November 21, 2018

Here’s Your Open Thread for Grant Thornton Compensation Discussions (2017)

grant thornton compensation 2017

By the sound of things, it’s time for us to open the gate on the Grant Thornton compensation thread.

This is a little strange because, in years past, tips usually start rolling into our inbox in the last half of July. One message we received over the weekend, however, might explain the delay:

Comp releasing tomorrow for everyone. Interestingly we are finding out new info 7 days into the year. A couple of groups couldn’t get their shit together and held up everyone’s comp release.

We haven’t verified that this is the case, but it sounds plausible enough. When we asked for more details, our tipster didn’t have more to offer but did elaborate on the general mood inside GT:

Don’t know which groups, but I believe in advisory. Year end meeting was last Friday and was very positive as far as numbers and outlook go. Generic tier 2 bs about competing with big 4 for audit clients and not trying to compete with bdo and the like. I’m in advisory and don’t have a good feeling for tax or audit success as far as associate/seniors are concerned. I’m sure the partners will do just fine though 🙂

Another tipster from the audit side of the house was more indifferent about things:

our compensation statements just became available yesterday and an email was just sent to everyone showing how to access so it would be great to get thread up. From mine and what I’ve heard we are down a bit this year.

Maybe I’m wrong, but there’s nothing much exciting about Grant Thornton lately. Sure, they can probably take partial credit for the Cubs’ World Series win, but the first tipster’s comment about “Generic tier 2 bs about competing with big 4 for audit clients and not trying to compete with bdo” seems right. GT fights to be considered a top tier firm and above its Tier 2 peers, but it is outmatched by the Big 4 and is in a horse race with BDO and fellow Chicago-resident RSM for the top of the less prestigious second-tier heap.

But the Big 4 vs. Tier 2 thing is mostly an overwrought conversation about prestige. I’ve always thought that if Grant Thornton compensation can keep up with the Big 4’s, then they should compete for talent easily. There is plenty of interesting work to be had with middle market clients, so GT should focus on what they do well and not try to be something they’re not.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve heard enough of my musing. If you’re happy (about your comp) and you know it, clap your hands and share these details:

  • Position, promotion (if applicable)
  • City (preferred) or region (we’ll begrudge you)
  • Line of Service
  • % Raise
  • % Bonus (if any)
  • Old & New Base

And if you’re not happy with your new compensation, you can always take some infinite vacation.

If your firm is holding discussions about performance reviews, raises, bonuses, et al. this summer, email [email protected] with the details.

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money.jpgApparently it’s happening, people. With several firms freezing pay for this fiscal year, some already hinting at an additional freeze for fiscal year 2010, and with less fewer offers being made on campus, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the new associate nearly has the same salary as you.
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If you’ve been busting your ass for the last two to three years and seen very little appreciation in the form of merit increases and suddenly the new associate walks in making virtually the same as you, your motivation may evaporate on all fronts.
From a staff perspective, no new associate, no matter how virtuous will ever ask, “Is that what a senior associate makes? I wouldn’t be comfortable making that much without any experience.” Nice thought but not gonna happen. Firms will claim that they have to keep salaries competitive in order to win the best talent and may even encourage it in order to foster the “competitive environment”.
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Rumor Mill: E&Y CEO Jim Turley Is Appropriately Compensated

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Saw some info yesterday in a partner’s office. JDawg is pulling down $6 million…every year in October timeframe the partners at EY get a partner report on the “partner news network”. In this report EY shows partner information – the 5 highest paid US partners that are not in client service. So this includes generally JDawg, the AABS managing partner, tax managing partner, the Americas Vice Chair and a few other vice chairs. They started giving out this information about 4-5 years ago.

Our tip also stated that the non-J Dawg execs were pulling down in the nabe of $2.5 million.
Considering that J Dawg’s CEO duties include appearances on CNBC, being an IFRS cheerleader and eating f*(king chicken with Rahm, among other glad-handing and back-slapping duties, $6 mil makes for a nice round number.
Is $6 million fair for J Dawg? Discuss in the comments and pass along any further details you’ve got JT or other CEO salaries.