the oven is also capable of doing their job? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will try to straighten you out.
Back to our “Should I Stay or Should I Go” du jour:
I was curious if you had any information on employees jumping from Big 4 firms (auditing) to upper-mid-tier (i.e. McGladrey). Do you find that they are often promoted? I am currently in a large city and am uninterested in staying in the city long-term. I was thinking of moving to a 300,000 person city with some firms like McGladrey, Grant Thornton, etc. If I am jumping ship as a senior or manager, where should I expect to come in at? Same level? Same salary?
Had it with Big 4 life, eh? Let me guess, the groupies got to you, didn’t they? Every damn time.
As to your inquiry, here’s the deal – you won’t be promoted if you decide to accept a position with McGladrey or Grant Thornton. Why? There are a few reasons: 1) You don’t have the experience; 2) You don’t have the experience; 3) You don’t have the experience. We all know that Big 4 auditors think they’re pretty special and that anyone who doesn’t soil themselves after looking at their stellar résumés followed by an immediate job offer is simply stupid. So it comes as a shock to many when this scenario doesn’t play out. As far as second-tier firms go, they definitely want Big 4 talent when they can get it but they’re aren’t about to throw you a bone because you worked at E&Y Chicago or PwC New York.
What you can expect – if you’re senior associate or a manager at a Big 4 firm, you can reasonably expect to be offered (not a guarantee, obv) a similar position at GT or Mickey G’s that you currently have. If you’re moving to a smaller city, you could see a similar salary but you should not expect a raise. You’ll receive the market rate for your position in your new city. The firm may put you at the high range of pay for your group but be prepared to be reminded of that fact come merit increase time.
Anyone made a similar move with different results? Share below.
Pack up your white pants and seersucker suits – Labor Day has come and gone which means only one (actually important) thing: college football is back. You NFL loving freaks can have your Sundays of Hollywood-produced sport; I believe the good Lord created Sundays solely as a recovery day for college football fans. Well, for that and drunk brunches, of course.
It is no secret that good ol’ Caleb is a vehement Husker fan, he only reason he’s given me the green light to churn out a post comparing your respective accounting firms to the likes of fried-butter-eating college football fanatics.
I can only pray that my effort will inspire the semi-regular infusion of sport, accounting, and bantering commenters around here, so I give you the “Accounting Firms If They Were A College Football Program” top nine rankings. Grab your body paint and come along for the tailgate.
Team: Oklahoma Sooners
First Take: Both are always in title contention but seem to shit the bed come Pay Day. Deloitte raises are on par with the Sooners’ BCS bowl record under Coach Bob Stoops (2-8).
Keep it in the Family: During Hurricane Irene, Deloitte encouraged employees to bunk up together, obviously a practice long in use in Oklahoma.
Sputter, Sputter: Sooner alum Blake Griffin jumped over a KIA at last year’s NBA slam dunk contest. A certain Deloitte consultant also prefers a certain overused and washed out mode of transportation…
Team: Oregon Ducks
First Take: They’re in the news for legit (raises, hurry-up offense) and controversial (fireside chats, BCS infractions) more often than you’d like. Also, their team colors are atrocious.
Hotties Everywhere: PDubs has Ireland. The Ducks have these ladies.
Just Pick One Already: PwC doesn’t churn out new logo/uniform re-designs as often as the Ducks but both cause a stir when they do. Whether the changes for either team result in better winnings has yet to be seen.
Firm: Ernst & Young
Team: Ohio State Buckeyes
First Take: You hate going up against them, but even if they do win, you’re thankful you’re not affiliated with their alumni.
Compliance? What Compliance? Former coach Jim Tressell thought it best to let a tattoos-for-autographs program run its course. E&Y is apparently doing the same with this minor Sino-Forest sitch.
Questionable Mascots: The poisonous nuts of the Midwest are no match for the Black & Yellow guy.
Team: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
First Take: Still talking about that big win in 1983. An exodus of leadership. The general public has gone from loathing them to just feeling bad for them. Give it up, you’re no longer the powerhouse you (thought you) once were.
Johnny Be Good. The Chairman is also a proud ND alum. Need we say more?
Empty Promises: We’re going to win it all! We’re going to hire thousands!
Firm: Grant Thornton
Team: Northwestern Wildcats
First Take: As hard you they try to be tough, they’re still nerds dressed in purple.
