Plante & Moran

Plante Moran Drops Ampersand That No One Liked or Used Anyway

The accounting firm formerly known as Plante & Moran will forever going forward be known as Plante & Moran, according to a firm press release. And from the sound of things, it’s good riddance:

The change is prompted by tradition, growth and technology, according to Chief Marketing Officer and firm partner, Jeff Antaya. “The ampersand isn’t compatible with current and emerging technologies and can’t be used in a web address, for example,” notes Antaya. “Plus, many of Plante Moran’s entities, such as Plante Moran Financial Advisors and Plante Moran Global Services, never used the ampersand; nor is it part of the firm logo or signage. This change helps make the strong Plante Moran brand even more consistent.”

Ah, the PwC reasoning: no one calls us Plante & Moran, so why would we continue to be known as Plante & Moran? This ampersand has been ignored; it’s not appreciated; so get this eyesore of a graphical symbol out of our sight! But since the firm doesn’t want to hurt its feelings, there’s a bit of a send-off of sorts for the ol’ logogram.

Because the ampersand has been such an integral part of the firm’s history, and in keeping with the Plante Moran tradition of offering the option of preparing a departure memo for departing staff (fondly referred to as a “green memo” from when the firm used bulletin board memos as a key form of communication), the firm is sponsoring a green memo contest for staff. Titled, “& Now What?” the ampersand-less contest runs through September 20th and requires interested staff to prepare a departure memo of up to 500 words for the ampersand. Based on a staff vote, prizes will be awarded for the best memos and the winning essay will become the ampersand’s official green memo.

Is there anyone out there sad to see it go? Leave your well wishes below. Oh, and an advanced copy of your essay would be nice too. Email it to us.

Plante & Moran Encourages Employees to Make Tax Season a Family Affair

Plante & Moran, PLLC is encouraging its accountants and staff to bring their children to work on Saturdays during tax season, a tradition the firm has practiced for almost 20 years. The certified public accounting and business advisory firm offers free Saturday daycare in 11 of its Midwest offices – including Grand Rapids – during the height of tax season. Children ages 6 months to 18 are welcome to attend the drop-in program, which offers games, crafts, snacks, activities, movies – and an opportunity to enjoy lunch with Mom or Dad. [P&M]

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

From the mailbag:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If You Were Expecting a Nice Breezy Internship with Plante & Moran, You’re Going to Be Disappointed

This is serious P&M interns. You probably thought this little summer jaunt at P&M would be just an easy way to get some overtime hours and blow all your money on booze. Well. Actually, it might be you’ll also be expected to walk in on Monday and pull your weight.

Coffee jockeys? No. Xerox duty? Of course but it will be only the important documents. But scavenger hunts? Forget it. The only scavenger hunt you’ll be going is for material misstatements.

Annually, more than 100 students experience a three to four month paid internship. The latest round of students will begin their internships on June 14 in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois firm offices. On the agenda? An Intern Summit, which is a two-day, off-site meeting focused mainly on team-building and community service projects. At the end, interns give a formal presentation on their reflections and lessons learned from the experience.
[…]
“As an assurance intern, I was given the opportunity to go into the field and perform real audit work, not just sit behind a desk or get people their coffee,” said Staci Tobe, a former Plante & Moran intern and Michigan University student. “I also appreciated the firm’s open door policy. I never expected to be able to walk into a partner’s office and seek advice, but Plante & Moran encouraged it.”

Presentations on team building! Real audit work! Getting a partner’s advice! Oh, and no short sleeves because you’ll be expected to roll them up and bare arms aren’t acceptable.

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

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

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


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

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

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

Earlier:
Ernst & Young #44