September 15, 2019

PwC Partner Was Not About to Let Some Petty Glassdoor Reviews Ruin His Thanksgiving

Like Yelp, reviews on Glassdoor can be either highly informative or terribly useless. No matter what is said, it’s usually in the best interest of TPTB to ignore the negative reviews and move on, knowing in their hearts that you can’t please all the people all the time.

Like Yelp, reviews on Glassdoor can be either highly informative or terribly useless. No matter what is said, it's usually in the best interest of TPTB to ignore the negative reviews and move on, knowing in their hearts that you can't please all the people all the time.

That is precisely what did not happen when one disgruntled, presumed former PwCer took to Glassdoor to air a few grievances about the Pittsburgh office's wealth management tax practice (aka WMTS).

According to the one star review, posted on November 20, this person worked at PwC for more than a year.

The Pros are short and sweet:

They have deep pockets. Expect things to be paid for (trips, phone, graduate school, dinner, etc.) as well as a decent salary. Unfortunately, money and a "prestigious" name is about all that WMTS can offer you.

The Cons, however, are a laundry list of gripes. In the interest of saving you a little time, we will sum them up in a few short points:

  • HOURS AND TURNOVER: "Lifers" work 90 – 100 hours a week on the regular, while everyone else can expect to do 80, including 15 hour days and weekends. Turnover is up to 40% for associates, with some leaving WMTS without a job lined up
  • QUALITY: "Senior associates and managers in WMTS are the bottom of the PwC barrel," seniors and managers tell associates to "input it in the software, and let it figure it out," software sucks
  • ETHICS: "Ethics of senior management (partners) are very poor," management doesn't tell clients about high turnover, "the only thing that this practice has going for it is that it can fly itself under the PwC flag"
  • INTERNS: "WMTS hires about 100 interns from the greater Pittsburgh area," "let's just say, the average quality of the WMTS interns is not what I would call good"

Helpful sort that the reviewer is, here are his or her recommendations to improve WMTS:

Your annual contract billing is not a good business model for public accounting. It allows slackers to "get by" and the overachievers to kill themselves working too much. In a typical public accounting model (hourly charge) it is much easier to track quality, who is getting what done, and progression.

To add to the billing strategy, consider using some sort of calendar or planner to set schedules for your associates and seniors. Schedules should be formally set and tracked, like any other normal practice.

Invest more in your technology, seriously, it would make the practice a lot better.

Stop trying to make the EA a legitimate credential. It just isn't.

Now, perhaps this is just one set of poopy diapers with a bone to pick but there's another review of the same practice in the same office that, while negative as well, doesn't go into nearly the same detail. Let's take a look:

I was in the Wealth Management group
– Brought on as a Tax associate for their tax season (Do not do that)

*Most unprofessional atmosphere I have ever been a part of in my life
*Pushed into corners by Managers
* Sabotaged to believe that I wrote emails I 100% did not write without supervision of a senior associate
*They will teach you nothing, and hang you to dry after you worked over 60 hours a week for them during their tax season
*They give you a mentor and a coach as I started my tax season. For some reason, which to this day do not understand, my mentors were switched four times. So I never got to learn anything with substance because each person taught their own system of tax. So it was like being dragged around like a rag doll and try to keep up with your work. So the mentor system they use is complete trash. Additionally, my coach was stationed in Chicago? How do I learn anything if they are in Chicago? They never contacted me or reached out once. Later in the tax season, I reached out to my coach as a last resort. I spoke to human resources, partners, and my mentors trying to move groups because the managers clearly wanted nothing to do with my growth there. Not sure what the coach told the managers but a few weeks later they fired me. I guess it was because I busted my bottom for them including weekends to attempt to prove myself. Every spare moment to help my group I was there and providing support. This went unseen and never got a speck of credit for. I was used and abused at their disposal, plain and simple. They cornered me into meetings by managers, human resources, and even the CEO. Human resources blindly tried to relay what they believed I was doing wrong at the firm, which was so false I can't even begin to think it was true. If I had a good lawyer I would have sued them for false email accusations and abusive/unfair working environment.

Whew, that escalated quickly. How did we get from a long distance mentor to accusations of abuse? Oh, well.

Now, most national leaders would probably ignore these few naysayers, but not Don Roman. No, Don Roman was not about to let this silliness ruin his Thanksgiving break. According to a tipster, this is the email he sent out in response to these two bad apples in the bunch:

I suspect that most of you are aware of the recent postings on glassdoor.com which we believe were submitted by previous WMTS employees. I simply want all of you to be aware that your WMTS Leadership Team, including the Partners, have likewise seen these postings. These postings are extremely disrespectful to us as a group and full of untruths so it is both hurtful and disappointing that individuals who we have coached and attempted to develop professionally have reciprocated in the manner that they did. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but there is a time and a place to voice it professionally.
 
As we get ready to break for the Thanksgiving holiday, I plan to put it behind me and I would ask the same of all of you.
 
Thank you.
 
Donald J. Roman

This made us wonder out loud: if Glassdoor isn't the place to voice one's opinion, what is? Maybe he'd prefer that these grumpy ex-WMTS grunts voice their displeasure on Going Concern or on an aerial banner at the Super Bowl or perhaps on the new mega billboard in Times Square.

Trust us, PwC Internet Espionage Team, when we tell you that there's quite a difference between a critical review and a bitchy rant on the Internet. You need only concern yourself with the former.

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

Related articles

Auditor Swap: Bubble Popped On EY’s Engagement with Sealed Air Corp.

Bubble Wrap maker Sealed Air Corp. disclosed in a securities filing earlier this week that it dumped EY as its external auditor and hired PwC, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Now, EY losing an audit client isn’t all that shocking. According to Audit Anaytics’ recent analysis of auditor changes in the second quarter of […]