Off-the-Mark Advertising: GT – the lack of aligned teeth took some bite out of your full-page WSJ ad. And Dan Persa for Heisman – really? Your mom for Heisman.
Firm: Rothstein Kass
Team: Boise State Broncos
First Take: First it was a feel-good story but their continued rise through the ranks is pissing off the traditionalists.
The-Anybody-But-The-Other-Guy- Vote: Whether it was Boise’s ridiculously fantastic win over Oklahoma years ago in the Fiesta Bowl or RK’s dominance in the Going Concern March Madness pool, oftentimes their fan support stemmed from us just hating their competition more.
Team: Missouri Tigers
Only Take: You’re supposed to be on this list; we know you belong on this list; we don’t know what you’ve done to deserve being on this list.
Team: Penn State Nittany Lions
First Take: Your parents would have been pleased if you went there but better options awaited you.
Race to the Retirement Home: JoePa is 84 and coaching from the press box. Rumor has it Jack Weisbaum calls the shots from his personal tanning bed.
Firm: CBIZ/Mayer Hoffman McCann
Team: University Buffalo Bulls
Only Take: You think you’re a big deal, but really everyone uses you as an exhibition punching bag.
How’d we do? What team best parodies your firm? Share it in the comments below.
With firms, anyway.
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.
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A communiqué from last week, “Caleb, I believe comp discussions are taking place at McGladrey.”
So I asked around and yes, it appears to be true. In fact they started awhile ago. From deep inside Mickey G’s:
Some people from my office started having discussions about 2 weeks ago. One guy being promoted from staff to senior, who received a 4 rating, received a 8.5% raise. I was promoted from Senior to Supervisor, received a 5 rating, so I received a 13% raise and $3,500 bonus.
Good morning capital market servants. I know the first day back from an epic holiday weekend is a tough pill to swallow, as many of you couldn’t bear the thought of returning to work today. And because some people like to prolong the agony by taking today off, I’ll do my best to take you back to last Friday. A McGladrey reader dropped this note after I checked out for the day.
The company leaders have recently rolled out this lean working platform [GC coverage here]. They are trying to say work smarter not harder. What most people think lean means though is “do more with less” which is trademark of this company. CE [Andrews] and Joe [Adams] talked on a webcast the other day and they were trying to rile us up. What for? So in the end, they can tell us “despite our great efforts there isn’t money for salary increases”.
CE and Joe and other leaders are all excited about letting the entire firm off at 3 p.m. Friday., July 1 for the weekend holiday WOW! Don’t get too crazy CE and Joe, not 3 p.m. on a Friday? Holy cow!
When Steve Tait was President [of RSM McGladrey] we would get two days off during the Fourth, but under new leadership we get to get off at 3 p.m. on Friday? What a deal. What work-life balance. No wonder we make Working Mothers top 100 each year. Oh and you know what, the firm took away summer hours too…all because they want us to focus on ongoing flexibility…and working lean, which means no one can take time off because departments are too lean.
It’s 3 p.m. now on Friday, and boy I am lucky to be off. Nevermind most employees checked out – officially or unofficially – a few days ago already. I am sure major accounting and tax deals are going down right now on this holiday weekend, but we were fortunate enough to get off at 3 p.m. What a joke!
I think I might get a small putting green cake to celebrate!
Many firms – we’ve confirmed PwC and KPMG – gave their employees last Friday off, which does make for a nice four day weekend. And our tipster is correct, early July is a pret-tay, pret-tay, pret-tay slow time of year for accounting firms so a 3 pm let-out for a Friday before the grandest, pyrotechnic digit-losing holiday of the year might feel like a slap in the face.
That said, if you’re so bent out of shape about it, why not use some PTO (God forbid!)? You’re completely in control of this situation, friend. You want an extra-long weekend? Make it happen. Expecting accounting firms to just hand you a four-day weekend is a little bitchy and you have no excuse if you have a grip of PTO banked. Don’t make the same mistake come Labor Day.
Who knew that being able to ask all the questions you want is how you have a good busy season?
