PwC

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PwC Reviews

Updated December 11, 2014
Updated December 11, 2014
5,425 Reviews
3.6
5,425 Reviews
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PwC US Chairman & Senior Partner Robert Moritz
Robert Moritz
1,159 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • No work-life balance during busy season because the nature of assurance work (in 257 reviews)

  • You learn a lot about how to run complex businesses in fast-changing environments (in 132 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life Balance does not exist as much as they say they are still working on it (in 930 reviews)

  • Long hours that often keep me at the office or working from home late at night (in 866 reviews)

More Highlights

272 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not at all what I was expecting..

    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Intern in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at PwC as an intern

    Pros

    They do a great job recruiting from campuses and make the company look very attractive to young grads.

    Good training and mentors at the beginning of the internship program, training instructors were very helpful and insightful.

    Cons

    Even as an intern, I could see the insane amount of office politics that existed.

    Horrible experience with getting staffed on clients. After training, obtained little to no hands on experience during the internship program. HR ignored my requests for more work, while few other interns were gaining decent experiences.

    The feedback system requires performance and communication with mentors, which was difficult to achieve. Although I requested work everyday, management's evaluation of my performance was very unreasonable since there was no opportunity for performance to evaluate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure a proper allocation of work opportunities to the interns. If I had known I wasn't going to get an internship experience, I would have chosen another firm.

    Invest more in the interns during the actual internship. PwC does a great job in investing in them from the start.. until you actually start working for them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    An absolute nightmare

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - HRSSC in Tampa, FL
    Former Employee - HRSSC in Tampa, FL

    I worked at PwC full-time

    Pros

    Putting PwC on your resume will be your ticket out, as you will get many phone calls when applying to other, much better job opportunities; although I’m not sure why this company still holds such a positive image to the outside world.

    Cons

    They want you to work like a robot. Zero mistakes are expected. Bathroom breaks must be under 2 minutes. NO talking to co-workers, even if it’s work related. You get yelled at from every angle, even if it is something that couldn’t be avoided (i.e. you are given useless systems and zero guidance). Leadership has no idea what is going on, they sit in an office and talk to each other all day. They won’t even smile or say hello to you. They do not care about your well-being, only that you take 50 calls per day and get off of the phone in under 7 minutes when again, they give you systems that literally make this goal impossible. Not worth the money or the benefits, because there are plenty of much, much better companies to work for out there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try doing the call center job for one day, and then you might figure out why you have such high turnover.

  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Poor leadership, awful place to work

    Former Employee - Senior Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in New York, NY

    I worked at PwC

    Pros

    reputation
    good place to start career
    exit opportunities
    training programs
    clients

    Cons

    highly political
    high turnover
    terrible salary for hours worked
    below average 401k
    micromanagement
    lots of mediocre people

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out ASAP unless you want to stay in audit/tax forever! There are other places with better work life balance and higher pay. Cut the arrogance, office politics and unethical behavior. Money should be spent on employees and not on partners' personal accounts.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Executive Assistant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at PwC

    Pros

    overtime, many EAs work from home or have flexible work arrangements. Lots of free food when there are meetings.

    Cons

    The BST coordinators and EA managers and the entire IFS structure is disliked with disdain by the majority of EA/TA staff. These people, some who make six figures are dead weight and does nothing that adds any value to the firm. If you just get rid of 2 managers, you can have four EAs. The whole IFS structure needs to be revamped. The EA's don't need an EA manager and the TAs do not need a BST coordinator. All they do is create more process that is completely unnecessary, and they are never held accountable for anything. There have been many bad EA managers that have walked these halls, many without degrees and with hyped up credentials. They are horrible managers and horrible coaches. A lot of them don't have the experience to know how to deal with people situations, nor do they know how to coach anyone, so they blame everything on the executive assistants. A lot of these bad EA managers have ruined many EA's reputation and career and livelihood. They hold all the power, make all the money, and get most of the credit.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look at your entire IFS structure.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Terrible place to work, glad I left

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - PwC Assurance Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - PwC Assurance Associate in New York, NY

    I worked at PwC full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Unfortunately, the only pro I can think of is the reputation of the company (Big 4 name). Besides that, there really aren't any positives to working here and it's sad people will give up years of their life to work here hoping to climb up this imaginary career ladder to get them to a "stable" or "better" future

    Cons

    I absolutely was disgusted with my entire time here. I left after a year but that was already too long and regret staying for a whole year. The training did nothing to prepare you for the workload and once the audit starts, many teams don't provide adequate on the job training or have time to answer questions adequately so you're stuck trying to understand everything on your own. People are impatient, busy, arrogant, and condescending which makes for a toxic environment. Compensation was also low and there was no work-life balance. People are constantly looking for other opportunities and someone quits every week. The only reason people stay is their "hope" of a better future. I'm in a much better place now that I left and am working for a company I absolutely love and adore so to those who are scared of leaving because the Big 4 poisons your mind into thinking you're committing career suicide, that is absolutely not true.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat humans are humans and not as resources.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 9 people found this helpful  

    PwC Wealth Management Tax Services (WMTS) Pittsburgh

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Experienced Tax Associate in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Experienced Tax Associate in Pittsburgh, PA

    I worked at PwC full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    "Big 4" on your resume. If you can put a decent one together, you will get a call back if you are looking for a new job.

