Layoffs

Ernst & Young Layoffs: The Latest

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for ey_bandaids.jpgFrom a reliable source on the west coast we have learned that the advisory practice of E&Y was feeling left out and has decided to get into the act.
Twelve advisory professionals — we’re speculating that it was all staff at this point — were laid off today in the Pacific-Northwest Region. The only confirmed city that we have so far is San Jose. Emails were sent out last night and meetings with partners were held this morning. For an added personal touch, our understanding is that the staff met with partners that they were not previously acquainted.
Our calls to E&Y have gone unreturned. An E&Y spokesperson declined to comment.
Jump back to this post for all the details on this round of E&Y layoffs and get in touch with details for your city, practice, and severance.

Are We Experiencing a Big 4 Exodus?

Thumbnail image for Moving on.jpgMaybe! Nevermind people leaving involuntarily for a second.
We’re hearing from many that people are heading for the exits en masse and it’s getting the bigwigs’ attention. According to one reader:
“[A]pparently its got higher ups here a bit worried. It was an agenda [point] for a [recent manager] meeting. Just wondering how it was elsewhere. ”
Of course, this leads to many, many, many teams finding themselves short-staffed. We just heard that the New York office of one Big 4 firm has been contacting other offices aggressively recruiting audit personnel for huge advisory engagements. This has been received with a resounding “GET BENT” since those offices desperately need the people for their local audit engagements.
It can be easily argued that the reason people are bolting is because of the pay freeze trend or since no one’s job seems to be safe, people are simply taking matters into their own hands.
So discuss in the comments what you’re seeing, hearing, and speculating about regarding people leaving your firm. This may be an office by office phenomenon so we’ll put out to you to give us the details for your office, your team, your firm in general.

E&Y Layoff Update

Jump back to our post from yesterday to read the latest on this week’s cuts at E&Y.

(UPDATE) Layoff Watch ’09: Update on Ernst & Young

In addition to the layoffs we reported on yesterday in Chicago and Dallas, we now have reports of cuts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Irvine. Our source on the left coast speculates that the current round can’t be too large in scope since everyone is already stretched thin.
So far it’s been in assurance only and we’re scant on details for severance so get in touch if you find yourself with some extra time on your hands or you have details on the numbers in your office.
UPDATE, Wednesday Nov 11th: Our sources are now reporting layoffs in the tax practice including the tax managing partner for the Phoenix office, and an executive director in Denver. We also have reports on tax layoffs in the Southern California offices. Per our source:

• Los Angeles: 4 that I know of. At least 1 Senior, 1 Staff
• Irvine: 4 that I know of. At least 1 staff
• San Diego: 4 that I know of. 3 Senior managers, 1 Senior.

Senior managers are reportedly receiving three months pay and A2’s are receiving one month for severance. Continue to keep us updated.
UPDATE 2, Thursday, November 12th: Twelve advisory professionals in the Pacific-Northwest region.
UPDATE 3, Friday, November 13th: Charlotte office dismissed three audit SA1’s. In the North Central region: Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Cleveland offices all laid off three SAs. Twenty total layoffs reported between Pittsburgh (at least three), Cincinnati (at least three), Cleveland (3), and Detroit.
UPDATE 4: Saturday, November 14th: ~5-6 audit professionals in Minneapolis and ~1-2 audit in Milwaukee.
Chicago: In addition to the ~20 layoffs we originally reported there were ~2-3 in support roles were let go.

Rumor Mill: PwC Is Pretty Sure That No One in Assurance or Tax Will Be Laid Off

moritz_becks.jpgBob Moritz, the U.S. Chairman, is trying to calm everyone down, as an email has been sent to the troops letting them know that it’s unlikely that there will be layoffs in the Assurance or Tax practices. We haven’t been able to track down a copy of the email yet but that’s the gist.
While this is good news, we would be more comforable if the email would have read something like:
“We’re absolutely, 100% sure that no one in Assurance and Tax will be laid off like we just did in Advisory. Write it down. No one. Not even you, guy that dicks around in the cubicle by the window so that he can see everyone approaching. Your utilization is in the crapper but it’s cool. You’re safe.”
Or he simply could have just added the photo to the email so everyone would feel better. Nothing says, “trust me” like a fresh pair of P. Dubs tighty-whities, amiright?

