October 17, 2018

exciting changes

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.

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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.

Comp Watch ’11: PwC Rolling Out ‘Exciting Changes’ to Compensation Structure

This just in:

Hey Caleb,

I’m surprised no PwC’er has posted this yet. Earlier this week, Bob Mortiz hinted into “exciting changes” as to compensation structure and transparency, with details to be provided this upcoming Monday on a webcast. It might be worth posting this on your website to get some reactions from fellow PwC’ers about what this means, or to facilitate blind speculation, which is always fun.

If this communiqué from BoMo is, in fact, a few days old, we are a little disappointed it took so long to reach our inbox. Regardless, we’re grateful for the tip now and let’s get on to the important matter of speculating about what ‘exciting changes’ entails, shall we? The possibilities are endless but we’ll try to kick things off:

A. Option to receive entire compensation package (including health benefits) in Omaha Steaks.

B. Spot bonuses given to employees with abnormally high utilization who manage to not die.

C. Elevator speeches will have bearing on employees’ merit increases.

D. Outstanding individual efforts will be rewarded with the choice between a serenade from Steve Beguhn or a special appearance by the DC-area piano player for your next fiesta.

E. Various competitive poaching payouts: KPMG Partner: $10,000; All other KPMG employees: $5; Ernst & Young Banking Partners: A punch in the face; Deloitte partner: $20,000; Deloitte partner with a full head of hair: $100,000 (hey, they’re hard to come by).

F. Your ideas.