Via Success Starts Here, the McGladrey career blog meant to give you “[a] view into what it’s like to work for McGladrey”:
Starting as a new hire in Audit at the beginning of busy season was a little intimidating since not only were the hours lengthy but there was so much to learn. Would I be able to learn and understand things quickly? Were the clients nice? Would my team have the time or patience to sit down and teach me about the Financial Services industry? Those were the questions running through my mind during the first few days of orientation.
As I progressed through busy season, the hours got longer and the work load became heavier. I noticed the more work I was assigned the more questions I would ask. Thankfully, my team was very easy to work with since they were more than happy to take time out of their busy schedules to sit down and walk me through certain audit procedures. Knowing that I was free to ask any of my superiors questions made my first busy season experience that much easier.
The associate goes on to describe a bright spot in her busy season, 20 minutes taken to eat cupcakes sitting outside with the Private Equity gang. “Sitting outside and eating a simple cupcake made a world of a difference for the rest of the day,” she writes. Can you imagine having the kind of job where you appreciate the opportunity to take a cupcake break? Oh wait, I forgot who I’m writing for…
Not to be distracted by memories of that cupcake, Emmy wraps up on a positive note (it is unclear whether or not this is a requirement to post on the Success Starts Here blog) “As busy season came to an end, not only had I learned so many new skills but I also kept thinking to myself ‘It wasn’t that bad.’ Even though the hours are long and the work can be a little tougher in the beginning, working with a great team can make a world of a difference. It reminds me that I’ve made a great choice by choosing to work at McGladrey.”
Conveniently enough, McGladrey has added a jobs tab to its Facebook page if this entices you. All you self-loathing masochists out there know what to do.
There are a few things that you take for granted when working at a public accounting firm. First, your superiors will take you to nice lunches. This practice starts at the top and trickles down to the lowliest associates getting approval to throw steaks at interns. Second, you get a computer. It may not be the greatest piece of technology you’ve every used but rest assured, you won’t be crunching numbers using a pencil and paper. Third, you get tchotchkes. Tons of them. Pens, Nalgenes, poorly knit polos. The works. All of the firm swag your little heart desires can be yours. So it’s especially shocking to learn that McGladrey has a “McGladrey Store,” where items can be purchased. We don’t have a copy of the mail-order catalog but it’s safe to assume that there are items emblazoned with “McGladrey” in ample supply.
I learned of this “store” because Mickey G’s is rolling out a “Work Smarter” initiative so that the firm’s employees can maximize their time doing “high-value” work. What “high-value” entails is not entirely clear but presumably it doesn’t involve doing “research on blogs.” ANYWAY, McG boss C.E. Andrews emailed the troops to encourage them to take an online training to learn a few “Work Smarter” tips and to get the creative juices flowing so that they can submit their own “Work Smarter” ideas to the brass. For the first 25 employees that manage to throw out ideas that aren’t completely awful, they will receive “$50 to spend at the McGladrey Store.”
After the training, you will probably find yourself full of good ideas on how McGladrey can Work Smarter. Don’t keep them to yourself! Share them through our Lean thinking website and be eligible to win prizes. The first 25 people who submit an actionable idea will win $50 to spend at the McGladrey Store.
Our tipster in this matter, expands with some details:
[T]his “lean fundamentals” initiative seems irritating similar to KPMG’s “Next Step” program that I’ve seen come across your website. The dangling carrot of $50 in McGladrey bucks (cash value: 1/100 of a Monopoly bill) is particularly patronizing. Just another example of the cheapskate culture that seems to ooze from the brass at Mickey G’s these days…unless of course we’re talking shelling out for putting green-sized cakes and headlining golf tournaments that take place during the freak show of the PGA season (aka the”Fall Series”).
Unfortunately, Oanda doesn’t have a exchange rate for “McGladrey bucks” so there’s no way for us to confirm this valuation at this time. Regardless, it’s still not obvious if the $50 is enough to get you a stress ball, let alone a chance to take Natalie Gulbis out for drinks. We’d love to see a product list with prices in order to confirm/disconfirm some of our suspicions, so do get in touch with any particulars.
The cakehole fillers at McGladrey announced a contest last week where the winner will caddy for Davis Love III at the McGladrey Classic Pro-am. All you have to do is submit “a creative photo and short essay explaining why you should be Davis’ caddie.”
