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    The Messy Business Of Reductions, Cuts, Redundancies, Terminations And “Layoffs”

    Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

    I’ve been at the FEI Current Issues in Financial Reporting Conference the last two days.  Today, Wednesday, is my first day not buried in fair value, IFRS, fair value, and, oh yeah, fair value.  It was enough for me to wish that an unjust, unfair, unreasonable standard of accounting be approved just to break up […]



    Update: Deloitte Statement on Layoffs

    Friday, August 29th, 2008

    As I have said before, in particular with regard to the layoffs at PwC in February that have continued since, the Big 4 do not like to talk about cuts. They have a habit of reducing staff surgically, in a thousand little cuts, across practices, geographies, offices, so that each person thinks they are unique. Those cut are often made to feel inferior and a failure, as most often the cuts are characterized as performance related and a result of forced ranking techniques. I also see the survivor rationalization too – when survivors dis’ those cut by saying they just “couldn’t make it in the Big 4″ or they were “dead wood.” Helps cut down on ongoing morale problems when the remaining staff feel more secure, safe, because they think they are superior.
    Ms. Harrington made it clear on the phone, and in her statement, that the vast majority of cuts were based on the negative economic reality the firm is facing. What’s frustrating to professionals, both those cut and those left behind, is why the firms are not better at planning and forecasting.



    Big 4 Partners With High Salaries To Experience Layoffs

    Thursday, April 10th, 2008

    Picture Source No, that’s not happening, but it could. It’s happening to the lawyers and the consultants to the lawyers are helping them think about how to do it nicely. I was reviewing my Top 20 Pages last night and realized that if I could write the post about Big 4 partner “salaries” and the […]



    David Maister Weighs In On Layoffs

    Friday, March 7th, 2008

    The Master, David Maister, weighs in today on a topical topic, layoffs in professional services firms. His comments, and those of his readers, are always a good read and an antidote to my broken record. …As always, I have to stress that this is not a moral issue but one of pragmatics. If one of […]



    Follow-Up On More Big 4 Layoffs

    Thursday, March 6th, 2008

    As we’ve seen from the comments on my PwC layoff post and other mail I’ve received, PwC is not the only one to be reducing staff via “counseling out” , “forced ranking” , “the Italian greyhounds ate the workpapers…”, or whatever other excuse they give. Both Deloitte and KPMG have also seen cuts, per my […]



    Follow-Up – PwC Advisory Services Layoffs

    Thursday, February 28th, 2008

    During the last two days, comments and traffic related to my post about layoffs in PwC’s Advisory Services practice have been huge. I am currently in NY attending other meetings and yesterday attended the PCAOB’s Standing Advisory Group meeting in Washington DC. More on that meeting later. But I want to make a few comments […]



    More Big 4 Layoffs

    Monday, February 18th, 2008

    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 […]



    More PwC Layoffs

    Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

    Just had an interesting comment on the McKinsey-assisted PwC reorganization which has prompted their most recent unpublicized (except for here!) layoffs. Take a look here. Thanks for subscribing to the re: The Auditors feed. Please tell a colleague about the blog. Drop me a line at fmckenna@mckennapartners.com if you have a comment or complaint.



    Update – PwC US Layoffs

    Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

    Little birdies (and a lot of gossip on Vault) tell me that based on a reorganization done with some advice from McKinsey, PwC is in the midst of three waves of layoffs. The first came before the end of their fiscal year, June 30. As usual, within PwC, there were a lot of announcements of […]



    Layoffs – What’s Your Excuse?

    Thursday, May 17th, 2007

    Between 2001 and 2003, I was the Regional Vice President for the Midwest for Jefferson Wells, Inc. I joined to bring a more consultative approach to what was already a very successful start up, an independent provider of internal audit and accounting /finance staff augmentation services to Fortune 500 companies. However, the firm had been […]