The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For

KPMG Doesn’t Need You, FORTUNE; It Has Plenty of Other Employer Rankings That Say It’s Still a Great Place To Work

Oh Christ, the FORTUNE1 100 Best Companies to Work For came out today, which means marketing and PR teams all across Corporate America are on high alert. Who went up? Who went down? Who’s new on the list? Who’s off the list? Who gives a shit? That’s my take. If you’re not Google, then you suck. I want an employer who has a cafeteria that serves the most obscure cuisine on the planet (e.g. BBQ Tasmanian devil short ribs with poached platypus eggs) and I want it for FREE. If you can’t make that happen, then I might as well be working for the Taliban as the Womens Initiative coordinator.

Best Place to Work Bupkis

Last week we went through the painful ritual of listing out the accounting firms blessed with a spot on Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work. All the usual suspects made an appearance but ultimately a regional firm, Plante & Moran, took the highest spot among accounting firms (but they didn’t get to ring the closing bell, did they?).

None of this is of interest to you and frankly we’ve had about all we can stand when it comes to these lists but Adrienne pointed us to this post by Laura Vanderkam that takes the debunking to an intricate level, starting with something that we all know, that most of these lists are opted into by the companies HR or Marketing Departments (emphasis ours):

To be eligible for a list, you have to fill out whatever paperwork the tabulators require […] This means that not only do you have to be a great place to work, you have to be a company where management cares about being listed in magazines as a great place to work. Only 311 organizations bothered this year, out of thousands of employers in the US. So if you went through the whole process, your odds were pretty good. But that doesn’t means that the 311 employers that did try are better than the thousands that didn’t.

Our resident math genius is on vacay but if you do some rough calcs, your chances are, what, 1 in 3? Decent odds. Then, comes the strange phenomenon of where these companies fall and why:

[I]t’s strange that a magazine with such great reporters as Fortune relies on such a flimsy methodology for creating their rankings. If you believe this list, then Americans prefer to work at Nugget Market (a 9-store supermarket chain) than at McKinsey, at Google vs. Facebook even though some headline-making defections would point otherwise, and we should want to work at Aeropostale because, as one young employee put it “Where else can you talk to the boss over pizza?” (Um, where can’t you?)

The Trouble With “Best Places To Work” Lists [BNet]

Someone Would Like to Qualify Plante & Moran’s Fortune Ranking

From the mailbag:

The firm would be a great place for a new hire and/or intern. They offer competitive starting salaries along with a great support system and culture. I don’t know exactly how Fortune determines their ranking. If they surveyed newer staff and partners, they are going to look great every time, which seems to be the case.

There are some serious compensation issues for managers. How does a base of [70k-ish] sound (with potential bonus up to a staggering 8%)? How about a [marginal raise] over a 2.5 year period while [being promoted] that same time frame? The partner:staff ratio is so upside down that it is no wonder why they try and keep managers’ salaries so low. Some of the senior partners are a joke to try and rationalize with. I did my best, but couldn’t convince them what market salary was for a manager. I told them good luck.

Earlier:
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Plante & Moran #26 (2011)

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: KPMG #86 (2011)

Wrapping up our review of the mother of all employer lists, is everyone’s favorite four-letter word, KPMG. Since we’ve had about all we can stand of this, let’s get right to it.


KPMG – Previous rank: #88. How does the firms make up for the lack of sherpas? They appeal to employees’ desire to give back, reports Fortune, “Employees of the U.S. branch of the auditing firm get 12 paid hours to volunteer each year and can leave at 3 p.m. Fridays in the summer [Ed. note: while keeping in mind the needs of clients].”

Stats of note:
New Jobs (1 year): -1,043
% Job Growth (1 year): -5%
% Voluntary Turnover: 15%
No. of Job Openings at 1/13/2010: 5,000
Most common salaried job: Senior Associate – $73,300
% Minorities: 27%
% Women: 48%

Compared to last year’s stats, new jobs and percentage job growth have improved while voluntary turnover jumped 3%. Average salary for the most common job was down from $78k last year, number of job openings nearly doubled and percentage of minorities and women were unchanged. So a slight improvement for KPMG this year in the F100BCTWF and nary a mention of the possibility of more free flesh in the future.

Annnnd so, that wraps up the coverage for this year’s Fortune rankings. The biggest takeaways being the ascension of Plante & Moran and Ernst & Young’s massive drop while the other three amigos managed to improve slightly but they all managed to extend their streak of years on the list. Look for a flier boasting this arbitrary victory in an office near you.

