December 12, 2018

Ernst & Young v. PwC

Now We Have an Ernst & Young Jack-o-lantern

Yesterday we learned how you can get into the All Hallow's Eve spirit without dressing up like a paper shredder or Luca Pacioli. A PwC jack-o-lantern is just the thing to get the attention of your friends, neighbors, and, apparently, the boss this Halloween season. While mosWell, someone at Ernst & Young was not impressed.  […]

PwC Poaches an Ernst & Young Partner and Issues a Press Release, Part I

Let this serve as the inaugural post to the immensely popular sister series: KPMG v. PwC. And while Ernst & Young has been proactively adding talent via competitive poaching from Deloitte and others, to our knowledge Papa Whiskey Charlie and the Black and Yellow have not had any public personnel entanglements until today: Michael Spielman has […]

Future Ernst & Young Associate Can’t Stop Talking About PwC

If you haven’t already, please read Adrienne’s post on submitting questions to the site. I applaud her for hitting every damn nail on the head, and I want to echo her bottom line: we love hearing from you; the advice columns keep this place buzzing; but please check to see if we answered your question last week. I’d also like to add that the details you can provide (practice lines, office location, level, etc.) make it easier for us to offer more precise feedback. Keep ‘em coming.

In the meantime, consider this post as Example A as to what will happen when a lazy ass individual seeks advice they can find right under their noses. With thistried to find some shred of a question to answer, but instead I found myself screaming at my monitor. If this is the product of Helicopter Parenting, we as a society are screwed. Nevertheless, we’ll get right to it:

Hey GC, how’s it going? I am writing about making a decision between EY’s FSO practice and their TAS practice. Right now there is a lot of squawk about PWC’s FSR and EY’s FSO practices. These are both very hot topics and I believe relevant to readers, as seen after the EY FSO Assurance article [this one].

First off, you’re making a decision between two different options at EY, yet refer to the “hot topic” of PwC’s FSR practice (Financial Instruments, Structured Products and Real Estate). Let’s spell out some definitions for people here who are not familiar:


1. EY FSO – Not a practice but rather a term that stands for Financial Services Office. Per their website (which I Googled like any child can do) EY’s FSO practice includes all three lines of business: assurance, tax, and advisory. It’s a go-to-market philosophy/marketing strategy/organizational hierarchy more than anything else. Go to the website to learn more, if you’re so inclined.

2. EY TAS – Transaction Advisory Services – an advisory practice by name, includes a variety of services (due diligence, restructuring, valuation, etc.). Without splitting hairs here, a TAS associate will work on FSO clients (e.g. valuing insurance claims at AIG). Said associate could also work on a transaction involving a factory in Topeka, Kansas.

3. PwC FSR – Most closely related to EY TAS as it would fall under TAS if it were at EY. But it’s not. It’s at PwC, where you don’t have an offer. Again, not relevant.

Many students have accepted or are contemplating offers from the big 4, and there are rumors circulating that FSR and FSO employees work banker hours and get paid like consultants.

You are clearly new to public accounting, Going Concern, and the world in general. Get paid like consultants? WTF does that even mean? And for the love of God, you’re not working at PwC. Stop talking about it. Note: At this point the contributor goes on with a list of questions; my feedback at the bottom.

I am having trouble making a decision between TAS and FSO. For staff one’s in NYC, total year one compensation with salary and signing bonus is between 60-70 thousand on average. Not bad, but with what kind of hours?

On the other hand, TAS year one salary is about 55k, no bonus. What type of hours can be expected? Being that all new hires in EY FSO start in BAP [link for those playing at home], a 4 year rotational program, does good old uncle Ernie just rotate their staff through busy season after busy season? How much travel can be expected in NYC, aren’t most financial clients located in the city? FSO and FSR new hires are earning on average about 10k more than their audit and TAS counterparts. If the hours are comparable to these service lines, why so much more money? If the hours are much longer in FSO, does the staff ever receive a bonus? There must be a hitch…

Readers should note: This contributor happened to email us from a company email address of a flailing/failing/going-down-in-flames investment bank and – in this writer’s opinion – should be thankful to have ANY job at ANY Big4 firm. Turns out this person has already worked at EY during a previous (and VERY recent) internship and assumedly had ample time/networks/professionals/resources/access to the Internet to answer the above asinine questions.

The hitch is that you don’t have an offer from PwC, so drop the comparison. It’s like comparing my ideal commute to work (jet pack, duh) to the one I currently have (6 train, running with delays). Comparing a PwC FSR offer to an EY TAS offer would at least be a bit more relevant.

I’m going to ignore all questions about busy season hours/travel because you should have asked them while going through the interview process. After all, that’s the point of the interview process. I’m also going to point out that your statement that, “FSO and FSR new hires are earning on average about 10k more than their audit and TAS counterparts” is wrong on many levels. First, FSO includes auditors. Second, new hires within FSO make different salaries (tax hires make XYZ, auditors makes ABC, etc.). Finally, STOP COMPARING EVERYTHING TO PwC’s FSR PRACTICE.

What you do have:

1. An offer in EY FSO: What group? I don’t have a f*cking clue, and you never told us.

2. An offer in EY TAS: Which sub-group? There are six spelled out on the company website.

So, back to one the question in your email that hasn’t been answered at GC a thousand times before:

Hey GC, how’s it going?

Overworked and underpaid. Ring a bell? Take a number.

Bottom line: read through EY’s website to understand their practice lines and acronyms, something you should have done before emailing us. Also, consider taking a job in a “safer” practice…because the last time we had record Black Friday sales was November 2008…and we all know that the house was on fire then…

You’d Be Wrong If You Thought the Ernst & Young Golden Globe Auditors Were Taking a Back Seat to Other Award Show Auditors

Because, really, is team of Ernst & Young and Ricky Gervais versus PwC, James Franco and Anne Hathaway even a debate?

If you feel strongly about it we’ll hear you out but it’ll take some convincing.

The winners of the 68th annual Golden Globe® Awards will remain a secret until they are revealed January 16 to millions of viewers around the world, thanks to the efforts of Ernst & Young LLP, a leader in assurance, tax, transaction, advisory services and strategic growth markets. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has relied on Ernst & Young for the past 38 years to conduct the ballot tabulation process of the Golden Globes® with security, integrity and reliability.

And just in case you’re concerned about Ernst & Young’s “security, integrity and reliability” because of you know who, the protocols have been laid out in detail:

• Winners are known only to three senior Ernst & Young executives in advance of the telecast;

• Ernst & Young is also responsible for qualifying voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, confirming that their credentials are current and meet the standards set forth by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association;

• Ernst & Young controls the entire voting process beginning with the nomination ballots, and maintains control of the ballots until the telecast is over;

• Results are triple-checked to eliminate any margin of error; and

• Winner envelopes are assembled by Ernst & Young and are maintained exclusively under Ernst & Young’s control until they are handed directly to each celebrity presenter moments before they appear on-stage.