Accountants are complaining

How To Completely Bomb the CPA Exam in Five Easy Steps

I don't know about you guys but I'm sick of writing advice articles so because it's Friday and I've pretty much given up on there being anything worth talking about except Romney's tax returns and Obama's socialist tendencies for the next month, let's look at some easy ways to completely blow the CPA exam. Learn […]

Public Accounting Firms Would Be Wise to Incorporate a ‘No Bitching’ Clause Into Their Bonus Structures

When you work in public accounting you meet a diverse group of individuals. They all have different life, education, and professional experiences and that’s what makes working for these businesses so interesting. Despite these differences, all these people have one thing in common. Something so basic, so fundamental to the culture of the public accounting […]

How Dissatisfied Are Accountants? An Unscientific Poll

On Tuesday we shared with you an article from Crain’s that quoted executive recruiter (and maybe former astronaut?) Buzz Patterson, “I’d say the dissatisfaction index would probably be at a 10-year high, in the high 60s or low 70s,” with respect to the accounting profession.

If this statement is even remotely true, this means those of you just getting your chops are seeing the worst morale in a decade. We’re talking pretty flippin’ epic misery here. For those of you that have been around for years (or even a decade or more) is this really the worst time you remember? If you’re a veteran of the biz, share your perspective in the comments below.

Also, to get things rolling on this second-to-last Thursday of October, we thought it might be interesting to gauge the crowd here at GC. After the jump, pull the lever for your level of satisfaction with your job. Use these explanations as a guide: 5 – “Hand me a cigarette”; 3 – “Take it or leave it”; 1 – “About to go postal.”

BREAKING: At Least One PwC Employee Isn’t Sold on the Rebranding

It’s been just over a week since we broke the story on PwC’s rebranding. Now that everyone else has caught up to the story, we’ll share with you some fresh news on the makeover.

Since today marks the first day of u’re warming up to the new team colors. Then again, you may share the feelings of one P. Dubs employee that took the time to email Bob Moritz to chime in on the new look. Apparently (not really sure how these things happen) the email is making the rounds at PwC and it just so happened to find its way into our mail bag:

To be perfectly honest, I’m not a fan of the new branding. In your email you wrote “…we are altering what we believe is an outdated visual identity to better express the kind of vibrant and relationship-based firm we have evolved into.” I find it ironic that you referred to our former visual identity as outdated when our new brand looks like a throwback – a 70s color scheme meets an IT startup.

I completely agree with the comments on the website where the brand is repeatedly referred to as child-like and unprofessional. I feel like the explanation for the symbol is also very complex. The *connectedthinking brand was simple and easy to understand. With the new symbol, everything has a meaning, from the colors to the solid blocks to the transparent blocks. A symbol should be fairly self explanatory – this one requires too much explanation.

I love the fact that the company has been focusing more on changing behaviors and placing a greater emphasis on building relationships. However, I fail to see where a new brand would affect this. Colors and symbols don’t represent PwC, the staff does. In one of the online discussions it was pointed out that following a salary freeze one year and layoffs the following year, it almost seems foolish to spend so much money to “reinvent” ourselves. To quote a wise PwC employee, “A new brand isn’t going to win business, motivated people will.” I find it hard to believe that this new, colorful symbol will be the motivation that people need to help expand our business and improve relationships with clients. A better way to motivate the staff would be more incentives – bonuses, rewards, raises – positive reinforcement. Pavlov was definitely on to something with the concept. Interactive gallery stations complete with iPads to show off the brand? Activities revolving around the launch of this new brand? Is this really the best method of spending funds?

Also disturbing to me is the environmental impact this could have. I can’t imagine that this won’t set back the Firm-wide goal of reducing our carbon footprint. Letterhead, business cards, report covers, envelopes (to name a few paper products) all need to be reprinted. It seems like an incredible waste to discard everything we already have in favor of this new brand (we received an email letting us know that after October 4th we are not to use any of the old paper products). I hope we are at least planting a bunch of trees to help compensate Mother Nature for the amount of paper that will be wasted with this change.

It’s disappointing to feel like we have taken two steps forward and three steps back. I realize that it is what it is, but I felt that I should voice my opinion from down here on the totem pole.

It’s been suggested that October 4th will be the great PwC Shredding Day that will no doubt involve a convoy of Shred-it trucks out 300 Madison (and offices nationwide for that matter) along with employees dropping their old business cards into every fish bowl they can find.

So mark it on your calendars and definitely document the shredding in action or perhaps a bonfire (done safely and in full accordance with the law) and send us the pictures.

Why Aren’t Accountants Getting Fired for Status Updates on Facebook?

A friend of GC recently made mention of the number of people belly aching about busy season in the filterless universe of Facebook. Yes, we realize this is a shock.

Granted, kvetching about your job is a God-given right but at what point is someone just asking to get their ass thrown out? While “experts” are constantly telling you to “be careful about what you post online,” that seems to be overblown because we’re hearing and seeing people hating their jobs out in the open with no discernible repercussions.

God knows there were status updates from E&Y people re: lack of hoops during the Lehman talk.


Case in point, our friend shared this recent status update with us:

“stock options, fraud interviews, preferred equity accounting…my job is sexy.”

Now maybe this isn’t a “get your shit and get the hell out” offense but accountants have proven to be an easily rankled bunch and if the right person were to read this update, there at least might be a frank discussion about this. It’s become obvious that someone at all the major firms is doing nothing but snooping around the Internet, doing nothing but reading employee complaints.

And maybe we’re premature on this issue. Busy season, while winding down, is still going on and warm bodies are still needed, so some gnashing of teeth on FB might be tolerable.

Maybe this is an unwritten rule in the industry that has evolved with the popularity of Facebook. We ignore your rants for all the world to hear, we take pieces of your soul, one busy season at at time.