September 21, 2019

Raises or Lack Thereof

Hey Look, Some Bay Area Big 4 Senior Associates Aren’t Happy With Their Pay

While I was on the road last week, a thread from r/accounting dropped into my inbox: Big 4 Bay Area office thought it would be a good idea to screw seniors with one of the worst raises since 2008 and whoa boy: They thought an $85k cap on all Seniors, regardless of performance, was a […]

Compensation Watch: Internal Auditors

Good news for the internal auditors out there — a study by the IIA found that more of you are getting raises; the bad news is they also found that everyone's share is slightly smaller: The number of U.S. organizations awarding raises to their entire internal audit staff increased from 60 percent in 2011 to […]

Compensation Watch ’13: Everyone

If you're one of those people that likes envisioning their career path several years in advance in order to make a bunch of elaborate plans that will likely be thrown off course by one or more life events/bad decisions, Robert Half's annual salary guide will prove quite useful. It has plenty of data, probably more […]

(UPDATE) Compensation Watch ’12: The Wait Is Over at Ernst & Young

Well, it's here. After getting everyone worked up a month ago, this week marks the start of Ernst & Young's compensation sit-downs. We've gotten word that some offices got started yesterday, some are starting today, and some start later this week. There are a number of people that have sent us messages who seem to […]

Compensation Watch ’12: Grant Thornton Starts Rolling Out the Numbers

Almost three weeks ago, we started the discussion for the Purple Rose of Chicago to help all the Grant Thornton dynamos gird their loins for this compensation season. We've received a number of requests for a follow-up since the discussions start this week and, finally, late last night someone shared their numbers with us: Grant […]

Comp and Bonus Watch ’12: Here’s What Deloitte AERS Advisory Will Be Serving Up

Last week, we threw out a thread to get Deloitte's compensation discussion going which really dived into nothing of particular importance other than the usual bickering. It's possible that the discussion jumped the gun a bit, but if nothing else it got people lathered up and anxious for more details. Thankfully, we now have more […]

Compensation Watch ’12: McGladrey

As we continue to trudge on through the heat of compensation season, we finally heard from one of Mickey G's sherpas: Promotions are being [communicated] from 7/6-7/20 and then raises and bonuses are being announced 7/20-7/27.   Soooo blue and green archers, discuss and kvetch as you see fit but we'll just remind anyone who thinks they'll […]

Compensation Watch ’12: Deloitte

Lest our friends at Deloitte feel left out during comp season, let's get this started. No one's given us any indication of the comp discussion timeline this year so if you know something we don't (that should be a large majority of you), let us know. Hey Caleb — Can you let Deloitte slaves join […]

Compensation Watch ’12: KPMG

This summer has not been the most stellar at the House of Klynveld. The news of forced rankings has overshadowed the ice cream screams, and with no Omaha Steaks in sight, many are in need of something to get them through the rest of summer. Perhaps this is the week that it all turns around: […]

Comp Watch ’12: Ernst & Young

From the mailbag: When are you going to start a compensation discussion for EY? Let me explain how this works – Adrienne and I are not mind readers. We cannot see you maniacally wringing your hands waiting for something to hit the wire so you have a place to bitch when you find out how […]

Here’s Your Open Thread for PwC Compensation Discussions (2012)

Now that you're all adequately prepared, the conversations that will probably make or break many at Papa Whiskey Charlie have started in earnest. We've received word that they go through July 12th, so consider this post the one stop shop for all happy dances, bathroom stall sobbing, and George Costanza-esque resignations.  

Comp Watch ’12: Sizing Up the Big 4

It's the last day of April, which means that hopefully you've tied up all the loose ends that were left over from Busy Season 2012 (aka the best one yet). The month of May brings flowers, drunken afternoons at the baseball diamond in your fair city, and speculation about your compensation adjustments. Of course, some […]

Comp Watch ’11: What Do You Know, BDO?

From the mailbag:

Comp adjustments are coming out this week/ next week can you start a thread?


As we’ve pointed out in the past, BDO is probably the quietest of the top tier firms. Rarely do we get news of hookers, out-of-control happy hours or milestone awards. Sure, we got under the skin of Jeremy Newman once but he has a blog. He was asking for it.

This omertà of sorts by the rank and file has been discussed amongst the GC team and we’ve come up with this: we’vegotnofuckingidea. Not that we haven’t had the opportunity to report on the consolidation of regions or $5 Starbucks cards but the tips are so few and far between that whenever something about BDO come in, it gets us all sort of excited.

But enough about us. If you’re at BDO and you’ve had your sit-down or you’re waiting and are hearing rumors of raise percentages OR you’re simply doubtful as to Jack Weisbaum’s status as most interesting accounting firm CEO in the world, please tell us below.

Comp Watch ’11: Individual Results Coming in at Deloitte and More Details on Bonuses

Following up on our previous post that addressed the high level discussions at the firm, some people started getting calls on Friday and more are having meetings today:


Our first tipster was a recently promoted to Senior Associate in ERS Tech Risk in the Northeast:

Year end rating of 2, 18% [raise].

And the latest from Houston for an 5th year Senior Associate in audit:

Audit 4th year senior going into my 5th year from the Houston Office (Mid-America Region).

As a 1-rated senior my numbers were:

9.9% raise
10.4% AIP bonus

In addition, we received a couple of slides that could be of interest to you on the following two pages.

Here are details for “Rewards and Recognition” which spells out the awards in the program and last year’s stats:

Sixty-nine percent of SMs receiving a bonus seems impressive and the Outstanding Performance award could pay out nicely if you’re lucky enough to get one on the high end. The Service Anniversary award, on the other hand, is not impressive at all.


If this slide looks familiar, it’s because it is very similar to one we posted back in July that showed Deloitte’s efforts to revamp their comp structure. The previous slide showed the AIP pool for Senior Consultants while this one is for Senior Managers (although :

So share your details as they roll in and feel free to comment on the results, the slides and anything else that tickles your fancy (as it relates to Green Dot Comp).

Comp Watch ’11: The Wait Is Nearly Over at Grant Thornton

From the mailbag, a tipster quotes his OMP:

“Compensation and bonuses have been approved. Final letters will be received from national HR by end of day tomorrow [i.e. today] and will be communicated by your practice leader before August 1.”

Fill us in if you have gotten the news or email us the details.

Comp Watch ’11: Deloitte’s New Structure Is Taking Shape

A couple of weeks ago, we heard that Deloitte was considering a similar compensation structure as PwC. This would result in Senior Associates making approximately 1.5x their starting salaries in three years, managers making 2x their starting salary and so on and so forth. At the time, it didn’t strike me as surprising that Deloitte would get all monkey-see-monkey-do on its employees simply because the Green Dot is a far more conservative firm than P. Dubs. While the structure at PwC was welcome with largely positive reviews, the Deloitte version was received less warmly.

Today, we have a little bit of an update for you – with slides! – on hure is progressing. From our tipster:

I’m surprised there was no article about this yet. Tuesday we all had a compensation call which went into great detail how raises and bonuses were handled. Here are some slides you might be interested in. It appears PwC scared them and they are copying. These numbers are still not official yet as they “are working out the numbers”…


Here’s a slide from the presentation on Deloitte’s total compensation earnings multiplier that our tipster sent over:

And here’s PwC’s:

So they’re pretty darn close, with Senior Associates doing slightly better at P. Dubs but Senior Managers faring slightly better at Deloitte, thus it ends up as a wash. Granted, the Deloitte slides only present information for AERS Advisory professionals (sorry audit and tax peeps) but it would seem odd if they opted to only change the structure for one group.

Other items worth noting include the 500 promotions for this year and the 3-5% bonus that accompanies the bump.

The pictures on the following pages show merit increases based on ranking (1 to 5 scale) for Consultants, Senior Consultants and AIP – Senior Consultants.


Presumably, in the bad years some high performers may see a paltry raise of around 4% but in the good years, it will push 16%, depending on metrics listed:


And even more impressive for Seniors, with highest performers receiving a merit increase of ~20%:


What’s interesting to note here is that Deloitte claims to have awarded bonuses to 95% of “eligible professionals.” So if I understand that correctly, 5% of those people ranked 3 or higher didn’t get a bonus. It may also get you a little weak in the knees if the AIP pool is already larger than last year’s “highest ever” pool:

Lots to digest and discuss here, so let it rip.

Comp Watch ’11: Regional CPA Firms

As you well know, compensation is a popular topic of conversation round these parts. A lot of the discussion revolves around the Big 4 and second-tier firms like Grant Thornton, McGladrey and BDO. For whatever reason, we rarely receive information from those working at regional firms. This led to a recent plea from a reader:

Please keep posting salary info, especially from mid-size firms, and what raises look like so I can see what I am really worth/not worth.

So take this as a call for you regional boys and girls to cough up your comp details for all the world to see. Right now since we don’t have specific details for specific firms, we’ll ask that you identify your firm along with other pertinent details (location, job title, raise, bonus) or email us and we’ll update this post.

If you’re wondering if your firm falls into the camp of “regional” if it’s not a Big 4 firm or one of the three we listed above, then consider your firm (for the sake of simplicity) “regional.” This would include Moss Adams, CBIZ/MHM, Crowe Horwath, BKD, Plante & Moran, et al. That’s wonderful if your firm has a “expansive international network to best serve our clients” but nobody gives a damn about that and I’m not going to split hairs here. If you’re still not sure, just post your information and hopefully the comments will self-regulate. Fire away.

UPDATE:
One addition from the mailbag:

Regional firm headquartered in [the Dixie]. I work in the [small Dixie town] office. I’m a second year (soon to be starting 3rd year) audit Manager. Base comp is $70,000 and based on my recent good annual evaluation will be getting an 8% bonus.

Keep it up, regionals. The more specific the details, the better.

Ernst & Young Auditor Wants to Give a Partner an Earful About Comp Even If He Receives a ‘Very Generous’ Raise

Last week, we tried to get the ball rolling on Ernst & Young compensation rumors and while some may chalk up the lack of chatter to “PwC sticker shock,” others claim this is simply standard operating procedure. If you remember last year, eventually Ernst & Young reported some impressive raises that kept pace with P. Dubs but one of Turley’s troops is expecting the worst this year and would like to give a partner a piece of his mind. Unfortunately, he isn’t sure how to do it:

Hello,

By way of introduction, I am a loyal reader of going concern as well as a big four slave in the audit practice. Slavery had begun four years ago at EY and with all the compensation talk going on at other big four firms, I can’t help but to think –

What is a tactful way of telling a partner during the comp talk, “well thank you for that oh so very generous double digit percentage raise (assuming if it’s even double digit), but I am still unhappy because even after this supposed raise, you are still not paying me jack for the amount of contribution and commitment that you demand from me.”

As noted above, I’m a second year senior from an east coast office and my base is still not breaking mid-60s. Seriously, what the f___?

I will be forever grateful if you post my question up for discussion. Thanks so much!!!

Yours,

Angry EY audit senior

There are various directions we can take here so I’ll try to cover a few options before turning it over to you all.

A. Start off with a variation of, “Look, I’m an ungrateful, bitchy auditor. I also have unrealistic expectations and an inflated notion of my self-worth. I’d really appreciate an explanation as to how you can reconcile these traits to this paltry 10-15% raise.”

B. Continue with the slavery narrative.

C. Start questioning leadership at every turn, from challenging Andrew Cuomo to rumored twisting of Senators’ arms. “If this is the type of firm your running, yada yada yada.”

D. Simply ask if E&Y’s raises will beat PwC’s.

Now you may not think these are “tactful” ways to have this conversation but he did sign, “Angry EY Audit Senior.” If I tried to reason with this person, I’d be doing him a disservice. And when is honesty ever not tactful? If you sugarcoat your frustration, the partner will assume you’re a pushover like everyone else. My guess is most partners want you to give it to them straight. If you’re a performer (and something tells me you think you are) than this partner doesn’t want to lose your talent.

Having said all that, not everyone can muster up the courage to ditch the filter in these meetings. If you’ve got better more practical ideas than what I’ve listed, feel free to bestow your sage advice below.

