A message from the CEO

Here’s a Fake Farewell Email from a Big 4 CEO to a Former Employee That We Desperately Wish Were Real

Dear Loyal Former Employee (or if you must, Formerly Loyal Employee): I apologize for taking so long to send you this letter. I realize you left the firm at the end of last fiscal year, but I’ve simply been swamped—the new fiscal year, my summer vacation, that real estate dustup, the ugliness with regulators, the […]

Jim Turley Stepping Down as Chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young

~ Update includes statement from Ernst & Young

This morning we learned from a couple of sources that the big guy will be calling it a career officially on June 30, 2013 and the firm will announce a new CEO-elect at some point in early 2012.


Here’s JT’s message to the troops:

I have written to all our partners to let them know about my plans to retire from Ernst & Young on 30 June 2013.

Every year, our Global Executive (GE) considers the priorities and initiatives we feel Ernst & Young should focus on in the upcoming year, and these priorities are then approved by our Global Advisory Council (GAC), the top governance body of Ernst & Young.

Periodically, we also take a longer look at our strategy and vision, and involve the GAC in this as well. In July, we informed our partners that we were beginning such a long-term strategic review. The GE and I believe that our new strategy and leadership-succession plans are inextricably linked, and we agreed that June 2013 would be the right time for me to retire.

This is a normal process and the timing has worked out perfectly. I will be 58 years old, which is the normal early retirement age for many of our partners. By then, we will be implementing our new strategy and it’s right that a new leader should steer this implementation.

We are starting a robust process to identify the man or woman who will succeed me, in accordance with our regulations. We intend to identify a new Chairman and CEO elect during the first part of 2012. What I feel very good about is that we’re the type of organization that continually develops large numbers of great leaders, so I see many men and women who could lead Ernst & Young successfully into the future.

This is not a retirement letter or speech to you all, as there is much to do before June 2013. However, I wanted to be very open with you about our plans. Thank you for your continued support as we continue both our strategy and succession-planning process.

James S. Turley
Chairman and CEO

UPDATE: Ernst & Young provided us with the following statement:

In a communication to all Ernst & Young partners worldwide on 10 November 2011, James S. Turley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ernst & Young confirmed that he will retire as planned, aged 58, on 30 June 2013. The succession process to decide a new Chairman and CEO-elect is now underway and will conclude in early 2012, no later than April.

So after riding out Lehman, handing out a lot of trophies, and inspiring the greatest lyric in the history of Big 4 employee produced videos, (I’m sure there are other accomplishments too) Jimbo will ride off into the Black and Yellow sunset. This seems like an appropriate tribute:

Feel free to leave other well wishes below.

PwC Announces New Categories for Distinguished, Typical, Downright Piss Poor Performance

As you may have noticed, PwC has really gone on the offensive when it comes to making changes to their compensation structure. We broke all the details for you earlier this year and one reader even shared a little spreadsheet analysis for anyone who’s into that sort of thing. More recently, we reported the (unconfirmed) details of the new Senior Associate Milestone Award which includes a getaway to the Terreana Resof is swell but there are few new details that we were recently made aware of that we’ll share with you today. First off, performance categories have changed. A tipster passed along the new buckets that you’ll be fighting to get into in FY12 and who will and will not be eligible for bonus comp:

– New performance categories are “top performer,” “outstanding performer,” “high performer,” “needs improvement,” and “unsatisfactory”

– Bonus eligble for high performer or greater. Bonus levels set by Line of Service. Line of Service will provide specific details about the business performance measures, as well as target bonus ranges for staff level and ratings.

So TP/OP/HP is what you’re all shooting for if bonuses are of interest to you. Conventional wisdom would indicate that most of you will probably fall into the unexceptional “high performer” bucket and that still gets you in the money so it’s really just the rubes that are “Needs Improvement” and “Unsatisfactory” that will be bitching about how cruel and unfair life is.

It wasn’t all business, however, Bob Moritz shared his gratitude for all your ass-busting in the past year, the ass-busting going on as we speak and the ass-busting to come:

Your role in our success
Thanks to all your efforts to deliver quality, value and the PwC Experience to our clients and stakeholders, we had a very strong FY11 and we’re off to a very positive FY12. On behalf of all the partners, I want to thank you for your role in our firm’s success.

I recorded a short video to express my appreciation and talk about the continued investments we are making in you and your career success. We began making changes back in May, including introducing new career milestone awards and increasing transparency around compensation, all designed to demonstrate the value of your career at PwC — both financially and developmentally.

Now we are bringing even more clarity to the compensation conversation with enhancements to the Annual Performance Bonus Plan. These include greater predictability in your year-end bonus opportunity and quarterly updates about how your line of service is performing against its annual business targets. Watch my video and visit the Rewards and Recognition microsite to learn more. You will hear more specifics from your line of service in the coming weeks.

These changes are all based on what you’ve said is important to you. And we will continue to listen. Keep in mind, however, that the full value of your PwC career comes directly from what you put into it. The more you take ownership of your career….solicit feedback to improve your performance….utilize your success plan to take advantage of the many opportunities here to enhance your skills and develop your talents, the greater your ability to achieve your goals and grow your career with PwC.

Ultimately, the better you are, the better we do, and the greater our ability to continue to invest in you. Thanks again for your role in our success!

So, P. Dubbersteins – do you feel that there’s “more clarity to the compensation conversation”? It’s definitely clear that most people will still get bonuses, so that’s a good thing but it remains to be seen what actually comes out of all these changes. Discuss.

Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria Has Been Listening to a Lot of Bellyaching

The Wall St. Journal published a little Q&A with Deloitte CEO Joe Echevarria today to get an idea of what’s been going on since he took the reins as the head of the U.S. firm. It’s been nearly 100 days since JoeE got the nod and the flaks at Deloitte probably felt as though it was as good of a time as ever to roll out their new man.

