PwC Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated August 1, 2014
Updated August 1, 2014
5,153 Reviews
3.6
5,153 Reviews
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PwC US Chairman & Senior Partner Robert Moritz
Robert Moritz
1,067 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • No work-life balance during busy season because the nature of assurance work (in 253 reviews)

  • PwC is a good place to start out if you are coming right from college (in 127 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life Balance does not exist as much as they say they are still working on it (in 885 reviews)

  • Long hours that often keep me at the office or working from home late at night (in 845 reviews)

More Highlights

15 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Run away from Tax - Financial Services.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at PwC as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    You will learn A LOT not only about tax but also about yourself and your career aspirations. If you're trying to decide if you want to do public accounting, an internship during the winter season is a great resource.

    Cons

    Zero work/life balance. The salary offer I got was not worth the hours.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    No Work-Life Balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Risk Assurance Senior Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Risk Assurance Senior Associate in Chicago, IL

    I worked at PwC full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Decent salary, ok benefits, energetic staff.

    Cons

    Long hours and weekends are the norm. The flexibility they preach does not exist.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more transparent with regards to expectations and understand the physical and mental limitations of one human being.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Looking for Lip Service and Back Biters? Work at PWC!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tax Staff in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Tax Staff in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at PwC full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    All of the negative comments that one hears about the big four are epitomized by the PWC Financial Services group. If you are looking for a cut throat work environment that works to provide a facade of progress and decency, then the FS department is perfect for you.

    PWC promises job security, its need for staff, balancing the enormous work load (that at least they recognize) with an amazing work/life balance, and great company culture. Well, it is certainly true that nothing is what it seems.

    Okay, there is one great thing about PWC and that is their dedication to providing employees with remote access. But don't try to use it, or you'll be deemed inefficient, although you crank out more quality work than the useless intern sitting in the dank conference room, staring emptily into his screen for twenty hours at a time.

    Cons

    For the past three years, job security for staff had been promised, those who received outstanding personal reviews were praised, and the firm constantly preached its need for associates. How, then, is it possible for this company to decide to cut jobs for those employees in an area of tax that is almost always understaffed? Or, rather than transfer experienced staff into other departments, will cut their tenure short just to "send a message" - and yes, that is a direct quote.

    Well, maybe it is because the staff had the gall to cash in on work life balance, since, you know, it is somewhat necessary to have a personal life when you have a family to tend to. Or apparently it is even worse to attempt to work outside of the department, since, you know, professional development can only exist in the vacuum of a single department. But maybe the biggest offender was not spending time in the mind numbing company culture of "busy season fun" because, well, you know, having dinner at your desk rather than at home with your family comes before anything in your life.

    If you think compensation makes up for any of this, think again. Zero raises were given to so much staff, zero bonuses given as a result of their overproduction.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I can only say: Good riddance to PWC.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Mediocre - quality varies widely by group

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at PwC full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    1. Everyone knows PwC
    2. PwC MCS (PwC's pre 2002 consulting arm which was sold to IBM) had a great rep and it gives current day advisory a halo.
    3. Some groups are world class (deals & accounting related advisory services)

    Cons

    1. Ridged silos prevent groups from working together. I worked on a client where there were 3 groups pitching for the same project, and none knew the others were involved.
    2. Quality varies widely by group. This may be a product of all of the recent acquisitions (diamond, bearingpoint, prtm, etc...)
    3. Project Performance reviews have little correlation to annual reviews

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Split out consulting from accounting (eg Deloitte )

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great premier firm. Last of the consulting Partnerships!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Manager in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at PwC full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Wealth of knowledge and experience to draw upon. Strong emphasis on relationship building and networking. Diverse culture. Revived focus on employee retention, onboarding, training, and supporting new employees to integrate and be successful. Solid base comp.

