Let’s wildly speculate as to why EY was the only Big 4 firm not to give their employees some sort of mid-year raise. You might recall that EY leadership told their people the reason why they didn’t give out salary adjustments is because the firm is already the market leader in salaries among the Big 4 and “our competitors are now making adjustments to catch up to us.” That’s a bunch of phony-baloney. Instead, we think EY decided to put that money toward paying for its newest Americas partners and their families to go to Orlando for the big global new partners bash this past weekend.
And in an article posted over the weekend about the trip, the Financial Times hinted that it probably wasn’t cheap (EY revives the big-budget corporate shindig with Florida theme park trip):
EY this week flew more than 2,000 staff and their companions to Florida for a shindig at a Universal Studios theme park, in a sign that big-budget corporate bonding events are coming back after the pandemic.
Pictures shared by the Big Four accounting firm’s newly promoted partners on social media showed them enjoying a fireworks display, a gala dinner at the Marriott Hotel and rollercoaster rides such as Escape from Gringotts, modelled on the goblin-run bank in Harry Potter.
Making partner at EY is a HUGE professional accomplishment, no doubt, and it should be celebrated. And EY has been hosting these global new partner get-togethers for years but not the last two because of the pandemic. So for the first time, the firm celebrated two new global partner classes—2020 and 2021—at one weekend event. The event included training sessions, business updates, and keynote speeches by the firm’s leaders and external speakers, FT reported.
The thing is, sending its new Americas partners to this weekend retreat while being the only Big 4 firm in the US not to give their employees at least a small spike in pay before the holidays or right after is a bad look for EY and leaves a bad taste in the mouths of EY employees, like this person who posted on r/accounting yesterday:
So nice that they decided to send the new partners (and last year’s partners who missed out) as well as their entire families to Orlando for their milestone.
Meanwhile, the firm continues to fall behind in paying employees anywhere near the increasing market rates in a red-hot job market, and as a result they keep bleeding employees causing chronic understaffing and burnout for those who remain. Oh, and still no word about reinstating or making it up to employees who missed out on their milestone trips (manager and senior manager promotees from the last two years, and those who received offers as interns).
And have you seen some of the posts on LinkedIn and Instagram from the new EY US partners who went to Florida? They would make the most ardent EY Kool-Aid drinker gag in their mouth a little bit.
Remember when EY said not paying out employees’ accrued vacation and going all PTO, all the time would save the firm $36 million annually? And EY US is already a multibillion business (nearly $16.2 billion in revenue for FY 2021, according to Accounting Today). So couldn’t EY pay for this trip for new Americas partners AND throw the rest of its US employees a bone? Yep.
EY revives the big-budget corporate shindig with Florida theme park trip [Financial Times]