Of course you’ll have to know DL3 inside-out and upside down, just like the folks at Mickey G’s [Someone who] understands my needs, my game, and my love and passion for the game of golf.” Right. Needs like making sure that there is a fresh pair of pants available for photos should Dave win the tournament, keeping John Daly’s hillbilly ass out of earshot and verifying that the McGladrey people put “Davis Love III” on the checks.
Welcome to the botched-BJ edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. In today’s edition, a first year at McGladrey doesn’t feel comfortable recommending his former college classmate for any openings at his firm. How does one handle breaking the news to the interested party that they don’t have what it takes?
Ever have trouble controlling yourself in an appropriate manner? Are you getting the sense that you’re being set up to fail? Ever feel like you’ve got enemies all around you? Email us at email@example.com and we’ll try to get you out of a bad situation.
I’m a first-year at McGladrey. For the second time in the past month a former college classmate of mine has requested that I recommend him to the powers that be at our firm for any openings we may have.
I don’t think that either of these people would fit into a major public accounting firm either socially or in terms of talent. What is the appropriate etiquitte for this situation? I doubt I’m the only one.
Dear Natalie Fanboy,
I’d be really interested to hear why you think your former classmate wouldn’t fit in “socially or in terms of talent.” Do they still have trouble getting through Goodnight Moon? Does he/she have terrible body odor? Do their social skills border somewhere between “Did you look in the mirror before you left the house?” and “We can’t take you anywhere!”? These details would prove helpful.
I’ll move on. Most firms have an automated method of submitting referrals and I’d be shocked if McGladrey didn’t have something similar. If Mickey G’s does have a such a process, just throw your classmate’s résumé into the machine and it will get sorted out one way or another. If your suspicions are correct (i.e. your friend has no chance) then it’s likely nothing will happen.
If McGladrey doesn’t have such protocols in place and it is based on the ol’ résumé handoff, then A) Tell McG HR to get their shit together and B) simply explain to your friend what it’s like to work there before they start claiming this is their dream job. Is a career at McGladrey really what this person wants or did they recently come to the conclusion that clocking hours on PS3 won’t get them too far in life and they’ve go to do something?
The other thing you can do is impress upon your friend that you’re a first year associate and they barely let you have lunch, let alone recommend former classmates to TPTB at the firm. That is, the odds of anything happening are slim. If your he/she persists, explain what the expectations are (i.e. hours for the pay, other things that make it less-than desirable) and that people fail left and right. Basically, let this Mickey G wannabe know what kind of situation they’d be getting themselves into. This will allow you to indirectly present the reasons you don’t think this person might not fit in without explicitly pointing out their shortcomings.
Now, if they still are begging you to take their résumé, I don’t know why you wouldn’t just pass it along and see what happens. Hell, if they were to get hired, you might even get a bonus out of it. You got something against money?
That, according to a report in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal:
At risk are millions of dollars, the company’s reputation and the entire health care practice now led by a Minneapolis partner, according to a lawsuit recently filed by the accounting, consulting and tax firm against the three rainmakers who went to New York-based J.H. Cohn. Bloomington-based McGladrey and the former partners said they’d rather not discuss the dispute. Public records show that McGladrey is seeking a federal court order to keep the partners away from their clients
And unfortunately, that’s all we know. The MSTPBJ is behind a paywall (and my publisher is currently not springing for a membership) so we can’t really tell you much more than that. But we do love a good Benedict Arnold story, so we called around and are anxiously awaiting both firms to call us back. In the meantime, if you’re in the know get in touch or discuss below.
Joe Adams is 30+ year vet of the firm and gets some high praise from the M&P Chairman of the Board, Jerry Bourassa, “His commitment to quality and McGladrey’s success make him an excellent choice for the Managing Partner position. I’m looking forward to working with him in his new role overseeing McGladrey & Pullen’s national strategy and business operations.”
Joe takes over for Dave Scudder who turned in his papers back in February. Joe was kind enough to give Dave a nod of appreciation in the press release, “I’m looking forward to these new responsibilities, and continuing the excellent work that Dave Scudder did in this role.” He gets the big chair on May 1st and we assume cake and punch will be served but an appearance by Natalie Gulbis has yet to be confirmed. [McGladrey]
Now that we’ve reached the Final 4 without any Big 4 firms (all bounced in the first round), some of you may have lost interest in Going Concern March Madness: Coolest Accounting Firm. Well, that would make you a loser and anyway, we must press on! Face it, you’ll go for anything to distract you from the fact that you’re stuck inside whispering sweet nothings to Microsoft Excel while spring is slowly emerging outside. And it’s a pretty compelling Final Four anyway. Let’s take a look shall we?
