If you’ve been paying attention, you’re familiar with the lamest Internet meme since last year’s bros icing bros – planking.
Planking is a “game” that involves people laying face down in normal to not-so-normal places and then having a friend take their picture while the planking is occurring. It’s been going on for a couple of months now but right out of the gate it was abundantly clear that planking was STUPID. Not stupid in the sense that “you can die while doing it” stupid but more so, “you and your friends are idiots” stupid. Despite this, people are “crazed” with it because, obviously, they are losers. And maybe racist.
ANYWAY, I bring this up A) it’s a fairly slow news day and B) a friend of a friend of GC emailed us the following query:
This is kind of a random idea but when watching this video, http://youtu.be/vQNTN8Z8AJY, I was wondering if accountants are planking at work, especially at Big 4/Big Regional firms like on copiers, partners’ desks, etc and have captured them in a video or in pictures. Even though I think the concept is kind of lame, I think about doing it every day including planking inside of one of the partner’s convertible which he leaves the top down all day. I would love to see if anyone has any great planking poses at work.
Yes, I am really bored at work and my mind tends to wander (a lot).
No problem friend of a friend, it’s summer and you’re a CPA, so boredom happens. Here’s the video in question:
Quite the montage of planktitude, isn’t it? Someone even took the opportunity to plank during Carmageddon which resulted in “Plankmageddon” (obv).
But back to our reader – even though I’m against planking in a general sense, I would not oppose planking inside a partner’s convertible. Especially if you emailed the picture to us. Of course you would have to take great precaution to not be identified but it may be worth the risk. And that goes for the rest of you. If the clock seems to be moving backwards at any point this summer, you should consider planking and then sending us the pictures. I’ll put forth a few conditions for scoring:
• Planking on a manager’s desk – 100 points.
• Planking on a partner’s desk – 500 points.
• Planking on the office managing partner’s desk – 1,000 points.
• Planking on the client’s conference table – 1,000 points
• Planking in the lobby with your firm’s sign in view – 1,000 points
• Photo of the office managing partner planking on his/her desk – 5,000 points.
• Planking on a partner’s [insert luxury car here] – 5,000 points.
Of course this is not meant to discourage creativity on your part. If you have other suggestions, please offer them up below along with the points to be awarded. Happy planking.
Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the six global audit, tax and advisory organizations, admitted 26 new partners and principals to the firm, effective August 1. These partners and principals are based throughout the firm’s offices across the country.
Partners and principals admitted to the firm are thought leaders upon whom the firm relies to provide personalized attention in serving clients. These professionals have demonstrated consistently their extraordinary ability to understand and meet the needs of client companies and industries. They have also demonstrated long-term leadership in the accounting profession and the community.
“These professionals have demonstrated extraordinary client service, driving value for the dynamic firms we serve,” said Stephen Chipman, Grant Thornton’s CEO. “These leaders exemplify Grant Thornton’s mission of making a difference – to our colleagues, our clients, our profession and our communities.”
It’s also strange that no one from GT has dropped any news regarding compensation discussions as this is about the time we should start hearing it or sayeth comments from the last post on the subject. Anyway, give the new partners a slap on the back or at least a nice note.
Last week, we tried to get the ball rolling on Ernst & Young compensation rumors and while some may chalk up the lack of chatter to “PwC sticker shock,” others claim this is simply standard operating procedure. If you remember last year, eventually Ernst & Young reported some impressive raises that kept pace with P. Dubs but one of Turley’s troops is expecting the worst this year and would like to give a partner a piece of his mind. Unfortunately, he isn’t sure how to do it:
By way of introduction, I am a loyal reader of going concern as well as a big four slave in the audit practice. Slavery had begun four years ago at EY and with all the compensation talk going on at other big four firms, I can’t help but to think –
What is a tactful way of telling a partner during the comp talk, “well thank you for that oh so very generous double digit percentage raise (assuming if it’s even double digit), but I am still unhappy because even after this supposed raise, you are still not paying me jack for the amount of contribution and commitment that you demand from me.”
As noted above, I’m a second year senior from an east coast office and my base is still not breaking mid-60s. Seriously, what the f___?
I will be forever grateful if you post my question up for discussion. Thanks so much!!!
Angry EY audit senior
There are various directions we can take here so I’ll try to cover a few options before turning it over to you all.
A. Start off with a variation of, “Look, I’m an ungrateful, bitchy auditor. I also have unrealistic expectations and an inflated notion of my self-worth. I’d really appreciate an explanation as to how you can reconcile these traits to this paltry 10-15% raise.”
B. Continue with the slavery narrative.
D. Simply ask if E&Y’s raises will beat PwC’s.
Now you may not think these are “tactful” ways to have this conversation but he did sign, “Angry EY Audit Senior.” If I tried to reason with this person, I’d be doing him a disservice. And when is honesty ever not tactful? If you sugarcoat your frustration, the partner will assume you’re a pushover like everyone else. My guess is most partners want you to give it to them straight. If you’re a performer (and something tells me you think you are) than this partner doesn’t want to lose your talent.
Having said all that, not everyone can muster up the courage to ditch the filter in these meetings. If you’ve got better more practical ideas than what I’ve listed, feel free to bestow your sage advice below.
Jack Weisbaum is letting a baker’s dozen join the club, although with the new national heads recently announced, there’s an new extra layer between the newbies and the most interesting accounting CEO in the world.