Earlier:
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Plante & Moran #26 (2011)
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Deloitte #63 (2011)
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: PwC #73 (2011)
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Ernst & Young #77 (2011)
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: KPMG #88

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Ernst & Young #77 (2011)

Well, there had to be a biggest loser in Fortune rankings this year amongst the accounting firms and this year the honor belongs to E&Y. Now, we’re sure you’ll give us your thoughts on why you think the firm took a dive from #44 (highest ranked firm last year) to #77 but the fact that Fortune indicates the firm dropped subsidized gym memberships could be a good place to start. Maybe E&Y decided it prefers its people on the frumpy side? Or maybe they’re simply saving for the Lehman Brothers defense fund?


Ernst & Young – Previous rank: #44. Need reasons? How about corporate citizenship? Fortune says, “The consulting and auditing firm donated some $31 million to charitable causes in 2009, including $6.4 million in matching contributions.”

Stats of note:
New Jobs (1 year): -1,751
% Job Growth (1 year): -7%
% Voluntary Turnover: 11%
No. of Job Openings at 1/13/2010: 10,000
Most common salaried job: Manager – $102,593
% Minorities: 29%
% Women: 49%

Taking a look at last year’s stats, new jobs, percentage job growth, voluntary turnover, average salary for most common job all trended negatively. Percentage of minorities was flat and percentage of women ticked down 1%. The number of job openings jumped from 622 last year to the 10,000 above, so interpret you can either interpret that as “we’re desperate for people” or “we’re growing like gangbusters.” Arguments for each, thoughts on the 33 slot drop or speculation on what kind of cigars Jim Turley (Cohibas, we thinks) took to Davos are welcome at this time.

Earlier:
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Plante & Moran #26 (2011)
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Deloitte #63 (2011)
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: PwC #73 (2011)
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Ernst & Young #44

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: PwC #73 (2011)

Next up on our F100BCTWF watch is the former home of the next great superhero, PwC who slid a couple a spots from last year’s #71 but this does extend the streak to seven years on the list. We’ll dispense with any more pleasantries and get right to the particulars.


PwC – Previous rank: #71. Why so great? Fortune cites “flexibility” (you read that Times article too?), “training” and “ethics” (although a more robust appropriate email refresher is probably needed).

Stats of note:
New Jobs (1 year): -1,100
% Job Growth (1 year): -4%
% Voluntary Turnover: 11%
No. of Job Openings at 1/13/2010: 9,144
Most common salaried job: Manager/Supervisor – $86,826
% Minorities: 27%
% Women: 48%

Comparing with last year’s stats, things have dropped off a bit as new jobs, % job growth and average salary have all gone down while turnover has gone up. Percentage of minorities is unchanged while percentage of women is down a tick. The brightest spot (or biggest pain in some of your asses) is the number of job openings, which has nearly doubled from last year and is nearly triple of rival Deloitte’s current number of openings.

Earlier:
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Plante & Moran #26 (2011)
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Deloitte #63 (2011)
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: PricewaterhouseCoopers #71

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Deloitte #63 (2011)

Next up on Fortune’s “You wish you worked here” list, comes the newest future resident of 30 Rockefeller Center. A slight improvement for the Green Dot this year, as the firm jumped from 70 to 63. Let’s get right to it.


Deloitte – Previous rank: #70. Deloitte wins the race for fewer white people reports Fortune, “A third of its employees are nonwhite, the highest percentage of the Big Four.”

Stats of note:
New Jobs (1 year): -552
% Job Growth (1 year): -1%
% Voluntary Turnover: 11%
No. of Job Openings at 1/13/2010: 3,511
Most common salaried job: Senior/Senior Consultant – $81,622
% Minorities: 33%
% Women: 43%

Compared to last year, new jobs, job growth, number of jobs (last year it was 11k), average salary and percentage of women are all down. Turnover ticked slightly up as did % of minorities. So while Deloitte manages to be the top Big 4 firm in the ranking, we’re guessing that the brass is a little miffed by the wide margin between themselves and P&M. Still no tweet from Jim Quigley on this but he seems a little distracted with Davos to be notice a seemingly permanent spot on the F100BCTWF, “Oh, gosh. That old thing? That’s great, just change the number and dates on the press release. And try to get Salzberg to say something a little less cliché.”

Too late, Jim.

Earlier:
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Plante & Moran #26 (2011)
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Deloitte #70

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Plante & Moran #26 (2011)

Early January marks another edition of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For and unsurprisingly, accounting firms are littered all over it. If it were any other year, we could give a rat crap and would cover the list out of basic necessity. However, this year an interesting development has occurred – the highest ranking accounting firm is not a Big 4 firm. Now we realize that this may come as a surprise to you but P&M has been on the list for 13 straight years, topping out at 12 in 2006, so this is hardly a fluke.

Anyway, let’s get to the tape, shall we?


