November 13, 2018

Bonuses or Lack Thereof

Bonus Watch ’13 and Beyond: Ernst & Young Rolls Out Performance Based Bonus Program

As the Black and Yellow comp conversations continue this week, we have some news to share with regards to the firm's bonus structure.  Here's a tip that came in late on Friday:  Advisory across all of the Americas had their "Super Friday" today (which is why no Advisory people have written in with their comp). […]

(UPDATE) Compensation Watch ’12: The Wait Is Over at Ernst & Young

Well, it's here. After getting everyone worked up a month ago, this week marks the start of Ernst & Young's compensation sit-downs. We've gotten word that some offices got started yesterday, some are starting today, and some start later this week. There are a number of people that have sent us messages who seem to […]

Compensation Watch ’12: Deloitte

Lest our friends at Deloitte feel left out during comp season, let's get this started. No one's given us any indication of the comp discussion timeline this year so if you know something we don't (that should be a large majority of you), let us know. Hey Caleb — Can you let Deloitte slaves join […]

Compensation Watch ’12: KPMG

This summer has not been the most stellar at the House of Klynveld. The news of forced rankings has overshadowed the ice cream screams, and with no Omaha Steaks in sight, many are in need of something to get them through the rest of summer. Perhaps this is the week that it all turns around: […]

Comp Watch ’12: CFOs

As many of you continue striving towards your career goals to occupy the CFO chair, we thought you might like to know a little information on how well that dream job pays. According to a recent Grant Thornton/Financial Executives Research Foundation survey, public company CFOs saw their average base salaries climb from to $286,500 to from […]

Comp Watch ’12: Sizing Up the Big 4

It's the last day of April, which means that hopefully you've tied up all the loose ends that were left over from Busy Season 2012 (aka the best one yet). The month of May brings flowers, drunken afternoons at the baseball diamond in your fair city, and speculation about your compensation adjustments. Of course, some […]

Bonus Watch ’12: KPMG Advisory Sets Some Expectations

Our tipster, "I Need to Be Top Rated," informed us that these came out "awhile back" but since everyone has been checked out the last two months, I forgive you. Current Level 1-Rated 2-Rated 3-Rated 4-5 Rated Director /          Sr.Manager / Manager 11-15% 8-11% 3-7% 0% Sr. Associate 9-13% 7-10% 2-6% 0% Associate 7-11% 6-9% […]

Bonus Watch ’11: PwC Auditors Are Going to Ask Again, Nicely This Time

According to our inquisitor, there was supposed to be word of a little holiday cheer pre-Hanukkah: Any word on PwC Bonuses being paid out at year end?  Folks in the Northeast assurance practice were suppose to be notified by 12/20. Okay, gang. Now maybe I'm mistaken but if you recall, someone asked a similar question right […]

Deloitte’s Recent Promotion Awards Fail to Impress One New Senior Associate

A “New Senior” passed along this little tip this morning:

Over the last couple of weeks Deloitte has been sending out Promotion “Awards.” I find it funny they think two years of service is worth only a $100 applause award. Honestly getting only $100 is more insulting than getting nothing at all.


On a day where Barry Salzberg is doing a happy dance in the hallways, our friend must have felt compelled to share the news of generosity. If you’re a recipient of a crisp new hundo, share your story in the comments and email us with any other cheery tidbits on the first day of autumn.

Comp Watch ’11: Performance Ranking Distribution and More Bonus Details for PwC

Earlier this month, PwC announced that they were throwing new labels on their performance review buckets for FY ’12. Those of you that can walk on water will be called “Top Performers,” better-than-average mortals will be “Outstanding Performer,” the meaty part of the curve is “High Performer,” rubes will land in “Needs Improvement” while the you Sling Blade mofos will be “Unsatisfactory.” While your mothers and I both believe that you’re all worthy of “Top Performer” status, P. Dubs doesn’t share our viewpoint. This morning, Assurance Leader Tim Ryan sent an email to all opiners regarding the distribution of the “Relative Perhe email was sent to us by a tipster and it includes this table:


As you can see, more than half of the new associates will be coddled with a “High Performer” ranking their first year in order to keep them on the hook. In year 2, we see a 20% drop distributed over “Top Performer” and “Outstanding Performer.” The table shows that, over time, if you aren’t consistently falling into the TP or OP categories, you won’t be wearing autumnal hues for long. This seems fair, although we all know that understanding how performance evaluations are determined is like trying to understand why Michelle Bachmann attempted to speak Yiddish.

The email also goes on to describe the three bonuses that will be available to assurance professionals: Credential (that’s your CPA), Contribution, and Annual Performance. Here are the details of each:

Credential Bonus
Associates are eligible to receive a Credential Bonus if they pass their primary credential exam, consistent with prior years.

Contribution Award
To provide a consistent approach to timely recognition of exceptional contributions, associates and senior associates are eligible to receive a semi-annual Contribution Award, in December and the spring. This award will recognize contributions that exceed the expectations at each level (e.g., unique client contributions to the team, extraordinary effort, enhanced quality, significant assistance to another practice). Individual awards will be determined through a formalized and consistent semi-annual process. This award is not contingent upon RPR or credential status.

Annual Performance Bonus
• Senior associates through directors/senior managers will be eligible to participate in the Annual Performance Bonus. The allocation of these bonus awards will be based on staff level and relative performance rating.

• The total Annual Performance Bonus pool is based on achieving our quality and financial performance goals. Successful achievement of our goals will result in award ranges as noted in the chart. These ranges will increase if we exceed our goals (as was the case in FY11 when we increased the overall performance pool by 10%) and decrease if we do not achieve our goals.

• An individual’s bonus within the target award range will depend on the total bonus dollars allocated to her/his market or business unit based on quality and financial performance, as well as the individual’s contributions in relation to peers within their performance category.

• It is expected that all staff at the senior associate level and above rated High Performer or above will participate in the Annual Performance Bonus. Please note, staff who have not worked the full year may receive a prorated bonus award based on the bonus ranges.

And the representative tables:

Just a few thoughts:

1. Don’t fuck around when it comes to the CPA Exam.

2. Even though Contribution Awards “will be determined through a formalized and consistent semi-annual process,” I can’t help but interpret this as “a political and opaque determination that we’ll throw together at the last minute.”

3. You’re probably wondering about “quality and financial performance goals” mentioned with the APB. Here’s the scoop on those:

Quality performance goals
• Inspections: Reduce the number and severity of non-compliant audits identified through inspections
• Training: Complete participation in all required training, including passing applicable assessments
• Planning: Improve the timing of planning and phasing of our audit work, including the appropriate use and leverage of our delivery model.

Financial performance goals
• Revenue: Achieve our annual revenue budget, which includes a 4.9% revenue growth target
• Contribution Margin: Achieve our contribution margin budget
• Cash Collections: Achieve our monthly cash collection plan

Achieving our quality and financial performance goals will require both an individual and team effort. Reaching our quality goals will require staff to continue to focus on our compliance with auditing standards, concentration on continuous improvement and enhanced management of all engagements. Meeting our financial performance goals will be dependent upon each staff charging all their time and billing timely for all client services.

Assurance quality and financial performance results will be shared with you on a quarterly basis.

So while the increased transparency is nice, the quality and financial performance will be one of those things where you’ll be told the numbers; you’ll hear the story behind the numbers; the end. You could audit your ass off, ace every diversity, independence, and ethics training but if business is down or flat (looking probable) you’ll simply have to accept it.

Anyway P. Dubbersteins, try to digest this and discuss your ecstasy over the latest details.