So you’ll notice that we have the very interesting match-up between Moss Adams and Grant Thornton, the two firms that have subject of merger rumors (unfounded!) since January. Obviously the winner here will enjoy the upper hand in any future negotiations between the two firms, so anyone from either firm wishing to upset the leverage here would be wise to take a page from the Reznick Group strategy book.
Speaking of Reznick, we briefly mentioned the fact that their first round magic was nowhere to be found in round two. A tipster filled us in as to why:
I think the higher-ups were embarrassed by the public calling out and subsequent mockery in the comments, not a single other email went out about it – reminders about the competition or the beatdown they suffered at the hands of the commenters 🙂 Serious loss of billable hours that day too, everyone kept checking the site all day long for more comments, emailing and IMing each other about it.
So make a mental note – if your firm’s leadership has a thin skin and isn’t down with wasting a number of billable hours, the Reznick strategy may not be the way to go after all.
Moving on to the second match-up we have the perennial dark horse Rothstein Kass against McGladrey. Rothstein continues their hot streak in GCMMTCAF after their impressive performance in this year’s Vault rankings and McGladrey is…well, we’re pretty surprised to see McGladrey in the semi-finals, to be honest. Perhaps there are sweet incentives being offered internally but right now we haven’t been made aware of any such temptations. Anyway, McG has quietly made a run, so it makes for a decent showdown.
All right, enough with pleasantries. Let’s get to the voting. Polls close tomorrow night at 11:59 PT.
First up – GranMA
Cinderella vs. Mickey G’s.
The two highest remaining seeds – Grant Thornton and BDO – are looking defeat square in the face right now to their respective opponents – Crowe Horwath and Rothstein Kass. First round comeback kid Reznick Group is currently getting worked by Moss Adams which makes should make us all wonder what happened to the teamwork we saw in the first round. Perhaps they’re a one-trick pony?
Finally, in the least talked about match-up, Mickey G’s and Dennis Rader’s favorite firm (ideas for something better are welcome) look like they’ll be taking it down to the wire. There’s just over thirteen hours left to vote, so get the word out sooner rather than later (sorry Clifton Gunderson).
McGladrey has announced that this busy season will be managing partner Dave Scudder’s last. Technically, Scudder is the MP of McGladrey & Pullen but honestly, we were confused about the whole situation after the rebranding.
The McGladrey & Pullen, LLP Board of Directors announced today that Dave Scudder, managing partner and member of the Board, has decided to resign as the managing partner of the Firm effective April 30, 2011.
“Dave is highly respected by the partners and has lead the Firm through significant change,” said Jerry Bourassa, Chairman of the McGladrey & Pullen Board of Directors. “He has contributed tremendously to the success of the Firm and has been an exemplary leader.”
The Board has commenced a selection process to ensure a smooth and timely succession and transition.
“I believe the Firm is well positioned to continue its success in serving our target markets including private equity groups and their portfolio companies along with our public and international companies practice,” said Scudder.
Scudder will continue to assist in the transition through at least June 30, 2011, and will continue to represent the Firm in various professional and industry organizations during this time.
So you could easily conclude that DS just figured it was time to move on after spending the last 24 years at the firm. You could also easily conclude that with all the excitement that has occurred at firms with various forms of “McGladrey” in the name may have taken its toll with Scuds or perhaps with the McGladrey board. Then again, they could be making room for another golfer that isn’t Natalie Gulbis.
Reactions and speculation are welcome at this time.
Last month, we shared some bonus news with you courtesy of McGladrey that included a couple of extra days off (including tomorrow), access to baby/pet/parent sitters and yes, there is money involved.
Maybe because there are only less than two shopping days, some people are getting impatient:
Well, it’s the morning of our last day of work before the holiday break and employees still don’t know if they are getting a holiday bonus. It was stated to us bonuses are back but no communication has been sent out. What are they waiting for? Many people are on vacation already since we are off Thursday and Friday. Is Santa going to deliver it to each of us individually?