Oddly enough, it’s been about 30 days since we told you that JE’s Westchester home was up for sale and since none of you cheapskates have bothered to help him out, this gives us the opportunity to remind you that it’s still up for grabs.

Anyway, this Q&A. It’s about what you might expect – but we’ll try to jazz it up for you.

For starters, did you know Joe worked at gas station in the Bronx? Yes, he’s already tougher than you’ll ever be. But while he was washing windows and filling up the locals, he noticed that the accountant didn’t seem to do diddly squat and made WAY more money than he did:

What stood out to me was I worked all day and I was making whatever minimum wage was at the time. The accountant came into the gas station once a month, did something, and walked out with a lot more money than I made in a week.

Back when Joe started at the firm, things were a lot different. For example: email. What is this fancy crap?:

I started at Haskins & Sells, the predecessor to Deloitte. I started in the audit practice. All the tasks were hierarchical in those days, so you had to work your way up. We weren’t in an environment where everything is electronic. We had to get mail. It didn’t just come over some laptop.

In his first 100 days, what’s been Joe’s biggest accomplishment? Making important leadership appointments? Overseeing the consolidation of regions? Nope. Listening to partner complaints:

One of the goals we’re beginning to accomplish is having a conversation. We opened up a communication vehicle with our partners and our directors that I call Social CEO. It gets the partners to engage, open dialogue, ask survey questions and ask questions of me or others. I get every comment.

How about this economy? We might be looking at a double-dip which could have some Green Dotties a little worried. But have no fear, Joe & Co. are all over it:

Once upon a time there was a view that there would be a rebound. I would say now the probabilities of a rebound are diminishing and the probability of a double dip is increasing. We have a set of plans that we would undertake for any of those scenarios. This isn’t new for us.

And if those plans don’t go as they should, there won’t be too many sad faces:

The first thing is we look at the costs that we incur and how much ahead we’re hiring. Maybe 18,000 [new hires] becomes 17,000.

See? No cause for concern.

For Deloitte CEO, Hard Economic Times Are Nothing New [WSJ]

KPMG’s ‘Next Level’ Is Here and You’re Probably Going to Be Very Disappointed and/or Confused

For those of you that have been anxiously awaiting the details on KPMG’s “Next Level” like the Royal nuptials, we have the details straight from John Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer (via a couple of tipsters). Before we get to the message from The Gipper and Hank, you should be warned that if your excitement was piqued by the “Next Level” movie-trailer video, you might – MIGHT! – not be that enthused with the actual “Next Level.”

With that said, let’s turn it over to the boys:

Welcome to the Next Level: Our High-Performance Culture
A Message from John Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer

It’s no secret that we operate in an increasingly cve environment, one in which our clients—both internal and external—are demanding more from us every day. More than ever, they need the skills and services we can bring, as long as we continue to raise the bar on our own performance and add more value and insight than ever before. To meet these demands and take full advantage of the opportunities ahead of us, we must be committed to fostering a High-Performance Culture, one in which we have the best people, with the skills and determination to deliver above and beyond.

If you managed to make it through that paragraph, you’re probably queasy already. The bad news is, it gets worse.

By now you’ve likely heard about our focus on high-performance culture. But chances are you still have some questions about exactly what it is, as well as what it means for you and for the firm as a whole. That’s why we’ve created The Next Level, a Web-based orientation for all partners and employees.

This mandatory 1 CPE credit self-study program will help you to:

• Articulate the key elements of our High-Performance Culture (HPC) initiative, including why it is critical to our firm’s success and your individual success
• Describe what the firm is doing to drive HPC, as well as what’s expected of you
• Identify and model the key attributes of high performers to elevate your own performance
• Effectively use our streamlined performance development process
• Give and receive feedback more effectively
• Most important, you’ll learn how high-performance culture will help you to share in our collective firm success, build skills for tomorrow, and have pride in being part of something extraordinary.
• The deadline for completion of The Next Level is July 7. (Note: All partners and employees are required to participate in this self-study program.)

Thanks in advance for your participation! And keep in mind that this is only the jumping-off point… you’ll be hearing a lot more about our HPC efforts in the weeks and months ahead.

Okay Klynveldians, I don’t know about you all but I’m still not sure if I understand what the “Next Level” is. What is clear is there is nothing in this email about loyalty bonuses, allegations of gender discrimination or the opportunity to wear jeans (given that you’ve got a five-dollar bill in your pocket).

BUT! There is something about a “high-performance culture,” which gets its own acronym so that might be the “Next Level.” Then there’s stuff about a web-based orienation, feedback, streamlined something or other and MANDATORY PARTICIPATION FOR EVERYONE (this means you, 30+ years partner who can barely turn on your laptop). Granted, I’ve been out of the HoK for quite some time so maybe I’m misinterpreting John and Hank’s prose but this “Next Level” seems like the same “level” only with a few more hoops to jump through and definitely more emails from J&H that may or may not explain how this will “foster a high performance culture.”

If you’re more hip to this, please enlighten everyone. But if you’re confused, annoyed or mortified with disappointment you can share those feelings too.

Deloitte Announces New Heads of Tax, Consulting

Rounding out the spring of leadership changes for Deloitte are Jim Moffatt who will be the new Chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting and Carl Allegretti who will serve in the same roles for Deloitte Tax.

U.S. CEO Elect Joe Echevarria is already finding his stride with the boilerplate praise, saying of Moffatt, “Jim is an excellent choice to build Deloitte Consulting’s market leadership. During his 23 years with Deloitte, Jim has served clients with distinction, and demonstrated his ability to drive the Deloitte Consulting strategy and seize market advantage.”

And he’s equally stoked for Allegretti, “In each of his leadership roles, Carl has made and maintained strong connections with both clients and people. This is a formula for success that has served him well.”

That should do it for announcing new Deloitte overlords since the new fiscal year starts next Wednesday but if someone else gets squeezed in between now and then, we’ll let you know. And since the new fiscal year means compensation speculation, drop us any rumors you’re hearing around merit increases and bonuses.