PwC Announces New Categories for Distinguished, Typical, Downright Piss Poor Performance

As you may have noticed, PwC has really gone on the offensive when it comes to making changes to their compensation structure. We broke all the details for you earlier this year and one reader even shared a little spreadsheet analysis for anyone who’s into that sort of thing. More recently, we reported the (unconfirmed) details of the new Senior Associate Milestone Award which includes a getaway to the Terreana Resof is swell but there are few new details that we were recently made aware of that we’ll share with you today. First off, performance categories have changed. A tipster passed along the new buckets that you’ll be fighting to get into in FY12 and who will and will not be eligible for bonus comp:

– New performance categories are “top performer,” “outstanding performer,” “high performer,” “needs improvement,” and “unsatisfactory”

– Bonus eligble for high performer or greater. Bonus levels set by Line of Service. Line of Service will provide specific details about the business performance measures, as well as target bonus ranges for staff level and ratings.

So TP/OP/HP is what you’re all shooting for if bonuses are of interest to you. Conventional wisdom would indicate that most of you will probably fall into the unexceptional “high performer” bucket and that still gets you in the money so it’s really just the rubes that are “Needs Improvement” and “Unsatisfactory” that will be bitching about how cruel and unfair life is.

It wasn’t all business, however, Bob Moritz shared his gratitude for all your ass-busting in the past year, the ass-busting going on as we speak and the ass-busting to come:

Your role in our success
Thanks to all your efforts to deliver quality, value and the PwC Experience to our clients and stakeholders, we had a very strong FY11 and we’re off to a very positive FY12. On behalf of all the partners, I want to thank you for your role in our firm’s success.

I recorded a short video to express my appreciation and talk about the continued investments we are making in you and your career success. We began making changes back in May, including introducing new career milestone awards and increasing transparency around compensation, all designed to demonstrate the value of your career at PwC — both financially and developmentally.

Now we are bringing even more clarity to the compensation conversation with enhancements to the Annual Performance Bonus Plan. These include greater predictability in your year-end bonus opportunity and quarterly updates about how your line of service is performing against its annual business targets. Watch my video and visit the Rewards and Recognition microsite to learn more. You will hear more specifics from your line of service in the coming weeks.

These changes are all based on what you’ve said is important to you. And we will continue to listen. Keep in mind, however, that the full value of your PwC career comes directly from what you put into it. The more you take ownership of your career….solicit feedback to improve your performance….utilize your success plan to take advantage of the many opportunities here to enhance your skills and develop your talents, the greater your ability to achieve your goals and grow your career with PwC.

Ultimately, the better you are, the better we do, and the greater our ability to continue to invest in you. Thanks again for your role in our success!

So, P. Dubbersteins – do you feel that there’s “more clarity to the compensation conversation”? It’s definitely clear that most people will still get bonuses, so that’s a good thing but it remains to be seen what actually comes out of all these changes. Discuss.

Comp Watch ’11: Individual Results Coming in at Deloitte and More Details on Bonuses

Following up on our previous post that addressed the high level discussions at the firm, some people started getting calls on Friday and more are having meetings today:


Our first tipster was a recently promoted to Senior Associate in ERS Tech Risk in the Northeast:

Year end rating of 2, 18% [raise].

And the latest from Houston for an 5th year Senior Associate in audit:

Audit 4th year senior going into my 5th year from the Houston Office (Mid-America Region).

As a 1-rated senior my numbers were:

9.9% raise
10.4% AIP bonus

In addition, we received a couple of slides that could be of interest to you on the following two pages.

Here are details for “Rewards and Recognition” which spells out the awards in the program and last year’s stats:

Sixty-nine percent of SMs receiving a bonus seems impressive and the Outstanding Performance award could pay out nicely if you’re lucky enough to get one on the high end. The Service Anniversary award, on the other hand, is not impressive at all.


If this slide looks familiar, it’s because it is very similar to one we posted back in July that showed Deloitte’s efforts to revamp their comp structure. The previous slide showed the AIP pool for Senior Consultants while this one is for Senior Managers (although :

So share your details as they roll in and feel free to comment on the results, the slides and anything else that tickles your fancy (as it relates to Green Dot Comp).

Bonus Watch ’11: Deloitte Gives Up PowerPoint Presentations After Stellar Going Concern Reporting UPDATE: Audit Practice Didn’t Get the Memo

This just in from the Deloitte FAS comp call that is apparently going down circa now:

7% AIP pool. No slides with details b/c it ends up on GC. Talking about PwC right now.


What, exactly, is being said about P. Dubs is not immediately known but I’m guessing it has something to do with the fact that they’re obviously vulnerable in the Tampa market but actually it’s more like simple trash talk, according to our source:

[PwC] made draconian cuts during the recession. They are making up for it now. They suck, D&T rules. [FAS CEO] David Williams is stressing total comp., not just base salary throughout the call. Base comp is targeted at 50% of the comp survey range.

[PS -] He loves to use the word “granular” as much as possible.

Unrelated sidenote: David Williams’ favorite hobby, according to his firm profile, is yoga.

Of course you’re on the call and have other details you wish to share, you can elaborate below.

Earlier:
Comp Watch ‘11: Deloitte’s New Structure Is Taking Shape

UPDATE:
A little comparison for AIP and merit increases for the opiners appears on the following pages.

Comp Watch ’11: The Wait Is Nearly Over at Grant Thornton

From the mailbag, a tipster quotes his OMP:

“Compensation and bonuses have been approved. Final letters will be received from national HR by end of day tomorrow [i.e. today] and will be communicated by your practice leader before August 1.”

Fill us in if you have gotten the news or email us the details.

Comp Watch ’11: McGladrey

[caption id="attachment_33828" align="alignright" width="260" caption="Photo credit*"][/caption]

A communiqué from last week, “Caleb, I believe comp discussions are taking place at McGladrey.”

So I asked around and yes, it appears to be true. In fact they started awhile ago. From deep inside Mickey G’s:

Some people from my office started having discussions about 2 weeks ago. One guy being promoted from staff to senior, who received a 4 rating, received a 8.5% raise. I was promoted from Senior to Supervisor, received a 5 rating, so I received a 13% raise and $3,500 bonus.

That should fund a nice shopping spree at the McGladrey store. Of course some people simply would have been happy to get a longer holiday weekend.

*Dustin Bradford.

(UPDATE) Comp Watch ’11: Early Returns Are in at KPMG

From the mailbag:

How about an open thread for KPMG 2011 comp discussions? Sit downs are happening this week. I’m a senior, Midwest, 13% salary increase, $3K bonus.


It seems early for comp discussions at the House of Klynveld but none other than the memo from Johnny V. and Keizer Söze stated that they were happening “later this month.” Our tipster speculated as to the motivation:

In the interest of getting people to not quit, they moved up discussions this year. The salary increases are finalized. The bonus amounts are projected, but they have stated that they are conservative projections.

Okay, then. Feel free to add if you’re planning on deferring your Early Career Investment Bonus or taking the money and GTFO (if you make it to May 2013, that is).

UPDATE:
The latest from an auditor in New York:

I have my comp discussion tomorrow and I’ve heard good things (16.4% and up)

Keep us updated.

Comp Watch ’11: Regional CPA Firms

As you well know, compensation is a popular topic of conversation round these parts. A lot of the discussion revolves around the Big 4 and second-tier firms like Grant Thornton, McGladrey and BDO. For whatever reason, we rarely receive information from those working at regional firms. This led to a recent plea from a reader:

Please keep posting salary info, especially from mid-size firms, and what raises look like so I can see what I am really worth/not worth.

So take this as a call for you regional boys and girls to cough up your comp details for all the world to see. Right now since we don’t have specific details for specific firms, we’ll ask that you identify your firm along with other pertinent details (location, job title, raise, bonus) or email us and we’ll update this post.

If you’re wondering if your firm falls into the camp of “regional” if it’s not a Big 4 firm or one of the three we listed above, then consider your firm (for the sake of simplicity) “regional.” This would include Moss Adams, CBIZ/MHM, Crowe Horwath, BKD, Plante & Moran, et al. That’s wonderful if your firm has a “expansive international network to best serve our clients” but nobody gives a damn about that and I’m not going to split hairs here. If you’re still not sure, just post your information and hopefully the comments will self-regulate. Fire away.