You think they could communicate that. Or maybe you have to be a hot shot partner to get a bonus. I for one know I will be pretty pissed off if there is no bonus, especially after the company wasted all that money on a 144-foot cake that went to waste earlier this year.
They can talk about how great we all are and what we have to do in the coming years but it’s all hogwash if they don’t give us a bonus. I know one thing, Steve Tait [former President of RSM McGladrey] would have made sure we got bonuses…will C.E.?
– Disgruntled in McGladrey Land
We have three main points here:
• Ranting about “no bonus” after a lengthy email from C.E. Andrews and Dave Scudder explaining that there would be bonuses could easily misconstrued as “psychotically cynical” but perhaps there have been broken promises in the past. If so, we haven’t been made aware of this.
• The email C.E. and Scuds stated “the pool will grow based on our year-end performance,” and “In January, we will be introducing a new program to provide real-time recognition and monetary rewards,” so maybe “nice” is virtue in Minnesota but “patience” obviously isn’t.
• We hate to break this to you but Santa Claus will not be delivering your bonus. Santa Claus is not real.
A few people, apparently.
The “prestigious 2010 McGladrey Achievement Awards” are only given once a year (we think) and while C.E. Andrews realizes everyone is doing their part, there are a few people that need special recognition, “While all of our employees are focused on the client, these award winners are being recognized as having gone ‘above and beyond’ to ensure client success.”
But enough with the boilerplate, on to the names:
This year’s winners include:
• Dalia Pearson (Ft. Lauderdale) was recognized as Employee of the Year for her can-do attitude and excellent customer service
• Michael Sher (Chicago) was recognized as Partner/Managing Director of the Year for his strong work ethic, industry expertise and his industry knowledge.
• Jennifer Murtha (Melbourne) was recognized as Career Advisor of the Year for developing talent, cultivating teams and relationships and helping to shape the firm’s future.
Individual and team awards were also presented for relationships, excellence, integrity and unity. Team awards included the Great Lakes Core Tax Team, Ohio Private Equity Growth Team, Building Trust Through Service Engagement Team, the Olympus Capital Audit Team and others.
Obviously this is stupendous news but what we’re curious about now is, what does extra-special people receive for such a prestigious honor? A year’s worth of bragging rights is a given but is there any money involved? As much punch and cake as their hearts desire? A lunch with your Mickey G’s-sponsored golfer of choice? We need answers. Or wild-ass guesses.
Welcome to the your-day-can’t-be-worse-than-Julian-Assange’s edition of Accounting Career Emergencies. In today’s edition, a college student who accepted a fulltime gig with McGladrey is spooked after reading some kvetching about the firm on this here site. Did he make a bad choice?
Caught in a jam at work? Thinking about blowing the whistle? Concerned that the washrooms at your office aren’t sanitary? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for lawyer recommendations or hand-washing tips.
Back to the morose McG soon-to-be:
I am a college student in the Southeast region of the United States. I am a graduate student and have accepted an offer to work full time at McGladrey (audit) in this region.
I have seen so many negative remarks on your website from comments and articles about the company, that I am somewhat concerned with my choice of firm. I seemed to fit in really well with the people at the office, and I enjoyed the office visit. I received offers from the other middle market companies (GT, BDO), but I felt best at McGladrey.
Seeing comments that compare McGladrey to McDonald’s is a bit disconcerting considering the fact that I have spent so much time and effort in college trying to gain a good job with security.
My ultimate question is, did I make a bad decision? Is McGladrey really THAT bad, or is it comparable to the other mid-tiers? To me, it seemed to meet the standard of the mid-tiers.
Please help me figure out if I need to try and make a move before I start.
Dear Unhappy Meal,
In case you haven’t noticed, the peanut gallery here at Going Concern is a cheeky bunch (love!) and your concern about the comments that you’ve read on various posts is a little overblown, in our opinion.
For starters, trust your instincts. You made the best decision based on your experience with the three firms you mentioned. Now, all of a sudden, you’re spooked because you read a few comments comparing McGladrey to McDonald’s? Have you read the comments on the Grant Thornton threads? They are, at the very least, on par with the spouting on the Mickey G posts.
Secondly, our most recent post about McGladrey was news of extra paid time off, concierge services, bonuses and babysitters. Babysitters! Does that sound like such a bad place to work? Yes, it’s the McG brass giving you the “we appreciate your hard work and this is our show of thanks” line and that always invites skeptical reactions but you show us one firm that doesn’t experience some backlash and we’ll show you firm that doesn’t exist.