Comp Watch ’11: Ernst & Young Keeps ‘Em Waiting

If I seemed impatient about hearing from the Black and Yellow, it’s because I was. Fortunately, someone answered the call:

As of now, we haven’t heard ANYTHING regarding raises/bonuses etc. On our performance management internal website the status of my annual review just changed from “Leadership Review/Roundtable” to “Release to Compensation” so hopefully we will be getting some news soon!

So, no news is…news, isn’t it? Last year, we started hearing Ernst & Young compensation rumors around the 15th and here we are, one week from our nation’s birthday and hardly a peep. Someone buy a partner a happy hour beer tonight or something, wouldja? Keep us updated.

Blind Item: Which Chicago Accounting Firm Is Giving Infuriatingly Meager Raises and Bonuses?

This just in:

Here’s a spicy meatball for you guys. My buddy works over at [Chicago Firm] and he was so upset when he got his $700 raise and $250 bonus as a Senior 1. Not sure if it’s performance based, but a lot of [Chicago Firm] peeps aren’t thrilled right now.

Will that even cover the rent?

Comp Watch ’11: Sit-downs at PwC Starting This Week

From the mailbag:

Any rumors on PwC comp going around yet? Partner discussions are supposed to start this week and go through next.

After all the discussion around PwC’s new compensation structure one may have thought that was enough to keep people talking for months. Fortunately, plenty of mini-BoMos out there are anxious about this year’s compensation adjustment and since the fiscal year ends next Thursday, it’s not a wonder. Sooo, if you’ve been (un)fortunate enough to have your little money chat let everyone know how it went. Don’t spare the details: office, level, practice, etc.

Deloitte Partners Get Some Pointers on What to Say Re: Bonuses, Compensation

As was mentioned on Tuesday, rumors around Deloitte’s compensation are starting to surface. This likely means partners are fielding questions from anxious employees about raise, bonuses and if they’re considering any part PwC’s new compensation structure. Of course, not everyone is comfortable discussing personal financial matters with Gen Y types, so TPTB have floated some talking points to the partners so they might reduce the number of awkward moments.

Question: What can we say to our people about this year’s compensation?

As we are in the process of closing our books for FY11 and completing our financial plan for FY12 over the next several weeks, we have not finalized the overall Deloitte or AERS compensation – both for [bonuses] and FY12 base compensation. Deloitte and all of the major audit, advisory, and consulting firms participate in Mercer and similar compensation surveys and use this information as a key benchmark for determining competitive compensation. We also continue to differentiate performance (and move AERS Advisory to a more incentive based pay mix). We do our best to be above the survey midpoint of the aggregate of our competitors’ with regard to compensation and make adjustments as necessary (as evidenced last year).

We will continue to implement our Rewards and Recognition program which is significant. We are confident that we will be rewarding our professionals in a way that recognizes their contribution and efforts over the past challenging year and the increasing performance expectations we all face looking forward. We also stay very abreast of what our competitors’ actions and claims are and, if appropriate, make adjustments based on factual information.

When speaking with your teams, please consider the following key points:

• We continue to monitor the marketplace and pay at or above market. The compensation scenarios we’re modeling will ensure that we maintain, and likely improve, our position relative to our competitors on a total cash basis this year.

• We are confident our [bonuses] will be at or above last year’s levels, which were the highest in the history of our organization.

• Our merit pool will provide for market based compensation for all of our professionals and appropriate pay differentiation on the basis of individual performance. Our people continue to tell us this is important to them, we owe it to them, and we will deliver on this commitment this year.

• We know that our people have worked extremely hard this year and we will do whatever it takes to ensure that they are rewarded accordingly. We have a number of options on the table but frankly we don’t have the year-end numbers in yet so it’s still too early to make those decisions.

Comp Watch ’11: Happy New Year’s Eve Deloitte!

It’s the final day of fiscal 2011 in GreenDotville and it seems fitting that we have a little comp discussion:

Word is coming out of the senior manager meeting last week that raises and bonuses are going to be “very good” this year. Of course, those are just rumors, and that’s what the firm said in 2009 when comp increases averaged less than 1% across the board. Other than the mid-year salary bump last fall, there have been no raises, bonuses, or any other incentives to keep slaving away since last summer.

As you may know, Deloitte moved to a decentralized audit planning approach this year, causing hundreds (if not thousands) of additional hours to be added to each engagement. With a shortage of seniors and managers as it is, it’s been close to a breaking point for everyone in the audit function. And, of course, it’s an internal mandate, so unlike the glut of work that came as a result of SOX, Uncle-D is unable to recover any of those costs from clients. Senior management is aware of the problem (Steve VanArsdell said it was the worst busy season he’s ever seen in his 36-year career), but as yet no solutions have been offered other than to say that “year 2” of the new approach should be easier.

Interestingly, the Ivory Tower here at D&T has been suspiciously quiet regarding comp and other issues. Consensus among the employees is that they’re panicked and haven’t yet figured out how to dig out of the hole that they dug for themselves over the past few years. They’ve moved up the timetable on the compensation and rating process by a couple of weeks, which means that we’ll be getting our raise and bonus information in early August instead of mid-August this year (to which, most employees have responded with, “BFD”). To most of us working here, it feels like it’s all going to be too little, too late to win back the loyalty of the current workforce here at Uncle D.

But hey, I hear PwC is hiring!

Our tipster sounds pretty glum for a NYE celebration, so if you can cheer him up with contrary rumors, please do so. Of course, you can always corroborate his suspicions if that’s what you’re hearing as well. And don’t forget to drop all your new leaders a good luck email. Everyone deserves a little thumbs-up on the first day in a new job.

PwC’s New Compensation Structure Gets the Spreadsheet It Deserves

As you know, PwC marched out a new compensation structure earlier this month and it’s been the subject of much interpretation, gnashing of teeth and even a fair amount of rejoicing. Of course, a complete analysis of this new structure would not be complete without the magic of Excel and lucky for you, a reader has taken the time to put some spreadsheet wizardy on it.

Here’s our tipster:

[Here] is an analysis of the new PwC compensation structure. It shows that the firm expects an approximate average raise of 8% per year and 16% per promotion year. The analysis also includes an approximate total compensation for each year of career progression.

I had to break up the image into two pieces so they could be readable. They appear on the next two pages.

Don’t forget that in Year 7, the bonus for promotion to manager is being phased in over three years, so that younger managers do not jump their more experienced colleagues in overall comp.

Obviously results will vary but this gives a pretty good picture of what your compensation will look like over the years at P. Dubs. If you’re busting, still not satisfied or have your own variables to add to the analysis provided, do share.

Here’s PwC’s New Comp Structure in Its Entirety (And Thoughts on Salary Multiple)

Last Friday we broke the news of the “exciting changes” to PwC’s new compensation structure. We now have obtained the document in its entirety (on Page 2 of this post) for those interested in perusing and any P. Dubbers who are unable to navigate their own email or internal websites.

The news has generated a healthy discussion with mixed reviews so far but one reader wanted to focus on the salary multiple specifically

Caleb – I think something that has been glossed over by everyone is the expectations PwC has set around salaries throughout your career.  While the attached excerpt [after the jump] shows that the firm wants you to think you will make 2X your starting salary as an average manager and 1.5X your salary as an average senior, it just doesn’t add up. 

No one is making that multiple, and most don’t think they will get there when we get raises on July 1.  Even the partners in our office said 1.5X for seniors and 2X for managers is an unreasonable salary expectation; they are also a little pissed that BoMo set such absurd expectations.  From what I heard about the associate and senior webcast yesterday, a lot of the questions were some form of “why are you a lying piece of shit about compensation?”  I haven’t had a chance to listen to the webcast yet, but I assume the answers to the questions were some sort of non-answer.

The firm has had a hard time keeping seniors around, so my best guess is they were trying to get senior expectations up to get them to stick around.  I guess they didn’t count on accountants to check those figures and do the math to make sure everything was accurate.

Well, P. Dubs new managers and SAs – do the numbers add up? Tell us in the comments.

PwCTotalRewards2011

PwC Unveils Changes to Compensation Structure

~ Note updates after the jump.

In the last week or so there has been lots of compensation news coming out of PwC, starting with the news from last Friday that “exciting changes” to the compensation structure were happening. There was a lot of speculation and up through yesterday’s Steve Beguhn capping Town Hall webcast about what those changes would be and now we’re happy to report that we’ve got the details for you.

Late yesterday we spoke to a person within PwC who helped develop the new compensati�������������������� employees and it sounds like their are plenty of exciting changes that are being unveiled today. These changes to the comp structure are part of a large shift in culture and values that all started last fall with the unveiling of the new logo (and here you thought it was all about colors and shapes). But enough with the pleasantries, you’re probably anxious to the know the details.


There are three major pieces to the change in the compensation structure starting with:

Transparency – PwC hopes to communicate to its employees just how they come up with the numbers that go into your numbers. For example, all those “surveys” and “benchmarks” that get thrown around? The firm plans to tell you exactly what surveys and benchmarks they are using, who participates in them, how many they use, etc. Once all that data is accumulated, the firm will present employees with graphs and other visuals to illustrate ranges of compensation for all the service lines and non-partner levels. They will also show the market midpoint and average vs. the PwC midpoint and average. This will allow employees to know where they are relative to their peers in terms of compensation and through an “open dialogue” in the performance review process, why they are making what they are.

Earning Potential – The next piece is your earning potential. In other words, how well you can expect to do while you’re working at PwC. From brand new associate to a new partner, you’ll be able to see what kind of scratch you’ll be pulling down at each level and in each line of service. Along with this, a new bonus structure will be announced in July for fiscal year 2012. Under this new structure, the firm will state exactly what will come out in the bonus pool; there will be no cap on the pool and it will be based on the following metrics:

Firm performance – The better PwC does, the better you can do.

Line of service performance – Yes, this means that if advisory had a kick ass year, their bonuses will be larger than the audit group’s. Likewise, the next time advisory goes through tough times and the tax group keeps on truckin’, they’ll enjoy a better bonus. Assurance, you’re just screwed (I kid, I kid).

Individual performance – The rating system relative to your peers will remain in place.

Each line of service will receive quarterly updates on the bonus pool. This is something that is already done in the advisory practice and will now be practiced in assurance and tax. All non-client facing support employees will also be eligible. The firm is launching a microsite and will provide flip books that will lay out all the details in case you ever forget all this.

Recognition and Milestone Awards – Spot bonuses have been around for some time but there was concern that it wasn’t always clear how they were earned and what they are. This will also become a more transparent process (sensing a trend yet?). Along with the spot bonuses, the firm is introducing milestone awards that will occur at the senior associate, manager and senior manager/director levels. Here are some of the details for each:

Senior Associate – In addition to compensation awards, new seniors will receive highly specialized individualized offsite training that will help the new seniors make decisions about their careers. This will last for 12-18 months as they adjust to their new roles. UPDATE: And by “offsite,” this means “an offsite marquis location.”

Manager – New managers will receive a bonus that is equal to 25% of pay. This will be phased in over a couple of years, starting with this year’s bonus of 15%, next year 20% and finally reaching 25% in 2013. Since the promotion to manager is such a major achievement, the firm felt recognition of that achievement is appropriate. UPDATE: The reason for the phase-in is so that recently promoted managers will not be jumped in total compensation by their less-experienced counterparts. The firm looks at compensation from a total cash perspective as opposed to comparing salary to salary or bonus to bonus.

Senior Manager/Director – New SMs and Directors will receive four-week sabbaticals to use however they like. They can work to further their professional credentials, spend time with family, take a vacation, whatever they choose.

So there you have it. Some people probably won’t be pleased by the changes because well, some people simply can’t be pleased. But from the sound of it, the firm is trying to give employees what they asked for and that is more information about the process, what “staying competitive with the market” really means and probably all kinds of stuff you didn’t even think you might want to know. Again, some people will be skeptical but those people also probably think OBL is still getting dialysis treatments.

So, let’s have it P. Dubbers. Discuss the new and exciting changes and throw the questions out there that you’re too afraid to ask – TPTB are definitely reading (and it sounds like they are fans of live-blogging).