UPDATE:
One addition from the mailbag:

Regional firm headquartered in [the Dixie]. I work in the [small Dixie town] office. I’m a second year (soon to be starting 3rd year) audit Manager. Base comp is $70,000 and based on my recent good annual evaluation will be getting an 8% bonus.

Keep it up, regionals. The more specific the details, the better.

Promotion Bonus Watch ’11: KPMG

In case you weren’t satisfied with all the talk of comp from this week. The latest from the mailbag:

Hey, I am an experienced senior in a small market, yearly performance evaluationss are coming up (July 11-20 or something), but promotes are learning their bonuses, Which are in theory a function of salary adjustments between now and October, just wondering how those are looking?

Btw, Ernst & Young peeps, you better not be holding out on us. I find it hard to believe with the fiscal year ending next week that a grip of you haven’t heard any rumors about comp. Get in touch.

Blind Item: Which Chicago Accounting Firm Is Giving Infuriatingly Meager Raises and Bonuses?

This just in:

Here’s a spicy meatball for you guys. My buddy works over at [Chicago Firm] and he was so upset when he got his $700 raise and $250 bonus as a Senior 1. Not sure if it’s performance based, but a lot of [Chicago Firm] peeps aren’t thrilled right now.

Will that even cover the rent?

Deloitte Partners Get Some Pointers on What to Say Re: Bonuses, Compensation

As was mentioned on Tuesday, rumors around Deloitte’s compensation are starting to surface. This likely means partners are fielding questions from anxious employees about raise, bonuses and if they’re considering any part PwC’s new compensation structure. Of course, not everyone is comfortable discussing personal financial matters with Gen Y types, so TPTB have floated some talking points to the partners so they might reduce the number of awkward moments.

Question: What can we say to our people about this year’s compensation?

As we are in the process of closing our books for FY11 and completing our financial plan for FY12 over the next several weeks, we have not finalized the overall Deloitte or AERS compensation – both for [bonuses] and FY12 base compensation. Deloitte and all of the major audit, advisory, and consulting firms participate in Mercer and similar compensation surveys and use this information as a key benchmark for determining competitive compensation. We also continue to differentiate performance (and move AERS Advisory to a more incentive based pay mix). We do our best to be above the survey midpoint of the aggregate of our competitors’ with regard to compensation and make adjustments as necessary (as evidenced last year).

We will continue to implement our Rewards and Recognition program which is significant. We are confident that we will be rewarding our professionals in a way that recognizes their contribution and efforts over the past challenging year and the increasing performance expectations we all face looking forward. We also stay very abreast of what our competitors’ actions and claims are and, if appropriate, make adjustments based on factual information.

When speaking with your teams, please consider the following key points:

• We continue to monitor the marketplace and pay at or above market. The compensation scenarios we’re modeling will ensure that we maintain, and likely improve, our position relative to our competitors on a total cash basis this year.

• We are confident our [bonuses] will be at or above last year’s levels, which were the highest in the history of our organization.

• Our merit pool will provide for market based compensation for all of our professionals and appropriate pay differentiation on the basis of individual performance. Our people continue to tell us this is important to them, we owe it to them, and we will deliver on this commitment this year.

• We know that our people have worked extremely hard this year and we will do whatever it takes to ensure that they are rewarded accordingly. We have a number of options on the table but frankly we don’t have the year-end numbers in yet so it’s still too early to make those decisions.

Comp Watch ’11: Happy New Year’s Eve Deloitte!

It’s the final day of fiscal 2011 in GreenDotville and it seems fitting that we have a little comp discussion:

Word is coming out of the senior manager meeting last week that raises and bonuses are going to be “very good” this year. Of course, those are just rumors, and that’s what the firm said in 2009 when comp increases averaged less than 1% across the board. Other than the mid-year salary bump last fall, there have been no raises, bonuses, or any other incentives to keep slaving away since last summer.

As you may know, Deloitte moved to a decentralized audit planning approach this year, causing hundreds (if not thousands) of additional hours to be added to each engagement. With a shortage of seniors and managers as it is, it’s been close to a breaking point for everyone in the audit function. And, of course, it’s an internal mandate, so unlike the glut of work that came as a result of SOX, Uncle-D is unable to recover any of those costs from clients. Senior management is aware of the problem (Steve VanArsdell said it was the worst busy season he’s ever seen in his 36-year career), but as yet no solutions have been offered other than to say that “year 2” of the new approach should be easier.

Interestingly, the Ivory Tower here at D&T has been suspiciously quiet regarding comp and other issues. Consensus among the employees is that they’re panicked and haven’t yet figured out how to dig out of the hole that they dug for themselves over the past few years. They’ve moved up the timetable on the compensation and rating process by a couple of weeks, which means that we’ll be getting our raise and bonus information in early August instead of mid-August this year (to which, most employees have responded with, “BFD”). To most of us working here, it feels like it’s all going to be too little, too late to win back the loyalty of the current workforce here at Uncle D.

But hey, I hear PwC is hiring!

Our tipster sounds pretty glum for a NYE celebration, so if you can cheer him up with contrary rumors, please do so. Of course, you can always corroborate his suspicions if that’s what you’re hearing as well. And don’t forget to drop all your new leaders a good luck email. Everyone deserves a little thumbs-up on the first day in a new job.

PwC’s New Compensation Structure Gets the Spreadsheet It Deserves

As you know, PwC marched out a new compensation structure earlier this month and it’s been the subject of much interpretation, gnashing of teeth and even a fair amount of rejoicing. Of course, a complete analysis of this new structure would not be complete without the magic of Excel and lucky for you, a reader has taken the time to put some spreadsheet wizardy on it.

Here’s our tipster:

[Here] is an analysis of the new PwC compensation structure. It shows that the firm expects an approximate average raise of 8% per year and 16% per promotion year. The analysis also includes an approximate total compensation for each year of career progression.

I had to break up the image into two pieces so they could be readable. They appear on the next two pages.

Don’t forget that in Year 7, the bonus for promotion to manager is being phased in over three years, so that younger managers do not jump their more experienced colleagues in overall comp.

Obviously results will vary but this gives a pretty good picture of what your compensation will look like over the years at P. Dubs. If you’re busting, still not satisfied or have your own variables to add to the analysis provided, do share.

Here’s PwC’s New Comp Structure in Its Entirety (And Thoughts on Salary Multiple)

Last Friday we broke the news of the “exciting changes” to PwC’s new compensation structure. We now have obtained the document in its entirety (on Page 2 of this post) for those interested in perusing and any P. Dubbers who are unable to navigate their own email or internal websites.

The news has generated a healthy discussion with mixed reviews so far but one reader wanted to focus on the salary multiple specifically

Caleb – I think something that has been glossed over by everyone is the expectations PwC has set around salaries throughout your career.  While the attached excerpt [after the jump] shows that the firm wants you to think you will make 2X your starting salary as an average manager and 1.5X your salary as an average senior, it just doesn’t add up. 

No one is making that multiple, and most don’t think they will get there when we get raises on July 1.  Even the partners in our office said 1.5X for seniors and 2X for managers is an unreasonable salary expectation; they are also a little pissed that BoMo set such absurd expectations.  From what I heard about the associate and senior webcast yesterday, a lot of the questions were some form of “why are you a lying piece of shit about compensation?”  I haven’t had a chance to listen to the webcast yet, but I assume the answers to the questions were some sort of non-answer.

The firm has had a hard time keeping seniors around, so my best guess is they were trying to get senior expectations up to get them to stick around.  I guess they didn’t count on accountants to check those figures and do the math to make sure everything was accurate.