Plante & Moran – Previous rank: #66. Fortune informs us that good times have returned at P&M after a year off, “Employees cheered when the accounting firm reinstated its annual gathering, eliminated in 2009.” Also, the firm throws around busy season survival kits that include “aspirin, stress balls and candy.” No word if they help employees survive cranky spouses and kids but the line has to be drawn somewhere, s’pose.

Stats of note:
New Jobs (1 year): -61
% Job Growth (1 year): -4%
% Voluntary Turnover: 9%
No. of Job Openings at 1/13/2010: N/A
Most common salaried job: Audit staff with average salary of $64,300
% Minorities: 6%
% Women: 54%

It’s interesting to note that the number of new jobs, % job growth and average salary are all down from last year, while % voluntary turnover is up and yet the firm jumped 40 spots in the ranking. Perhaps the leap is due to a HR policy change from last year: the firm now has a nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation and offers partner benefits for same-sex couples. Regarding these issues last year, we said this:

The firm offers onsite child care during busy season but does not have a nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation nor does it offer domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples.

We’re not saying the latter two reasons are why they fell from #12 but it might help them jump back into the top 50.

Not that we’d dream of taking any credit but could a positive change in human resources policy result in a forty spot jump, despite the salary and hiring stats being down? It certainly didn’t hurt. Discuss P&M’s minor upset and we’ll get to the rest of the firms in due course.

Earlier:
The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Plante & Moran #66

Putting Accounting Firms’ Quest to Dominate Magazine Lists into Perspective

We’ve hypothesized about accounting firms’ quest to dominate every magazine list on Earth. Admirable goal, no question but the motivation has escaped us.
Until now. We’ve been enlightened:

Going back to the dominating magazine lists – its a lot like the bald middle aged guy (Big 4 accounting firms) that buys a Corvette (magazine awards) to compensate for a lack of equipment size (crappy work environment) to attract the ladies (slaves).

That pretty much clears it up.

Let’s Speculate as to Why Certain Accounting Firms Weren’t on the Fortune 100 List

Disappointment.jpgBy now you’ve digested the Fortune list to the point of nausea, so we’ll dispense with rehashing the firms that we covered last week.
What we do want to address is the obvious absence of Grant Thornton, BDO, and RSM on this year’s list. Hell, they aren’t on any of the lists going back to 2006. Are these omissions meant to be a thumb in the eye to these storied firms?
Perhaps they blew their lobbying budgets on the BusinessWeek lists? OR maybe — GASP — they just don’t GAF?


We’ll dispel with that for now and assume each of these firms were dying to be on this year’s list. Accordingly, the reason for their exclusion leaves ample room for wild-ass guessing:
Grant Thornton – We realize Steve Chipman just started his new job and he’s trying to get a blog up and going but for crissakes, how does he explain this to you? Will this regime change make a difference? He didn’t mention it on the call so should we assume this disappointment will continue in perpetuity? Could the Koss fiasco be the reason?
RSM McGladrey – This one doesn’t make any sense at all. Does anyone at Fortune know that RSM sponsors this woman? Aaaaannddd, we realize it’s too late for this year but RSM is now helping get Yele Haiti’s house in order. Please note both of these for next year.
BDO – They owe Banco Espirito half a billion dollars and they’ve been planning a 100th birthday extravaganza. Maybe campaigning for the list isn’t at the top of their to do list but still.
If any of you GTBDORSMers have any idea just what the hell is going on (i.e. why this gross oversight has gone on for at least five years), fill us in.

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: KPMG #88

Last, but definitely not least, on the F100BCTWR is the House of Klynveld. We figure that if you judged the HoK based solely on the fact that it sponsors a golfer who can manage to keeps his pants on for five minutes, they dominate this list. Unfortch, Fortune takes additional variables into account out of respect for the process.

KPMG – Previously ranked #56. It’s great because, “[The] firm introduced a sabbatical program allowing employees to take leaves of four to 12 weeks at 20% of pay. Some 450 employees immediately signed up for it. Employees average 25 paid days off.” Thoughts?


Other interesting stats per the snapshot:
New Jobs (1 year): -1,581
% Job Growth (1 year): -7%
% Voluntary Turnover: 12%
No. of Job Openings at 1/13/2010: 2,700
Most common salaried job: Senior Associate with average salary of $78,100

So the numbers aren’t so hot compared to others. Not to worry though! TF is out there rallying the troops even jumping across the Hudson every now and again just to check on everybody. What more could you ask for?

Earlier:
Ernst & Young #44
Plante & Moran #66
Deloitte #70
PwC #71

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: PricewaterhouseCoopers #71

Next on the F100BCTWF is PwC. While one of you (yes, we’re speculating that it was an inside job) was irked enough at P Dubs to send bogus checks out to randos, enough of you still love the place to keep it on the list.

