More Big 4 Layoffs

If you were directed here by Google Search while looking for info on the latest Deloitte layoffs, go here for my more recent, August 2008 post.

From the weekend mailbag…

Do the incoming recruits get to use d’street?

Dear Ms. McKenna,

I was just reading about the PwC layoffs, and couldn’t help but wonder if you knew about anything coming down the pike at Deloitte? They are really dragging their feet when it comes to giving out start dates to their new hires, and a few of my friends that work there are mum on the topic. I sent a friend an email asking if she was aware of any internal discussion about layoffs/ downsizing, etc. and she gave me a one line reply that was very out of character for her. And the recruiters are taking pretty long to answer any emails about the topic.

Seem’s fishy. And they just displaced almost a 1,000 kids on visas, if I remember correctly…


Dear Reader:

There have been an enormous amount of google searches re: Deloitte layoff ( in particular from readers at Deloitte) bringing people to my PwC posts. Add to that, friends here in Chicago have been asking me the same question you are. It doesn’t look good. They did screw the H1-b visa holders, too. That, I believe, is unconscionable.

Dear Ms. McKenna,

[Thanks for your quick response. ] You are one about the only person out there willing and able to cut through the bullshit, smoke and mirrors. Thank you for that.

I would also add the following, in reference to my initial comment: My counselor during my [Deloitte] internship left recently and moved to [another Big 4]. I looked her up and was talking to her today, and she mentioned that all the firms are slimming down, but that she hasn’t heard of offers being rescinded, mostly because internally they are afraid it will give them a “PR black eye.” (Her words.)

Dear Reader,
Yes, rescinding offers is the worst. Unfortunately, that’s going to result in cutting new 2nd and 3rd years if the partners have not forecasted their staffing requirements well. But, that’s why they call it “leverage.”

16 replies
  1. fdefdffd
    fdefdffd says:

    So why does the media still say that there is rising demand for CPAs?

    I see a new article almost every week about this.

  2. Francine McKenna
    Francine McKenna says:

    The traditional media is often behind. That’s why blogs are so popular. There is still a great need and superficial demand for accountants and auditors. But it’s focused on the the group with three to s ix years of Big 4 experience, pre-manager level. The Big 4 will pay to train those right out of school but then they are too expensive for industry. Industry can’t compete with Big 4 for the new grads and doesn’t have capacity to train them in same way. Big 4 mismanages them after a year or two when they become just bodies to the partners and can often only retain the most pliable masochists among them. The model is dysfunctional.

  3. Independent Accountant
    Independent Accountant says:

    I saw this when I had 18 months of Big Eight experience. If it wasn’t for the “bought professors”, investment banks, AICPA and SEC protecting the Big 87654, their monopsony in the hiring market would have collapsed decades ago.

  4. Krupo
    Krupo says:

    The whole “bought professors” angle I’ve seen here before confuses me slightly.

    My profs were pretty upfront about the “slave work” you expect, and what the 2-5 year turnover cycle is like.

    Nobody in my program could honestly say they didn’t know what they were getting into unless they skipped half their lectures, really.

    Of course, I wasn’t a big fan of this “work 14 hours a day” phenomenon which made me happy to find my own niche where we work like Normal People. 🙂

    Ignoring my own fun experience, the quesiton persists: do people go into the field not knowing what they’re getting into? I would love to say “hardly”, except I do recall the experience of some newbies who came from other universities – there were quite a few Surprising Things which were News to them.

    Whether the model is truly dysfunctional or not, however, is another fun debate altogether.

  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    To the blogger who wants to here about the effect of the PwC layoffs on H1 B visa holders. Here is the scope from my personal experience. I got a call on Tuesday at 5pm from my HR Manager asking me to meet the partner the next morning. No agenda nothing so I immediately began preparing myself for the worse, which came true the following morning. I was laid off, with a one free consultancy with PwC’s immigration lawyers. By law I have ten (10) days to leave the country and possibly thirty (30) days to have a new employer petition for my H1B visa. PwC is by law required to pay my airfare back home but there was absolutely mention of that. I got the name of some alumni person who they purport will assist me in getting a job, she’s not returning my phonecalls or e-mails. I gave PwC my all for the last couple of years and for them to effectively put me out on the street like this with a measly $5,000 reiterates what I’ve been feeling all along. “Companies do not give a shit about employees, they make you work your ass off and when they make bad choices and forecasts instead of the “big boys” taking a paycut they lay off the worker bees. In a nutshell PwC sucks!

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Why is it that accountants cannot own shares in their audit clients or have other direct or indirect interest in their audit clients, HOWEVER many large firms “invest” significant fee discounts (sometimes >80% of fees) in their prepublic clients.

    They talk about this “investment” and look for a “return” from the IPO, however they claim to be independent in a public IPO situation. In some cases they even have agreements to recover the “investment” if the company is acquired in an M&A transaction.

    With so much oversight, why is this issue not addressed?

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    There were many layoffs in February and March. Yes people with Visas were let go. The layoffs were shocking and at all levels. The firm is still hiring though….

    -Discusted Former D&T employee

  8. james
    james says:

    It is reported within the various practices of Deloitte AERS that layoffs are happening, so far mainly seniors and managers. With a downturn in the economy, there is a lack of new project hence those with poor reviews and is on the beach for a extended period of time are being axed first.

  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Blogger James makes reference to the ailing economy as the primary driver for the Deloitte AERS layoffs – this may be a contributor; however, I believe the main reason is partner greed. Upper management has chosen to ramp up resources within India as labor is cheaper (now one of the largest Deloitte offices). As if the average $700-800 thousand partner salaries are not high enough, utilizing resources in India will certainly add more dollars to the bottom line, which ultimately finds its way in to the partners’ pockets. Greed is the primary influence for outsourcing/layoffs – Deloitte has downsized back office and tax within the last couple of years, and AERS is now the latest victim.

  10. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Deloitte Tax has not downsized tax the few years – they have actually grown it quite a bit over that time frame, both in revenues and US headcount.

  11. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I work at a large firm in the NYC area. We have received calls from candidates we offered last year but who decided to sign with D&T. They have had the offer the received last year rescinded in September, only weeks before they were slated to begin work. I was out recruiting at a university today and they had three students who signed with D&T last year who had their offer rescinded last month. Based on discussions today, Universities are aware and they are not pleased.

  12. Francine McKenna
    Francine McKenna says:

    Can you please repost this comment on my latest post today? It deals directly with this issue. Thanks. fm

Comments are closed.