[via Deloitte and er…Deloitte]

Deloitte Consolidating Pacific, Central Regions

Deloitte CEO elect Joe Echevarria has informed the partners that a little bit of restructuring will be going down when he takes the big chair next week. The Pacific Southwest and Northern Pacific regions will create a new West region while the Midwest and North Central regions will form a new Central region. The three remaining – Northeast, Mid-America, and Southeast – will remain as is.

Optimizing our regional structure

To: The partners, principals, and directors of Deloitte

When I shared my overall organizational structure with you in February, I noted that I would make the development of the right management model for the regions a priority. Just last week, the Board ratified the decision to move from seven regions to five for FY12 onwards.

We will combine Pacific Southwest with Northern Pacific to create a new West region. By combining Midwest and North Central region we will create a new Central Region. Northeast, Mid-America, and Southeast regions are unchanged.

This decision is the outcome of a comprehensive, strategic review led by Chet Wood, leader of Markets and Offerings. The review was inclusive, with input from many perspectives, including LCSPs, line partners from each FSS, OMPs and RMPs, FSS CEOs and other members of the U.S. Executive. We looked at the regions through the strategic lens of our Lead from the Front framework, to determine how, at this time, we can best align our organization model to the external marketplace.

We carefully considered the different roles regions and offices play for each of our businesses; while many of our non-regulated services are increasingly delivered nationally, regions are critical to the service delivery of our Audit, Tax and DGES practices. Our review also considered factors such as the impact on spans of control, leadership and development opportunities, community-building and sense of partnership, infrastructure costs and speed of implementation. We defined the regional model that will best drive client and business growth, improve our strategic positioning, and strengthen our performance.

The new structure is effective from the start of FY12, although some tactical aspects of implementation may take longer to complete. I have asked Anne Taylor and Gary Tabach to lead the succession process for the West RMP, and Mark Edmunds to lead the process for the Central RMP.

With this improvement comes new opportunity. It’s up to us to realize it and turn our new regional structure to a business advantage. In every region and in every market where we operate, we must continue to widen the gap between us and our competitors, strengthen our position, and ensure that we stay out ahead of change. That is how we will continue to lead from the front.

Joe Echevarria
U.S. Chief Executive Officer Elect
Deloitte LLP

Since we’re not intimately familiar with the hierarchy at Deloitte (e.g. “Regional Partner Leader of M&A Advisory Services” or “Area OMP Chief Leader of Regional Assurance”) these changes will probably mean some jockeying for spots amongst partners effected by the consolidation. And since some regional leaders within the firm (i.e. Talyor, Tabach and Edmunds) will be watching over this process, maybe there will be potential for some interesting developments.

Barry Salzberg Recalls That His First Boss Was a Jerk, Being From Brooklyn Had Its Disadvantages

Dr. Phil doppelgänger and incoming Deloitte Global CEO Barry Salzberg spoke at Wharton recently about leadership and how it has changed quite a bit since he started at Haskin & Sells in 1977. He riffed about the old days in his speech including how jackets were all but mandatory (especially if you were from Brooklyn) and the aforementioned boss from Hell:

“In those days, [Deloitte] was a fancy, formal place,” Salzberg recalled, “so formal that you would get bawled out — and I did — if you were caught in the hallway without your jacket, especially if you arrived speaking a foreign language like Brooklynese.” His first leadership lesson came on his third day. “Bosszilla,” as he calls his first boss, asked him for a photocopy of a tax ruling. Eager to please and show off his legal savvy, Salzberg included his own two-page interpretation. “Mr. Salzberg,” Bosszilla hissed, “I asked you for a copy of the ruling, not your interpretation. One copy, stapled.”

Of course, the Big Salz knew that this wasn’t how he wanted to lead so you can bet your signed copy of As One that he spends plenty of time at the Xerox machine. Another leadership trait that has gone the way of the Dodo is that CEOs don’t mingle with the commoners. Bar is out there mixing it up on the regular:

“What I do is get out and talk to people to give them the opportunity to share. And then what you have to do is act on it, so people understand that you can change your mind.” As head of Deloitte’s U.S. operations, Salzberg visits as many as 25 to 35 offices every year, sitting down with partners to hear their concerns. When he becomes global CEO, he plans to travel more, he said. “There’s nothing that can replace face-to-face interaction. Getting the rubber on the shoes worn out is how to do it.”

And of course, in this day in and age, you simply can’t ignore animal metaphors:

“No burying your head in the sand if there’s a problem, and no ignoring the elephant in the room. Much better to name and tame an issue, no matter how difficult it is,” than to ignore it or pretend it isn’t there, he said. “Making sure the truth is told and discussed with all is the foundation of leadership. Without that, you can’t build trust.”

Got it? Ignoring problems – even the really tough ones – is a thing of the past:

Deloitte CEO Barry Salzberg on Leadership as ‘the Norm, Not the Exception [K@W]

Blind Item: Which Big 4 CEO Sent This Poorly Timed Email About Working in the Wee Hours of the Morning?

In light of recent events, the following email was forwarded to us with our tipster admitting that intentions were good while the timing was not.

I recently met with a [BIG executive] who formerly served as a Former Big Four partner and [some hotshot internal group (I think)]. Most of the discussion was focused on how we might help [BIG executive’s company] with their global HR transformation. Quite unexpectedly, he began our meeting with a story about a senior manager on our team, [Sally Worksherassoff].

Just a day earlier, he had asked [Sally Worksherassoff] if she could find any information explaining the relevance of Dodd-Frank legislation to Human Resource leaders. When he woke up the next morning, he noticed that [Sally Worksherassoff] had emailed a whitepaper outlining exactly what he needed…at 2:00 am. The timing was critical, as he needed to deliver a presentation to [BIG executive’s company] leaders later in the day. After I left [BIG executive]’s offices, he sent an unprompted note to our project team recounting this story and remarking that “seemingly small things like this can add significant value to [BIG executive’s company].” The subject header of his note: How to “wow” a client.