Layoff Watch ’09: Ernst & Young

We’ve received tips that layoffs have recently occurred in both the Chicago and Dallas offices of E&Y. The reports out of Chicago were that layoffs occurred on Friday and over the weekend.
Our source told us that the Friday layoffs were seniors in the Retail and Consumer Products industry group and weekend layoffs were across as well as other industry groups. Altogether approximately 20 professionals.
We have fewer details on the Dallas layoffs except that they were a couple of managers from the asset management group in the audit practice. The small number leads us to speculate that these were performance related, similar to the cuts we reported in August.
There have been several rumors circulating about layoffs occurring this week at E&Y and other firms as well so if you have more details on the Chicago or Dallas layoffs or know of cuts in your office, send us the details to our tips line.

Layoff Watch: Update on PwC November ’09 Edition

We’ve confirmed that the layoffs have started.
The first casualty that we know of was out of the Boston office and worked in Forensic services. No severance details as of yet. Kindly update us with your office, service line and severance details.

Rumor Mill: ‘Meeting with Partner’ Requests Going Out at PwC

Maybe it’s just an informational sit-down for the new P. Dubs tighty-whities that you’re all going to be expected to wear but our contributor, Francine McKenna had this ominous tweet:
Picture 1.png
Apparently someone else may have an itchy trigger finger. According to the comments over at RTA the emails have gone out to an office on the east coast but nothing more specific than that.
Keep us updated if you get a notice or if you know someone who gets a notice, or you know someone who knows someone, etc.

Layoff Watch: PwC November ’09 Edition

Thumbnail image for becks.jpgWe’re not going to say that the pending endorsement of Becks’ undies has anything to do with it but that guy doesn’t come cheap.

Our contributor, Francine McKenna, is reporting on her blog that PwC Advisory cuts will be going down next week:

I’ve just received word: There was a PwC Advisory partners emergency conference call tonight announcing upcoming involuntary staff reductions.
(This time the source is impeccable.)

New US Advisory Leader, Dana McIlwain laid out the bad news: The time has come to cut. Average utilization is hovering at 69%. Cash collections are millions short. Campus recruiting for Advisory has been stopped cold. Business sucks and then there’s the 800+ BearingPoint folks to absorb.

On November 11th the rank and file partners, fortified after training and coaching by HR via a webcast in the next few days, will chop 300+ professionals from PwC Advisory, at all levels, all geographies, all practices. Most have already seen the writing on the wall via forced ranking.

Well, crap. We’re not talking Lotus Notes developers this time around. If the guillotine does indeed drop next week, it probably won’t come as a surprise with the less-than exciting revenue numbers and the rumors that the firm was phoning in no raises for fiscal year 2010.

Oh and then after whoring themselves out for AHIP, P. Dubs turned around and folded like a cheap lawn chair. That probably won’t win you clients.

We’ll keep our ear to the ground on this but in the meantime, let us know if you’ve got more details on these rumored layoffs or if you get an unexpected email much earlier than next Wednesday. It’s been known to happen.
Veteran’s Day In PwC Advisory: Say Auf Wiedersehen [Re: The Auditors]

Earlier: PwC’s Re-thinking of the Bell Curve Ranking

Also: Ratings, Raises, and Promotions: Forced Ranking in the Big 4

Mavericks Need Not Apply at Ernst & Young

sarah-palin.jpgFINS has a short chat with E&Y’s Director of Experienced Recruiting, Maureen Kelleher, discussing, well, jobs at E&Y.
Highlights that you might enjoy find interesting:
Getting ahead: “It’s about being a team player — to take leadership responsibility but to not be a maverick.”
Salaries: “We’re staying the course, as it were. We have extremely competitive salaries. We reward for performance. Granted, our firm is not immune to the economy, so the proportion of all that is probably not as great as it has been in the past.”
Layoffs: “We’ve been watching our costs, and that’s about as much as I’ll say about that.”
“Staying the course” may simply be another way of saying, “It’s fair“. Also, the “watching costs” response? We feel Ms. Kelleher could have answered better here but maybe Big 4 rhetoric isn’t our strong suit.
Check out the whole interview over at FINS, and feel free to discuss your non-mavericky firm in the comments.
Maureen Kelleher: Ernst & Young [FINS]

