According to a piece from Michael Rapoport and Joann Lublin in the Wall Street Journal today, audit committees are the "junk drawer" of corporate boards. The workload of the powerful committees has expanded sharply beyond their core role of overseeing a company’s financial reporting. They are grappling with new regulations, whistleblower claims and issues like […]
Davos regular and out-going Deloitte Global CEO Jim Quigley is reflecting on his time in the big chair on Twitter and so far he’s said that “Experience has taught me in a world that seems increasingly focused on sprints, great professional relationships are the work of marathoners,” and “I’ve learned we often allow the urgent to crowd out the important; getting in front is the way we will stay in front.” These are nice thoughts and we’re big on reflection but what do you think Jimbo is really thinking that the Deloitte Twitter filters aren’t letting through?
Luckily, we’ve obtained JQ’s copious Tweet notes, all of which were ultimately denied by Deloitte’s Ministry of Propoganda. Here are some of the denied tweets:
• Really kicking myself after turning down Queen Rania’s offer to buy me a drink at Davos last year. #IDIOT
• Disappointed that I only get 5 months to Tweet under @deloitteceo. Not sure what my new handle will be. Is @deloittekicksass taken?
• @JustinBieber how do you get ready for a big show?
• I’m just going to say it: Sharon Allen has awful taste in music.
• Good luck Barry! I guess I don’t have to warn you that this job will make you lose your hair.
Of course, many of you know Jim better than us, so feel free to speak/Tweet on his behalf below.
Let’s be completely honest here, when I heard James Quigley had worked on a book subtitled “Individual Action/Collective Power,” I half-expected this to be a handbook on how to get miserable shlubs to do your evil bidding for you while you abuse and humiliate them. After all, the man oversees an entire army of miserable green dot shlubs, surely he knows a thing or two about getting people to do things for you.
Lucky for Quigs and the inds behind As One, however, this book was nothing of the sort. More like Choose Your Own Adventure for leaders, which allows the reader to first determine which archetype of leaders and followers his or her group falls under. Featuring case studies (“inspirational” stories) with such big names as Apple, GE and Pixar, As One looks the why of these organizations’ collaborative efforts before taking on the how.
Deloitte spent two years studying effective collaborations and in the process defined eight archetypes of leaders and followers: Landlords & Tenants, Community Organizer & Volunteers, Conductor & Orchestra, Producer & Creative Team, General & Soldiers, Architect & Builders, Captain & Sports Team and Senator & Citizens. The main archetypes are strategically located across a circular axis, with Landlord & Tenants and Community Organizer & Volunteer anchoring the upper and lower poles. Conductor & Orchestra and Producer & Creative Team sit at the extremities of the horizontal “nature of the task” dimension on the west and east ends of the axis. The other four archetypes are hybrids, occupying the spaces between the main archetypes and combining some characteristics of each.
So this got me thinking, where would Caleb and I be on the axis?
As much as I would like to paint your dear Going Concern editor in a sycophantic, borderline psychotic light, “Dictator & Huddled Masses” wasn’t included in As One, so instead I used the easy chart in the book’s intro to answer a few simple questions about how our organization works. I have the creative freedom to carry out tasks the way I choose (as long as I don’t talk too much about the Federal Reserve), and we have a fairly small hierarchy given the size of our website and TPTB that rule over us. Instead of choosing the archetype I assumed we’d be (Producer & Creative Team), I went by the chart to determine we were most like Community Organizer & Volunteers.
From key characteristics:
Volunteers cannot be told what to do; they must be given the choice to join on their own terms. The persuasive message of the community organizer motivates them to join in the cause; and it’s that common purpose that inspires volunteers to make a difference.
[Volunteers] independently choose to follow the path of altruism or enlightened self-interest. Community organizers and volunteers may be passionate, selfless and dedicated, but, above all else, they are independent thinkers who, of their own volition, decide whether to get involved in a cause and for how long.
“A community organizer is someone who uncovers [volunteers’] self-interest,” says Jana Adams, the National Training Coordinator at the Direct Action Training Research Center. “They give [volunteers] an opportunity to work in their own self-interest and address problems in the community that they could not address by themselves.”
All of those key characteristics rang true with me, though I wouldn’t necessarily call making misogynist jokes about work/life balance altruistic. And I definitely cannot be told what to do, so another point to the book for that one.