Big 4 Manager Would Like Staff to Get Some Perspective Re: Raises

Now that compensation season has passed for the major firms and most of the belly aching has died down, we’ll present some thoughts from a friend of GC and a Big 4 senior manager who shared the following with us earlier in the summer.

Hey Caleb,

A few of us were talking today at lunch about compensation and how we like reading how much everyone bitches about what % raise they got and what they feel they should have been entitled too. An A1 thinks they deserve a $10,000 raise, and that would make them happy, c’mon give us a break?

It is easy to understand this is a prime area to feel you have been cheated in, however, we thought it might be interesting for some net dollar coeffect, for those complainers who feel they were cheated with their raise %.


Interesting idea, we thought. Our muse suggested the following assumptions: 1) 40% tax rate – federal and state combined 2) 24 annual paychecks.

Our friend/source continues:

Would be interesting to see and shed a different light on a cash pay basis what the real difference is in pay for those who think they got cheated from a 8% raise and only got 6% or something, does the $35 per paycheck really require a personal vendetta or hours of frustrated Facebook status updates? Probably not.

My guess is that on an after-tax, per paycheck basis, some of these raises are equivalent to cutting out the morning Starbucks run, or latest iTunes download.

So we decided to dust off the Excel skills and crunch a few numbers to see if our Senior Manager friend was onto something.

We took a humdrum salary of $70k and applied the 8%, 6% comparison and tabled it:

Salary$70,000$70,000
% Raise8%6%
$ Raise (Annual)$5,600$4,200
Taxes withheld40%40%
Net Raise$3,360$2,520
Bi-monthly # of paychecks2424
Net $/paycheck$140$105

BFD you say? You got a 6% raise while some clown who couldn’t audit their way out of a paper bag got 14%? Fine, we’ll take a look at that too:

Salary$70,000$70,000
% Raise14%6%
$ Raise (Annual)$9,800$4,200
Taxes withheld40%40%
Net Raise$5,880$2,520
Bi-monthly # of paychecks2424
Net $/paycheck$245$105

So let’s say you’re the average shmo with the 6% raise and your friend/sworn enemy is getting the 14%. Are you really spitfire pissed that you’re missing out on $280 a month? We’re not talking life-changing sums here. If you’re consistently average over your career, maybe this will add up but hopefully your better sense will grab ahold and you’ll either A) step up your game B) move on with your life C) eliminate the competition (not condoning violence here, just pointing out that it’s a variable in the equation and maybe that it’s an option).

Rebuttal? Agree? Let it rip.

More KPMG Comp News: For Some In Chicago, Expectations Are More or Less Met

Some of you may have heard enough KPMG compensation news but judging by traffic patterns, most of you have not. And reports are still coming in, so it’d be a disservice to keep you in the dark.

The latest news out of Chicago:

This info is for Chicago, Audit. Most of us had our talks Thursday or Friday, however I hear that some are still continuing into Monday.

A2 to SA1, SP+ rating, received 10% raise and 2% bonus. Same level, EP rating, received 13% raise and 5% bonus. I am also finding out that SP vs. SP+ has no difference at all. This is based on a salary of $56,000 which was our original starting salary (also included a $5000 sign on bonus) as we received no raise last year. This is pretty much in line with what the now S2’s received over the past couple years, as they got 5% raise after their first year and 5% raise for being promoted to senior last year when everyone’s salaries “stayed flat” as my partner put it. What I would really like to know is what A1’s to A2’s received, as last year they had the same starting salary and bonus as what I began with, so they were essentially making more than A2’s for an entire year due to the bonus.

SA 2 to SA3, EP rating, 8% raise and 5% bonus. My managers also don’t seem to excited, but I obviously did not ask them what their actual numbers are.

I believe everyone on my team feels this is what they expected raise wise, but are rather disappointed with the bonuses. Some additional information, raise numbers are consistent across all business units within the office.

It’s also our understanding that convos are still going on in New York this week, so continue to keep us updated.

The Latest on KPMG Compensation: Been Better, Been Worse

Just a quick follow-up to our earlier post on KPMG compensation. There’s been a fair amount of bellyaching about the less serious comments on the thread so we’ll alleviate some of the bitching with reports from trusted sources:

Senior associate promote in West advisory, SP+ rated, 11% raise, 3% bonus. Raise was higher than expected but bonus was definitely lower than what I thought it would be. It was explained to me that the 11% is inclusive of the promotion bonus so it’s really 5% promotion + 6% merit

And back on in the East:

NY Metro M1 to to M2: 10% base increase, $2,600 bonus, SP+ using 9-box system.

We understand that there are still sit-downs going on so do keep us updated.

Earlier:
KPMG Gives Green Light to Start Pretty Disappointing/Pleasantly Surprising Conversations

UPDATE:
Apparently some Klynveldians (we hear in NYFS) will get the esteemed pleasure of sweating this out through the middle of next week. We also had a mini-Flynn close to the situation inform us that “1st year managers can’t be exceptional performers [highest rating in the House of Klynveld].” Keep the tips coming in.

KPMG Gives Green Light to Start Pretty Disappointing/Pleasantly Surprising Conversations

This just in (late on Friday):

Heard from a partner in our office, corroborated by the HR manager, that they can officially start having comp discussions with employees starting on Monday, 9/27.


So if you’ve got a scheduled sit-down or call today to have a little chat, let us know how it goes and spare no details. This includes – but is not limited to – percentage raise, bonus, your subsequent tirade (or jubilation) to hearing the news, any explanation that your messenger offered to make you feel better, the number of people crying in conference rooms, etc. And if you too shy/ashamed to share, just email us and we’ll update the post.

UPDATE:

This is just in:

Multiple partners in my office (including a sit down meeting with all senior associates) have floated numbers from 8% to 12-14%. We’ve been told Hearing that we will be “pleasantly surprised” by the numbers and that they will be higher than what Johnny V said this summer. Partners have received the comp numbers but have NOT yet been given the green light. Later today is the plan.

Discuss.

UPDATE 2: The latest from a Southern KPMG office:

SP: 5-7%, 2% bonus
SP+: 7-12%, 4% bonus
EP: 10-14%, 6% bonus

Range is attributable to prior year ranking and individual performance. For example, there may be a “really good” SP+ who was an SP last year, who may get 12%, or a “barely there” SP+ who was an EP last year getting 7%. Needless to say, morale is fairly high.

Also, all practices and divisions are having “EOCircle” events, which are small events ran by the partner. Mine is occurring at a bar, for example, for a happy hour. These are occurring this week.

UPDATE 3, September 28th:
Early reports are in:

I’m an SP+ SA3 (I was an EP each of the last few years) and got a 6.7% raise with a 2.5% bonus. I know an SP+ SA3 who was an SP/SP+ (no differentiation in prior years) who got 10.3% bump with a 2.5% bonus. We are now both making the same. It looks like the percentages were relatively correct but that the bonuses are slightly below what was originally communicated to us.

Experienced Associate Concerned About New Hires’ Salary; Is Having a Sit-down with a Partner a Good Idea?

Today in accountant avarice, a youth took a cut prior to their start date last year and now wonders if this year’s crop will be raking in more. Will bringing injustice to a partner’s attention help?

Have a question about your career? Need help crafting the perfect prose in an email to your firm’s CEO/Managing Partner? Are you a firm thinking about getting a makeover but don’t know where to start? Send us an email to advice@goingconcern.com and we’ll give the best free advice you can possibly find.

Back to our accountant in the poor house:

I work at a regional firm for about one year now. Prior to my start date my offer was reduced due to the economy. After recent discussions with the partner, I was told that I will be getting a “raise” but even after the bump, my new salary is below my original offer amount. Is there any chance, new hires coming in can make more than I, because my revised offer seems below market and I think my firm will be offering higher salaries to the new hires to remain competitive? Also, should I bring this up to the partner’s attention because I don’t think that they know my salary has been reduced and how would I go about doing this?


First, before we answer your question more directly, we should point out that worrying about what other people are making at your firm will drive you crazy. But because of the world we live in, knowing whether a co-worker is making more or less than us is a God-given right, we understand your desire for this knowledge.

As to whether the new grasshoppers at your firm are making more than you, we suggest checking out our salary thread from late last year, our map that shows salary by region and this year’s Big 4 starting salary thread to give you an idea where you fall on the scale.

But the short answer is, yes, it is possible that your first year associate is making more than you.

Now, what to do about that exactly? Well, before you scream at the cruel and unusual universe for being completely unfair to you, do your research and get a really good idea of what you think you should be making. Nothing will get you thrown out of a partner’s office faster than, “I need a raise because I said so.”

But market research may not be enough. You’ll need to demonstrate to the partner getting your pitch why you’re a valuable resource for the firm and point to specific accomplishments that support your argument. As a second-year associate, that can be a pretty tough sell.

What have you accomplished in the past year? Are you making it rain? Are you a trusted go-to on anything and everything for your clients? Are you involved advancing the firm’s brand and culture and mentoring other colleagues to do the same?

Partners like to hear about all that stuff because A) it gets their blood boiling in the nether regions and B) it means that you care about making them (i.e. the firm) more money and advancing its reputation.

So yes, you can bring your concerns to a partner but be prepared to sell yourself all over again because it’s a “what have you done for me lately?” situation.

Compensation Watch ’10: Is Anyone at KPMG Getting Impatient?

It’s bad enough that KPMG is the last of the Big 4 to announce their compensation numbers.

But here’s the real problem Klynveldians – now that the Fighting Irish have blown two big games, two weeks in a row, to two Michigan rivals, John Veihmeyer is desperate for a Lou Holtz pep talk which means watching the old man on TV. This also means suffering through the shallow diatribes of the horrendous Mark May which we don’t wish upon anyone. But that’s a whole other matter.

What concerns us is whether J. Veih manifests his frustration by going back on his word on merit increases and bonuses from earlier in the summer. While this would be unprecedented show of loyalty to Touchdown Jesus, it probably wouldn’t do much for the morale of the firm.


Gridiron failure aside, it’s our understanding that more than a few people are getting antsy over the compensation news and now that KPMG has announced the new partners, the only thing left is to share the shockingly good or heart-wrenchingly disappointing news to all the mini-Flynns.

We invite those with first-hand knowledge, well-researched theories or wild-ass guesses to share their thoughts on KPMG’s eagerly awaited compensation news. And of course, keep us updated with any weepy communication from John. That is, if he managed to get out of bed this morning.

Comp and Bonus Watch ’10: BDO Having a Happy Hump Day?

From the mail bag:

I heard that BDO is communicating compensation adjustments and bonuses this week. Bonuses are to be paid on September 15.

Seems to be in line with our last post on BDO comp and bonuses, so if you’re get good or bad news this week regarding either, share with the group and keep us informed.

(UPDATE) Compensation Watch ’10: More Deloitte Results Lag E&Y, PwC

From the mailbag:

Managers in the Northeast for Deloitte had their compensation call today, raises for [audit] senior promotes (2nd year to 3rd year) are confirmed at 5 to 9 percent, depending upon rating. 1st year to 2nd year are 2 to 5 percent, depending upon rating. Experienced seniors are 4.5 to 6.5 percent with bonuses from $3k to $7k depending upon rating.

This is materially flat year over year for Deloitte. Although they are giving bonuses and raises to experienced seniors which did not happen last year.


So this is similar to the news from the Midwest we reported on Friday which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the country who may have been hanging on to a sliver of hope for PwC/E&Y-esque numbers.

Discuss and keep us updated.

UPDATE, August 18th: This just in:

Confirmed on audit senior compensation webcast this morning:

Base salary increase for New Managers by Rating:

1 – 24%
2 – 23%
3 -18%

Base salary increase for Experienced Seniors by Rating:

1 – 9%
2 – 6.5%
3 -4.5%
4 – 0%

Bonus for Experienced Seniors by Rating:

1 – 7k
2 – 5k
3 – 3k

Base salary increase for 1st to 2nd year staff:

1 – 5%
2 – 3.5%
3 – 2%
4 – 0%

Base salary for new hires will not change from prior year.

Annnnd discuss.