    They have deep pockets. Expect things to be paid for (trips, phone, graduate school, dinner, etc.) as well as a decent salary. Unfortunately, money and a "prestigious" name is about all that WMTS can offer you.

    Cons

    HOURS AND TURNOVER:

    WMTS management will tell you that you need to work "60 hours a week, 12 hour days, and Saturdays" during busy season (mid January - mid April). It is more like at least 80 hours a week, 14-15 hour days, and weekends if you want to do well. You can scrape by with 65-70 hours per week if you are okay with getting average performance reviews. Non-busy season is about 40-50 hours a week. Some will work more though, since there is a ton of work still - hence the slackers really get to thrive during the summer.

    I have witnessed several WMTS "lifers" work 90-100 hours week regularly.

    Some years (such as 2014) the turnover is very high, approaching 30-40% for associates. This alone should be a red flag. There have been multiple instances recently where people have actually left WMTS with no other job lined up - essentially choosing to become unemployed over working there.

    QUALITY:

    As far as tax technical abilities, credentialing, and general competency, the senior associates and managers in WMTS are the bottom of the PwC barrel. About 90% of people who obtain their CPA leave within a year or two (transfer or new firm), and you will often find most of the practice relying heavily on the tax return preparation software.

    You will commonly see senior or managers spewing "input it in the software, and let it figure it out." This is an easy way for them to get out of explaining difficult concepts to their staff, as they more than likely are incapable of doing so.

    Speaking of the software, it is pretty poor. WMTS leadership will tell you that they "invest a lot in the technology." This is an absolutely load of crap, and they know it. They invest just enough to ensure that they can scrape their 7 figure profit off the top. They are so cheap with their software, that they force their employees to "test" it to see if it is working properly every year. This allows them to get a nice discount from the provider.

    During tax season every year, there will be dozens of "URGENT, CRITICAL" work around emails that come out when issues are discovered with the software. This leads to absolute frustration across the preparers, as the numbers are not "flowing" to the right places, hence they actually have to THINK.

    ETHICS:

    The ethics of senior management (partners) are very poor. They don't seem to have issues lying to their staff's faces regarding the opportunities within WMTS (there are almost none). They continue to sell WMTS as an elite tax practice, when that couldn't be further from the truth. WMTS employees are essentially overworked, over-glorified bankers, performing menial and repetitive tasks throughout the year. The only thing that this practice has going for it is that it can fly itself under the PwC flag.

    Management also don't seem to have a problem leaving their clients uninformed about super high turnover and client information breaches (tax sensitive information going to the wrong addresses - they prefer to sweep it under the rug if possible).

    Managers also will routinely tell staff to respond to IRS and state notices with incorrect or incomplete information. Managers have referred to this as "the industry standard." More like the WMTS standard if you ask me... bottom of the barrel again.

    Particularly, there is one engagement in WMTS that does not file the majority of their state returns properly. The seniors, managers, directors are well aware of this, yet they negligently refuse to file the returns because "that's how it has been done in the past." Again, industry standard, or WMTS standard?

    BEWARE of WMTS job postings claiming that you will do corporate tax, partnership tax, franchise tax returns, provisions, etc. This is a completely blatant lie, and I am not sure how they can even legally get away with stating that. You will prepare and/or review fiduciary and non-profit income tax returns. You will also make (I refuse to call this preparing. It is clicking buttons in a software system.) Form 1099s. That is pretty much it.

    INTERNS:

    Interns... oh the interns. WMTS hires about 100 interns from the greater Pittsburgh area to do their printing, stapling, envelope stuff, and general office functions. Typically the interns work from January until March.

    Some people don't realize how big Pittsburgh is. It is not very large - there are only about 5-6 major universities with good business schools that WMTS recruits from. Due to this, let's just say, the average quality of the WMTS interns is not what I would call good.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your annual contract billing is not a good business model for public accounting. It allows slackers to "get by" and the overachievers to kill themselves working too much. In a typical public accounting model (hourly charge) it is much easier to track quality, who is getting what done, and progression.

    To add to the billing strategy, consider using some sort of calendar or planner to set schedules for your associates and seniors. Schedules should be formally set and tracked, like any other normal practice.

    Invest more in your technology, seriously, it would make the practice a lot better.

    Stop trying to make the EA a legitimate credential. It just isn't.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    A big four bleeding

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

    I worked at PwC (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Descent amount of time off. Great place for new college graduates to learn and get used to working under pressure.