KPMG Layoffs Part II Follow-up

It’s been fairly quiet since this past Tuesday’s layoffs but it sounds like lots of cuts occurred in national support services in Montvale, NJ. We also received a tip that the Richmond office let go a few professionals from their Internal Audit Risk & Compliance team which adds to the advisory cuts that were reported last week.
We also got more details on the Chicago office’s layoffs of tax professionals:

In addition to the 5 from ICS there were at least these:
• 4 in Fed Tax (Consumer Markets) – 1 manager, 2 seniors, 1 associate
• 1 in SALT – manager
• 1 in EVS – senior manager
• 3 in Fed Tax (Real Estate) – 1 managing director, 2 seniors

There were lots of rumors of it continuing this week, so continue to keep us updated. The bright side is today is New Year’s Day in the land of Klynveld.

Layoff Watch: PwC

Editor’s note: Francine McKenna is a regular contributor for Going Concern

We’ve gotten reports of recent layoffs of over 100 professionals in the Advisory practice and 40 in U.S. IT. The IT professionals were out of the Tampa office, including some that were Lotus Notes developers. Right. We didn’t know anyone still used Lotus Notes either.
Sources indicate that this was more “forced ranking” layoffs as many were high performers that were dismissed because of suddenly ‘less than expected’ ratings. We’ve covered PwC’s less than clear approach in the past.

PwC has not immediately responded to our requests for comment.

We reached out to Francine McKenna, of Re: The Auditors and she provided this comment:

“PwC is the biggest abuser of the “forced ranking” approach, artificially downgrading folks to make them feel lousy, alone, and uncomfortable discussing or otherwise reacting to getting let go. They refuse to admit they are overstaffed because they would view it as a direct indication of their inability to manage effectively (notice I said manage, not lead).”

If you have more details on these layoffs, send us an email to our tips address and discuss in the comments.

Layoff Watch: KPMG September Edition Part II

Layoffs of client service support professionals occurring circa now.
UPDATE, 4:28 pm: Rumor is that layoffs will continue through tomorrow. One source informed us that 25% of the Information Security Department in Montvale, NJ was let go. Continue to keep us updated with any developments.

TGIF

A few more updates for this weeks layoffs. We’ll continue to update you as long as more information comes in. Good luck to everyone affected.

Get Your Fix

Thumbnail image for bubbles.jpg
Check out the latest updates on this week’s layoffs. And Bubbles is our favorite junkie.
That is all.

(UPDATE 4) KPMG Layoffs Follow-up

There are several cities where we can confirm layoffs but total numbers are hard to come by and KPMG is not returning our calls/emails at this time. Here are cities that we definitely know got hit:
Chicago – At least five in Int’l Tax. At least one in financial services tax.
Denver – Transaction Services
Kansas City – Six to eight in Tax
Houston – Transaction Services
San Fran – Five in Fed Tax
LA and OC – Several comments report ten to twelve in tax for LA, five for OC
DC/Tyson’s Corner/McLean – Between five and eight total in tax and advisory.
Silicon Valley – Thirteen total. Five to Seven Mostly in Tax, possibly some in EVS and one in Transaction Services.
Seattle and Portland – Two in Tax for each
Salt Lake City – Three in Tax
Detroit – Three to five in Tax
Jacksonville, FL – Two in Tax
New York – Three in the transfer pricing specialty group in the tax practice. Three in the real estate practice. According to our source, these were performance performance related.
Boston – Two in Fed Tax and one in M&A
Nashville – Two in Tax
Tampa – Two in Tax, one manager and one SA
We haven’t been able to confirm much out of the New York office, although it sounds as though Transaction Services has had some cuts. If you’ve got new details on any city, let us know.
UPDATE: See updates above. Altogether it appears to be over thirty-five in the west alone. Continue sending us updates.
UPDATE, Thursday, 11:54 am: Information is still crawling in. We heard that the number of nationwide layoffs for Advisory was 50, including 20 in the NY/Boston offices but we’re still waiting on more information. Continue to send tips in and make sure you note which office you’re in. Oh, and apparently the Dallas office needs SA’s in audit.
UPDATE, Friday, 12:30: Still a few tips coming (see updates above) in but it seems the worst (hopefully) is over.
UPDATE, Monday 3:04 pm: Just a couple more updates above for Nashville and Tampa.