Compensation Watch ’10: Early Returns from Deloitte Are In

The first reports of Deloitte raises for audit professionals have come in from the Mid-America Region:

I’m surprised to see absolutely nothing posted about Deloitte raises. We have had the raise discussions in my office for staff and seniors, no double digit raises in sight. AIP (bonus) for Seniors and above. Managers- TBA.

Mid America Region- it’s looking like 2-9% for staff/seniors. AIP is supposed to be in the range of 2-12%, but that is the range for both seniors and managers. I spoke with a friend in another office in my region and their raises are looking pretty consistent, if not lower. Starting salaries are frozen- start classes from fall 09, 10, 11 will all at the same rate.

This is the earliest word we’ve received and comments have suggested that more news would come early next week. The tax practice still has their town halls next Tuesday but that could be to explain the numbers if in fact they are similar to audit’s.

So this could be a John Kerry-esque exit polls effect or maybe this is a sign of things to come. Either way, if you’ve gotten word, discuss below and keep us updated with any developments.

All This Talk of Deloitte’s “Double Digit Growth” Has People Wondering

On Monday we learned that Deloitte Tax had a STD and now there’s more chatter about the firm’s performance that could maybe, possibly affect comp for this year:

A new set of video blogs came out from the northeast regional managing partner. He announced double digit growth in perdiods [sic] 9-13 of FY10 and a plan for “continued double digit growth through FY11”. I know everyone is getting antsy over compensation (discussions are supposed to take place beginning next week, with raises hitting on the 9/3/10 payroll), and they keep dropping comments about “substantial raises” and “double digit growth.”


So while some people remain skeptical, it appears that Deloitte is warming you up the troops for a nice surprise next week. Deride if you must but can Dr. Phil & Co. really afford to come in with lower raises than PwC and E&Y?

For a firm that talks like they’ll be numero uno in a few short years, it would be pretty embarrassing to bring in some paltry raises while the firm they’re chasing managed to make it up to at least a few of their people. Discuss the latest and keep us informed.

Compensation and Bonus Watch ’10: Who Knows BDO?

After coming out the near-death experience thanks to the Florida 3rd District Court of Appeal, you’d figure TPTB at BDO would continue shoveling the good news out while they could. On the comp front, a tipster tells us that while there are rumors that raises are bonuses are coming, no one has a clue as to what they’ll be:

Can you run a discussion on BDO compensation increase and bonuses? Raises would be effective 10/1, and currently there have been no formal communications from senior mgmt regarding this topic. In the local offices, there has been word that there will be raises and bonuses, but no numbers have been thrown around.

In other words, if you’ve got the goods BDO peeps, kindly spill it. It’s about time you started talking. If you’re not comfortable voicing yourself, email us and we’ll handle it.

Compensation Watch: Deloitte Tax Sets a Date

Rejoice Deloitte Tax Troops. Your wait is nearly at an end, although from the sounds of it, you might be disappointed:

Word from our office tax managing partner has been that the compensation pool for raises is about 4-5%, which I think is going to make a lot of people pretty unhappy. But I guess with all the rumors out there and with Deloitte being the last of the Big 4 to release comp numbers, they decided to hold this forum. I’m expecting the same song and dance (weak revenue, highlighting all the other benefits besides comp) to try to stem the tide of people leaving. Since January, we’ve lost about 15 people (at all levels) out of about 110 in our office tax practice, and I doubt the news regarding comp will keep others from jumping ship.

Who: All US Employees

What: Overview of FY11 US employee compensation, including:

• Review the objectives and strategy of our compensation program
• Review the components of compensation
• Review the FY10 annual incentive plan
• Review the Tax compensation process and next steps
• Answer your questions

When: Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Time: 8 am to 8:30 am –regional compensation town hall
8:30 to 9:00 am -optional local office debrief with practice lead

Depending on how the town hall goes, the “optional” debrief could be an extremely interesting discussion. If audit or advisory have receive similar communiques, send them our way and we’ll continue to keep you updated on the countdown.

Compensation Watch ’10: The Teasing Continues as News from Deloitte Inches Closer

By now everyone is borderline freaking out due to Deloitte partners’ ability to remain coy throughout this process, using words like “substantial” and “better than last year” which, considering the love shown last year, is ironically accurate.

Annnnnnddd it continues. A source dropped us part of an email from Nick Tommasino, Deloitte’s Chairman and CEO of audit and enterprise risk services:

Understand your compensation package
• Deloitte provides a comprehensive Total Rewards package, which is designed to:
· Attract, retain, motivate, recognize, & reward high-performing talent
· Demonstrate the value of individual contributions as it relates to business performance
• When your individual compensation discussions occur in mid-Aug, keep in mind these main financial components of the Total Rewards package:
· Base salary
· AIP*, aimed at eligible high-performing seniors, managers, & senior managers (Reminder: AIP payouts will be subject to taxation & 401k deductions)
· Rewards & Recognition program, which includes Applause Awards, Outstanding Performance Awards, Promotion Awards, & Service Anniversary Awards
• Key compensation dates include:
· Mid-Aug: Compensation discussions begin
· Sun, Aug 22: New salaries effective
· Thu, Sep 2: Updated compensation statements available on DeloitteNet
· Fri, Sep 3: New base salary & AIP award amounts reflected in pay statements available on DeloitteNet

The motivation behind such a message is subject to interpretation. Some may think this is a friendly reminder (one of several, no doubt) of the upcoming discussions OR it’s a friendly reminder that doubles as a reality check that this isn’t 2005-2006.

Meanwhile, in the consulting part of the house, one commenter is claiming that news is going to be extra good, courtesy of some Punit Renjen prognostication:

Punit said “Compensation will be highest in history” via video for Consulting…

So who knows! The good news is that you will know soon enough but numbers remain a mystery. Unless someone finally coughed up a range. In that case, we strongly encourage that you share.

(UPDATE) Comp Watch ’10: Ernst & Young Numbers Coming Out This Week?

Last time we checked in on E&Y in the comp department, convos on promotions and ratings were to have gone down by last Friday. That appears to have happened right on cue and now we’re told that starting this week, the numbers will be coming down from 5 Times Square:

Latest regarding compensation (exact $ amount) in both FSO/New York and Northeast/New York regions is discussions should start today and run for 2 weeks. Big push right now in all business units to try and appear to care about people; people advisory board members have been reaching out for ways the firm can improve.


Feel free to speculate as to why the “caring” and “reaching out” is happening at this particular time of year (and if the Facebook downloading is at all related). Also, if you’ve had the talk and have great/disappointing news to report, do share or get in touch with us.

UPDATE: Word is that meetings are still being had this week and the numbers are still good. One source (Manager) in the assurance practice reported a 5 rating and a 21% bump. Not too shabby.

Compensation Watch: Deloitte Advisory Can Expect ‘Substantial’ Salary Increases

From the mailbag:

Just got off an “All Hands” call for Deloitte Advisory (not Audit). TPTB said to expect “substantial” base salary bumps for staff and seniors, but that they are moving toward a “base+bonus” structure for managers and up. As such, the bulk of the increase in salary pool will be to staff/seniors.

I dont know what that means – it would sure be nice to see 12-15% percent, but I dont think that is being too realistic. Whatever the case, I doubt there will be bonuses for staff/seniors like you saw at PwC. They bandied about a “$36MM” number a couple times, but that is really irrevelant without a discussion of the distribution.

People are sure giving a lot of credit to PwC. Maybe firing out of the gate was a way to put pressure on everyone else but don’t forget, not everyone at PwC is thrilled with their compensation season.

We aren’t expecting official word out of Deloitte for awhile but in the meantime, feel free to speculate on ‘substantial’ and keep us updated.

Compensation Watch: McGladrey < McDonald's?

One unhappy Mickey G’s employee would like to get something out there:

Now that salary adjustments have been communicated to employees, many are griping at McGladrey – and for good reason.

More than a few people are grumbling about the recent golf signings and ridiculous sports marketing platform as well as the fact the company spent money on a 144-foot cake, but only gave thousands of people 1 to 3% raises.

Combined with the fact that no one got raises last year, and with inflation, rising costs of benefits and everyday living expenses, well, many employees are not too happy about this slap in the face. Let one thing be said, if you are not looking out for yourself with this company, then you are doing yourself a disservice. The company doesn’t care about you, they only act like they do.

The great place to work platform is BS – it’s a marketing crock.

McGladrey? Heck, I’d rather be McLuvin and at work at McDonald’s…they treat employees better.

Earlier:
Compensation Watch: McGladrey Promises That the Good Times Will Keep Coming
Compensation and Promotion Watch ‘10: Discussions at McGladrey Starting Soon; Forced Ranking in Effect?

Compensation Watch ’10: KPMG Puts Some Ballpark Figures Out There

Since it’s Monday in late July (and many people probably had one old fashioned too many last night) we figured this day would have gotten off to a slow start. Well, we’re in luck! KPMG comes roaring out of the gate today with a little compensation update from none othercall me Rudy” Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer.

The news? Well, the promotions bonuses have caused some belly aching so the boys thought they would give you a sneak peak at what you can expect come merit increase time:

Update on Our Plans for 2010 Compensation
A Message from John Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer
8:19 AM ET, July 26, 2010

In April, we told you that there would be compensation increases for the great majority of our people and, assuming KPMG meets its FY10 plan, higher bonuses than last year for EP performers, and bonuses for higher performing SP employees as well. Now, as we head into the fourth quarter, we would like to provide you with an update on this matter. As you view this information, please keep in mind that compensation increases are determined on an individual basis, and reflect each employee’s role, skills, performance, geography, and experience, among other factors.

· Merit and Promotion Increases – For employees who are not being promoted, we expect SP performers will receive merit increases that will range from the low to the mid-single digits; EP performers will receive increases up to the high-single digits and in rare cases double digits.

In addition to any merit increases, employees who have been promoted should expect to receive a promotion increase of approximately 5 percent, with one exception: newly promoted CSD Managers should expect to receive a promotion increase of approximately 10 percent.

· Variable Compensation – The FY10 pool for variable compensation will be more than double what it was last year. This means that EP-rated employees will generally receive bonuses that are significantly higher than those of last year. In addition, approximately the top half of our SP performers will also receive variable compensation awards.

Please keep in mind this information is preliminary. Final compensation decisions will be made based upon our full-year results, so the ranges above could be adjusted based upon our firm’s performance between now and September 30. But, consistent with our commitment to keeping the lines of communication open, we wanted to share with you our best current forecast about these important matters.

In line with our compensation philosophy and our focus on a high-performance culture, we remain committed to sharing the rewards of the firm’s financial performance with our employees and providing a competitive total compensation package that differentiates exceptional performers with superior rewards. As we have said before, the strong foundation we have built within the firm, as well as our near- and longer-term business prospects, make us very optimistic. But to finish this year strong and begin FY11 on a positive track, it is critical that we continue to drive a high-performance culture by doing our best work, providing the highest-quality service to our clients, growing our business, and operating efficiently.

Thanks again for your continued hard work and for all you do to help our firm succeed!

So now that you have that to chew on for your last Monday in July, feel free to discuss the “low to the mid-single digits” for the strong and “high-single digits and in rare cases double digits” for the exceptional. And if you’ve got thoughts on the variable comp pool, you can go there too, if you like. Keep us updated.

Show Me the Money: Six Tips to Getting the Raise You Deserve

Ed. note: The following post was submitted to Going Concern by a reader who wished to remain nameless. The author works at a “local” CPA firm somewhere in this great land of ours.

The topic is actually very amusing and can cause several different angles over the almighty dollar. As an American culture, we seem to be quick to talk about the personal financial well being enclosed in our own homes. The items that separate the big dogs from the goldfish are numerous. Below are the reasons why I am a big dog and why you need to show me the money.


Know who you’re trying to convince – People often equate success to dollar figures, and I personally think salary or raises don’t always speak of high ethics or quality of a peords of caution are: know how your boss judges success. My boss judges it on money. The buck stops at that point. Therefore, when I spoke of my personal salary to him, I adjusted my strategy accordingly. He always talks with me about how he is doing personally, and how he is doing better than people at his level. This is due to the amount of responsibility and client base he possesses. Therefore, I changed the pace of my conversation so my point of view mirrored his. I brought up the point that the work I do helps him with his client base, and that my level of responsibility is more than a vast amount of my peers. As such, my salary should be adjusted accordingly.