Well, P. Dubs new managers and SAs – do the numbers add up? Tell us in the comments.

PwCTotalRewards2011

PwC Unveils Changes to Compensation Structure

~ Note updates after the jump.

In the last week or so there has been lots of compensation news coming out of PwC, starting with the news from last Friday that “exciting changes” to the compensation structure were happening. There was a lot of speculation and up through yesterday’s Steve Beguhn capping Town Hall webcast about what those changes would be and now we’re happy to report that we’ve got the details for you.

Late yesterday we spoke to a person within PwC who helped develop the new compensati�������������������� employees and it sounds like their are plenty of exciting changes that are being unveiled today. These changes to the comp structure are part of a large shift in culture and values that all started last fall with the unveiling of the new logo (and here you thought it was all about colors and shapes). But enough with the pleasantries, you’re probably anxious to the know the details.


There are three major pieces to the change in the compensation structure starting with:

Transparency – PwC hopes to communicate to its employees just how they come up with the numbers that go into your numbers. For example, all those “surveys” and “benchmarks” that get thrown around? The firm plans to tell you exactly what surveys and benchmarks they are using, who participates in them, how many they use, etc. Once all that data is accumulated, the firm will present employees with graphs and other visuals to illustrate ranges of compensation for all the service lines and non-partner levels. They will also show the market midpoint and average vs. the PwC midpoint and average. This will allow employees to know where they are relative to their peers in terms of compensation and through an “open dialogue” in the performance review process, why they are making what they are.

Earning Potential – The next piece is your earning potential. In other words, how well you can expect to do while you’re working at PwC. From brand new associate to a new partner, you’ll be able to see what kind of scratch you’ll be pulling down at each level and in each line of service. Along with this, a new bonus structure will be announced in July for fiscal year 2012. Under this new structure, the firm will state exactly what will come out in the bonus pool; there will be no cap on the pool and it will be based on the following metrics:

Firm performance – The better PwC does, the better you can do.

Line of service performance – Yes, this means that if advisory had a kick ass year, their bonuses will be larger than the audit group’s. Likewise, the next time advisory goes through tough times and the tax group keeps on truckin’, they’ll enjoy a better bonus. Assurance, you’re just screwed (I kid, I kid).

Individual performance – The rating system relative to your peers will remain in place.

Each line of service will receive quarterly updates on the bonus pool. This is something that is already done in the advisory practice and will now be practiced in assurance and tax. All non-client facing support employees will also be eligible. The firm is launching a microsite and will provide flip books that will lay out all the details in case you ever forget all this.

Recognition and Milestone Awards – Spot bonuses have been around for some time but there was concern that it wasn’t always clear how they were earned and what they are. This will also become a more transparent process (sensing a trend yet?). Along with the spot bonuses, the firm is introducing milestone awards that will occur at the senior associate, manager and senior manager/director levels. Here are some of the details for each:

Senior Associate – In addition to compensation awards, new seniors will receive highly specialized individualized offsite training that will help the new seniors make decisions about their careers. This will last for 12-18 months as they adjust to their new roles. UPDATE: And by “offsite,” this means “an offsite marquis location.”

Manager – New managers will receive a bonus that is equal to 25% of pay. This will be phased in over a couple of years, starting with this year’s bonus of 15%, next year 20% and finally reaching 25% in 2013. Since the promotion to manager is such a major achievement, the firm felt recognition of that achievement is appropriate. UPDATE: The reason for the phase-in is so that recently promoted managers will not be jumped in total compensation by their less-experienced counterparts. The firm looks at compensation from a total cash perspective as opposed to comparing salary to salary or bonus to bonus.

Senior Manager/Director – New SMs and Directors will receive four-week sabbaticals to use however they like. They can work to further their professional credentials, spend time with family, take a vacation, whatever they choose.

So there you have it. Some people probably won’t be pleased by the changes because well, some people simply can’t be pleased. But from the sound of it, the firm is trying to give employees what they asked for and that is more information about the process, what “staying competitive with the market” really means and probably all kinds of stuff you didn’t even think you might want to know. Again, some people will be skeptical but those people also probably think OBL is still getting dialysis treatments.

So, let’s have it P. Dubbers. Discuss the new and exciting changes and throw the questions out there that you’re too afraid to ask – TPTB are definitely reading (and it sounds like they are fans of live-blogging).

Bonus Watch ’11: PwC Gives Most of the Staff a Pat on the Back

Along with last Friday’s news of “exciting changes” coming in the compensation structure, we’ve received word a little bonus paid out PwC’s last run:

I’m a little surprised no one has emailed you about the bonuses that were paid out this last pay period to PwC associates and seniors. This wasn’t across the board to everyone like the first December bonus [Bonus Watch ‘10: PwC Holiday Payouts Coming In]. I think first years all got $500 (since they didn’t receive the first December bonus) then everyone else received a bonus that was tied to performance/utilization (and I’m told some individuals received nothing if the managers/partners thought they didn’t cut it). I’m curious what the payouts were in other markets.

I’m a second year senior in the Midwest market and got $1200. I know of another senior up for manager that received more than that. I think this is separate from whatever changes they’re going to announce this week about our pay structure. Pretty much the message I got from my partner was this was something like a down payment on the year end bonuses, which makes me believe when our year end bonuses are announced, they’re going to immediately bring up the money they gave us in December (two bonuses for some) and then this, and say that’s why our year end bonuses are lower.

The webcast is supposed to be today but we don’t have the details and haven’t heard anything yet, so keep us updated.

At Least One Ernst & Young Employee Is Less Than Thrilled with the Firm’s Efforts at Mid-Year Bonuses

As previously discussed, a few people are getting impatient with the lack of mid-year comp surprises at Ernst & Young and KPMG. While KPMG seems to be chewing on the idea, we couldn’t help but notice the lack of any word out of E&Y.

We had concocted several scenarios, including the firm paying people large bonuses in exchange for absolute silence but we immediately dismissed this idea as “idiotic” since Big 4 types can’t resist getting chatty when it comes to money. But the lack of kvetching is what we found to be most perplexing.

Until today that is! Finally, someone has had it with the efforts (or lack thereof) of E&Y in response to Deloitte, PwC et al. We may wrong but since there’s less than two shopping weeks left until Jesus of Nazareth’s birthday, people are, as is typical, a little irritated (something which, we’ve never really understood, this is a great time of year). Case in point – the observations we received from “Ernie Guy” in the midwest:

I recently read your article discussing the fact that E&Y and KPMG are lagging in their variable pay efforts. Well E&Y Midwest thinks they have solved the problem, but they haven’t. It seems that their response to PWC’s recent generosity is simply more of the same. They have “enhanced” the recognition program so that gift card awards can be given in more denominations (instead of just $50 or $100 they can now be $50, $150, $200, $300, $400, or $500). However, this doesn’t seem to do much as the next level of award already was eligible for $500-$2000 amounts.

It’s a completely ad hoc process anyway, and does not at all ensure that high performers are rewarded for their work. On top of it all is the fact that I’ve heard that many award nominations have been pending approval for the last month. How great would that be if a bonus meant for Christmas (and remember, they are mostly gift cards, which would be ideal for Christmas shopping/gifts) doesn’t arrive until January 17th!

Needless to say, I AM ANNOYED.

Thanks,
Ernie Guy

We’d add more here but it doesn’t seem necessary. Discuss the efforts of E&Y to date and if there is a pleasant holiday surprise coming your way, email us the details.

More KPMG Comp News: For Some In Chicago, Expectations Are More or Less Met

Some of you may have heard enough KPMG compensation news but judging by traffic patterns, most of you have not. And reports are still coming in, so it’d be a disservice to keep you in the dark.

The latest news out of Chicago:

This info is for Chicago, Audit. Most of us had our talks Thursday or Friday, however I hear that some are still continuing into Monday.