Rumor Mill: KPMG Layoff Started Early in Philly

Not that Klynveldians need reminded but tomorrow is the rumored next round of layoffs. This time its rumored to be the tax practice and perhaps the advisory practice as well making cuts.
Someone in the Philadelphia office got their call earlier than planned according to a tip we received:

…one associate who received a phone call at 3:00 PM letting her know that her services were no longer needed. She was initially told this would likely happen on the 21st, but for some reason, the powers that be thought it more appropriate to call someone on the 15th

If you’ve got details on your office or if you have received a request for a meeting, let us know and we’ll continue to update you as we hear more.

Rumor of Morning: KPMG Layoffs September Edition

This isn’t how Klynveldians probably want to start their Friday but we’ve received a tip that conference rooms have already been reserved by HR for all of next Tuesday at the Radio Station in Kansas City.
If you’re throwing a birthday party that day, let us know, otherwise discuss.

Rumor Mill: KPMG Layoff D Days

A little follow-up from our request for the latest on highly anticipated post-September 15th layoffs. Here’s what we’re hearing:
Sources and some comments have indicated that the dates to be wary of are today the 16th, tomorrow the 17th, next Monday the 21st, and next Tuesday the 22nd. The word is that these will be tax and advisory practice cuts only.
KPMG did not immediately respond to our request for comment on these dates. If you have specific information on your anything going down at your office send us the scoop at tips@goingconcern.com.

The good news is…

…we’ve heard back from sources at all the firms and so far everything is quiet out there regarding the September edition of accounting firm layoffs, however, we’re still checking around.
The bad news of course, is that we’ve got fifteen days left in this month. There are some preliminary rumors out of KPMG in Chicago from last Friday but nothing has been confirmed.
If you have additional information on the Chicago rumors or if you’ve got any information on anything related to what sounds to be the inevitable for several firms, send them to tips@goingconcern.com.

Rumor Mill: More KPMG Layoffs

Frankly, this is getting ridiculous. We got wind of more staff layoffs going down in the Metro audit practice in New York today. Sounds as though emails may have been sent out last night and meetings are being held today.
One explanation we heard was that associates not currently assigned to a client were let go which seems dubious, even for an accounting firm, but we’ll run with it. If you’re one of the unlucky few, or have details on rumors concerning next week, drop us a line or discuss in the comments.

Rumor of the Morning: E&Y SoCal Layoffs

Received word late last night that layoffs went down out west yesterday. According to our source, the breakdown is as follows:
• Two in LA
• Two in Irvine- tax (one staff 1)
• One in San Diego – tax (staff 2)
• A few in Vegas- Audit only
We reached out to an E&Y spokesperson, who declined to comment.
Our source says it was performance based but that particular reason has been a matter of debate for some time. If you’ve got your own theories, discuss in the comments and send us any more details if you’ve got them.
Here’s hoping that Ern isn’t getting warmed up…

True Partners Consulting Layoffs Get Our Attention

fired.jpgTrue Partners Tax Consulting (TPC), who provides “Intelligent Tax Advice” according to its website, decided that it didn’t seem some of its intelligence. According to a tip we received, the Chicago office decided that it really didn’t need some of its intelligence:
Details, after the jump

[TPC] just cleaned house in Chicago. I can tell you for sure that they laid off at least 20 employees (non-partners), most of whom were mid-level or juniors, and that they just rescinded the vast majority (28 out of 36) of outstanding offers of employment. Apparently, the tax attorneys were hit disproportionately hard. I personally know three University of Illinois College of Law newly minted tax attorneys who were just given the axe before they even started work. I have no idea about the firm’s other offices, but I assume they are undergoing a nation-wide bloodbath.