Have the math to prove your position – Being in public accounting, we deal with numbers every day. Therefore, I made a spreadsheet that listed out changeability and realization (for those who don’t know, we bill by the hour). My numbers are then compared against my peers and when they are, statistics don’t lie. I am a big dog swimming with mostly fish. Point is again related to your audience in a way they can understand you. Accountants love numbers.

Tout your level of responsibility – I manage a large client base so the partner I report to doesn’t have to get involved as often as most. The reason for this is because I have set up and maintained client relationships so the client calls me instead of the partner. The clients understand that this is cheaper for them and also job security for me. When you do this, you make yourself more marketable and the partners see me as someone that his clients trust. With those client relationships come higher dollars. You have to separate yourself from your peers by going above and beyond. If you want to do the average and be a run of the mill employee, then expect the run of the mill pay.

I am involved in the community – By coaching little league football at a well known church, I interact with parents that might need a CPA firm to help them with tax issues or own a business that might need accounting services. Also by doing this, it shows the firm that I have no problems interacting with successful business people and can help them in various situations. I can grow the firm by doing this. Again, my peers don’t involve in the community as much as I do. This should be financially rewarded. I have an interest to bring in business, and should be compensated because of it.

I can leave this at any time – If my boss did not give me a descent raise, I was going to quit. I saw the storm coming, and therefore did all that I could prior to my salary evaluation. Quitting a job without another one lined up is a dumb move and would put my wife and me in jeopardy. I had (have) a job currently lined up and I could take it in a heartbeat. Therefore, I had my ducks in a row when I started to see the storm brewing three months ago. Always have a current résumé.

Be ready for the rebuttal – I know my weaknesses and had to be ready to discuss what I was lacking. I have not passed the CPA exam yet and that’s a huge drawback in my profession. So when I went in there, I had to tell him where I was in the process. Him knowing that I am taking care of it and not blowing it off, gives him a piece of mind that I am not average.

Case in point, just saying you want a raise and basing it off “because your deserve it” would make the employee look uneducated and should be embarrassed. You need to have a firm understanding of the reasons to justify your pay. In a pinch, always look at numbers. There is a reason 2+2=4 and will never equal 5. In a tough economy, you better have everything straight prior to walking into the boss’s office. When the economy settles, I’ll be expecting another sizable increase. If not, I will be very upset and will repeat the mentioned steps.

Are Ernst & Young and PwC Neck and Neck in the Compensation Race?

From the mailbag:

I heard some scoop and wanted to share with my fellow indentured servants in the big 4 field. Word on the street is that P-dubs gave 10% raises to staff 2s becoming senior 1s (early promote) and 16% raises to staff 3s becoming senior 1s.

However, P-dubs doesn’t hand out the 5k bonus that Uncle Ernies offers to its staff 2s becoming senior 1s. I’d like to see how EY will top this, per an earlier promise from a partner that EY raises will be higher than P-dubs (maybe can some low performing partners?). In addition, the variance between average performers and high performers at P-dubs is only .6% (not significant at all).


If you forgot what this is referring to, back in April we reported a tip out of the Ernstiverse that a partner had claimed that the raises at E&Y would beat PwC’s. The reports out of PwC have been better than expected, although not for everyone.

So if this partner’s prognostication holds up, how will they pull it off down the stretch? Seems like a good question. Conversations are going on right now and the official news will reportedly be out in a couple weeks.

Since we’ve got half of the Big 4 involved here we’ll just mention that the belly aching at KPMG is in full force on the bonus front but maybe there’s hope for a strong move down the stretch?

As for Deloitte, apparently communication has occurred for promotions but it sounds like word on comp could be more than a month out. If you’ve got the scoop get in touch with the details and discuss this four horse race but as it stands right now, it looks as if PwC has E&Y by a nose.

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

Promotion and Compensation Watch: Ernst & Young Communication to Come Eventually, Someday

Straight out of the Bubba Gump Shrimp location up the street from 5 Times Square:

Ernst & Young, Financial Services Office, NY
Received communication that our annual ratings were finalized and discussions between counselors and counselees to occur by July 30. Promotions are still not final, but promotions and compensation will start to be communicated in August (to be effective October).


So t-minus three weeks (give or take a day here or there) until “you’re not going to be disappointed with raises” which apparently could mean that they will make PwC’s raises look like chump change (for auditors anyway).

BUT! In case you need a refresher on the numbers so far: 3-5% is what we last heard for those in the meaty part of the curve. No word on what top performers are getting but speculation is welcome. Keep us updated.

Comp Watch: Sit Downs Starting at Deloitte; Anxiety Over Raises Picking Up

Lots of news this week on the compensation and promotion fronts with Grant Thornton, KPMG and PwC all making announcements or soon-to-be making announcements (that we’ve heard; are you holding out on us, E&Y?).

The latest out of Deloitte is that the discussions are starting (although maybe not today since it sounds like most are off) but the news on yay or nay on promotions is starting and now the anxiety around comp will increase over the next two month:

The year-end ratings and promotion decisions have been approved by National; so the process of communicating both to Deloittians is starting…At a high-level, I heard that promotions this year were tough – that being said, plenty of people made it through. For the most part, people are now waiting to hear about comp – scheduled for communication the last two weeks of August.

We did hear one rumor about the number of new partners expected, “at a recent partner meeting, it was announced that there will be more than 60 new PDPs nationally, with more than 10 being in the Northeast,” so you can toss that around your meat-ingestion fest this weekend if you so choose.

Discuss your epic/tragic news re: your new promotion if you’ve received word and keep us updated on the comp rumors.

Compensation Watch ’10: Rumors at Grant Thornton as Announcement Approaches

From the depths of 666 Third Ave:

In New York:

Associates look to come in at almost $10k less than they did in 2007
Senior 3’s are looking to make almost $10k less than Senior 3’s in 2007
New Managers are looking to make almost $15k less than New Managers in 2007
Senior Managers are looking to make almost $15-20k less than Senior Managers in 2007

Raises (without promotion) are looking to be:
3% for employees rated under a 4
6% for employees rated a 4 or 5

Our source indicates that these are all rumors at this point but based on the last Communique de Chipman, the official numbers should be known soon (“early July”).

In the previous thread lots of numbers were getting thrown so who knows; maybe GT is pulling a PwC and promising low, delivering high? Discuss.

Compensation Watch ’10: PwC Starts Spreading the News in New York

It’s raining bonuses and raises over at PricewaterhouseCoopers these days. Unfortunately, all I’m seeing are news tips (monetary tips or buybacks at the bar are always appreciated). All of my sources are from the NYC office, so if you’re elsewhere in the country, please share your numbers in the comments below. Here’s what we know so far:


• Advisory/Consulting senior associate received a raise north of 18.5%. No, that is not a typo. So in the advisory practice it’s safe to assume the spread is 0% to 19% for raises this year, with the average being about 6% as reported by Caleb earlier.

• A recently promoted associate to senior associate in advisory received a 10.5% raise and a $3,000 bonus.

• Tax bonuses are being handed out now as well. Size matters in this instance, people. Cough up the details below.

This indicates that resources are being spent on what is being determined to be the right people in the right practices. Average performers should expect to receive 4-6% and take it to the bank.

Audit people, what are your numbers looking like? Email us or post your comments below. Practice/office/level are always appreciated

Thanks to everyone that is sharing information. Enjoy the weekend.

Bonus and Compensation Watch ’10: Grant Thornton Delivers the Goods

Grant Thornton has been on strict radio silence lately which makes us wonder if Stephen Chipman had given up on blogging or if they had simply given everyone the summer off.

The blog remains a mystery but we do have some news on GT bonuses (the jury was out for awhile) and merit increases and it seems to be good news but extremely short on details and extremely long on Chipman prose:

Leadership announcement
Additional guidance on bonuses and compensation

On our last all-employee call, I told you that I was optimistic that the firm would award bonuses this year. I am pleased to share with you that we are now in a position to say with certainty that we will be paying bonuses for 2010.

As you know, the overall level of bonuses is dependent on our financial results at year end. We are currently working on this modeling based on our economic forecasts and will have the final numbers next month. However, I can let you know that we plan to pay the bonuses in the mid-September timeframe.

Similar to our merit increases, our bonus payments are based on our pay-for-performance philosophy, where we strive to recognize and reward individuals commensurate with performance. We’ve held this philosophy for a number of years, but could have done better executing on it. You reminded us of this in our Voice Your Experience pulse survey, and we are striving to do better. This year — and even more so going forward — we will be giving larger merit increases and bonuses to our top-rated performers to ensure greater differentiation.

Merit increases should be finalized in the next couple of weeks and your local office will begin communicating with you in early July. New compensation is effective on August 1. The increases are based on extensive market information for each of our practices and your individual contributions.

As we work to differentiate our firm through providing consistently distinctive client service, we will continue to move towards a model that rewards each of our people relative to their contributions to the success of the firm.

I’m excited about our direction as a world-class firm that truly makes a difference, and hope you are too. Thank you for all that you have done, and continue to do, for Grant Thornton.

Stephen

So whether or not this puts your anxiety to rest is another matter. Discuss and keep us updated in the coming weeks.

Compensation Watch ’10: Deloitte Is Kicking Around Some Numbers

Last we checked on Deloitte’s compensation news, it was news of the wealth being spread around more than last year, although no one was really impressed based on the discussion that followed.

But now out of Ronaldo Fan Club HQ we’ve got an opening bid:

“It was announced at a Tax meeting last Monday that the average raise for NE Tax would be 5% this year.”


Since Dr. Phil recently said that raises weren’t going to return to “pre-recession levels” an average raise of 5% may be in the ballpark. Then again, this is only the tax practice…

Anyhoo, our source told us that reactions boiled down to:

1. After axing or transferring everybody from the Stamford, Wilton and Hartford offices, they better pay the remaining people more!

2. At least it’s more than the average of 0% last year…

If you don’t fall into either camp 1 or 2, make your opinion known. Otherwise, get back to watching your fantasy team suck.

(UPDATE) Compensation Watch ’10: Are Raises Looking Bleak at E&Y?

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard any news on the E&Y comp front but we finally received a preliminary report from one source late last week:

[Roundtables] went the same way they always go. Surprisingly, less pushback on proposed ratings for the portion I was involved in. I really think they may be scared to lose more people. Indications are raises will be low (3-5% range for most, more for 4/5 rated people) Bonuses are probably non-existent for the masses. Annoucements of promotions for other levels will be made in August (staff to senior, senior to manager, manager to senior manager) they will also do comp increase discussions then. Effective 10/1…


So despite Ernst & Young re-reassuring merit increases the 3-5% for the meaty part of the curve and no bonuses isn’t exactly what “the masses” were expecting.

That being said, this office may be catching some bad luck since we that at least one E&Y partner was confident that the raises would beat PwC’s.

Although, some lucky E&Y soldiers have seen some “spot bonuses” for their hard work but it’s not clear how widespread that generosity is.

On a marginally-related note, we’ve received word that the partner promotions were announced but we’re still trying to run down some details. Get in touch with us if you’ve got the scoop on the new partners, what you’re hearing about comp in your office and discuss below.

UPDATE, Wednesday June 16th: A couple more accountants familiar with E&Y have their own take on the comp situation:

I heard that we “we’re not going to be disappointed with raises” here at EY. I don’t know what that means. And I tend to believe, that as you posted today, 3-5%, is a more realistic view of what’s going to happen (though that’s just my own pessimism).

and that is coupled with another source, “Haven’t heard anything further on comp other than ‘moderate.’

Continue attempting to decipher the latest. As you were.