My takeaway: small things, big difference. It can be easy to get lulled into reserving our extra energy and special effort for those situations, requests, and issues that seem like “big deals”. But as our client pointed out, there are no small things when it comes to delivering an exceptional client experience.

— [Big 4 CEO]

Against a Picturesque Backdrop, Jim Quigley Talks Deloitte’s Hiring Spree, Obama’s Tone and Igniting the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Quigs sat down with Fox Business’s Liz Claman and hasn’t even tweeted about it!?!? Whoever his ghost tweeter is, they need to be replaced immediately.

Sidebar: has anyone noticed JQ’s new spectacles? Thoughts on the visible breath, scarf choice and Liz Claman’s interviewing technique are encouraged.

Jim Turley Wasn’t Impressed with the State of the Union

The Ernst & Young Global CEO chimed in di-rectly from Davos.

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address failed to convince executives and economists at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting that he’s serious about taming the U.S. budget deficit.

Hours after Obama used the speech to propose a partial freeze on government spending, delegates at the conference in Davos, Switzerland, said the U.S. is lagging foreign counterparts in cutting a budget deficit of more than $1.2 trillion.

“There is an unwillingness to deal with the real gorilla in the room,” said Martin Sorrell, chief executive officer of advertiser WPP Plc. James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young LLP, said, “we need a heck of a lot more action on it” and that Obama’s speech “lacked details.”

McGladrey Gives Thanks with News of Bonuses, Extra Holidays and Babysitters

C.E. Andrews and Dave Scudder interrupted McGladrey employees regularly scheduled spreadsheets a short time ago to share all kinds of good news. For starters, Mickey G’s is letting all employees blow off December 23rd and 30th which is pretty nice. Secondly, concierge services will be available starting January 1st, as well as a new arran”http://www.sittercity.com/”>Sittercity for in-house care caregivers.

And yes, there are bonuses.

But not just the year-end bonuses, mind you. No, C to the E and Scuds heard your incessant bellyaching and in addition to the year-end pool they are implementing “a new program to provide real-time recognition and monetary rewards” for those of you that go above and beyond the call of duty.

[caption id="attachment_21691" align="alignright" width="105" caption="Scuds"][/caption]

Our tipster was pleasantly surprised and told us, “McGladrey matches PWC – well not quite but certainly more than expected.”

True, McG isn’t hosting Thanksgiving up in Minnesota Nice country to our knowledge but it seems like a nice little surprise from the punch and cake crowd.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’d like to take time to reflect on the things we are thankful for this year. The last twelve months haven’t been easy, but we have made some important changes in our organization that will create a solid foundation for our future success. We are thankful to have made it through this time of transformation, and we are beginning to see early signs of new growth for our firms, which will be aided by our new brand, growth strategies and the improving economy.

We have only accomplished this because of your tremendous efforts, and we are grateful to lead such a dedicated group of people. Today we’re happy to share some of the things we plan to do to show our thanks to you and to help you experience our people promise.

A gift of time
We’ve asked a lot from you during the last year, and we are truly thankful for the time you’ve invested to make our firms and our clients successful. To show our gratitude, we are giving you two extra paid holidays on December 23 and 30 to relax and spend time with friends and family. If you have conflicting client obligations, you may consult with your work team leader to find alternate dates.

Support for your busy schedule
You have a lot on your plate at work and at home, and we’re pleased to offer two benefits to help offset some of the stress you might be feeling. Starting January 1, all offices will offer concierge services to help you complete a variety of errands and personal to-do’s. We also will provide access to Sittercity, a new client whose business offers a program that connects you to local in-home caregivers for your child, elder, pet or home. Look for more details and information from your regional leaders in the weeks ahead on how you can take advantage of these programs.

Recognition and rewards
We know that you’ve been wondering about the bonus pools for year end, and we want to confirm that we have planned for bonuses this year to reward eligible employees for exemplary performance in support of our firms and our clients. We’ll commit to a baseline funding level in dollars, and the pool will grow based on our year-end performance.

But you’ve told us that year-end rewards alone aren’t enough – you also want to be rewarded throughout the year for your important contributions. In January, we will be introducing a new program to provide real-time recognition and monetary rewards to those of you who go above and beyond to serve clients, develop colleagues and support our strategic objectives. It will be similar, but not identical, to our former SPOT bonus program that many of you may remember. You will be hearing more specific information about both of these plans from your region after the Thanksgiving holiday.

We are truly thankful to have you on our team, and we hope that these things help demonstrate our appreciation. They are just the beginning of more good things that will come as we continue to strengthen our business. We look forward to reconnecting with you via our quarterly webcast on December 16 to discuss the progress we’ve made so far. Watch for an invitation next week.

In the meantime, we hope you have a relaxing holiday and that you enjoy reconnecting to the people and things that are important to you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sandra Guy, Recognized for Leadership in Diversity, Leaving BDO

We’ve learned from a tipster that BDO’s Head of Human Capital Sandra Guy was leaving the firm to ‘pursue other interests’ which we have confirmed with a BDO spokesman.

As of Monday, Sandi Guy, executive director of Human Capital, has left the firm to pursue other interests. Barbara Taylor, the firm’s general counsel, will oversee the Human Capital function on an interim basis until a replacement is identified.

“We thank Sandi for her many years of service to our firm and are grateful for her significant contributions,” says Jack Weisbaum, chief executive officer. “We wish her well in her future endeavors.”

Ms. Guy was recognized just last year for her work in diversity by American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA) and Profiles in Diversity Journal’sWomen Worth Watching in 2010.”

John Veihmeyer Wants to Know: How Can KPMG Become a More Awesome Place to Work?

‘Cause – DAMN! – it’s already pretty solid, right? Sure, Irish football isn’t having the best of seasons but JV isn’t going to let that perpetual disappointment keep him from making the House of Klynveld even better than it is already.

