Ernst & Young had a nice little buffer zone from the other Big 4 in their London office until PricewaterhouseCoopers decided they’d set up camp next door and now the two firms are strategerizing.
P. Dubs is finishing up the construction on their new digs and the Telegraph reports that “At their closest point the two offices are roughly 10 [meters] apart.” This proximity (not to mention the obnoxious tendency of Big 4 types to be competitive just for the sake of being competitive) has apparently led to rampant paranoia at the two firms about spying.
Getting up in E&Y’s shit seems to be bean counting as usual at PwC, as this latest move more or less correlates with the alleged poaching of 20 E&Y partners in the Middle East.
The Telegraph is insinuating hilarious war-esque undertones, saying, “First blood in the battle has gone to PwC with the installation of blinds that close automatically whenever audio-visual presentation equipment is switched on and an office layout that ensures no computer screens face windows.” The obvious concern being that PwC’s secret “we provide the absolute best client service” plan would be imitated by E&Y, which would mean an all-out war.
However, the real concern should be voyeurs scoping out the office sexcapades. As we’ve mused in the past, the odds of fornication for accountants are slim as it is and work relationships are a convenient option. With this development, some E&Y and PwC minions will be denied the opportunity for office sex. This is not as much of a problem for the exhibitionists at the firm, however, that cross section is likely small.
E&Y is reportedly “evaluating a number of options,” to combat P. Dubs’ tactics, which may or may not include the following:
A) A group mooning that will involve the most portly E&Y employees.
B) Placing inflatable bozos in the windows.
C) Draping the entire building with a photo of Susan Boyle in Beckham’s PwC undies.
D) Your idea.
Blackout curtains beckon as accountancy rivals find themselves too close for comfort [Telegraph]