Promotion Watch ’10: Latest Details on KPMG’s New Managers

From a Klynveld Quaker:

In recent meetings with PA Business Unit leadership with all audit staff (i.e. A and SA’s), we were told that of the 32 inidivudals up for promotion to Manager in the combined three offices (Philly, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh), that 22 were officially promoted. Of the 10 that weren’t, at least 1 just came back from international rotation, and either 2 or 3 (can’t remember which) hadn’t passed the CPA exam and therefore couldn’t be considered for promotions. All raise and bonus theories were squashed (as to hard percentages), though we were told to expect some form of raise as well as variable comp at FYE.


So just a shade better than two-thirds of the Keystone KPMGers eligible for manager will be in the new manager class. As you may remember, this is pretty close to the breakdown for one office in the Rockies but a little less than an office in the northwest.

Since the firm has four months to go in its fiscal year, the fact that the local leadership wouldn’t even give a hint comes as no surprise. That said, it hasn’t stopped people from speculating about what they think the increases will be. We encourage you to share what you know, what you’ve heard, or your own wild-ass guess. And keep us updated with the latest in your office.

Follow Up on KPMG Compensation and Promotion News

It’s been, in the words of one source, “a hell of a week” at KPMG. John Veihmeyer & Co. have been on a whirlwind communications tour, people up for promotion are getting the good/bad news and the whole summer blast thing has people soiling themselves with excitement.

Since they’ve been on such a tear, we’ll update you with a little more news out of the House of Klynveld, returning to promotion and compensation news.


First the bad news – we’ve learned from multiple sources that newly promoted SAs in the audit practice won’t be getting much of a merit increase for their new positions. The news is that the new promotees will receive an early 1.25% increase later this summer that will be followed up by another increase, although those raises will be subject to the firm’s performance in the last part of the fiscal year.

Now the good news – After hearing from a couple offices in the west, most of the SA3s that are up for the promotion to manager seem to be getting the bump. From one office in the northwest:

Despite rampant speculation about widespread non-promotion of seniors to manager, only 3 (of around 15) 3rd year seniors didn’t get the bump. One CPA licence issue, and two performance issues. Nothing out of the ordinary even in a regular year, let alone in one where the holdbacks are supposed to be so numerous that they are creating a new 4th year senior training.

The percentage of SA3s in a Rocky Mountain office that are getting promoted is a little lower with approximately two-thirds of the class getting the bump. So far, only the (un)lucky (i.e. non-promotees) ones have received the news while the new managers continue to sweat it out. For this particular office, the decision to promote/not promote was a little more confusing that its counterpart in the northwest.

Based on the information we’ve gathered, each office is essentially given a number of promotees by the boys at 345 Park and the local office leadership is tasked with figuring it out from there. Criteria for promotion to manager (as we understand it) is that 1) the eligible SA needs to be “ready to be a manager” and 2) they need a business case (i.e. have clients to serve).

In the case of this office, it sounds like this was scrapped. Rather, it was decided that historical rating was the determining factor and not the criteria we outlined above. In other words, if you received high ratings (“EP” at KPMG) as an SA1 and SA2, that was more important than whether you actually have clients to work on as a manager. If you were in the meaty part of the curve (“SP” at KPMG), despite your strong “business case” you are SOL. Our source told us that, in the past, they were always told that “my historical rating would not be a determining factor when it came to promotions.”

So basically it boils down to how your particular office is doing. If you’ve got a strong market with plenty of clients, things should go fairly smooth (with a few exceptions). If you’ve got a competitive or shrinking market, your odds of getting the bump go down, in some cases, way down.

As always, keep us updated with your office’s developments, and congratulations and good luck to the new SAs and Managers!

Compensation Watch ’10: More People at Deloitte Will Receive Raises This Year

Some straight talk from Barry Salzberg:

Barry had a [recent] session in LA at which time he said essentially the following about comp:

1. Raises and bonuses will be distributed this year
2. Raises and bonuses will be larger than last year, but are unlikely to return to “pre-recession” levels any time soon
3. More people will be receiving raises and bonuses this year


Unfortch, Deloitte doesn’t seem to be getting involved in the pissing match with E&Y and PwC by putting a number out there but “more people” and “larger” are both somewhat encouraging, no? Well, not really, according to our source:

To my knowledge, we’re not getting any more info. On the people side; the video didn’t say anything new and everybody knows that the economy’s getting better and that Deloitte’s doing better; so we all assumed it was going to be like he said. Without a number benchmark, words are pretty much useless.

Compensation Watch ’10: GT Reassures Merit Increases, Jury Out on Bonuses

On Friday, Grant Thornton had a firm wide call to discuss several things including layoffs, compensation, and grab-bag questions.

Headcount Reductions – Steve-o believes that the worst is over and that “restructuring efforts are substantially behind us.” If there happens to be additional “headcount transitions” it will be to refine operations or part of the no He went on to say that the people that are GTers now will, “in very large part,” remain GTers. So can we assume the action in Cleveland and Chicago was the last of it?


Compensation: GT seems is making big push towards a “pay for performance” model for its employees which means compensation adjustments will focus on top performers (“5s” in GT world) and market based adjustments (i.e. keeping up the Joneses) won’t be happening. SC cited a downward trend of salaries in the accounting profession based on a survey that GT does with Mercer (sounds convenient) for the phasing out of market adjustments. He said there might be some exceptions to this.

The size of the merit adjustments have not yet been determined because it all depends on how well 1) GT performs through the end of the year and 2) individual performance. Chip said that enough people were belly aching about the old adjustment system that a change was warranted. This will be implemented slightly for this fiscal year (can’t get all Darwin about it 3/4 of the way through the fiscal year) and will be the main methods for next year and going forward.

Bonuses: SC cleared this whole issue up saying that it has not been determined if bonuses will be paid this year. It all depends no the firm’s performance in the final quarter of the fiscal year. He did say that he’s pre-tay, pre-tay, pre-tay optimistic about the firm “being in a position to pay bonuses” but they’re still crunching the numbers so there’s no telling if it will be a mini-windfall, pocket change, or a set of steak knives.

Not to worry though, as the top performers will certainly get something if everything goes well at the firm overall.

This “new” focus on pay for performance seems kind of familiar since all the firms assign rankings to employees (with their own bizarro methodologies) and are paid accordingly. It makes you wonder if those that fall in the meaty part of the GT curve will get such a small adjustment that it will be another twist on the forced ranking trend amongst accounting firms.

Steve-o then shared his general optimism about the direction of the economy and what it means for the firm, a few recent client wins, yada yada yada. He also updated everyone with some very vague details on the firm’s new strategy “Unleashing Our Potential” that will be rolling out in the next fiscal year. Basically all non-partners will have the chance to drop their $0.02 on this strategeroy very soon but other than that we couldn’t tell if the new strategy involved a lunar landing or full-scale assault on financial reporting fraud.

Last but perhaps most importantly, Steve-o admitted to enjoying the Masters very much, however he was quite clear that he was less than thrilled to see KPMG on Phil’s lid. We’re sure it’s nothing personal against Phil but those may be fightin’ words directed straight at Johnny V.

Ernst & Young’s Raises Will Be Better Than PricewaterhouseCoopers’

I said it on Tuesday and I’ll say it again. HERE. WE. GO.

Caleb ran a post yesterday about Ernst & Young raises that as of deadline time had no comments. Zilch. Nadda. I was surprised by this because if anything guarantees comments on GC posts it’s talk about layoffs, Overstock.com shenanigans, and money (not in that order). Needless to say, I think this update will change things.


GC received a tidbit from an EY reader about the recent phone call:

“I did receive a voicemail from Steve reassuring compensations but, it appears that the firm will concentrate giving raises to its “high performers”. So, this potentially could mean that only EYers rated a 5 (need to catch a fraud to get this or have really sore knees) or 4s (need to be well liked all the way up the pipeline on an audit) will have a respectable raise.”

So – if you burned through busy season working yourself to the bone for Uncle Steve but stopped short of needing knee pads (it should also be noted that the parts in parentheses above are part of the original email…) you might be shit out of luck for a respectable raise.

Continuing…

“In addition, I checked with a partner and the August 1st early pay increase is a rumor. The rumor appeared believable since EY is a monkey see monkey do type of firm but, our partner said that EY’s raises although be start on October 1st, will be higher than what PwC will offer to its auditors.”

Boom. To quote my man and crime fighting detective Marcus Burnett, “Shit just got real.”

Shit. Just. Got. Real.

Is there any credibility to this? Sure there is. To think that the upper leadership from every firm does not talk to one another about compensation targets is ridiculous. Merely for the sake of the partners’ bottom line, it’s necessary to know what ones competitors peers are paying in compensation. Why some loose-lipped partner is sharing this information is beyond me, but hey, it’s dedicated readers fed up with their own compensation that forward these tips on. Now, let’s talk it out.

Which would you prefer – every 10 key cruncher receiving a mediocre payout or just the stars receiving something slightly-better-than-insulting? Comment below, regardless of which firm you work for. Be sure to shed some light on the timing of EY’s payouts if you know any details.

Compensation Watch ’10: Ernst & Young Re-reassures Merit Increases

About a month ago, we heard about an E&Y town hall in Chicago that was meant to rally the troops after the last two weeks of March saw ubiquitous Lehman Brothers/Repo 105/bankruptcy examiner’s report coverage.

Plus, it was the end of busy season so people were likely at their wits end. At said town hall, the raises promised by Americas Managing Partner Steve Howe back in January were reassured.


Despite this message, Steve Howe sent out a triple-reassuring message yesterday to everyone that wasn’t listening and/or didn’t get the communiqué:

Stevie Howe just sent out another long VM confirming raises this year. On a related note, FSO sent out a note about accelerating the annual review process to account for the expedited compensation review process.

Another source told us that more details are to come on an upcoming webcast, and because of the “expedited comp review” process, it has been suggested that the merit adjustments may occur earlier than usual. Right now, our source speculates that it will go down in August but no hard date has been thrown out there. Keep us updated.

PwC Reminds Us All to Be Realistic Come Raise Time

HERE. WE. GO.

With PricewaterhouseCoopers’ communication about raises behind us, the proverbial dam of anticipation, expectation, and hopefulness gets closer to cresting. From the sound of things though, disappointment and frustration might be joining the flooding the gates as well.

Debate all you want about how much gravy is (or isn’t) on the train, but the partners in your respective firm will tell you that times are still tight. And to be, they’re probably not stretching the truth too far. Here’s what we know:


Revenues were down in 2009 for everyone. Want a re-cap?

Professional service firms are lagging in the market. When Wall Street (and the rest of America) began melting in 2008, accounting firms were still collecting on contractually agreed upon procedures fees. Fees were slashed when contracts were negotiated over the course of the next year, and it was these cuts in services and fees that cost employees their raises, bonuses and sometimes even their jobs. Fees might be back on the uptick; you would know better than me. But the general consensus in staffing camps around the country is that teams are doing more work with less billable hours in the budget. Less billable hours means…less revenue. Less revenue means…double digit bonus season? Doesn’t add up.

Expenses were cut but will the savings make enough of a difference? Recruiting budgets, headcounts, national trainings, corporate donations, and holiday parties – all areas of cost-savings. The financial faucets to many of these areas were adjusted; how soon they’re opened up again is hard to gauge. “Slowly” is the first word that comes to mind.

Raises will be purpose-driven – The vast majority of – if not all – well performing employees will receive raises this year. The pot will be spread out, but don’t be surprised when more love is thrown at strategic groups. Sorry, healthcare auditor, you’re simply not generating as much revenue as your firm’s M&A tax group. Fatter raises will be given to those that the leadership thinks are vital to generating continued revenues and/or will be expensive to replace should they move into the private sector.

The one upside to raises, small as they may be, is that they will drive up your base salary. If you do decide to test the job market, the last two years of effort in public accounting will be mostly represented in your new target number which will lead to a higher base elsewhere.

Stay tuned as we learn more about the state of raises across public accounting. As always, share your thoughts in the comments.

Compensation Watch ’10: PwC Puts a Number Out There

Multiple sources have told us that Bob Moritz has put a number out there for comp adjustments during the firm’s webcast today :

Sitting in the Bobby Mo Firmwide Townhall Webcast. Raises: 5% to 8%.

But don’t start high-fiving just yet:

PwC expected to be 5% to 8% raises this year, but still a “quarter to go” per Moritz on today’s townhall webcast.

