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New KPMG Associate Wants to Know What the “Deal” Is with Working Mothers

Yesterday we discussed the plethora of accounting firms that are pro-mom, according to Working Mothers. It seemed like a pretty simple idea – treat moms good = win; treat moms bad = Christ, what kind of hellhole firm are you running? Despite this elementary idea, there still is some questions out there:


On the subject of working mothers…what’s the deal with that? I’m a first year at KPMG and there is another first year who is already pregnant and taking maternity leave soon.

My question is, does she really get promoted on the same schedule as the rest of us? I get the importance of allowing some flexibility for working moms but does it make any sense to treat someone the same as the rest of us when it comes to raises and promotions when they’ve missed out on all the work? I’d love to hear what other readers have experience with this.


KPMG First Year

Well, the “deal” with working mothers is that not having policies that allow them to pursue a career and having a family is what I like to call “doing shitty business.” As to your specific question, the details aren’t clear. It’s not as if she will be on maternity leave for 6 months. KPMG offers up to 9 weeks of paid maternity leave, according to the firm’s profile on WM. That means that there are 43 other weeks (that assumes no PTO, obv) that she will be working. That doesn’t really qualify as “miss[ing] out on all the work” as you put it.

Those who are evaluating her performance should have a pretty good idea whether or not she’s capable of being promoted. Besides, it’s a jump from A1 to A2, not exactly a huge change in responsibilities or expectations. Furthermore, your raise from A1 to A2 isn’t going to be anything to write home about so getting worked up about whether or not she’s getting the same 11% bump as you isn’t worth it.

Are Ernst & Young Employees Looking Forward to Their Performance Discussions?

Since this feels like one of those days where everyone is at a ball game or is so hung over that they can’t operate their email, I’ll share the latest news from the mail-cum-money bag:

@EY – Just got an email saying we need to meet with our counselors before 7/31 to discuss annual review. I doubt any comp info though.

Even if these chats don’t involve any numbers, they may be useful in one of two ways: 1) It gives cranky employees the opportunity to fly off the handle because this last busy season was a special kind of personal hell and that no amount of money can possibly make up for that. or 2) It may be the perfect time to inform counselors about what kind of numbers are being thrown around at another firm who the Black Yellow had no problem keeping pace with last year.

Smiling and nodding works too, if that’s more your speed.

SEC Whistleblower Program Not Exactly Knocking Anyone’s Socks Off

The corporate watchdog has received just 168 complaints alleging corporate fraud in the first 6½ months of the program’s existence, according to data the SEC provided to The Post through a Freedom of Information Act request. The tally is from July 22, 2010, when the program was launched, through Feb. 2, 2011. At that rate, the SEC is receiving less than one tip a day — hardly the flood that led the agency to delay staffing the program while it pleaded with lawmakers for more funding. [NYP]

Big 4 Performance Analysis Will Probably Come as a Huge Shock to CNN

You may remember a little rant we (and others) went on not so long ago about CNN buying what the Big 4 were selling re: growing business in shrinking economy.
Well! The gang over The Big Four Blog have put out a performance analysis (PDF can for download: big4_media_kit.pdf) for the firms’ 2009 revenue and their conclusions tell a different story.
From the Execkquote>2009 was a difficult year overall for the Big Four accounting firms: Deloitte, Ernst & Young (E&Y), KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), as their financial performance was affected by tough external conditions, slow global economic growth, cost-conscious clients and sluggish merger and acquisition activity.

After an extraordinary period of continuous revenue growth from the early 2000s to 2008, combined revenue for the four firms in fiscal 2009 did fall by 7% from fiscal 2008 in US dollar terms. Revenue decreases in US dollar percentage terms ranged from negative 5% for Deloitte to negative 7% each for Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers to negative 11% for KPMG.

One of the more interesting tidbits was presented in the chart below:
Picture 1.png
After a growth in employment of over 10% in 2008, the rate dropped to 2% for 2009 and judging by the firms’ expectation to offer less internships this year we’d expect that trend to continue.
It’s worth noting that even in the rebuilding year, the firms’ combined revenue was $94 billion so no one is starving but, as BFB pointed out, the firms near decade long run of growth has now come to a screeching halt.
With all the new information, CNN might consider a follow-up story. We’d be happy to take a look at it. Or they may just leave it there:

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