January 18, 2019

Big 4 (Except KPMG) Cracks Top 10 in Vault’s Ranking of Best Consulting Firms

Vault today released its 2019 ranking of the top 50 consulting firms to work for in North America, and the top 10 spots are dotted with the Big 4. Well, most of the Big 4.

For the fourth year in a row, Deloitte Consulting LLP was ranked No. 4 on Vault’s list. According to employee reviews, pros to working at Deloitte Consulting include:

  • “Culture of collaboration and inclusion”
  • “Opportunities to grow and work in challenging environments”
  • “The ability to own your career through unlimited resources”

Here are some of the cons:

  • “Client demands”
  • “Politics within leadership”
  • “Internal reorganizations”

Then under a section called “The Buzz,” there are some hilarious comments:

One employee said Deloitte Consulting has a “frat boy culture and low-quality client work,” while another said:

Upper management looks at gross margin; people are tools to be used, clients are cash flow sources. Comment from one partner – ‘we own these people’.

EY-Parthenon moved up one spot from last year to No. 7, followed by PwC Advisory Services LLC, which jumped from No. 11 in 2018 to No. 8 in 2019’s ranking.

EY-Parthenon gets high marks for:

  • “Compensation and benefits”
  • “Fantastic people and culture”
  • “Incredible professional development opportunities”

The firm gets low marks for:

  • “Consistently need to reprioritize work”
  • “Normal work/life issues that come with consulting”
  • “Being part of a larger organization means some bureaucracy”

One person said EY-Parthenon lacks diversity, adding, “Do not join if you are a diversity candidate.” Another said, “Bad culture fit for me, not committed to diversity or service.”

People like working for PwC Advisory Services because:

  • “No glass ceiling—endless opportunities”
  • “Culture of approachable professionalism, compensation, interacting with and learning from specialists across industries”
  • “Overall confidence that we are the best at what we do”

People don’t like working for PwC Advisory Services because of:

  • “Hours during busy season”
  • “Travel and bureaucracy”
  • “Experience differs greatly from project team to project team”

According to one employee, PwC Advisory Services treats its employees poorly:

PWC does not train their employees with professionally courses or classrooms. Their hiring model is seek out college students, pay them low wages and get rid of them to cycle new recruits. PWC has no loyalty to no one but the partners. Don’t believe me? Checkout their employee retention averages.

Another employee said the best thing about working at PwC Advisory Services is “I get a paycheck,” while the worst is “everything else.” The advice he or she says is: “Run!”

Wait, where’s KPMG? Well, poor KPMG is knocking on the door of the top 10, but no one’s letting them in. KPMG sits at No. 12, but the good news is the firm jumped four spots from No. 16 in 2018.

What are some of the advantages to working for KPMG’s consulting arm?

  • “Brand recognition”
  • “Career opportunities, interesting projects”
  • “Great people”

And some disadvantages:

  • “Annual promotion process”
  • “Compensation relative to peers at other comparable firms”
  • “Lack of predictability”

One employee called working at KPMG a “chaotic circus” (Ouch!), and another said unless you’re a partner, KPMG is a “horrible place to work.” While another gave this piece of advice:

If you are a college kid and have no family or friends, then KPMG is for you. There is no work/life balance. KPMG sets consulting back 15 years to the times when you were mandatory traveling every week.

The people that they promote to director level are there because of either politics or acquisitions. Directors and PMO will use politics to hurt you if they don’t like you and to further their careers.

In addition, Strategy&, part of the PwC network, was ranked No. 13.

Here’s the top 10 for your disputing pleasure:

  1. McKinsey & Co.
  2. Bain & Co.
  3. The Boston Consulting Group Inc.
  4. Deloitte Consulting
  5. Oliver Wyman
  6. Putnam Associates
  7. EY-Parthenon
  8. PwC Advisory Services
  9. Bridgespan Group
  10. Accenture

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Image: iStock/SARINYAPINNGAM

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