As One allows the reader the opportunity to brand his or her own strategy, whether or not the current structure allows for such freedom. Unlike much of what one might encounter in public accounting or any other similarly-structured business, the free flow and adaptability of As One gives leadership the chance to form itself, mostly through analysis of what makes an archetype tick. Even miserable shlubs have a drive (be it money, stability, masochism or the perpetual carrot of becoming partner one day being dangled in front of one’s face), it’s how they are driven that makes all the difference. Point being that leadership isn’t about who can bark orders the loudest, despite how life in public accounting might make it appear.
Are we all so easily prodded into distinctive roles? Not really, and As One doesn’t attempt to do so. Its authors argue that life itself is a collaborative journey, and it may just be easier on all of us to accept that. Organizational structure doesn’t necessarily have to create a disenchanted workforce just in it for the paycheck, and recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of each collaborative group can actually help infuse a little pride in the job, or at least more willing participation.
As One isn’t a book about how to get people who hate you to do things for you, it’s about recognizing the individual power in each of us to accomplish collective goals, be that running a business or changing the world as we know it. It presents some awfully lofty goals but asks one very important question: what could we accomplish if we could unlock the power of As One on a global scale?
Barry Salzberg will be the next global CEO of Deloitte, according to a statement released by the firm today. Of course, if you’ve been following our coverage of the controversy around the election process at Deloitte, then you already knew that this was coming. As you know, this election was an all or nothing deal and with Salzberg taking the reigns from Jim Quigley on June 1, Joe Echeverria will be the new U.S. CEO and Punit Renjen will assume the Chairman’s role vacated by Sharon Allen.
The always quote-worthy (at least in the context of a Deloitte press release) Dr. Phil said he was “humbled by the confidence that the network has placed in my leadership during this historic time.” He also had some kind words for predecessor, “Over the years, I have worked closely with Jim Quigley and admired his commitment to our strong global culture and shared values, which have brought us to our preeminent position in the marketplace today.”
So congrats to Mr. Salzberg on the promotion (and surviving the coup d’etat). Feel free to leave your well-wishes or other thoughts on the matter in the comments below.
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.
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.
There goes the Twittersphere.
Jim Quigley has broken the Big 4 CEO cherry on Twitter (to our knowledge) and he decided to do it in honor of the World Economic Forum (aka: The annual CEO ego strokefest) in Davos, Switzerland that gets underway in less than two weeks. Above is Quig’s one and only tweet so far and it’s very CEO-ish. We’re not expecting anything of the Kaplan variety but cripes man, add some color. May we recommend our series of “Doing it Wrong” Twitter posts from our resident expert?
Anyhoo, here’s the video from the tweet:
Thoughts on the performance are welcome. And JQ should know that we know Twitter can have a slight learning curve, so we’ll save you the trouble: you can follow Going Concern here. Oh, and Adrienne will be writing a review, so tweet to impress.
“India is an extremely important market for Deloitte. As…Opportunities in the new economic environment emerge in India, Deloitte with its focus on hiring, developing, and deploying the best talent in the region, will help clients capitalise on these new market initiatives,” Deloitte Global CEO Jim Quigley told reporters here.
Right. So nothing new there. However, Quigs thinks that it’d be really swell if TPTB in India would change their mind about letting the Big 4 provide audit services there:
Quigley also made a case for India to open up its market and allow global audit firms to practice here, besides providing consulting and advisory assistance.
Allowing international accounting firms to practice here would require India to negotiate and allow the service to be accessed under the World Trade Organisation (WTO). At present, India has not opened up services like audit and law for foreign practitioners.
“I urge the Indian authorities to give a serious thought to allowing global audit firms to practice here. It is for the betterment of accounting professionals. A mutual recognition is required out of foreign direct investment,” Quigley said.
See? It’s not just about the biggest firm in the known universe getting bigger, it’s for the betterment for the entire accounting race. There’s so much fun to be had. The Satyams of the world are once in a blue moon.
“The largest companies are generally served by one of the Big Four firms and I think that’s going to continue to be true and one of the reasons are the needs of that market place, due to the scale of those enterprises.”
~ Deloitte Global CEO Jim Quigley (who must have been making the rounds today) doesn’t see a return to the Big 5.
That’s what he told Fox Business Network anyway. He doesn’t stat it explicitly but Quigs is probably referring to his Big 4 and professional services brethren.
Not exactly sure why JQ thinks we aren’t headed for a double-dip after Team Jehovah gave the ‘fairly bad’ to ‘very bad’ outlook.
Is he still riding high on the biggest of the Big 4 news? Discuss.
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All right people, we’re going to talk about something that’s been bugging us all week – Deloitte’s big hiring spree announcement.