We’ve reached out to TPC who has not responded to our request for comment.
Since it’s possible that many of you aren’t familiar with TPC, we took the liberty of checking them out. TPC has fourteen offices worldwide, including New York, Chicago, LA, London, Munich, and Paris and they specialize in a wide array of tax and business consulting services.
TPC was also listed 9th on Crain’s Chicago Top 20 Places to Work in the spring. PLUS: “There’s free beer and wine after 5 p.m. and a big-screen TV, Nintendo Wii game system and pingpong table for quick escapes from the daily grind.”
If you keep reading the Crain’s piece, you find out that your abrasive assholey ways will not be tolerated, “True Partners won’t hire anyone who can’t pass the collegiality test and will not keep anyone on board who doesn’t display respect and selflessness toward peers.”
Okay, think we got it. So are we to assume that the 20 let go were all dicks (around 20% of the Chicago office) and the offers were rescinded because it was decided those people couldn’t be trusted to play nice? We’ll start there. Help us out with this one and if you know someone that works at this tax utopia pass it along to them. At very least find out what kind of beer they stock in the fridge.

KPMG Didn’t Hear You Say ‘Uncle’

So we know why the final numbers in a few offices haven’t been reported for last week’s layoffs at KPMG: They’re still happening, circa now. According to somebody within earshot: “I passed someone in the hallway mumbling about getting the ax. I thought they were over; clearly not the case.”
We hear that the timing of these is partially due to the firm sending little auditors to training first and then bringing them back only to say, “Hope you enjoyed yourself, ’cause it was your last.”
This begs the obvious question of why the hell KPMG would go to this expense of sending them down there only to can their asses upon return.
We’d love to hear some wild speculation on the reasoning although based on yesterday’s mention, you’re all numb at this point.

KPMG: We’re Not Done

The Radio Station, presumably not wanting to break its stride, is not done handing out bad news. Apparently layoffs have still been occurring as recently as yesterday in Chicago. The total there is now between 30 and 35. Check out the final numbers for other cities in our debrief post and if you have updated numbers please pass them along or discuss in the comments.

PwC Layoffs Continue to Mystify Us

pwclogo.thumbnail.jpgWe’re slowly getting details on PwC layoffs that occurred a few weeks ago that were part of the newly stripped down performance rating that we talked about last week.
More, after the jump

I was one of the employees involved in these so called layoffs out of the Boston office. I can say that these staff cuts are coming at a time in which PwC, specifically it’s advisory services, has seen a dip in it’s numbers concerning profit…The lay off that I received came as a big surprise to me. For one I did not recieve a single negative reveiew throughout the entire performance year. I was actually on track for promotion and was reccommended by numerous individuals to be promoted to senior associate…From what I have heard, these staff cuts have been happening at all levels and all lines of service.

What’s not clear is how each office determines the timing of the layoff. We haven’t gotten any indication that there is one big whacking day or if it’s staggered among offices to keep on the DL. The one thing that seems clear is that PwC whackings come with little or no warning as performance ratings seem to magically change for the worst.
This seems to be all occurring while Denny Nally was spreading good cheer this Spring. Via an email we received from a reader:

While I am realistic about the challenges ahead, I continue to see the glass as half full and, based on the picture we have right now, I am committed to moving forward with our people strategy. That means, even though in some markets and in some practice areas we may have excess capacity, we will continue to manage our cost structure and explore all available options before we consider reductions to our staff.

Not exactly sure what “all available options” includes but it sounds like those have been exhausted because “reductions” are certainly occurring and all indications have been that everything remains “performance related” and that all levels are affected.
If you’ve got details on your PwC office’s latest layoffs shoot us some details, including numbers, city, practice, and severance.

Some Might Call it Revenge, Others May Call it Justice

revenge.jpgIn the fallout of the last weeks layoffs at KPMG, we’ve received many tips that tell stories of betrayal, shock, bitterness, etc. One particular story that we were tipped about however, tells us a story of sweet, sweet revenge in Palin-country:
Get details on the accountant equivalent to Charles Bronson, after the jump

In May KPMG fired a long time partner in its Anchorage office…In the course of a few months the fired partner convinced many of the offices major clients to request proposals from other firms…The three top revenue clients left for other firms. Two of the clients went to Grant Thornton Seattle where it now appears the fired KPMG partner has landed himself. Did I mention that was 30% of the offices revenue?