Please Complete the 2010 Employee Work Environment Survey

A Message from John Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer
October 11, 2010

Today is the start of the 2010 Employee Work Environment Survey, which gives you the opportunity to provide us with your frank and direct feedback about the KPMG work experience. Please take the time to participate in this important survey. We are interested in both our strengths and our weaknesses, and we are especially interested in your ideas about how we can become a better place to work and a higher performing organization.

2010 has been a pivotal year. We have aimed to take advantage of market opportunities that have emerged in the wake of the economic crisis while renewing our commitment to our Employer of Choice initiatives. We see great opportunities in the marketplace in the year ahead and our partners are focused on growth—and that combination causes us to be very optimistic about the future. But we also understand that the business climate continues to be challenging and we’re all working extremely hard to meet our goals. Thus, your feedback is especially important as we assess our progress and ensure we are focused on the most important issues.

We are proud that KPMG continues to be recognized externally as a great place to work. We have earned designations on prestigious rankings such as FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies, and Training magazine’s Top 125. While this external recognition is significant, most important to us are the views of our people.

Please use the log-in information below to access the survey between now and Monday, October 25. Your responses will go directly to our external survey vendor for tabulation and will remain anonymous and confidential. Key results will be shared with all employees later this year.

Note: At the end of the survey you will have an opportunity to enter a drawing in which five randomly selected respondents will receive a $200 American Express gift card. See the survey site for instructions

We humbly suggest you crtl+c, crtl+v your responses from the survey in the comments below to best ensure that they get read by the KPMG Internet reputation team. Keep it honest.

Bob Moritz Is Happy To Address Your FAQs on PwC’s New Logo That Don’t Concern Colors or Shapes

Okay people. By now some of you might be sick of hearing about PwC’s new logo that incorporates the beauty of autumn and your first Atari (look it up, young people). However, based on what we’re seeing in the traffic patterns, many are not, so we’ll truck on with Extreme Makeover: PwC Edition.

As we mentioned earlier this week, at least one person felt compelled to share their feelings on the switcheroo with PwC’s U.S. Chairman Bob Moritz. Whether that particular employee got their questions/concerns addressed is currently unknown, however Bob did address many popular questions in an email to the rank and file.

In his email, Roberto said that he’s perfectly okay with the feedback, even the negative stuff. But he implores that you don’t get hung up on the colors or building blocks because, well, it really has no bearing on anything and it’s silly to get caught up on something like appearances.

By now you’ve likely checked out the new PwC brand. Not surprisingly, I’ve gotten strong feedback from around the firm. Many love it. Some don’t. Few are neutral. With a firm of 30,000 smart people, there are going to be lots of opinions…and that’s okay. I ask that you don’t get caught up in the colors and logo; these changes to our visual identity are simply what we think reflects the evolution that has taken place within our firm as we continue to build a relationship-based, value-driven culture. The most important thing is that each of us understands what we’re doing and why, and can articulate what our brand means to our clients and to one another. And, it’s in line with what we’re doing around the network to create a more consistent brand worldwide. You’re going to hear more about the changes starting October 4, so stay tuned. In the meantime, click on FAQs below to read my responses to some of the feedback I’ve received.

Brand Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Are we changing our name, and when do I use pwc instead of PwC?
A: First, our name is still PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. That’s what we’ll use on formal and legal documents, and it will accompany the new brand in an appropriate manner in external materials. What we will call ourselves in day to day communications, though, is PwC. That’s really just acknowledging what people typically call us, and it’s easier for everybody than typing out our full name. In writing, we will still use PwC (uppercase “P,” lowercase “w,” and uppercase “C.”)

Just jumping in here: PwC appears to be assimilating to the idea that capitalization is irrelevant in this day and age of texts, IM so on and so forth.

Q: What is the timing of the change to the new brand?
A: Although we have kept the details under wraps to help us maximize the impact in the market, this transition has been in the planning stages for some time — and is part of our overall network strategy. The transition began gradually with the PwC network’s global website (pwc.com), which changed on September 20. On October 4, the official brand launch date, there will be a number of highly visible changes here in the US, from building signs to new stationery. Beyond that, though, we expect the transition to take time. Network firms will have the option to change at their own pace. In the US, we are moving faster because we see it as an opportunity to engage in dialogues with our clients and the market about the very real changes we are making in how we build relationships and create value. The changes to our logo, colors, look and feel are symbols of the broader changes being made to the firm and the global network.

In terms of visible changes, we will have most of our building signs replaced by the end of this calendar year. We have been working with our EAs and TAs, Document Production, and Graphic Design to tackle the thousands of printed and electronic documents that will need to be converted, looking first to those with the greatest impact on our interaction with our clients. This process will take time, and we’ll need everyone’s patience and support as we make the changes.

Q: Will we get new business cards?
Yes, all partners and staff (and that includes client service staff, IFS staff and EAs/TAs) will receive business cards, which will provide each of you with a great resource to help you connect with others, build on the relationships you have and help the firm deliver value. More to come on when and how to order business cards following our October 4 launch date.

Whether this affects the pace of greenness at PwC isn’t entirely clear.

Q: With the economy just climbing out of a recession, why are we spending money on this change now?
A: Timing was clearly a consideration. We have set ambitious goals for our network of firms–and we are counting on our brand to work harder for us as we distinguish ourselves from our competitors. There will never be a better time to begin the transition to our new brand, and by starting now, we will be well-positioned as the economy improves.

There will be some costs associated with the change. In the US, they will include the cost of building signage and consumable items such as stationery, business cards and printed materials. Overall, this spend is minimal in relation to our size and is certainly not significant to our annual operating budget. If we treat the brand re-launch as an important opportunity to engage with our clients and each other–to discuss how together we will improve relationships and create value–the money we spend on the launch will be paid back many times over.