So to answer more directly – you didn’t make a bad decision because you went with your gut. You made the best choice for you and not based on what you heard some anonymous commenter say. Go forth with confidence, grasshopper.
Last week McGladrey announced the promotion of 21 lucky ducks to the big kids’ table. Mining the comments, you would find some indication that even with the 21 newbies, the number of partners is probably a net negative due to “laid off and departing partners.”
We received a tip recently that seems to echo these thoughts, telling us that a number of managers and partners have left the Minneapolis office, including a “head partner.”
We asked around and discovered through another source that this “head partner” was a gentleman by the name of Will Roche, a veteran of the firm:
I am not saying but just saying no one in is happy in Minneapolis. Will Roche was forced out after 34 years
And through another non-McG source we were able to confirm that Mr. Roche is no longer with the firm. So! Maybe it’s a simple case of out with the old, in with the new at Mickey G’s? If that’s the case, is C.E. Andrews next? Dude is pushing 60. Discuss below.
Oct 01, 2010 – MINNEAPOLIS (October 1, 2010) — RSM McGladrey, Inc., and McGladrey & Pullen, LLP, leading providers of assurance, tax and consulting services under the McGladrey brand, recently announced the promotion of 21 employees to partner/managing director roles, effective Oct. 1.
“Our new partners and managing directors have demonstrated the power of truly understanding our clients’ needs and proactively contributing to their success,” said C.E. Andrews, president and COO for RSM McGladrey. “They display the firm’s core values of relationships, excellence and integrity every day in their interactions with clients, potential clients and with one another. It’s a pleasure to recognize their significant contributions.”
“These employees have consistently proven their ability to gain a deep understanding of our clients’ businesses, aspirations and challenges,” said Dave Scudder, managing partner and CEO of McGladrey & Pullen, LLP. “They have used this understanding to develop innovative insights and expertise unique to each client and industry that we serve.”
The complete 2010 class of partners and managing directors includes:
Name Line of Business Location
Donnovan Maginley Assurance Florida
Doug O’Connor Assurance Illinois
Linda Dehner Assurance California
Steve Gradl Assurance Minnesota
Tasha Kostick Assurance California
Wes Getman Assurance Atlanta
Allison Egbert Assurance Boston
Kevin Vannucci Consulting Connecticut
Brian Holmes Consulting Illinois
Lawrence Levine Consulting Illinois
Dean Nelson Consulting Boston
Diego Rosenfeld Consulting Boston
Rob Frattasio Consulting Boston
Greg DeVino Tax Florida
John Majer Tax Florida
Tay Reeder Tax Georgia
Phil Wasserman Tax New York
Brian Blacklaw Tax Illinois
Mindy Cozewith Tax Georgia
Rebecca Sheridan Tax Texas
Jim St. Germain Tax Boston
We have the luxury (and giddy pleasure) of receiving more crazy ass emails than the average Tom, Dick or Harriet (see: PwC Houston Partner). Some of the stories turn out to be true, some turn out to be rumors. That’s just the way things go.
One reoccurring rumor that continually keeps us guessing though is that of a mega-merger among a Big 4 . Frankly, we take a agnostic approach to these rumors (that’s probably shocking for some of you) but they never fail to pique our curiosity. You can drop us a line with your wild-ass theory about tri-firm merger between KPMG, Moss Adams and Baker Tilly to form MGMT but we can probably debunk it with a couple of emails and phone calls. Plus, the firms will deny ’til they die on any of these rumors anyway.
EisnerAmper is a perfect example.
They played coy with rumors around their merger for about a week and didn’t roll out the BIG NEWS until Monday when they could issue their boilerplate press release on cue (the video was a nice touch, however).
Lots of accounting firms are looking to grow through combinations or purchases in this impotent economy (WeiserMazars, Marcum & UHY, hosts of regional combos) but are the Big 4? Our intuition says no but the rumor mill provides us with whispers of talks occurring between the largest firms.
It’s not completely unheard of for the largest firms, as is evidenced by McGladrey’s purchase of Caturno & Co. that C.E. Andrews was so excited about in his interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s. Also, Barry Salzberg told the Journal that Deloitte is actively looking (granted, it’s for the consulting practice) but these are small potatoes.