We’re not sure which of our readers are able to exert this type of influence over clients to get back at their former employers, so we’ll open it up to all stories of revenge for those of you getting the axe. Nothing is too petty so let’s hear it. Besides, isn’t vengeance part of the American way? We would ask that you keep your revenge tales of Kill Bill proportions to yourselves. Discuss in the comments or shoot us your cold dish at tips@goingconcern.com.

Your Daily Fix

bubbles.jpgBecause some of you are obviously jonesing for it, we’ve got some updated details on this week’s Radio Station bloodbath:
Dallas Somewhere between 30-40
Silicon Valley Between 20-30
Kansas City Five staff – Two associates, three SA’s and three in client service support
Still no final word on New York. Shall we just call it 50?

KPMG Layoff Debrief

Akin to talking gun control at the RNC, we’re here to dispense more red meat.
Here are the final numbers that we have for select cities:
Gory details, after the jump


San Fran9 17 total, at least 8 SA’s
Dallas – 16
Chicagoclose to 15 Between 30-35 50
NYC – Someone help us out. We know it’s big but we haven’t gotten any specifics
Louisville – 3, including a 9th year Senior Manager
LA – 18, 6 associates, 10 SA’s, and two managers.
Why such good details on LA? Here’s a tip we received:

how do I know this so precisely? Because today our office also sent out an email notification of a staff meeting tomorrow to discuss what happened, and the email shows the names of everyone in the audit practice it was sent to. All lay offs were left out of the email. Way to be sensitive KPMG. Within a day, our whole practice knows the names of everyone who was let go. Also, Orange County office had 10 total lay offs in external audit. For a smaller office, that was quite significant.

See yesterday afternoon’s post for additional cities that we didn’t get final numbers for. If you’ve got the details, either post them in the comments or send us the bodycount to tips@goingconcern.com.
UPDATE, 1:54 pm: Word is that the remaining Klynveldians in San Fran will also have an awkward meeting re: yesterday’s bloodbath. We’d ask you to submit audio/video of the proceedings if possible.
UPDATE, 5:47 pm: Two managers in Oklahoma City down.
UPDATE, August 26, 11:29 am: One lonely SA in Bodymore, Murdaland and two associates in Boise, ID.

Radio Station Black Tuesday Update

Four weeks severance, termination date of September 1st, not performance related. Cities reporting bodies include: New York, Hartford, Dallas, Kansas City, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Cleveland. We’ve heard all levels have taken a hit, although it varies by city. We haven’t gotten any confirmation of partners being bought out at this point. West coast cities have yet to confirm victims since last night’s comments.
If you’ve got final numbers on your office or any other details we didn’t discuss here, shoot us an email: tips@goingconcern.com.
KPMG representatives had no comment.
UPDATE 4:11 pm: San Fran reports at least seven victims, six of which are SA’s.
UPDATE 2, 6:16 pm: San Fran updated to nine total, eight SA’s. Other cities reporting layoffs: Boston, Houston, and Louisville.

Good Luck Today KPMGers

Received word last night that a known executioner (and we’re assuming others) at the Dallas office has reserved several conference rooms from 7 am to 3 pm today and that some had already received emails setting up with their meetings last night. Let us know when the shooting starts in your office and drop us any details, including where you’re getting bombed tonight. Go with God (and for the atheists, just go).

KPMG Doomsday Eve?

fired.jpgWe’re going to briefly remind you about the hammer that is going to drop on some unlucky Klynveldians tomorrow.
So far it sounds like there has been blood shed in Dallas, Indianapolis, and New York but no details on severance and it sounds like only second year associates have gotten shown the door so far.
If you’re one of the KPMG casualties, drop us a line at tips@goingconcern.com and give us the gory details: severance, number laid off, lunging across the desk, did the partner you met with wear an executioner’s mask? Tell us everything.

Rumor of the Day: KPMG Layoffs in Dallas Next Week

As if you didn’t need another excuse to go on a three day bender, we received a tip that audit professionals will be getting laid off at the Dallas Radio Station next Tuesday, the 18th. Tax professionals will get their turn in September, most likely after the filing deadline.
Word is that no one level is safe as the cuts will be made at all levels including partners.
KPMG did not immediately respond to our request for declined to comment.
If you’ve got more information on the sitch or you’ve heard similar rumors for other offices, drop us a line at tips@goingconcern.com.