A2 to SA1, SP+ rating, received 10% raise and 2% bonus. Same level, EP rating, received 13% raise and 5% bonus. I am also finding out that SP vs. SP+ has no difference at all. This is based on a salary of $56,000 which was our original starting salary (also included a $5000 sign on bonus) as we received no raise last year. This is pretty much in line with what the now S2’s received over the past couple years, as they got 5% raise after their first year and 5% raise for being promoted to senior last year when everyone’s salaries “stayed flat” as my partner put it. What I would really like to know is what A1’s to A2’s received, as last year they had the same starting salary and bonus as what I began with, so they were essentially making more than A2’s for an entire year due to the bonus.

SA 2 to SA3, EP rating, 8% raise and 5% bonus. My managers also don’t seem to excited, but I obviously did not ask them what their actual numbers are.

I believe everyone on my team feels this is what they expected raise wise, but are rather disappointed with the bonuses. Some additional information, raise numbers are consistent across all business units within the office.

It’s also our understanding that convos are still going on in New York this week, so continue to keep us updated.

The Latest on KPMG Compensation: Been Better, Been Worse

Just a quick follow-up to our earlier post on KPMG compensation. There’s been a fair amount of bellyaching about the less serious comments on the thread so we’ll alleviate some of the bitching with reports from trusted sources:

Senior associate promote in West advisory, SP+ rated, 11% raise, 3% bonus. Raise was higher than expected but bonus was definitely lower than what I thought it would be. It was explained to me that the 11% is inclusive of the promotion bonus so it’s really 5% promotion + 6% merit

And back on in the East:

NY Metro M1 to to M2: 10% base increase, $2,600 bonus, SP+ using 9-box system.

We understand that there are still sit-downs going on so do keep us updated.

Earlier:
KPMG Gives Green Light to Start Pretty Disappointing/Pleasantly Surprising Conversations

UPDATE:
Apparently some Klynveldians (we hear in NYFS) will get the esteemed pleasure of sweating this out through the middle of next week. We also had a mini-Flynn close to the situation inform us that “1st year managers can’t be exceptional performers [highest rating in the House of Klynveld].” Keep the tips coming in.

Comp and Bonus Watch ’10: BDO Having a Happy Hump Day?

From the mail bag:

I heard that BDO is communicating compensation adjustments and bonuses this week. Bonuses are to be paid on September 15.

Seems to be in line with our last post on BDO comp and bonuses, so if you’re get good or bad news this week regarding either, share with the group and keep us informed.

(UPDATE) Compensation Watch ’10: More Deloitte Results Lag E&Y, PwC

From the mailbag:

Managers in the Northeast for Deloitte had their compensation call today, raises for [audit] senior promotes (2nd year to 3rd year) are confirmed at 5 to 9 percent, depending upon rating. 1st year to 2nd year are 2 to 5 percent, depending upon rating. Experienced seniors are 4.5 to 6.5 percent with bonuses from $3k to $7k depending upon rating.

This is materially flat year over year for Deloitte. Although they are giving bonuses and raises to experienced seniors which did not happen last year.


So this is similar to the news from the Midwest we reported on Friday which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the country who may have been hanging on to a sliver of hope for PwC/E&Y-esque numbers.

Discuss and keep us updated.

UPDATE, August 18th: This just in:

Confirmed on audit senior compensation webcast this morning:

Base salary increase for New Managers by Rating:

1 – 24%
2 – 23%
3 -18%

Base salary increase for Experienced Seniors by Rating:

1 – 9%
2 – 6.5%
3 -4.5%
4 – 0%

Bonus for Experienced Seniors by Rating:

1 – 7k
2 – 5k
3 – 3k

Base salary increase for 1st to 2nd year staff:

1 – 5%
2 – 3.5%
3 – 2%
4 – 0%

Base salary for new hires will not change from prior year.

Annnnd discuss.

Compensation Watch: Deloitte Advisory Can Expect ‘Substantial’ Salary Increases

From the mailbag:

Just got off an “All Hands” call for Deloitte Advisory (not Audit). TPTB said to expect “substantial” base salary bumps for staff and seniors, but that they are moving toward a “base+bonus” structure for managers and up. As such, the bulk of the increase in salary pool will be to staff/seniors.

I dont know what that means – it would sure be nice to see 12-15% percent, but I dont think that is being too realistic. Whatever the case, I doubt there will be bonuses for staff/seniors like you saw at PwC. They bandied about a “$36MM” number a couple times, but that is really irrevelant without a discussion of the distribution.

People are sure giving a lot of credit to PwC. Maybe firing out of the gate was a way to put pressure on everyone else but don’t forget, not everyone at PwC is thrilled with their compensation season.

We aren’t expecting official word out of Deloitte for awhile but in the meantime, feel free to speculate on ‘substantial’ and keep us updated.

Compensation Watch ’10: KPMG Puts Some Ballpark Figures Out There

Since it’s Monday in late July (and many people probably had one old fashioned too many last night) we figured this day would have gotten off to a slow start. Well, we’re in luck! KPMG comes roaring out of the gate today with a little compensation update from none othercall me Rudy” Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer.

The news? Well, the promotions bonuses have caused some belly aching so the boys thought they would give you a sneak peak at what you can expect come merit increase time:

Update on Our Plans for 2010 Compensation
A Message from John Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer
8:19 AM ET, July 26, 2010

In April, we told you that there would be compensation increases for the great majority of our people and, assuming KPMG meets its FY10 plan, higher bonuses than last year for EP performers, and bonuses for higher performing SP employees as well. Now, as we head into the fourth quarter, we would like to provide you with an update on this matter. As you view this information, please keep in mind that compensation increases are determined on an individual basis, and reflect each employee’s role, skills, performance, geography, and experience, among other factors.

· Merit and Promotion Increases – For employees who are not being promoted, we expect SP performers will receive merit increases that will range from the low to the mid-single digits; EP performers will receive increases up to the high-single digits and in rare cases double digits.

In addition to any merit increases, employees who have been promoted should expect to receive a promotion increase of approximately 5 percent, with one exception: newly promoted CSD Managers should expect to receive a promotion increase of approximately 10 percent.

· Variable Compensation – The FY10 pool for variable compensation will be more than double what it was last year. This means that EP-rated employees will generally receive bonuses that are significantly higher than those of last year. In addition, approximately the top half of our SP performers will also receive variable compensation awards.

Please keep in mind this information is preliminary. Final compensation decisions will be made based upon our full-year results, so the ranges above could be adjusted based upon our firm’s performance between now and September 30. But, consistent with our commitment to keeping the lines of communication open, we wanted to share with you our best current forecast about these important matters.

In line with our compensation philosophy and our focus on a high-performance culture, we remain committed to sharing the rewards of the firm’s financial performance with our employees and providing a competitive total compensation package that differentiates exceptional performers with superior rewards. As we have said before, the strong foundation we have built within the firm, as well as our near- and longer-term business prospects, make us very optimistic. But to finish this year strong and begin FY11 on a positive track, it is critical that we continue to drive a high-performance culture by doing our best work, providing the highest-quality service to our clients, growing our business, and operating efficiently.

Thanks again for your continued hard work and for all you do to help our firm succeed!

So now that you have that to chew on for your last Monday in July, feel free to discuss the “low to the mid-single digits” for the strong and “high-single digits and in rare cases double digits” for the exceptional. And if you’ve got thoughts on the variable comp pool, you can go there too, if you like. Keep us updated.

Bonus Watch ’10: There are Some Unhappy KPMG Kampers in California

At least it was a short week!

Looks like promotion bonuses are available to view under Self Service Connection for those who got promoted. 2nd year promote to senior (high SP rated) in specialty advisory (N. California) = 1.25% or $700 in my case. What a fucking joke…working for 2 years and I’ve been making progressively less and less money every year when you factor in a signing bonus in 2008 and a CPA bonus in 2009.