Anything not covered above can be asked below but if you must, further comments, questions, concerns about the colors and/or geometry of the logo will not be dismissed.

Stephen Chipman’s Toast to Bob Herz

“Bob Herz led the FASB during the most challenging time in its history,” said Grant Thornton LLP CEO Stephen Chipman. “He has been a tireless leader with an unwavering focus on the users of financial statements and we are grateful for his service to the profession and wish him well in his retirement. We also extend our congratulations to Leslie Seidman as she takes up the mantle as acting chairman and stand ready to help her and the FASB establish accounting standards that are right for the marketplace and for the dynamic organizations [Ed. note: they’re part of the new strategy, as you may recall] we serve.”


Trite statement as it may be, at least SC said something (we’re looking straight at you Veihmeyer, Moritz, Salzberg, Howe).

Grant Thornton LLP CEO statement regarding Bob Herz retirement [GT]

Deloitte Highlights Its Non-monetary Commitment to Its Talent Via Hexagon-Filled Report

Deloitte officially rolled out its Talent Annuity Report today and before you start wondering just what the hell a Talent Annuity Report is, Barry Salzberg enlightens everyone:

We published a Talent Annuity Report because we regard our talenhat generates an annuity. We take pride in the contents of the report — it is a tangible manifestation of our passion and commitment to our talent. Our people are vital to the continued growth of our business, and we are focused on fostering a quality culture where everyone has the opportunity to reach their fullest potential.

Everything Dr. Phil says may in fact be true, however when we look at the report, we see a lot of indecipherable hexagons that may or may not be used to communicate this “passion and commitment to [Deloitte’s] talent.”


Fortunately, if you’re not too interested in navigating through the geometric maze, the press release manages to break down why it was such a bang-up year for the talent at Deloitte:

The report chronicles a year of bold talent initiatives and historical milestones including:
• Groundbreaking of Deloitte University, a $300 million state-of-the-art center established to foster personal and professional growth at Deloitte

• Company-wide rollout of Mass Career Customization® , a career development model that enables all Deloitte professionals to dial up and dial down their careers to fit their needs at various life stages

• Launch of a voluntary sabbatical program for employees to take up to six months leave to engage in volunteering and other personal pursuits

• Presentation of Deloitte’s cutting-edge corporate lattice business strategy in a new book titled “The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work

• Introduction of a customized approach to talent development with Deloitte professionals participating in 2.4 million learning hours

• Achievement of the 1000+ mark for women partners, principals and directors — a reflection of Deloitte’s hallmark Women’s Initiative and commitment to an inclusive environment.

• Recognition from more than a dozen national organizations, including the No.1 ranking on BusinessWeek’s “Best Places to Launch a Career” list

Whether or not spending $300 million to build the Deloitte frat house is worth it, is a matter of opinion.

As for BusinessWeek lists and whathaveyou, most employees understand that this perpetual conclusion is for marketing purposes and would be more than happy to take exception with it. As for the rest of the initiatives and milestones, you can take them for what they are worth.

But what’s especially interesting is the timing of this release. These non-monetary reasons are presumably supposed to serve as reminder of Deloitte’s commitment to employees. But since the report was issued in wake of the merit increases we saw last week, it’s almost if it’s meant to console employees after the relatively disappointing news. And if that is the case, it will fail miserably.

Deloitte Releases Talent Annuity Report [PR Newswire]

More Than A Few People at Grant Thornton Aren’t Buying Stephen Chipman’s Accent

Earlier in the week, Grant Thornton CEO Stephen Chipman gave team GT a taste of experienceAugust which was supposed to be a rousing battle cry as SC leads the U.S. firm into second half of 2010 and beyond.

Because we didn’t really have anything better to do, we asked around to see how things went and it sounds like if you bothered to sniff some glue prior to the 90 minute presentation, you probably enjoyed it. For the rest, not so much. A source attests:

Really, really horrible.

They had it set up in what they tried to make look like a TV studio – but may have just been a cleared out a staff area with some curtains and mood lighting. It was 90 minutes long.

GT’s new internal battle cry is now “Unleashing our Potential” and the market focus is going to be “Dynamic companies”. It’s the same crap that gets spouted each year for the last decade, just dressed up in a different package.

First, they had Chipman’s Chief of Staff, some Senior Manager ask Chipman a handful of scripted questions with scripted responses – and the 4 different teleprompters you could see on occasion would back up that claim.

We’re going to chime in here for a second – “Chief of Staff”? Is this a typical position in most large accounting firms? What does this guy make? How did he get the job? It’s doubtful that he’s anything like Rahm Emanuel. If you have any insight on any or all of these, please enlighten us.

Back to the review:

After that, they had Chipman run a roundtable with different members of senior leadership – again, mostly scripted. They also allowed 3 senior managers ask – again – scripted questions that resulted in canned responses from Chipman.

In essence – they wasted 90 minutes of everyone’s time, obviously laid out some cash for the production (4 different camera angles, a few teleprompters etc.) and told us nothing – the production came of as small-time…actually, the production came off as middle-market quality – or maybe it was a dynamic production that was unleashed on GT personnel.

The general consensus is that no one likes Chipman as the face of the firm – he is bland, uninteresting and some of us think the accent is fake.

We checked with one additional source on the bogus accent theory and they had this to say, “No I think it’s real I just think he has a hard time reading from a telepromter, he has to speak slower.”

So who knows!?

Bottom line is that GT employees got treated toa low-budget set, softball questions that addressed the firm’s vague strategy of “unleashing potential” on “dynamic clients” and a “bland” CEO whose British-ness is being called into question (at least by some). FOR 90 MINUTES. Are we missing anything?