Early reports also are that internal firm services (IFS) will be getting 3-5%.

Thoughts? Your move, KPErnstDeloitteMG.

Here’s What Big 4 Accountants Need to Know About the Current Job Market

Ernst & Young’s red alert email that was shared by GC yesterday should not be taken lightly. Doesn’t matter where you work – your job is about to get harder.


Chances are your most recent busy season was relentlessly terrible. A year removed from rounds of cuts and going on two years with zilch for a raise, the masses at the Big 4 are getting antsy, as they should. It’s now or never. Raises are coming. People are leaving. What should you do?

Consider it professional osmosis – Remember high school science labs? Same theory applies to today’s financial services job market. In one Petri dish there are overworked and underpaid public accountants; the other has job openings and cash flow. It doesn’t take a lesson from your high school chemistry teacher (or me) to explain how this one works. The back offices of financial markets are increasing their numbers as investments begin to flow in again.

Better than a tax refund – The job market for tax professionals will hopefully see its typical action this summer. According to a recent FINS article, interest in making a change is at an all-time high, “43% of tax professionals are hoping to change jobs when the economy evens out, according to a survey by the large U.S. finance headhunter Ajilon Professional Staffing. ‘That’s a large number — one of the largest numbers than we’ve seen in years,’ said Jodi Chavez, a senior vice president at Ajilon.”

Does this mean 43% of your staff is jumping ship? Hell no. The job market is warm not on fire. But it does mean that you should expect to see more “Farewell” emails like this one. If your buddies skip town in a similar fashion to that letter, please share with us.

What about this E&Y thing? Well…I don’t know. Desperate times sound like they’re wrapped up in a formal message with a $7,500 ribbon on top. KPMG made a similar request for advisory reinforcements a few weeks back but they didn’t go so far to make a public plea for external hires. The E&Y situation is probably not as bad as it’s being played out here at GC; it could be a pre-emptive move to protect the practice from layoffs. How bad is it really? We need to know. Get on the horn and tell us in the comments.

Promotion Watch ’10: Deloitte Slowly Lengthens the Corporate Ladder

Yesterday we told you about the unofficial “our bad” from Deloitte on the layoffs that happened last spring. While that doesn’t necessarily address any of the subsequent layoffs, it’s a start.

And we have a little update from our previous query about Deloitte compensation increases as well as some promotion time-frame news:


A Green Dot familiar with the situation told us the following:

– There will be raises this year
– People shouldn’t expect raises like the ones back in the SOX days
– As always, there will be an effort to reward strong performers

At the same time, promotions may be a different story, at least for the R-space, where they want to move away from the “3 years to senior” mentality, towards a “ready to be a senior” mentality. Promotion time-frames are expected to be lengthened, although comp will remain competitive.

We should note that the raises in this case refer to the NE AERS, so if you’re hearing different in your region, let us know. The “won’t be like the SOx years” message also reiterates what DWB said on Tuesday about curbing your enthusiasm, so at least try to be realistic.

Regarding the promotion news, the effect on “R-space” which for you non-Deloittes means the “Advisory Practice,” our source indicated that this has been in the works for some time but has been poorly enforced in the past, with most eligible promotees getting the bump after three years in the trenches.

Further, it sounds as though the extended promotion time-frame (i.e. replacing “ready” with a given number of years) will occur at all levels, especially from senior manager to partner. Our source then mused, “Since Partners own their [senior managers]… it’ll be interesting to see how turn-over ends up.” That will certainly resonate with those that already consider senior manager to be a parking lot on the road to partner.

Deloitte isn’t the only firm that has given serious consideration to the lengthening of the corporate ladder. Last December we discussed KPMG’s always-being-discussed plans to move away from the six-year manager track in their audit practice. Back then we said:

The rumor that the KPMG bigwigs have been considering a six year timeline to make manager in the audit practice has been kicked around for at least a couple years. Naturally, there were two schools of thought:

• Managers thought it was good idea

• SAs thought it was a terrible idea

Deloitte insisting that salaries will remain competitive should quell some concerns although there are some out there that do get hung up on titles. So while it seems that Deloitte will be getting back to merit increases for FY ’10, they’re being much quieter about it and may be getting serious about adding some rungs to the ladder. Climb with patience.

Deloitte Admits to Handling Layoffs ‘Poorly’

That “All-Hands” meeting we told you about on Monday sounds like it was a real snoozer, however, a source who was there did share two interesting details:

The guys in charge basically told us the following:

– They handled the [May 2009] “headcount adjustment” poorly. It was a necessary action; but more communication was necessary to keep people informed.
– Deloitte is better poised to grow over the next few years as compared to their competitors (we saw projections, but no comparisons…)

That took about 1.5 hours.

Since this was an “all-hands” we’re assuming tax people were there? If so, the ones still trudging towards the 15th (one week!) had to be suffering borderline panic attacks. Or maybe it was a brief oasis? Either way it’s unfortunate that nothing came up about increase in comp. Maybe Deloitte is the one firm that is saving it as a big surprise. If the cat gets let out of the bag on comp, get in touch with us.

Read This Before Getting Excited About the Big 4 Announcing Raises Early

What was first a bold move by PricewaterhouseCoopers has now become a pattern for the Big 4 – announcing raises early!!! Woooo-hoooooo!

Or will it be more of a boo-hoo?

Never to be really subtle about anything, news of these promotions and raises is a clear indicator that the firms are trying to lock down their talent and keep the masses happy, and by happy, I mean remaining on the boat. Avoiding an exodus now is absolutely critical; too many people leave and the already short-staffed will be painfully crushed come fall interim work. But where is the balance between raises, bonuses, and promotions?


Early Promotions! – Ahh, the double-edged sword that cuts deep. Years of relentless work, 100 hour weeks, and passionate ass-kissing finally paid off and you’re bumped up ahead of schedule. Welcome to hell. Take the expectations dial and crank it to max; your boss just got free reign to play the, “Well you got skip promoted, no way you can handle this” card. And your peers? They’re no longer your peers because money and job titles make people finicky. Better focus on befriending the first year hires.

And speaking of money – because promotional raises are typically a smaller percentage for early promotes, there’s no tangible financial gain to being bumped up a year early. Why is this? Because you should be happy to be get promoted early. Last time I checked, warm and fuzzy feelings can’t be put towards the mortgage.

Don’t waste time printing new business cards. – Some of you will soon be inheriting a new job title to slap on top of your newly polished resume. The firms run the risk of those moving up to manager might jump ship completely. Don’t be surprised if the senior-to-manager class is larger than expected. Because eenie meenie minie moe – you’re moving on. Remember, it’s expected.

“That’s it?!” – Unless you were part of the 0.043% of those who received raises since 2008, you’ve been living in monetary stagnation for quite some time; many of you even complained about receiving the “you’re lucky to have a job” speech from your superiors. When you have the raise conversation this summer, keep in mind that it is a raise for two years of work. Two years; two busy seasons; two increases in monthly rent. Don’t let yourself get all giddy over seven percent.

Compensation Watch ’10: Is Deloitte Joining the Party?

In the past week or so, merit increases have been communicated or reiterated by three of the Big 4. While the news of the resurrected raises is widespread, most people we’ve talked to (and commenters) are not believers. Most see it as a preventive measure to delay the exodus (or at least keep it within expected ranges).


Since the rest of the Big 4 have already been covered (KPMG, E&Y, PwC) we decided to get proactive on finding out the scoop on Deloitte. We contacted a reliable source and it turns out there may be some communication very soon:

[S]o far nothing. I’m going to an all-hands meeting tomorrow in NYC, so maybe they’ll mention something there. For now, all that I can really say is that there’s whole big bunch of people waiting to jump ship, pending the results of this year’s comp, so they better put some serious increases in…

So it’s safe to presume that if the Deloitte brass doesn’t communicate a satisfactory message, the streets may be flooded with Green Dots. If you’ve gotten guarantees, denials, or anything that remotely resembles an official word on this year’s Deloitte comp, get in touch.

Compensation Watch ’10: KPMG Back to Raises and Bonuses

KPMG’s newly announced Chairman John Veihmeyer knows that you’ve been anxious, so in a message to Klynveldians, Johnny gets right to the point, “I want to take a moment to address a question that I know is on the mind of every KPMG employee: Will there be raises and bonuses this year? The short answer to this question is ‘Yes.'”

For the “vast majority of our people” and bonuses will be available, “our goal is to enhance our variable compensation pool from last year—meaning higher bonuses than last year.”

How’s that for a Friday morning message?

As we reach the midpoint of FY 2010, I want to take a moment to address a question that I know is on the mind of every KPMG employee: Will there be raises and bonuses this year?

The short answer to this question is “Yes.”

As we communicated during this year’s town hall meetings, the business environment is showing measurable signs of improvement. In fact, I am pleased to report that thanks to your efforts the firm is slightly ahead of plan. So by year-end, we fully expect that the pickup in market and business conditions will drive compensation increases for the vast majority of our people. Also, assuming we meet our plan, as we are on track to do, our goal is to enhance our variable compensation pool from last year—meaning higher bonuses than last year for EP performers as well as bonuses for deserving SP performers. Assuring that we recognize and reward our best performers is an integral element of our compensation philosophy and a critical ingredient of the high-performance culture we intend to maintain.

We are optimistic. But along with this optimism, we must maintain realistic expectations. Keep in mind that our FY10 plan is more challenging in the second half, and reliant on significantly improved performance in the spring and summer.

What does this mean? It means that now more than ever, we must come together as a team to do our best work and make 2010 a successful year—one that brings the improved business results that enable us to restore the financial rewards that we all desire. If you’re in Audit, Tax, or Advisory, it means driving business and providing the highest-quality service to clients. If you’re in a Client Service Support role, it means providing our professionals and teams with effective tools, resources, and information they need to win business and deliver excellent service to clients. And all of us need to continue our Spend Smart efforts and do our parts to drive efficiencies in the way we operate.

Whatever the remainder of 2010 brings, you can be sure that KPMG remains committed to its philosophy of providing our people with an attractive and competitive total compensation package that differentiates exceptional performers with superior rewards. And, we remain fully committed to being an Employer of Choice and a great place to build your career.

Thanks for all your contributions to our firm’s success.

Compensation Watch ’10: PwC Moving Up Adjustment Date?

There’s been some whispering about PwC moving up its compensation and adjustment time frame from September to July and that’s got people curious.


At first glance this makes sense because the firm has a June 30 fiscal year-end. PLUS! Since Bob Moritz has already made it abundantly clear that there will be raises for 2010 we figure everyone would be excited to hear that the bumps would be coming a little earlier this year.

However, since everyone likes to jump to conclusions over the slightest little change, we’ll indulge. There have already been whispers of layoffs at PwC here and there but nothing that we’ve been able to confirm so people are probably antsy. And if the adjustment date is moved up we’re sure people are worried that means layoffs will be happening sooner rather than later. We can’t read anyone’s mind but we’re thinking this should be in the ballpark…

But if you’re anxiety is well founded, tell us why or get in touch.

UPDATE, a shade before 1 pm: One of our sources inside PwC shared their thoughts with us:

I think the overall feeling was positive…it will probably make some people happy (depending on the %) and hopefully limit the higher performers from going out into the market, however, it may also help some people look for jobs sooner (i.e. they don’t have to wait until September now, if the raises are low). Most people still have a lot of questions, including the estimate of the increase for each band of the rating system, what the bonus pool is going to look like, and although that is not being paid until September, whether we will know what the bonus amounts are in July.

More Grant Thornton Details: Declining Revenues, Raises in 2010, and Stephen Chipman Will Be Blogging

stephen chipman.jpgWe stumbled across the playback of the all-personnel call that went out to Grant Thornton professionals last Friday and we decided to give it a listen. It was about as snoozerific as we expected but we did come away with some additional information to share with you
Stephen Chipman, GT’s new CEO in the States spent about 40 minutes explaining the good the bad and the ugly at G to the T and here are some highlights:

• 81% of those survey and Grant Thornton are proud to work there. High? Low? Completely made up? Does this consider the Sue Sachdeva effect?