If you’ve already put the story right out of your mind, Deloitte Global CEO Jim Quigley announced earlier this��������������������would be hiring 50,000 lucky men and women a year over the next five years. At least that’s what we initially thought.
The PR machine was in full force as Quigs was mentioned in several publications all over the world touting the hiring plans in addition to big revenue numbers that might – MIGHT! – put them ahead of newly branded PwC for the biggest of the Big 4.
The problem is that the earliest report, from the Financial Times stated the following:
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, the global accounting firm, said on Monday that it would hire an average of 50,000 workers a year during the next five years as it revealed strong revenues.
Deloitte employs 170,000 people worldwide and said on Monday that it expects to add 250,000 new workers during the next five years as it looks to expand its services and geographic reach.
There is no room for misinterpretation there. The FT reported that Deloitte will add 250k new people to its firm. Nowhere in that report did they take into account (or think to ask) how those people would be added or how attrition, layoffs and partner retirement would affect those numbers. It was simply stated, “Deloitte is more or less adding the city of Lexington, Kentucky to its workforce.”
Our friends at FINS did some digging on these numbers and thought to ask a few more questions:
That’s almost 140 new hires a day.
By 2015, the company expects to grow to 225,000 total employees from its current roster of 170,000, accounting for standard industry turnover, retirements and natural attrition.
According to CEO Jim Quigley, Deloitte is hiring across all areas: consulting, tax, audit and financial advisory services. For FY 2011, Deloitte is looking to hire in all regions, but it expects growth in priority markets like China and India. Both recent graduates and experienced professionals will be targeted in the hiring bonanza.
In a shaky economy — in any economy, for that matter — it would perhaps seem foolhardy to add so many new hires. But, the firm has had a “successful year despite challenging economic conditions,” Quigley said. “Deloitte’s member firms have experienced growth, even double digit growth in certain markets, so we feel well-positioned to continue this trend in FY11.”
Okay, so whether the FT was credulous or just plain didn’t think to ask any follow up questions is unknown but we are still hella-skeptical about Deloitte’s math here. They’re still claiming that they will add 55,000 global employees in five years. The problem is, you didn’t bother telling anyone exactly how you plan to do that, other than the boilerplate CEO statements offered up.
Just for the sake of argument, say the firm does add the NET 55k warm bodies that it claims. It’s pretty obvious that not many of these jobs are coming to the United States. Plus, this won’t be purely organic growth.
Looking at Deloitte’s press release, it’s pretty obvious that consulting is the only practice growing and BRIC and emerging markets are the only regions where the firm is seeing meaningful growth:
Geographic results (aggregate, in USD):
• Asia Pacific revenues grew 9 percent, making it the fastest-growing region for the sixth consecutive year. Member firms achieving growth in excess of 20 percent included Korea and India. Deloitte China grew 8 percent. Market share of the Fortune Global 500 grew by 2 percentage points in the Asia Pacific region. Deloitte member firms also served some of the largest IPOs in these markets.
• The Americas revenues grew 4 percent. Brazil grew in excess of 20 percent. Deloitte United States grew 3 percent.
• EMEA revenues declined 3 percent. Southern Africa grew 22 percent. The Middle East grew 15 percent.
Business and industry results (aggregate, in USD):
• Audit revenue declined 1 percent while market share of the Fortune Global 500 grew by 1 percentage point.
• Consulting revenue grew 15 percent.
• Financial Advisory revenue declined 2 percent.
• Tax revenue declined 5 percent.
• Industry: Public sector revenues increased 38 percent compared to the prior year. Financial Services and Manufacturing were essentially flat, which represents a significant rebound from last year’s double-digit declines.
As far as the “public sector,” everyone is aware that these were boosted by last year’s acquisition of BearingPoint, so after that plateaus, then what? And speaking of acquisitions – something that Barry Salzberg has gone on record about – this could be part of the headcount boom equation but that’s still makes for funny math.
But increase your people by nearly a third organically? We’re not buying it, Deloitte. Not that you were selling it but you certainly got a lot of panties to drop with some hot rhetoric. Will they make the numbers? Who knows but there are at least three other firms out there that will be fighting you to the death for the business that will finance that growth. Good luck with that.
You don’t need to tell Jim Quigley that it’s only a matter of time before Deloitte is the largest accounting firm ON EARTH.
In a Q&A with India’s Business Standard, Quigs was asked about the shrinking gap and you better believe the man is all over it like a hard-hitting interview at Davos: