KPMG Doesn’t Need You, FORTUNE; It Has Plenty of Other Employer Rankings That Say It’s Still a Great Place To Work

By | January 17, 2013

Oh Christ, the FORTUNE1 100 Best Companies to Work For came out today, which means marketing and PR teams all across Corporate America are on high alert. Who went up? Who went down? Who's new on the list? Who's off the list? Who gives a shit? That's my take. If you're not Google, then you suck. I want an employer who has a cafeteria that serves the most obscure cuisine on the planet (e.g. BBQ Tasmanian devil short ribs with poached platypus eggs) and I want it for FREE. If you can't make that happen, then I might as well be working for the Taliban as the Womens Initiative coordinator. 

But you know what? This year something special actually happened on the FORTUNE list. Something that you may find unexpected and downright shocking. That's right boys and girls — KPMG is MIA. The House of Klynveld has been a stalwart on the list since 2006, but for reasons largely unknown, the HoK has disappeared from the F100BCTWF in 2013. If you need a moment, then please take it now.

[looks at watch]

Okay, that's enough. Let's first look at the accounting firms that did make the list:

25. Plante Moran

47. Deloitte

57. Ernst & Young

80. Rothstein Kass

81. PwC

Because this oversight is an OUTRAGE and would not go unnoticed by many (okay, mostly just us) it demands an explanation.

KPMG Chairman and CEO John Veihmeyer (who is undoubtedly dealing with a lot this week already) communicated with Klynveldians yesterday afternoon to try and make sense of the situation. 

First off, JV and Deputy Chair and COO Scott Ozanus were "disappointed, and frankly surprised" that KPMG was not one of the esteemed 100 employers. John and Scottie can't really give an explanation since they aren't intimately familiar with how the FORTUNE sausage gets made, but they took the time to remind everyone of the firm's presence "on a host of other external benchmark rankings" and "believe it is important that we are consistently included in the FORTUNE rankings."

While this story isn't as confusing as trying to understand why some dude's dead girlfriend isn't actually dead or even a real-life person, it may be easier to read it in their own words, so we've obtained the letter and presented the text on the next page. 

Read it and weep (or remain indifferent like us):

FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" List  
A Message from John Veihmeyer and P. Scott Ozanus
 
FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list is being released this week, and we are disappointed, and frankly surprised, to learn that we are not included on the ranking this year, for the first time since 2006. As you know, inclusion on the list is based on survey results from a random sample of approximately 1,400 of our people, as well as an application form that each company submits.  
 
While we are certainly disappointed with the FORTUNE rankings this year, we are confident that in the opinion of our most important constituency—you, our people—KPMG remains a premier employer of choice. 
 
According to the nearly 15,000 of you who responded to the 2012 Employee Work Environment Survey—which was conducted in October, a few months after the FORTUNE survey, employee morale is not only up significantly compared to the prior year, but is near historic highs. And, the most important barometer of how our people view the firm, voluntary turnover, has decreased significantly over the past two years, and is near historic lows.  
 
Our regular placement on a host of other external benchmark rankings—#2 on Universum’s World’s Most Attractive Employers (second only to Google and well ahead of the other Big 4), the Top 10 Halls of Fame for both Training Magazine and Working Mother, DiversityInc’s Top 50, and the myriad of awards that our local offices receive each year—reinforce that our environment as an employer of choice is among the best in the country and indeed in the world. 
 
Unfortunately, we don't have enough visibility into the FORTUNE ranking process to be able to explain with any specificity the differences between this year’s FORTUNE result and our own survey and employee retention results. We do know that the FORTUNE survey covers less than 10 percent of the employees who participate in our Work Environment Survey, and that the timing of this year's FORTUNE survey, conducted in July, coincided with the timing of some difficult business decisions that were necessary in response to the volatile economy this past year. This is in contrast with the October timing of our annual employee survey. 
 
Nevertheless, we believe it is important that we are consistently included in the FORTUNE rankings, and are committed to regaining our position on the list in 2014. We will do this by remaining dedicated to continuous improvement, and focusing on the areas of improvement highlighted in this year's employee survey that we discussed in our recent Town Hall meetings. But please know that above any external ranking or recognition, we prioritize your feedback that KPMG is your employer of choice. And, we will continue to do everything in our power to maintain and improve our world-class work environment.
 
Thank you for all you do to help our firm succeed. We look forward to continuing to work together to make KPMG an even greater place to work and build a career.
So like generals and Terminators, KPMG shall return/be back, etc. etc. It's a blow for now, but everyone looks forward to a great comeback. Your reactions are now welcome.

1 If anyone can explain the all-caps thing, I'd love to hear it.