Do KPMG’s Summer Employee Perks Put All Other Summer Employee Perks to Shame?

This Accounting Today article on the perks KPMG is offering to its 30,000 U.S. employees this summer got me thinking about the summer employee perks, or lack thereof, I’ve received during my career.

And I’m not just focusing on my last 19 years as a writer and/or editor. I’m going all the way back to my first job in high school working at Dairy Queen.

Sure, I was given a small employee discount when I worked at Sports Authority during summer breaks from college (and they still went out of business), and I currently get to work from home and can set my hours, as long as the work gets done—all very nice perks. But the best summer employee perk I’ve ever been given was when I worked at DQ: I got to bring home free ice cream at the end of every shift.

It could be anything, you guys: Butterfinger Blizzard made with chocolate soft serve, chocolate malt, hot fudge sundae, banana split, Peanut Buster Parfait—anything. And this made barely making minimum wage tolerable.

And sometimes I could bring home a free bag of assorted Dilly Bars for my family, which made me very popular on muggy, hot summer days/evenings.

But KPMG is pulling out all the stops for its employees this summer, according to AT:

Among the rewards the Big Four firm is offering staff are $500 gift cards, a barbecue package from Omaha Steaks, summer office parties, and the opportunity to leave at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays from Memorial Day until Labor Day.

The article doesn’t say what type of gift card employees receive through KPMG’s Encore recognition program, but could you image if it was a $500 Amazon gift card? Think of all the funny graphic T-shirts you could buy, like this one:

That’s what I would do.

And the Omaha Steaks barbecue package is probably nothing to sneeze at, after looking at the prices of all the different BBQ packages the business promotes on its website.

Margaret Teegan, a managing director in KPMG’s human resources department, told AT that employees can order the Omaha Steaks package anytime from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and they can ship the box of meats and seasonings to anywhere they want.

“It’s really designed around celebrating with their families and friends,” said Teegan. “We look at our people as more than just who they come to work with. We recognize it takes their families and friends to help them be successful, so our gifts are always designed around something that can be shared.”

It seems that KPMG has been offering gifts to its employees for the past 15 years. The summertime gift-giving started about 10 years ago, and the firm continues its year-end holiday gift program. Last summer, KPMG gave its employees an ice cream package, including toppings to make sundaes, which Teegan said “was a very big hit.” (See, everyone loves free ice cream.)

Adrienne called BS on this quote from Teegan, but I thought it was touching:

“We get hundreds of thank-you notes throughout the year thanking KPMG for the gifts. Sometimes we get them from the children of our employees. Little children will say, ‘My mom works at the best place in the world.’ Just based on the feedback that we get from people and the gratitude and thanks, I would say it definitely is a very big morale booster, which is why the firm has continued to invest in this for so many years.”

How in the world could Scott London or those five now-former KPMG executives who are caught up in the whole PCAOB inspection leak scandal jeopardize receiving all of these perks? Was getting jailed for a year for insider trading or illegally helping your firm improve its audit inspection results (allegedly!) worth not getting a $500 gift card or free ice cream?

And I bet you there isn’t a day that goes by that Caleb doesn’t regret giving up a promising career at KPMG to start this dumb website. He could have gotten a package of delicious meats from Omaha Steaks.

So, now that the comment section is back open, let’s hear ’em. What are the best summer employee perks that you’ve received during your accounting career? If you want to include a perk or two from an odd summer job, that’s fine, too.

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