Grant Thornton Picks Up Four Tax-Exempt Experts from WTAS

We’ve confirmed that Grant Thornton has poached four tax-exempt experts from WTAS, LLC. Presumably beefing up their NFP practice is part of the experienceAugust that Stephen Chipman told the GT troops about last week. Grant Thornton employees received an email last night about the news:

“In line with the strategic plan of our firm and in support of our growing not-for-profit industry practice we are pleased to announce that four experienced tax professionals, formerly of WTAS LLC, have joined our Firm. Frank Giardini, who lead WTAS’ National Exempt Tax Advisory Services Practice (ETAS) as well as Ron Taxin, ETAS Director, Russlee Armstrong, ETAS Director and Andrea Kyzyma, ETAS Manager recently joined us. These individuals bring over 70 years of combined experience in providing tax services to significant non- profit organizations, especially in the higher education and healthcare industries. They have served the tax needs of many large public charities and private foundations. Frank and his group are based out in our Philadelphia office, but will serve clients in both the Northeast and Southeast regions. This group will also play a key role assisting our national NFP tax leader, Dan Romano, in serving GT’s national clients as well as supporting the NFP tax professionals throughout the firm.

A source familiar with WTAS, confirmed these departures, saying that they occurred earlier this summer and thought the move was “a good opportunity for them.” Emails and morse code messages sent to Grant Thornton have not been returned.

Accounting News Roundup: Deloitte Names Van Arsdell as New Chair, CEO of AERS; Maryland Might Be Figuring Out This Fiscal Responsibility Thing; Frank Navigates the Waters | 08.12.10

Stephen C. Van Arsdell Named Chairman and CEO of Deloitte LLP’s Audit and Enterprise Risk Services Subsidiary [PRNewswire]
Thtte vet Steve Van Arsdell replaces Nick Tommasino as the head of Deloitte’s AERS.

As is the wont of these particular announcements, SVA seems pretty flippin’ stoked about the new gig, “I am excited to take the helm of Deloitte & Touche during such dynamic times. We know that to succeed we must always be a leader in quality. This is a shared commitment from all within our organization. The goals we set for ourselves will raise the bar for quality throughout the profession.”

Barry Salzberg got in a few words too, “I am fully confident in Steve’s ability to lead Deloitte & Touche through the myriad challenges and opportunities presented by the economic recovery and regulatory environment changes. His extraordinary talent, experience and leadership style will help further the practice’s primary mission to conduct the highest quality audits. As a continuing and integral member of our senior leadership team, I know his contributions will be considerable. Nick Tommasino has demonstrated a deep sense of partnership and commitment to our organization, and we thank him for his leadership. We’re delighted to bring his client service skills back to the marketplace.”

So, Stevey. Time to get down to brass tacks – everyone’s wondering about those raises.

Microloans Helps Some Small Businesses Survive [WSJ]
“When President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law in February 2009 to create jobs and promote spending, the law included $56.1 million for microloans for small businesses, to be doled out through the Small Business Administration through September.

While some critics complain about the government’s economic stimulus efforts, some lenders and borrowers say the stimulus spending that focused on helping small businesses is working.

Targeted toward start-up, newly-established, or growing small businesses, the microloans are short-term loans up to $35,000 each for working capital or inventory and equipment purchases. The intermediary lenders who distribute the loans can choose to lend more than that limit.”

China’s Rich Have $1.1 Trillion in Hidden Income, Study Finds [Bloomberg]
“China’s households hide as much as 9.3 trillion yuan ($1.4 trillion) of income that is not reported in official figures, with 80 percent accrued by the wealthiest people, a study showed.

The money, much of it likely “illegal or quasi-illegal,” equates to about 30 percent of China’s gross domestic product, the study, conducted for Credit Suisse AG and published last week by the China Reform Foundation, found. The average urban disposable household income in China is 32,154 yuan, or 90 percent more than official figures, according to the report.”

It’s Time to Give Up Spreadsheets for Tracking Carbon Emissions [Green Biz via AccMan]
Give up on spreadsheets? The horror. “CFOs, CIOs and sustainability teams at large companies have used spreadsheets for years to track corporate carbon emissions.

We are now, however, at a tipping point where the benefits of carbon management software, also known as enterprise carbon accounting (ECA) software, outweigh the benefits of spreadsheets.

With many large companies recently completing their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reports and Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) questionnaires, and entering budget planning in the fall, it is time to move away from spreadsheets to reduce risk, save money, increase productivity, and establish an enterprise-class source of record for carbon emission data.”


Budget surplus in Maryland? Believe it. [CPA Success]
California, New York – Pay attention.

Do I Owe My Employees a Career Path? [You’re the Boss/NYT]
“Being responsible for your workers’ jobs is hard. Being responsible for their careers is harder.”

TrueBlue Named to Top of Forbes’ “Most Trustworthy Companies” List [Business Wire]
“TrueBlue, Inc. ranked at the top of the list of companies with the ‘most transparent and conservative accounting practices and most prudent management,’ according to a new ‘Most Trustworthy Companies’ list compiled for Forbes by Audit Integrity, an independent financial analytics company.

Audit Integrity’s Accounting & Governance Risk rating, or AGR, rates companies’ accounting and management practices from 0 (very aggressive) to 100 (conservative); companies with a lower rating have been more likely to suffer equity loss, issue financial restatements and face class action suits, Forbes.com says.”

Maxine Waters Whacked, Barney Frank Untouched [Jonathan Weil/Bloomberg]
JW on the Maxine Waters’ ethics violations and how Barney Frank managet to be smart enough (or just politically savvy enough) to keep himself clean-ish.

Grant Thornton Is Nearly Done ‘Transitioning’ Offices

Earlier this week, Grant Thornton CEO Stephen Chipman sent an email out to the troops, letting everyone know what’s been going at GT has been over the last 6 months or so. Turns out, quite a bit has been going on! Never mind the blogging for a second, we’re talking about the offices that have been closed or sold around the country. Namely Albuquerque, Honolulu, Madison and Greensboro.

SC gets to all those and he does mention the sale of the “Manufacturing Transaction Services practice, based in Detroit” which, we’re pretty sure, is the Supply Chain Advisory practice they sold to KPMG. The email doesn’t really tell you anything that we haven’t already but it is in some nice Chipman prose, if that’s your fancy.