• Chip is going to be focusing on various new forms of communication including his own blog. This makes him the second CEO to do so, following Newman over at BDO. We hope, for your sake, that Chip won’t moderate the comments. We insist that you notify us of this as soon as it goes live.


• The new CEO got pretty somber when he described the prospects for GT’s revenue in FY 2010, stating revenues for core services were declining 11% year over year. Global Six…slipping…away.

• Because of this decline, it was decided that layoffs at the senior manager and partner level would occur (many have been notified already) along with those in the “internal client services function”.

• Despite the bad news, Steve-o did his best Bob Moritz, and made it clear: “We will be giving pay raises this summer.” He did qualify that this would be based on 1) the performance of the firm and 2) individual performance.

So that’s the long/short. Like we said, dude went on for 40 minutes and we didn’t have the thing transcribed to give it to you verbatim. If you happened to be one of the unfortunate senior managers, partners or support professionals that aren’t making the “next stage of the journey” get in touch with us about your experience.

For those that remain on team GT, discuss the big guy’s big promise of raises, the blog, revenue issues, etc.

Comp Watch ’10: Is PwC Phoning It in Already?

Thumbnail image for pwclogo.thumbnail.jpgYeesh, we hope not. Problem is, when we reported on P. Dubs canceling Christmaskah last week, people were speculating that P. Dubs was also kinda sorta putting it out there that there would be no merit increases for fiscal 2010. We’ve received additional tips suggesting the same thing so we’ll put out to you to discuss further.
After Tuesday’s spintastic revenue results, Denny and Co. may have concluded that putting it out there that you shouldn’t get your hopes up for a super P. Dubya comeback was the best course of action.
Problem as we see it is that alluding to the idea that raises aren’t gonna happen can’t be good for morale. Plus, there are the continuing rumors of senior managers leaving en masse, via their own will or otherwise. On the bright side, that could set up for a nice little surprise come next year if things turn around and Den-Den sounded pret-tay, pret-tay, pret-tay optimistic in Tuesday’s press release.
Discuss your thoughts on P. Dubs seemingly pessimistic attitude in the comments.

(UPDATE) Rumor Mill: KPMG Compensation Discussions Starting

PomeranianSP1324.jpgYour patience is unmatched, Klynveldians.
Rumor is that the Advisory practice in the Southeast region is having a conference call today (which is slightly more awkward than a voicemail) with all the non-exceptional managers and staff to communicate their banishment to compensation-Siberia. Our source indicated that this has never been done before, in case it sounds strange.
If you’ve got more details on this call or if you’re in another region and have details drop us a line. In the meantime, you’ll probably have to live with the official silence until at least Monday.
UPDATE, 4:02 pm: All right you guys. Sounds like it was a pretty awesome call. If you’re not above under an “SP5” you might actually get a pay cut and there’s no chance in HELL that you’re getting a raise. Also, apparently the HR rep phoned in from home and his dog was barking in the background which just crosses the line of appropriateness in all kinds of awesome ways. We’re picturing a pomeranian (can’t leave them alone, they eat the bloody furniture) but if we’ve got it wrong, please let us know.

KPMG…Raises…Still…No…Word…

So it’s October 1st, and several Klynveldians have got ants in their pants. Here’s one source that echoes many:

I work in the SE and they haven’t mentioned raises at all and I was promoted to senior in july. We usually have some sort of idea or at least have our meeting scheduled. However nothing…

We touched on this two weeks ago and other than some sit-downs in the Mid-Atlantic, it’s all been speculation about what the Radio Station will actually be doing re: merit increases.
The debate was polarizing, with some claiming the incommunicado was typical and others saying something should have been communicated by now.
Promotees, non-promotees, whatever your sitch, discuss your anxiety (and continue speculating) in the comments. Email us if your region gets word, for better, for worse.
UPDATE, 12:36 pm: Email has been sent to those in the Mid-Atlantic that discussions with ‘designated partners’ will be had next week.

(UPDATE) Rumor Mill: KPMG Making Pay Freeze Announcement?

There’s been rumors about pay freezes at all firms and E&Y came out last month to say it’s happening mostly because it’s fair.
Since many of you Klynveldians are probably anxious for some kind of “official” word, we’ll pass this along:

Rumor is the Radio Station will be announcing raises and bonuses on Monday/Tuesday in the Southeast next week (rates are loaded online on the self service connection next Friday for all to see, so talk about waiting until the last minute).
Firm leadership is saying KPMG will pay market and market rates are down when compared to the prior year… so here’s to no raises!

Ernstinites got a voicemail announcing the news which didn’t seem to go over well, so here’s hoping that some kind of live feed from Tim Flynn’s office will be KPMG’s approach for this announcement with Q&A to follow of course. More personal that way, don’t you think?
If you’ve got information on your city or region matching the market rates, drop us an email to us or discuss in the comments.
UPDATE, 2:57 pm: Apparently the offices in the Mid-Atlantic are willing to sit down with you to discuss this as we received a tip that “roundtables” were held by partners to explain the merit increases. Beats a voicemail. If you participated in one of these sit downs or had similar meetings in your region, discuss further.

(UPDATE) E&Y Is Making Good on its Promise to The 2nd Year Associates

News from E&Y in SoCal is that those second year associates that were getting raises to put them at a pay level above the newbies are getting a 1% increase to put them there.
Personally, we’d rather be in pay raise Siberia with the rest of you than get 1% but a firm’s word is its bond. If Zitor has given you similar good news for your office, discuss in the comments or shoot us the details to our tips mailbox.
UPDATE, September 21st, 12:20 pm: Another tip out of Chicago confirms Uncle Ernie’s promise-keeping ways, giving the new 2nd Years, a 1% bump.

Rumor: Deloitte Motor City Edition

mustache-ted-nugent.jpgThe last place we would ever expect to get good news from is Detroit. Not that we don’t love Motown (Eminem, The Nuge) but let’s face it, things are not good up there.
So when we got a tip that raises for Deloitte audit were happening in Detroit, we just couldn’t believe it. Especially after all the talk last week that nothing but disappointment was being handed out.
Maybe it’s just certain audit prodigies getting the love, which was speculated, but that’s why we’re checking with you all. Any specifics, fire away or discuss in the comments.

Rumor of the Day: PwC Tax Gets Some Love?

Don’t hold your breath but we just received a tip that new managers in the transfer pricing group got notified last week that they’ll be bumped 5% and get a small bonus. You lucky ducks will be making everyone jealous since you won’t be affected by the soda inflation. If you’ve got more details, you know what to do.

E&Y is Freezing Pay Because it’s Fair

E&Y has officially entered the pay freeze zone, via a voicemail left for employees, according to multiple tips we received. This follows the rumor that was announced a couple of weeks ago.
The following factors led to freeze:
Excuses Reasons and our explanations, after the jump


Fairness – “It’s fair that everyone’s pay is being frozen.”
Market Competition – “Monkey see, monkey do”
Invest in Top Performers – “Top Performers” is subject to interpretation.
Market Pressure – “Our clients are biting the dust or they’re ditching us”
Fiscally Responsibility – “It’s a recession”
One exception to the freeze is that second year associates will get a raise in order to put them at the level of or above the incoming new associates, which is consistent with the earlier rumors. Select cities and practices may receive increases but it doesn’t sound too promising.
Bonuses are being paid to those of you that got promoted and they break down as 5k to SA’s, 6.5k to Managers, 8k to Sr. Managers. Sounds like partners took a pay cut this year so dammit, no belly-aching. Just kidding, go ape. If you have your own interpretation on the reasons given for the freeze, discuss in the comments.

Deloitte Disappointment is Officially Starting

DTa.jpgWe’re starting to receive confirmations of last week’s rumors of the less-than-exciting details re: Deloitte-period raises:
More, after the jump

I’m a senior in Chicago moving into my fifth year, and I’m one of those 2s who got bumped to a 3, got a zero raise and a $1000 bonus. I’m apparently a “3 -plus” as they had “3-minuses” also and those folks did not get bonuses.

Also got a tip that compensation discussions are set to begin in the Northeast for the ERS and Tax practices soon so we recommend watching Leaving Las Vegas or The Reader immediately prior to your meetings to cushion the blow.

Follow up Rumor: Green-dotter Merit Increase Edition

DTa.jpgAfter hearing speculation last week that Green-dotters were getting froze out, we got some potential details on the lucky few of you in the Northeast:
Get the scoop, after the jump

I’ve been told by a reliable source that merit increases will be available for 1s and 2s, but not for the majority of 3s and def not for 4s or 5s. On the AIP (bonus) side of the house, >50% of 3s and all 1s and 2s will get them. Of course, the actual amount will be smaller, I’ve also heard ~2% pool.

So, if you find yourself lucky enough to be on the good side of a particularly well connected senior partner, you might see a bump for all your trouble. Since performance rating cuts are all the rage these days, sources tell us the number of 1 and 2 will be scarce. We’d advise serious ass kissing but at this point you’re probably just getting the jump on next year (if you’re around).

Accenture, Feeling Left Out, Gets Our Attention

Accenture_logo.pngSince Andersen went the way of the dodo almost ten years ago, Accenture has been moseying along just doing whatever it is they do. They’ve done a pretty decent job of getting people to forget that they were once part of the Big 5 4.
Since we’re pretty sure there are plenty of you out there that have friends, former colleagues, sworn enemies, and booty calls at Accenture we thought we’d pass along that they are rumored to be getting into the pay freezing spirit.
Get some details, after the jump


Apparently an email went out today stating that “Most individuals will not receive an increase in base pay.” But if you’re one of the lucky few getting a promotion you’ve got a shred of hope, “People being promoted will receive an increase in base pay only if they are below the minimum salary range for their new career level.” Awesome.
This seems very curious because at least Accenture’s super star golfer sponsoree is playing well while someone else is screwing the pooch and risking a RIF.
So if you know some Accenturites pass this along and see if they know just WTF is going on in the Haunted House of Andersen. If you ARE an Accenturite, get us the info on this whole sitch at tips@goingconcern.com. Their PR has apparently checked out for the weekend already and we’re not probably going to hear anything until Monday but we’ll update accordingly.

Rumor of the Morning: No raises for SA’s at Deloitte

Big D is the now officially in the toilet frozen pay camp, as we have received a tip that senior associates in the Northeast region will not receive raises this year. On the less-bleak side, B. Salz and his fellow partners are doling out bonuses out of 2.2% pool which will probably amount to barely enough to pay for one night of your now three day drinking binge.
Rumor is that the disappointing word for associates should come down tomorrow but if you’ve got the scoop for us early or have more details on the cold news let us know at tips@goingconcern.com.

E&Y Appreciates the Little People

E&Y’s Dallas office sure appreciates their new associates because they’ll be the only ones getting pay raises this year. It’s either that or they want to the put them in the position for additional ridicule until the fresh batch of new associates comes on.
According to the tip we received, the announcement was made at the townhall meeting today and this is first office of any firm that we’ve heard of to make an official announcement to employees that pay was being frozen.
Those being promoted to a new level (e.g. SA to Manager) will receive bonuses but no details were given. We’ll update as we learn more.

Rumor of the Day: Comp and Bonus Pools at Big 4 Seriously Depleted

We’re not trying to ruin your Friday but at the very least, this might encourage some of you to get your drink on a little earlier than planned.
Rumor received late last night that a Big 4 CEO was asked about compensation and bonuses at some grin n’ grip and he responded that the compensation adjustment and bonus pools for all the Big 4 firms was going to be down 90%.
This fits together nicely with the rumors of freezing and/or cutting pay that have been going around. Okay, now try to get some work done or figure out where you’ll be having that three martini lunch.

Rumor of the Day: All Big 4 Firms Freezing and/or Cutting Pay?

We’ve heard some rumors that all the firms are giving serious consideration to freezing pay this year and possibly pay cuts in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. This would follow the Radio Station rumors that we mentioned last week.
Top performers and promotees, determined by God knows how, may be getting bumps but we haven’t heard anything definite. If you’ve got some deets or just more rumors, shoot us an email to tips@goingconcern.com.