    Cons

    Long hours despite what was advertised about work and personal life balance. Culture can foster very direct, sometimes coarse interactions. Culture is competitive, extremely political, high judgmental, and word spreads among the grapevine quickly. Second chances...? Theme is "watch your back" at all times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retaining top talent can be improved with continuing to develop future leaders who can be personally vested in coaching mentoring and developing talent in a way that promotes bringing out the best qualities, performance and to build high performance teams. Train mid-level management to be genuine, supportive, and improving coaching and mentoring capabilities.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    High pressure for performance reviews

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at PwC full-time

    Pros

    It is a great company to have on your resume. The best thing I like about pwc is that it has a high-ranking brand. The employees are generally intelligent and you can sense this. They are strong on management consulting and are a top-ranking Big 4 firm.

    Cons

    Each employee is heavily graded on value and performance. They are called "PFF". This can cause undue pressure, and in order to progress in a career here you must make good friends with upper management - there is a definite "good ol boys" circle and it becomes difficult for new experienced hires to get involved. Many employees have started as Associates and have grown into upper management, it has a seemingly unwelcoming environment..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Rather than a culture of severe scrutiny, where employees fear what reviews may be written about them, pwc should create a more holistic and team-friendly environment. It does not seem like personal growth is taken as seriously as the firm tries to emphasize.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    No work life balance regardless of what they sell you up front

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at PwC full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great place to start your career
    Lots of great opportunities for diverse experiences if you get the chance and don't mind working long hours
    Given lots of responsibilities at low levels

    Cons

    Long work hours - required to work "overtime" just as status quo
    Nights and weekends are PwC's for the taking, work/life balance doesn't exist. People that claim work/life balance are internal firm services or are workaholics that see Sunday's off as a true benefit.
    Health care benefits are dismal. Much better at other places
    Compensation is below average when you consider the number of hours required
    You are placed where they want you to go. As an experienced hire they tell you that you are being hired for a unique skill set, but at the end of the day good luck getting to utilize it unless you're lucky enough to land a project that requires it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be upfront and transparent during the interview process about what will happen when you join the firm.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Good place to start a career but don't come here if you are experienced to any level lower than Manager!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Experienced Associate- Advisory in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Experienced Associate- Advisory in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at PwC

    Pros

    Well known company that looks good on your resume. With that being said the projects are very interesting as you get to work with Fortune 500 companies. The company offers excellent training throughout the year. You can definitely build some solid skills if you are straight out of college.

    Cons

    Very low pay for work required- Coming from industry my pay was flat for double the work.

    Very inexperienced managers in certain areas. Some only three-four years out of school who do not have good people or management skills. They were promoted because they were good with Access and Excel. This is more common among one of the firms PwC acquired a few years ago.

    Serious micromanagement! Again this comes from inexperienced managers who do not know how to lead a team. This style of management often hinders the team instead of progressing it.

    There is extreme arrogance among certain employees. Its like a competition instead of a team. This is not very conducive while working on a project.

    Lack of intergrity among managers during the review process. Managers are free to make up what they want with little say from the employee.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote people to manager who can lead teams. Just because someone is a great individual contributor does not make them fit for manager!

    Management needs to review policy for hiring experienced people. Grouping someone with 5+ years of experience with someone with 6 months at the Experienced Associate Level or Sr Associate who has 12 years with someone with 2 years is cause for disaster. Once the person starts and realizes what has happened there will be major resentment and that person likely will not stay.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great jumping off point

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at PwC

    Pros

    *Large, well respected company
    *Great exposure to a variety of experiences
    *Several domestic and international offices
    *Great place to start a career

    Cons

    *Limited scope of responsibilities in first few years
    *Sometimes the review process can be unfair (i.e. measuring against metrics in which the employee has no control)
    *Can be tough on work-life balance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    *Re-align the review process for employees, tying promotions to quality of work, not just quantity
    *Work on work-life balance initiatives

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Common Associate Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL

    I worked at PwC

    Pros

    Gate keeper to future accounting jobs
    Competitive Salary
    Wide range of clients, particularly for accounting firms
    High profile clients
    Everyone expects you to leave

    Cons

    Standard Client Service Organization Problems:
    Poor work life balance
    Unreasonable deadlines
    Inability by management to adequately staff regions
    Few chances for innovation (Large Organization)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is tough because they are clearly a global leader in an industry that only changes if it is on the verge of collapse (think Enron). They seem comfortable with the revolving door culture.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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