Follow-up on PwC Layoffs

pwclogo.thumbnail.jpgA quick follow-up on the layoffs we mentioned in last week’s firm watch that went down at the PwC Denver office. We heard over the weekend that it was approximately a dozen employees that got the boot and it occurred at all levels including at least one senior manager.
The layoffs, which occurred last month, were deemed to be “performance related” which has been P. Dubs’ consistent story regarding cuts. Similarly, everyone seems to consistently disbelieve that story. If you have more details regarding these layoffs or if there were recent layoffs at your office, let us know at tips@goingconcern.com.

Rumor of the Morning: Tax Layoffs to Come After Filing Deadlines?

Over the weekend we received an email that basically confirmed our suspicions that many of you were working over the weekend. Considering the time of year, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that hours are starting to pile up and you’re spending at least one hour a night deciding where you’re ordering take out from.
We received word over the weekend that tax groups at KPMG PwC all the major firms are working like crazy already in anticipation for the September 15th and October 15th filing deadlines.
There have also been whispers among some in the tax practice at KPMG that layoffs may occur after the deadlines due to large number of idle hands that will be around after the deadlines pass.
Tax associates out there, let’s know what your hours have been, what you’re hearing about post-deadline layoffs, and where you don’t want to get take out from ever again.

Forbes: Senior Accountants Pay Rising in the Recession

Feel free to call bullshit on this because we’ve heard rumors about pay freezes at KPMG (they are getting back to us on this) but according to Forbes, senior accountants rank at #11 for “Hot Jobs Where Pay is Rising” in the recession. The list states median pay at $60,300. Not only that but apparently, there aren’t enough of you senior accountants:

There’s a shortage of senior accountants right now, and the recession has actually provided a chance for them to revive client relationships, believes Mark Koziel, senior manager of firm practice management at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. “As long as there’s small-business America, as long as there’s big-business America, there will still be a need to do auditing and tax returns,” he says.

This strikes us as strange as there have been layoffs at several firms. The need for auditing and is obvious but those of you left are probably doing the work of two or three people.
UPDATE, July 22, 2009: KPMG got back to us re: pay freezes and had no comment

Layoff Watch: Even Local Firms are Cutting Back

The bean counter bloodbath continues, even at local firms.
Pittsburgh area firm, Alpern Rosenthal cut a dozen staffers late last week citing “performance issues”. The firm is also requesting current employees “to take a week of unpaid vacation by the end of the year, when [they] will determine whether they institute a hiring freeze or adjust profit sharing.”

Pittsburgh-area accounting firms tighten up, cut staff as downturn lingers
[Pittsburgh Business Times]

About to Get Canned? Depends on Your Response

With all the uncertainty out there, for the first time, number crunchers are walking on eggshells, because, you know, if anyone gets the hint that you’re not busy enough, before you realize it you’re turning in your badge and corporate card with $500 of still unexplained expenses on it.
Here at Going Concern, we’re looking out for you, so that’s why we’re going to lay out some indicators for you so you can tell if you are about to get axed or if you should just buckle down and call for take out because your ass isn’t going anywhere.
Here are some common responses to the awkward icebreaker that is common around most offices, “You busy these days?”:
• “Ugh, you know how it is” – You’re safe. Maybe it’s the bags under your eyes, your shirt being on inside out, or maybe you just reek of tequila because you spent the four hours prior to returning to work reliving your days at Tappa Megga Kegga. Unless you plan on going postal at the office, you’re not going anywhere.
• “Oh pretty busy” – Watch yourself and lay low. You’ve got stuff to work on but not enough to keep you at the office past 6 pm. Every once in awhile you’ll stay late and catch up on your Netflix queue in order for it to look like you’re not leaving GASP too early.
• “I’m working on a project for HR” – Dust of the resume. The only reason they’re keeping you around is to bide time until judgment day when the rest of the people are going down with you.
Rumor around the campfire is that some of the firms are billing far fewer hours than are budgeted which could spur some additional cuts so watch out for responses similar to the ones above. The bloodbath may not be over yet.