Keep in mind that the promotion bonuses are only for the “stub period” of July-September until the full year bonus/raise come into effect. I’ve also been told by numerous people not to extrapolate the stub period amount to a full year amount. Good thing they said that cause if 5% is my full year raise after 2 years of nothing, I’m out of here before you can spell GAAP.

Apparently a Few People at PwC Are Feeling Shortchanged

The PricewaterhouseCoopers compensation post is still a hot thread, as the majority of news was about double-digit raises and bonuses have been reported from many although at least one commenter was skeptical that all the news was good in the PwC world:

“[P]robably the people most willing to share are the ones who got the most $.”


That comment was in response to someone who assumed PwC was throwing around “1” ratings (the firm’s highest) like boomies at a Phish show. Of course, not everyone can be so lucky and apparently there are a couple of terms being thrown around by the less fortunate.

Late last week a source close to PwC dropped us the following:

“Fonus”– noun; the much-diminished bonus Big 4 firms give to borderline staff they can’t afford to pay properly, but don’t want to quit.

Not to be confused with the ‘nonus,’ which is no bonus at all.

Apparently these terms have emerged this week as fonuses started appearing in people’s paychecks.

So not to worry “as expected” staff that can’t afford to quit your jobs! If you ended up with the 6%/0% instead of the 14%/10% or whatever, whathaveyou, you’re not alone! Plus, there are some fun terms you can throw around to help you bitch about it. Continue to discuss and keep us updated with any other fallout from the discussions – verbal creativeness or otherwise.

Compensation Watch ’10: PwC Starts Spreading the News in New York

It’s raining bonuses and raises over at PricewaterhouseCoopers these days. Unfortunately, all I’m seeing are news tips (monetary tips or buybacks at the bar are always appreciated). All of my sources are from the NYC office, so if you’re elsewhere in the country, please share your numbers in the comments below. Here’s what we know so far:


• Advisory/Consulting senior associate received a raise north of 18.5%. No, that is not a typo. So in the advisory practice it’s safe to assume the spread is 0% to 19% for raises this year, with the average being about 6% as reported by Caleb earlier.

• A recently promoted associate to senior associate in advisory received a 10.5% raise and a $3,000 bonus.

• Tax bonuses are being handed out now as well. Size matters in this instance, people. Cough up the details below.

This indicates that resources are being spent on what is being determined to be the right people in the right practices. Average performers should expect to receive 4-6% and take it to the bank.

Audit people, what are your numbers looking like? Email us or post your comments below. Practice/office/level are always appreciated

Thanks to everyone that is sharing information. Enjoy the weekend.

Bonus and Compensation Watch ’10: Grant Thornton Delivers the Goods

Grant Thornton has been on strict radio silence lately which makes us wonder if Stephen Chipman had given up on blogging or if they had simply given everyone the summer off.

The blog remains a mystery but we do have some news on GT bonuses (the jury was out for awhile) and merit increases and it seems to be good news but extremely short on details and extremely long on Chipman prose:

Leadership announcement
Additional guidance on bonuses and compensation

On our last all-employee call, I told you that I was optimistic that the firm would award bonuses this year. I am pleased to share with you that we are now in a position to say with certainty that we will be paying bonuses for 2010.

As you know, the overall level of bonuses is dependent on our financial results at year end. We are currently working on this modeling based on our economic forecasts and will have the final numbers next month. However, I can let you know that we plan to pay the bonuses in the mid-September timeframe.

Similar to our merit increases, our bonus payments are based on our pay-for-performance philosophy, where we strive to recognize and reward individuals commensurate with performance. We’ve held this philosophy for a number of years, but could have done better executing on it. You reminded us of this in our Voice Your Experience pulse survey, and we are striving to do better. This year — and even more so going forward — we will be giving larger merit increases and bonuses to our top-rated performers to ensure greater differentiation.

Merit increases should be finalized in the next couple of weeks and your local office will begin communicating with you in early July. New compensation is effective on August 1. The increases are based on extensive market information for each of our practices and your individual contributions.

As we work to differentiate our firm through providing consistently distinctive client service, we will continue to move towards a model that rewards each of our people relative to their contributions to the success of the firm.

I’m excited about our direction as a world-class firm that truly makes a difference, and hope you are too. Thank you for all that you have done, and continue to do, for Grant Thornton.

Stephen

So whether or not this puts your anxiety to rest is another matter. Discuss and keep us updated in the coming weeks.

Bonus Watch ’10: More Evidence That Promotions at KPMG Don’t Pay Like They Used To

From somewhere deep in the heart of Texas:

KPMG Dallas senior associate promotion bonus: $650 before tax. That’s down from $800 last year. Bullshit.


For those of you that don’t have a 10-ky handy, that’s a 19% drop. This correlates with the news from last month that the 1.25% for the summer bump and then a little follow up at fiscal year end.

Another source is seriously unmoved and makes an interesting point, “The bonus hardly pays for the charcoal so we can cook our Omaha Steaks.”

And just for the record, the freshly minted SAs get their new titles officially on July 1 but they should be comfortable correcting colleagues, family and clients for the next two weeks. Keep us updated.

UPDATE: Advisory out of NY chimes in:

KPMG NY Advisory Senior Associate announcements are being made by performance managers. Bonuses are a staggering $150 more then Dallas, thats $800 or 5.3% of the average salary here when annualized. I don’t dare think of what that comes to hourly with our SAS70 and Audit support busy season coming into swing.

(UPDATE) Compensation Watch ’10: Are Raises Looking Bleak at E&Y?

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard any news on the E&Y comp front but we finally received a preliminary report from one source late last week:

[Roundtables] went the same way they always go. Surprisingly, less pushback on proposed ratings for the portion I was involved in. I really think they may be scared to lose more people. Indications are raises will be low (3-5% range for most, more for 4/5 rated people) Bonuses are probably non-existent for the masses. Annoucements of promotions for other levels will be made in August (staff to senior, senior to manager, manager to senior manager) they will also do comp increase discussions then. Effective 10/1…


So despite Ernst & Young re-reassuring merit increases the 3-5% for the meaty part of the curve and no bonuses isn’t exactly what “the masses” were expecting.

That being said, this office may be catching some bad luck since we that at least one E&Y partner was confident that the raises would beat PwC’s.

Although, some lucky E&Y soldiers have seen some “spot bonuses” for their hard work but it’s not clear how widespread that generosity is.

On a marginally-related note, we’ve received word that the partner promotions were announced but we’re still trying to run down some details. Get in touch with us if you’ve got the scoop on the new partners, what you’re hearing about comp in your office and discuss below.

UPDATE, Wednesday June 16th: A couple more accountants familiar with E&Y have their own take on the comp situation:

I heard that we “we’re not going to be disappointed with raises” here at EY. I don’t know what that means. And I tend to believe, that as you posted today, 3-5%, is a more realistic view of what’s going to happen (though that’s just my own pessimism).

and that is coupled with another source, “Haven’t heard anything further on comp other than ‘moderate.’

Continue attempting to decipher the latest. As you were.

Bonus Watch ’10: “Performers” Getting More Love at Deloitte

Last month we told you about some Deloitte partners in the Northeast that were dropping some “Applause Awards” on “strong performers,” possibly to help calm some nerves.

At that time, our sources indicated that “partners have also hinted at more money coming their way.” It now sounds like those hints are resulting in some greased palms:

[S]ome $1,000 [Outstanding Performance Awards] have been circulating in NE AERS for “performers”. Similar to the $100 applause awards for the larger segment of consultants, I think partners are trying to head off a mass exodus; not sure if the 1k will make a difference; but it does seem to be keeping people from quitting prior to hearing about their year-end comp adjustments

So regardless of what some Deloitte HR types might think, there are partners out there that are worried about people leaving and they seem to understand that throwing a little cash around does wonders for cooling some anxious heads.

