• Firms

    Grant Thornton Demonstrates Its Instinct for Diversity in Its Paid Time-Off Video

    By | October 7, 2015

    Grant Thornton’s video announcing their unlimited paid time off policy was exceptional cinema. For starters, everyone in the video looks very uncomfortable — like they weren’t sure if they were giving feedback on company policy or making a sex tape with a tax manager.

    It’s also clear that the people who were ambushed in the video clearly didn’t have time to think through what was being offered: that GT giving them unlimited paid time-off without any change to their utilization goals is bullshit. It’s like a broccoli farmer telling his children, “You don’t have to eat broccoli unless you really feel like eating broccoli; however, you are still required to eat three pounds of broccoli per week, and if you ever choose to go a day without eating broccoli, you’ll bring shame on yourself and on our family because we’re broccoli farmers, Goddammit!”

    But above and beyond all that, the video is also a showcase of the amazing level of diversity at Grant Thornton. If we’re to assume the video is a representative sample of the GT workforce, then Grant Thornton’s demographics look like this:

    However, according to the AICPA’s 2015 Trends Report, the demographics of the accounting profession as a whole look like this:

    Not only were there just two (!) white males in the video, but the one Muslim woman in the video seems just as surprised as you are that there was one Muslim woman in the video.

    So either Grant Thornton is incredibly diverse, or they don’t know how to do random sampling.

    I understand that an organization can demonstrate its commitment to diversity by highlighting its diversity in the media it creates. But if you work at GT and you’re not a white male, you’ll be at a disadvantage regarding your utilization goals because you can’t1 bill a client for the time you spent doing a diversity cameo in an HR video.

    1 Shouldn’t.

    • big4dropout

      Is anyone falling for this BS with the unlimited PTO? Other than new hires?

      • Green Dot Peon

        I just brought this up in my audit room and made some comment about how it was a horrible policy. Everyone looked at me like I walked around the room kicking each of their dogs.

        So I imagine there are quite a few people falling for this, which is pretty pathetic. Then again so is every other koolaid-induced public accounting policy.

        • big4dropout

          Do the following exercise with them. 52 weeks in a year. 2 weeks of training, 10 holidays so 2 weeks there, however much admin time you have in recruiting, United Way, team building, staff meetings, that has to add up to a week or 2. Then subtract however much personal time you supposedly have at your disposal now. Divide the number of weeks left into your charge hour goal. You really want to average more than that many charge hours a week to use your “unlimited” PTO? So much BS.

          • The Horniest Partner

            yep, really all your time is already spoken for (charge hours, admin time) and your PTO could only fluctuate by a minimal amount.

          • buthurt

            Well it honestly isn’t hard to hit the utilization targets if you are not eating time. Problem is most of the budgets are waaaay too low nowadays so the actual amount of time you are working is frequently 20% higher than what you can charge without getting into trouble

        • buthurt

          Yea I gotta say this website definitely changed my perspective on public accounting, for better or worse. Once I got out of Koolaid mode it’s clear to me that I needed to leave audit after 2-3 years. Pretty sad that some of my colleagues still think otherwise.

    • LikeABoss

      “You don’t have to eat broccoli unless you really feel like eating broccoli; however, you are still required to eat three pounds of broccoli per week, and if you ever choose to go a day without eating broccoli, you’ll bring shame on yourself and on our family because we’re broccoli farmers, Goddammit!”

      as far as accounting firm analogies go, that might be the best analogy ever.

    • Chipman69

      Don’t forget – one of the two white males featured in the video has a DYNAMIC full beard!!!! GT will use its DYNAMICALLY diverse workforce with their INSTINCT FOR GROWTH and WHOLE SELVES to penetrate new, more diverse and perhaps hairier CHOSEN MARKETS!!!!!!

      • The Horniest Partner

        on a roll today

      • TurtlyEnough

        I really hope people decide to work for GT just so they may someday meet Chipman

      • Women don’t need sideburns

        “Whole Selves”

        Love it!

    • SouthernCPA

      Why you hating on tax managers?

      As to the PTO policy, the reality is this doesn’t change billable hours or the requirements to get the work out the door. It just means you no longer need to worry about how to code whatever little non-chargeable time you may have.

      Unless, the PTO is unlimited, but still required to be tracked, which would be prima facie evidence that GT is clueless on this.

      • Tax Nerd

        I’m giggling at “making a sex tape with a tax manager”. Because tax managers tend to be some combination of flabby / pale / socially awkward, rather than porn star material.

    • Big4Veteran

      “So either Grant Thornton is incredibly diverse, or they don’t know how to do random sampling.”

      I feel like there’s a third possibility.

      • buthurt

        They probably got a listing of all the minorities they had and flied them in for this video.

    • GuyverBioBooster

      Any accounting firm in the SF Bay Area is going to have a racial make-up like similar to that. If they randomly interviewed people in the San Jose or San Francisco offices, I am sure it have that result.

      • big4dropout

        That episode of South Park where everyone in SF follows each other around sniffing each other’s farts to cut down on pollution is so true.

    • Women don’t need sideburns

      Watch the credits at the end. 0% were grunt work staff.

    • mmmKool Ade

      All this means is I’m going to lose the ability to take PTO. Right now as it stands I have an assload of unused PTO that needs to be used before year end. So I’m taking off all of December with the excuse “Sorry, can’t staff your project, gotta use or lose my PTO”.

      Without that fallback, a manager will just say, “don’t worry about it, you can take off all you need in X month after my “super important” project is over.” Too bad that X month ends up being just as busy, and PTO gets pushed down the line.