Here are the lucky 13:
John Barkmeyer (Orange County – Assurance), Doug Bekker (Grand Rapids – Tax), Elliott Binder (San Jose – Tax), Sofia Blair (New York – – Assurance) and Mike Campbell (San Francisco – Tax), Demetrio Frangiskatos (New York – Assurance), Nania Gopal (Orange County – National Assurance Office), Mike Hottel (Washington, DC – Assurance), Joel Mitchell (Chicago – Tax), Stathis Poulos (Raleigh – Assurance), Jennifer Quaglino (Woodbridge – Tax), Chris Tylka (Chicago – Assurance) and Andy Zaleski (Detroit – Tax).
Congratulations and stay thirsty, new partners.
From the mailbag:
Any rumors on PwC comp going around yet? Partner discussions are supposed to start this week and go through next.
After all the discussion around PwC’s new compensation structure one may have thought that was enough to keep people talking for months. Fortunately, plenty of mini-BoMos out there are anxious about this year’s compensation adjustment and since the fiscal year ends next Thursday, it’s not a wonder. Sooo, if you’ve been (un)fortunate enough to have your little money chat let everyone know how it went. Don’t spare the details: office, level, practice, etc.
Last year, we learned about new partner promotions at the House of Moritz the first week of June. This year, we had to wait for a press release from the Denver office to get issued before we heard anything about it. Now, I’m not mad (although Adrienne probably is) just disappointed. If you forgot how to get in touch with us, it’s a simple as clicking email us or on our names in the margin. Regardless, we got on the horn and managed to get the whole scoop.
136 new partners admitted firm-wide, representing all PwC service lines.
–53 new partners in Assurance,
–50 in Tax,
–32 in Advisory and
–one in Internal Firm Services.
The new class of 136 is 53 more than last year, so that clears a few extra spots out of the parking lot at senior manager. The promotions bring the total count of partners in the States to over 2,300.
So a hearty congratulations to all the new PwC partners. No doubt you’ve worked and worked and worked for it. We just hope emotions were kept in check at any celebrations.
Our tipster had this to say, “No wonder they are getting rid of PSW [Ed. note: he/she is referring to this], there are more partners than junior staff! Where the hell is the leverage model? This is beyond completely ridiculous.”
Posted on the Green Dot’s internal interwebs:
Did you know?
The Los Angeles office represents 55% of the PSW region in terms of headcount:
Los Angeles Headcount Partners, Principals, and Directors 195 Sr. Managers and Managers 407 Senior/Senior Consultants 304 Staff Consultants 188 Junior Staff/Analysts 141 Client Service, Admin, and Other Support 271 TOTAL 1506
Technically, the combination of “Staff Consultants” and “Junior Staff” exceeds the PPD number although that but that puts the ratio of 1.69 staff for every PPD. I’m no expert but that could be considered low. It’s safe to say there are a few big engagements in L.A. that demand more than 1.69 staff people which probably leaves the small jobs shorthanded. Anyone in Deloitte L.A. (or anywhere else for that matter) feeling the pain because of this? Let us know in the comments.
As was mentioned on Tuesday, rumors around Deloitte’s compensation are starting to surface. This likely means partners are fielding questions from anxious employees about raise, bonuses and if they’re considering any part PwC’s new compensation structure. Of course, not everyone is comfortable discussing personal financial matters with Gen Y types, so TPTB have floated some talking points to the partners so they might reduce the number of awkward moments.
Question: What can we say to our people about this year’s compensation?
As we are in the process of closing our books for FY11 and completing our financial plan for FY12 over the next several weeks, we have not finalized the overall Deloitte or AERS compensation – both for [bonuses] and FY12 base compensation. Deloitte and all of the major audit, advisory, and consulting firms participate in Mercer and similar compensation surveys and use this information as a key benchmark for determining competitive compensation. We also continue to differentiate performance (and move AERS Advisory to a more incentive based pay mix). We do our best to be above the survey midpoint of the aggregate of our competitors’ with regard to compensation and make adjustments as necessary (as evidenced last year).
We will continue to implement our Rewards and Recognition program which is significant. We are confident that we will be rewarding our professionals in a way that recognizes their contribution and efforts over the past challenging year and the increasing performance expectations we all face looking forward. We also stay very abreast of what our competitors’ actions and claims are and, if appropriate, make adjustments based on factual information.
When speaking with your teams, please consider the following key points:
• We continue to monitor the marketplace and pay at or above market. The compensation scenarios we’re modeling will ensure that we maintain, and likely improve, our position relative to our competitors on a total cash basis this year.
• We are confident our [bonuses] will be at or above last year’s levels, which were the highest in the history of our organization.
• Our merit pool will provide for market based compensation for all of our professionals and appropriate pay differentiation on the basis of individual performance. Our people continue to tell us this is important to them, we owe it to them, and we will deliver on this commitment this year.
• We know that our people have worked extremely hard this year and we will do whatever it takes to ensure that they are rewarded accordingly. We have a number of options on the table but frankly we don’t have the year-end numbers in yet so it’s still too early to make those decisions.
For those not previously aware:
A talent war is among the top concerns for both the accounting profession and their corporate clients, says Jim Henry, managing partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Francisco. Even as the nation struggles with persistently high unemployment, those with the right skills and credentials are in demand. “We’re seeing a hot market for those with the relevant skills,” said Henry. “It’s a sign of the economy improving over the last 18 months.”
Is PwC offering these partners a lifetime supply of Girl Scout Cookies or something?
Ellen Rotenberg will join PwC to head up the Banking, Capital Markets and Insurance group as a tax partner in New York. She was most recently the National Tax Leader for Banking and Finance at KPMG. Prior to that position she did a stint in KPMG’s Washington National Tax Practice.