Compensation Watch ’10: More People at Deloitte Will Receive Raises This Year

Some straight talk from Barry Salzberg:

Barry had a [recent] session in LA at which time he said essentially the following about comp:

1. Raises and bonuses will be distributed this year
2. Raises and bonuses will be larger than last year, but are unlikely to return to “pre-recession” levels any time soon
3. More people will be receiving raises and bonuses this year


Unfortch, Deloitte doesn’t seem to be getting involved in the pissing match with E&Y and PwC by putting a number out there but “more people” and “larger” are both somewhat encouraging, no? Well, not really, according to our source:

To my knowledge, we’re not getting any more info. On the people side; the video didn’t say anything new and everybody knows that the economy’s getting better and that Deloitte’s doing better; so we all assumed it was going to be like he said. Without a number benchmark, words are pretty much useless.

Bonus Watch ’10: Ernst & Young Is Rewarding The Hard Workers

From the mailbag:

EY Mclean Office- partners are reaching out to people giving $400 spot bonuses for hard work during busy season.

This particular lucky duck was in the tax practice. Cash? Gift certificates at the Cracker Barrel? Just McLean? If you’re getting greased, phone them in.

Compensation Watch ’10: GT Reassures Merit Increases, Jury Out on Bonuses

On Friday, Grant Thornton had a firm wide call to discuss several things including layoffs, compensation, and grab-bag questions.

Headcount Reductions – Steve-o believes that the worst is over and that “restructuring efforts are substantially behind us.” If there happens to be additional “headcount transitions” it will be to refine operations or part of the no He went on to say that the people that are GTers now will, “in very large part,” remain GTers. So can we assume the action in Cleveland and Chicago was the last of it?


Compensation: GT seems is making big push towards a “pay for performance” model for its employees which means compensation adjustments will focus on top performers (“5s” in GT world) and market based adjustments (i.e. keeping up the Joneses) won’t be happening. SC cited a downward trend of salaries in the accounting profession based on a survey that GT does with Mercer (sounds convenient) for the phasing out of market adjustments. He said there might be some exceptions to this.

The size of the merit adjustments have not yet been determined because it all depends on how well 1) GT performs through the end of the year and 2) individual performance. Chip said that enough people were belly aching about the old adjustment system that a change was warranted. This will be implemented slightly for this fiscal year (can’t get all Darwin about it 3/4 of the way through the fiscal year) and will be the main methods for next year and going forward.

Bonuses: SC cleared this whole issue up saying that it has not been determined if bonuses will be paid this year. It all depends no the firm’s performance in the final quarter of the fiscal year. He did say that he’s pre-tay, pre-tay, pre-tay optimistic about the firm “being in a position to pay bonuses” but they’re still crunching the numbers so there’s no telling if it will be a mini-windfall, pocket change, or a set of steak knives.

Not to worry though, as the top performers will certainly get something if everything goes well at the firm overall.

This “new” focus on pay for performance seems kind of familiar since all the firms assign rankings to employees (with their own bizarro methodologies) and are paid accordingly. It makes you wonder if those that fall in the meaty part of the GT curve will get such a small adjustment that it will be another twist on the forced ranking trend amongst accounting firms.

Steve-o then shared his general optimism about the direction of the economy and what it means for the firm, a few recent client wins, yada yada yada. He also updated everyone with some very vague details on the firm’s new strategy “Unleashing Our Potential” that will be rolling out in the next fiscal year. Basically all non-partners will have the chance to drop their $0.02 on this strategeroy very soon but other than that we couldn’t tell if the new strategy involved a lunar landing or full-scale assault on financial reporting fraud.

Last but perhaps most importantly, Steve-o admitted to enjoying the Masters very much, however he was quite clear that he was less than thrilled to see KPMG on Phil’s lid. We’re sure it’s nothing personal against Phil but those may be fightin’ words directed straight at Johnny V.

Bonus Watch ’10: Are Deloitte Partners Getting More Generous to Keep the Peace?

Here we are, it’s April, and most of you are happy to be bored (relatively) at work for the first time in months. Now that your brain isn’t saturated with numbers and/or what you’ll eating at your desk, you may be weighing your options. As we’ve mentioned, Big 4 partners are expecting this and naturally they want to keep their top performers. How best can they do this? Bribery of course!


And at Deloitte, this method seems to be gaining steam. An accountant close to the situation gave us the rundown on the recognition programs at the firm:

• Applause Awards (whenever)
• Outstanding Performance Awards (whenever)
• Merit Bonuses (annual)

For the most part AAs ($100 to $500 – tax adjusted) and OPAs ($500 to $5,000 – non-tax adjusted) were frozen for the last 2 years; with MBs only being processed for 1s and sometimes 2s (we’re rated on a scale of 1 to 5 – 1 being the best, 5 the worst – with typically 5% 1s, 10% 2s, 80% 3s, 5% 4s and 5s).

Now that you have the background, there’s this:

Based upon what I’ve been hearing very recently, strong performers have been getting [Applause Awards] for $100 in the NE [Advisory] practice. In some limited instances, partners have also hinted at more money coming their way (seemingly in the [Outstanding Performance] realm). Seems like the partners are noticing that people, especially performers, are getting antsy; and are trying to keep the peace until compensations are adjusted in September…

Well! Good to see that Deloitte partners are taking their firm’s advice (combo of #2 and #5). This could work out well for those of you that are rockstars at Deloitte (and are easily swayed by monetary reward) but for the other 80% that fall into the unexceptional categories, you may just have the longer ladder to look forward to.

Earlier:
KPMG Reinstating “Standing Ovation” Bonus Awards

Read This Before Getting Excited About the Big 4 Announcing Raises Early

What was first a bold move by PricewaterhouseCoopers has now become a pattern for the Big 4 – announcing raises early!!! Woooo-hoooooo!

Or will it be more of a boo-hoo?

Never to be really subtle about anything, news of these promotions and raises is a clear indicator that the firms are trying to lock down their talent and keep the masses happy, and by happy, I mean remaining on the boat. Avoiding an exodus now is absolutely critical; too many people leave and the already short-staffed will be painfully crushed come fall interim work. But where is the balance between raises, bonuses, and promotions?


Early Promotions! – Ahh, the double-edged sword that cuts deep. Years of relentless work, 100 hour weeks, and passionate ass-kissing finally paid off and you’re bumped up ahead of schedule. Welcome to hell. Take the expectations dial and crank it to max; your boss just got free reign to play the, “Well you got skip promoted, no way you can handle this” card. And your peers? They’re no longer your peers because money and job titles make people finicky. Better focus on befriending the first year hires.

And speaking of money – because promotional raises are typically a smaller percentage for early promotes, there’s no tangible financial gain to being bumped up a year early. Why is this? Because you should be happy to be get promoted early. Last time I checked, warm and fuzzy feelings can’t be put towards the mortgage.

Don’t waste time printing new business cards. – Some of you will soon be inheriting a new job title to slap on top of your newly polished resume. The firms run the risk of those moving up to manager might jump ship completely. Don’t be surprised if the senior-to-manager class is larger than expected. Because eenie meenie minie moe – you’re moving on. Remember, it’s expected.

“That’s it?!” – Unless you were part of the 0.043% of those who received raises since 2008, you’ve been living in monetary stagnation for quite some time; many of you even complained about receiving the “you’re lucky to have a job” speech from your superiors. When you have the raise conversation this summer, keep in mind that it is a raise for two years of work. Two years; two busy seasons; two increases in monthly rent. Don’t let yourself get all giddy over seven percent.