    Cons

    The firm has a retention issue because, when the honeymoon stage is over and eventually people get fed up over the unfair evaluations that the firm pushes all the time. If you want to go to a place to learn and be appreciated and have a life, this is not the place. This firm requires you to play defense all the time, watch your back as backstabbing is prevalent to get ahead. The backstabbing is encouraged based on the firm culture and asking staff to constantly raise the bar when that has already happened. Staffers leave because they end up seeing year after year how unfair the system is.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 7 people found this helpful  

    Sweatshop

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director
    Current Employee - Director

    I have been working at PwC full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good experience for fresh graduates. Many bright and brilliant employees. Provides good exposure to industry overview.

    Cons

    Negative work life balance. Be prepared to work 60+ hours a week; and weekends and nights. Asked to work at nights and weekends; often asked to cancel prescheduled vacation.

    Tries to hire bright and brilliant people, but can't provide projects that are commensurate with the skills, knowledge and aspirations of the hired employees. Many get disappointed and leave.

    Bonus and benefits are dismal, and not comparable to banks. The vesting schedule of 401(k) and wealth builder plans are atrocious.

    Annual review process is a joke. Although the business needs quants and technical people, the career growth for these folks is limited. If you can't do sales and bring in revenue, you can't move up. Coaches are assigned, but they normally don't have time to do the coaching. The expectation is that the staff do that on their own, and keep the coach in the loop. So why assign coaches, what is their role? There is a new evaluation process this year, which requires more continuous coaching. This is good. However if the MDs and Partners did not find time under the previous review system, how are they going to find more time under the new system. What action will be taken against coaches who don't do their part (particularly MDs and Partners)?

    The corporate standards are different for directors and below. MDs and partners are not expected to abide by the rules, standards and policies that are imposed on others.

    HR is another big joke. They do whatever MDs and partners say. There is no process for fair treatment if you are wronged by a MD or Partner.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create and environment of equality and meritocracy. No one should be above the corporate standards. People at the top should not be able to get away with violations of corporate standards. Be honest in recruiting new people. Don't hire brain surgeons and ask them to work in a butcher shop.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Director

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director
    Current Employee - Director

    I have been working at PwC full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    You work with some very bright people, especially on the Advisory side of the business. Utilization is not an issue since there is an enormous amount of steady audit work if you are on the Assurance side of the business.

    Cons

    They measure everything! I was criticized for not "putting in overtime." I explained that I did, indeed, put in way more than a 40 hr. week. I was not in a client facing position. So there were no dollars tied to the hours. In the same management review I was criticized for not taking vacation. I swear this is the truth, a Senior Partner actually suggested that I should start taking vacation on Thursday and Friday, and then put in overtime on the weekends! Kind of makes you wonder what kind of a culture not only tolerates that logic, but rewards it.

    They work the Associates to death. Performance evaluations are brutal. If you are an experienced hire, get everything promised during the job offer in writing. This is essential. Make sure all of your contributions are documented and put into your record well in advance of your performance review.

    Very disappointed in the culture. Lack of trust is pervasive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The corporate structure is dysfunctional and produces elicits parochial behavior and lack of cooperation between Assurance and Advisory, and between local office and national.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Tax Associate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Tax Associate in Pittsburgh, PA
    Former Employee - Tax Associate in Pittsburgh, PA

    I worked at PwC full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    - Public Accounting experience
    - They will purchase your CPA books
    - Meet some intelligent people

    Cons

    I was in the Wealth Management group
    - Brought on as a Tax associate for their tax season (Do not do that)

    *Most unprofessional atmosphere I have ever been a part of in my life
    *Pushed into corners by Managers
    * Sabotaged to believe that I wrote emails I 100% did not write without supervision of a senior associate
    *They will teach you nothing, and hang you to dry after you worked over 60 hours a week for them during their tax season
    *They give you a mentor and a coach as I started my tax season. For some reason, which to this day do not understand, my mentors were switched four times. So I never got to learn anything with substance because each person taught their own system of tax. So it was like being dragged around like a rag doll and try to keep up with your work. So the mentor system they use is complete trash. Additionally, my coach was stationed in Chicago? How do I learn anything if they are in Chicago? They never contacted me or reached out once. Later in the tax season, I reached out to my coach as a last resort. I spoke to human resources, partners, and my mentors trying to move groups because the managers clearly wanted nothing to do with my growth there. Not sure what the coach told the managers but a few weeks later they fired me. I guess it was because I busted my bottom for them including weekends to attempt to prove myself. Every spare moment to help my group I was there and providing support. This went unseen and never got a speck of credit for. I was used and abused at their disposal, plain and simple. They cornered me into meetings by managers, human resources, and even the CEO. Human resources blindly tried to relay what they believed I was doing wrong at the firm, which was so false I can't even begin to think it was true. If I had a good lawyer I would have sued them for false email accusations and abusive/unfair working environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All about the money not the people, start over.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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