No, the stuff we hear about has a Big 4 firm going with a second tier firm to either leapfrog other Big 4 firms or to inch closer to them. The difference between PwC (#1 in global revenues) and KPMG (#4) is around $6 billion. Depending on how aggressive a firm wanted to be in its merging efforts, the gap could be close quickly or a new #1 could be crowned.
But forget about revenues and the auspiciousness of the being the biggest firm for a second. Can a Big 4 firm realistically merge in a second tier or top 10 firm successfully? Never mind the logistics of office location, files, people etc. What about culture? What about service methodologies? The mere thought of matching up those pieces is a mind job for the people that actually have to deal with them. The bigwigs at the top might play off the problems that such a transaction would create for those in the trenches. Make adjustments would take years.
But it’s been done! Coopers & Lybrand and Pricewaterhouse in ’98 being the most recent. KPMG and E&Y tried it in ’97 and failed so it’s unlikely that the idea of another huge merger doesn’t cross people’s minds every once in awhile.
So let’s talk this out. Are these rumors completely unfounded or are is it understood that there are talks ongoing? If they are rumors, where the hell do they come from and what’s the motivation to spread said rumor? People in the know are encouraged to bestow wisdom in the comments and get in touch with us. And if you’re a vet from a merger of any size, share your thoughts on the experience and how your firm handled it.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently did a sit-down with McGladrey President C.E. Andrews and from the sounds of it, C.E. is pret-tay, pret-tay, pret-tay pleased with how things have gone at Mickey G’s since he’e been on board saying, “We’re doing pretty well.”
Now the particular context of this statement could be taken a number of wa erring to the recent acquisition of Caturno & Co. or he could be talking about the firm’s recent rebranding that involved plenty of refreshments, or he’s just pumped to get regular photo-ops with Natalie Gulbis OR it could be that he’s subtly referring to how good McGladrey is at layoffs.
Based on what we read, it’s most likely the handing out of sugar stimulants:
“Big companies tend to be inwardly focused. You drink your own Kool-Aid,” said Andrews, who knows something about large companies. He’s a former partner at Arthur Andersen and had a front-row seat for the demise of the consulting firm in the wake of the Enron debacle, then went on to run Sallie Mae before joining McGladrey.
The restructured McGladrey has just five people overseeing the revenue side of the business, and a system that rewards managers who improve client service and produce growth “rather than for internal things,” Andrews said. “We’ve gone from a local measurement system to a national measurement system.”
No real room for misinterpretation there. As you all know, drinking Kool-Aid isn’t something that McGladrey takes lightly.
But then again, maybe he is referring to the recent acquisition of Caturno. C.E. is thinking that it’s been a pretty solid move and there is more where that came from:
“This thing has the appearance of being as good a fit as anything I’ve ever been a part of,” Andrews said. He said each firm had strengths that the other lacked in the New England region. It’s a model for the kinds of acquisitions McGladrey is looking to make, he said.
That includes San Francisco — though Andrews said nothing’s teed up yet.
This rhetoric is strange if you consider the aforementioned layoffs, some employees considering dumping Mickey G’s for Mickey D’s and a disappointing year where the firm saw a 39% drop in its pre-tax income.
But despite all that, C to the E has big plans for McG and they don’t include keeping things local:
McGladrey offers prospective targets connections to RSM International, the sixth-largest network of independent accounting, tax and consulting firms, Andrews said. That’s becoming more important in today’s economy when even midmarket firms — which he called McGladrey’s “sweet spot” — now have operations in far-flung places like China or India.
“The attractiveness of truly local providers is diminishing,” Andrews said.
BUT! Don’t you go thinking that McGladrey will be like one of those firms, “We have the same kind of capabilities as the Big Four [accounting firms] … but delivered with an outstanding local touch.”
So, he backhands the local firms but then casually embraces their ‘delivery’ to take a jab at the Big 4. So, if we understand this correctly, McGladrey is a big firm, but isn’t like a big firm, and that’s their advantage. Got it.
McGladrey seeking more acquisitions [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]
Because it’s Friday. In August. Although we’d be more curious to know what went into the Kool-Aid.™
Buckets. Of. Frosting.