Compensation Watch ’10: KPMG Back to Raises and Bonuses

KPMG’s newly announced Chairman John Veihmeyer knows that you’ve been anxious, so in a message to Klynveldians, Johnny gets right to the point, “I want to take a moment to address a question that I know is on the mind of every KPMG employee: Will there be raises and bonuses this year? The short answer to this question is ‘Yes.'”

For the “vast majority of our people” and bonuses will be available, “our goal is to enhance our variable compensation pool from last year—meaning higher bonuses than last year.”

How’s that for a Friday morning message?

As we reach the midpoint of FY 2010, I want to take a moment to address a question that I know is on the mind of every KPMG employee: Will there be raises and bonuses this year?

The short answer to this question is “Yes.”

As we communicated during this year’s town hall meetings, the business environment is showing measurable signs of improvement. In fact, I am pleased to report that thanks to your efforts the firm is slightly ahead of plan. So by year-end, we fully expect that the pickup in market and business conditions will drive compensation increases for the vast majority of our people. Also, assuming we meet our plan, as we are on track to do, our goal is to enhance our variable compensation pool from last year—meaning higher bonuses than last year for EP performers as well as bonuses for deserving SP performers. Assuring that we recognize and reward our best performers is an integral element of our compensation philosophy and a critical ingredient of the high-performance culture we intend to maintain.

We are optimistic. But along with this optimism, we must maintain realistic expectations. Keep in mind that our FY10 plan is more challenging in the second half, and reliant on significantly improved performance in the spring and summer.

What does this mean? It means that now more than ever, we must come together as a team to do our best work and make 2010 a successful year—one that brings the improved business results that enable us to restore the financial rewards that we all desire. If you’re in Audit, Tax, or Advisory, it means driving business and providing the highest-quality service to clients. If you’re in a Client Service Support role, it means providing our professionals and teams with effective tools, resources, and information they need to win business and deliver excellent service to clients. And all of us need to continue our Spend Smart efforts and do our parts to drive efficiencies in the way we operate.

Whatever the remainder of 2010 brings, you can be sure that KPMG remains committed to its philosophy of providing our people with an attractive and competitive total compensation package that differentiates exceptional performers with superior rewards. And, we remain fully committed to being an Employer of Choice and a great place to build your career.

Thanks for all your contributions to our firm’s success.

Compensation Watch ’10: PwC Moving Up Adjustment Date?

There’s been some whispering about PwC moving up its compensation and adjustment time frame from September to July and that’s got people curious.


At first glance this makes sense because the firm has a June 30 fiscal year-end. PLUS! Since Bob Moritz has already made it abundantly clear that there will be raises for 2010 we figure everyone would be excited to hear that the bumps would be coming a little earlier this year.

However, since everyone likes to jump to conclusions over the slightest little change, we’ll indulge. There have already been whispers of layoffs at PwC here and there but nothing that we’ve been able to confirm so people are probably antsy. And if the adjustment date is moved up we’re sure people are worried that means layoffs will be happening sooner rather than later. We can’t read anyone’s mind but we’re thinking this should be in the ballpark…

But if you’re anxiety is well founded, tell us why or get in touch.

UPDATE, a shade before 1 pm: One of our sources inside PwC shared their thoughts with us:

I think the overall feeling was positive…it will probably make some people happy (depending on the %) and hopefully limit the higher performers from going out into the market, however, it may also help some people look for jobs sooner (i.e. they don’t have to wait until September now, if the raises are low). Most people still have a lot of questions, including the estimate of the increase for each band of the rating system, what the bonus pool is going to look like, and although that is not being paid until September, whether we will know what the bonus amounts are in July.

KPMG Reinstating “Standing Ovation” Bonus Awards

Back in November 2008, KPMG suspended the highest level of its Encore bonus award, the Standing Ovation to “manage costs.” Since there is no shortage of exceptionalness at Radio City, the $500 awards were adding up so word came down that it was ixnay the tandingsay vationsoay.

The firm did keep its “Bravo” award that was good for $200 and replaced the five-hundo bonus with a $25 award and “thanks e-cards” that were way better than anything from Hallmark simply because Tim Flynn probably included a personalized message.

And you, simply, cannot put a dollar figure on that.


The most devastating part of the Standing O kibosh was that the trophies — which could easily qualify as a “blunt object” at a crime scene — were no longer handed out. These, understandably, are most coveted of all KPMG tchotchkes.

Well now, according to accountants familiar with the matter, the firm has reinstated the Standing Ovation for reasons that we can only speculate. It will be reserved for those Klynveldians that “go above and beyond” the call of their duties. Again, we can only speculate as to what this actually entails. Considering the fact that the hours you’ve been putting in for the last month or so have been expected, it may just mean that you have to try a little bit harder.

The reintroduction is being received tepidly, as one source told us:

Kinda meaningless to me. They don’t hand them out. Except for managers that want to get laid by younger staff.

Seconded by another source:

Just because they bring them back, doesn’t mean any partners plan on approving them. – “Oh, I nominated you for a standing ovation, but it didn’t get approved! It’s the thought that counts though, amirite?”

Another source saw it as too little, too late:

“Do they really think $500 is going to stop a mass exodus of [people] from leaving? Perhaps they should have thought about that when they didn’t give raises.”

Despite the vague qualifications for the award, it’s good to see TPTB reinstating the bonus for the sake of morale/bribery/empty hope. Now go get yourself one!

Rumor of the Day: PwC Tax Gets Some Love?

Don’t hold your breath but we just received a tip that new managers in the transfer pricing group got notified last week that they’ll be bumped 5% and get a small bonus. You lucky ducks will be making everyone jealous since you won’t be affected by the soda inflation. If you’ve got more details, you know what to do.

E&Y is Freezing Pay Because it’s Fair

E&Y has officially entered the pay freeze zone, via a voicemail left for employees, according to multiple tips we received. This follows the rumor that was announced a couple of weeks ago.
The following factors led to freeze:
Excuses Reasons and our explanations, after the jump


Fairness – “It’s fair that everyone’s pay is being frozen.”
Market Competition – “Monkey see, monkey do”
Invest in Top Performers – “Top Performers” is subject to interpretation.
Market Pressure – “Our clients are biting the dust or they’re ditching us”
Fiscally Responsibility – “It’s a recession”
One exception to the freeze is that second year associates will get a raise in order to put them at the level of or above the incoming new associates, which is consistent with the earlier rumors. Select cities and practices may receive increases but it doesn’t sound too promising.
Bonuses are being paid to those of you that got promoted and they break down as 5k to SA’s, 6.5k to Managers, 8k to Sr. Managers. Sounds like partners took a pay cut this year so dammit, no belly-aching. Just kidding, go ape. If you have your own interpretation on the reasons given for the freeze, discuss in the comments.

Rumor of the Morning: No raises for SA’s at Deloitte

Big D is the now officially in the toilet frozen pay camp, as we have received a tip that senior associates in the Northeast region will not receive raises this year. On the less-bleak side, B. Salz and his fellow partners are doling out bonuses out of 2.2% pool which will probably amount to barely enough to pay for one night of your now three day drinking binge.
Rumor is that the disappointing word for associates should come down tomorrow but if you’ve got the scoop for us early or have more details on the cold news let us know at [email protected].

Let’s Get Right to the Heart of this Thing

money.jpgAnd by that we mean money. We’ve started hearing rumors about the starting salaries for new associates and we don’t know what the hell to believe, so we need your help to set us straight.
We’ve heard $50k in Atlanta, $52k in Houston, $57k in DC and $61k in New York. Nothing yet from the left coast, so help us out. Sounds like signing bonuses are either significantly reduced and in some cases completely eliminated. Nothing has been firm specific but we’re guessing they’re all pretty close.
Talk to your fellow newly minted bean counters and find out the sitch on this year’s salaries and how it compares to last year’s newbies for your respective city. Also let us know if your start date has been pushed back. Discuss in the comments or send us the deets at [email protected].