PwC – Previously ranked #58. More lemons into lemonade from Fortune, “Accounting firm had minor layoffs (less than 1% of the staff), canceled 2008 year-end holiday parties, and gave two extra paid holidays to employees.”


Other interesting stats per the snapshot:
New Jobs (1 year): 402
% Job Growth (1 year): 1%
% Voluntary Turnover: 8%
No. of Job Openings at 1/13/2010: 5,097
Most common salaried job: Manager/Supervisor with average salary of $93,274

Still not sure about that number of job openings but it’s less unbelievable than the 11k that Deloitte had in their snapshot.

We still get the feeling that PwC is the biggest of Big of Brothers what with everyone’s utilization getting extra special attention. We’re not saying utilization can’t be considered but motivating employees with something more useful, like say, tighty whiteys, may be a better approach. Certainly wouldn’t hurt the ranking.

Earlier:
Ernst & Young #44
Plante & Moran #66
Deloitte #70

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Deloitte #70

Continuing our F100BCTWF coverage, we find Deloitte next in the pecking order at #70. This extends Deloitte’s streak of umpteenththousandth straight years on the list. Congrats.

Deloitte – Previously ranked #61. Fortune cites Delta Chi as the big whoop-de-do at Deloitte: “[The] Firm has invested $300 million in Deloitte University, a 107-acre campus in Texas that opens in 2011 and will be the ‘symbolic heart’ of their organization.”


Other interesting stats per the snapshot:
New Jobs (1 year): 296
% Job Growth (1 year): 1%
% Voluntary Turnover: 10%
No. of Job Openings at 1/13/2010: 11,000 (?)
Most common salaried job: Senior/Senior Consultant with average salary of $84,658

11,000 job openings? Thoughts on that?

The snapshot also states that 32% of its workforce is minorities and 44% of the workforce is women. What do you think new Chief Diversity Dude John Zamora is shooting for? 50/50? People are kvetching about a few H-1Bs, can’t imagine what that will sound like if Barry Salzberg finally is satisfied.

Plus — not to disappoint some of you looking forward to doing keg stands — if Deloitte scrapped the whole “symbolic heart”, project JARED (can anyone come up with something better than “Jointly Address Reducing Expenses at Deloitte” for the love of God?) wouldn’t even be necessary.

Earlier:
Ernst & Young #44
Plante & Moran #66

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Plante & Moran #66

Contrary to what you’re probably thinking, Plante & Moran is no dark horse. They’ve been on the list for five twelve straight years and rank ahead of the rest of three of the Big 4 in this year’s list (cue for “who the hell is Plante & Moran?”). They’ve fallen from their peak of 12th back in 2006 but we’re sure the firm can explain.

Plante & Moran – Previously ranked #42. Fortune took the unorthodox approach of using P&M’s layoffs to describe their greatness: “Audit firm laid off employees, but staff members commend the “team pain” approach: enhanced severance pay, outplacement services, pay cuts for partners, and deferred pay hikes for staff.”


Other interesting stats per the snapshot:
New Jobs (1 year): 10
% Job Growth (1 year): 1%
% Voluntary Turnover: 7%
No. of Job Openings at 1/13/2010: 17
Most common salaried job: Audit staff with average salary of $65,500

The firm offers onsite child care during busy season but does not have a nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation nor does it offer domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples.

We’re not saying the latter two reasons are why they fell from #12 but it might help them jump back into the top 50.

Earlier:
Ernst & Young #44

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For: Ernst & Young #44

The always über-hyped Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For is out and a handful of accounting firms make an appearance, thus, extending the number of years that firms will continue to boast about their inclusion. We’ll present each in the order they are ranked for your enjoyment/debate/debunking, starting with E&Y.

Ernst & Young #44 – Previously ranked #51. According to Fortune E&Y is great because, “E&Y is the only one of the Big Four to offer a traditional pension in addition to a 401(k). The firm is courting alumni via a new magazine, Connect.”


Other interesting stats per the snapshot:

New Jobs (1 year): -1,111;

% Job Growth (1 year): -4%;

% Voluntary Turnover: 10%

No. of Job Openings at 1/13/2010: 622

Most common salaried job: Manager with average salary of $105,544

This is the first we’ve heard of Connect but we’re guessing Zitor makes a regular appearance. If no Zitor, we wouldn’t bother.

On a more biological note, it’s not clear is where E&Y would rank if Fortune had gotten word of someone hoarding the keys to the mens john in Jericho. We figure if they knew a sicko like that worked at E&Y it would knock them out of the top 50 at least.