But for good measure, we also learn that the firm has “transitioned out of our regional community hospital practice in Wichita,” which is news to us.


BKD picked up GT’s community hospital practice and everything should be finito by August 31st. But that’s the last of ’em! The only other news is that August, apparently, is going to be an exciting month for Grant Thornton because that’s when SC & Co. are going to communicate the “full details of [the firm’s] new strategy.” We have no idea what means but it’s sure to make August considerably more exciting than normal.

As many of you know, Grant Thornton’s Senior Leadership Team has been deeply engaged in the process of refining the strategic direction of our firm. Our strategy unleashes our potential as a global provider of distinctive client service and includes focusing on our “chosen” markets—those markets that offer the greatest opportunities for the growth of our business and the development of our people.

During experienceAugust, when we come together as one firm, I will be communicating to you the full details of this new strategy. Today, I want to personally share with you the news that, as part of implementing the strategy and better positioning us for growth in our chosen markets, the firm’s senior leaders have made the difficult decision to transition from a few locations and practices.

The firm will be closing and transitioning offices located in Albuquerque, Greensboro, Honolulu and Madison. Additionally, we have transitioned out of our regional community hospital practice in Wichita and our Manufacturing Transaction Services practice, based in Detroit. We expect all six of these transitions to be completed by August 31, 2010.

Beyond these, I want to assure you that the firm has no additional planned office or practice transitions. Below, I share with you details about each of these changes. Additionally, I will be providing you with more information during the August 10 all-employee video conference.

Transition plans for affected offices
In Albuquerque, Grant Thornton has signed a letter of intent for Moss Adams LLP to acquire our practice. Moss Adams LLP is the eleventh-largest accounting and consulting firm in the U.S., and its Albuquerque office is the largest accounting practice in the state of New Mexico.

Our Greensboro office will consolidate into our firm’s Raleigh and Charlotte offices, where we will continue to serve our Carolinas-based clients.

In Honolulu, two former Grant Thornton partners—Patrick Oki and Lawrence Chew—have purchased the office. Patrick and Lawrence will be the partners in their newly-formed firm, PKF Pacific Hawaii LLP. PKF Pacific Hawaii will assume Grant Thornton’s office space, transition existing employees in Honolulu and continue to provide audit, tax, and advisory services in Hawaii.

Our Madison office will merge with our Milwaukee office, where—in conjunction with our Appleton office—we will continue to serve the greater Wisconsin marketplace.

Transition plans for affected practices
In Detroit, we completed a transaction for KPMG to acquire our Manufacturing Transaction Services practice, a provider of a highly specialized niche service offering to the automotive sector. We continue to have a growing and successful Detroit office and we remain fully committed to providing audit, tax, and advisory services to the automotive industry.

In Wichita, we completed a transaction for BKD to acquire our regional community hospital practice.. We are fully committed to our practice in Wichita and are excited about the opportunities for growth under our new managing partner, Lori Davis.

Honoring our colleagues
The decision to transition these locations and practices was not an easy one. We determined our course only after lengthy deliberation, and with the greatest consideration for the best interests of our business, clients and our people. To those of you who sit in the affected offices, and who are leaving the firm as a result of these transitions, it has been a privilege and honor to work with you. On behalf of the entire firm, I want to express to you my heartfelt gratitude for your service and wish you the greatest success going forward. Your contributions to Grant Thornton have been enormous, and your offices and practices will stand as proud parts of the firm’s history.

Investing for growth
As we look ahead to executing on our strategy, this realignment of our resources and geographies will better position us for growth and will help us to build greater market share in our chosen markets. It enhances our ability to focus on the development of our people and providing our clients with an exceptional and distinctive client experience. I look forward to sharing more details—and my excitement— about the new growth strategy next month, when unleashing our potential will launch in tandem with our new fiscal year.

In closing, I want to thank you for all that you do to make a difference at Grant Thornton. I am confident that August is the start of one of the most exciting times at our firm to date, and I look forward to beginning this new chapter together.

Stephen

Compensation Watch: McGladrey Promises That the Good Times Will Keep Coming

Just last week we learned that compensation discussions at McGladrey were going to be occurring in the coming days and weeks and it appears things got rolling right away and there are even some numbers to report:

We just received correspondence from national regarding our Firms performance and a cryptic breakdown regarding upcoming comp discussions [memo after the jump].

Furthermore, they have begun the comp discussion process in the southeast. Apparently the partners received official compensation breakdowns for each employee either Wednesday or Thursday of this past week. A newly promoted senior itheir discussion already and he received a 11% raise and $1k bonus.

To circle back to correspondence from C.E., I think it’s particularly insulting that he mentioned that “this year, as in previous years, we will continue to follow a “pay-for-performance” approach when it comes to individual compensation”; Interesting how there were people who received 5s last year who received a 0% raise in 2009, and those promoted received what amount to an inflation adjusted raise-just under 4%.

So 11%/1%? Thoughts anyone? If you’ve received your numbers, report below.

It’s also worth noting the following from C to the E and Dave Scudder, “In spite of a very weak economy, we held our own. We had several unique one-time charges that impacted our profitability (see Rene’s financial update on The Point for more details). Without these, our pre-tax margin would have been essentially flat with last year.”

So “we had a pretty solid year if you ignore a few major things,” is more or less an echo from the H&R Block press release that we saw late last month. In case you forgot, those one-time charges include costs associated with the little divorce and reconciliation between RSM McGladrey and McGladrey & Pullen as well as a goodwill impairment charge.

Despite the tough year, leadership assures everyone that the good times will continue to roll at Mickey G’s, “You’ve seen a number of exciting announcements in the last month, and let us assure you that the good news is going to keep coming.” In other words, more golfers that aren’t Natalie Gulbis and plenty of refreshments.

McGladrey Comp