PwC Reviews

Updated September 17, 2014
Updated September 17, 2014
4,990 Reviews
3.6
4,990 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
PwC US Chairman & Senior Partner Robert Moritz
Robert Moritz
1,012 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • No work-life balance during busy season because the nature of assurance work (in 237 reviews)

  • It is a great place to start your career if you want to stay in accounting (in 116 reviews)


Cons
  • Also work life balance is very difficult to achieve until it gets to the problem stage (in 803 reviews)

  • Long hours during busy season but thats to be expected at any audit firm in the city (in 787 reviews)

More Highlights

2,096 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great firm, but some changes on the horizon are terrible

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Advisory Director  in  San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Advisory Director in San Jose, CA

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

    Pros

    There is a lot about the firm that is great. It is a great culture that values collaboration (below the partner level), that truly values diversity of its employees, and that is very collegial. The Advisory business has grown significantly over the past 5 years since reconstituting a consulting arm with the acquisition of BearingPoint, followed by other large acquisitions of PRTM, Diamond and most recently Booz & Company (Strategy& - which is, actually, a dumb name for a company that garners eye rolls and open chuckling among the staff). The firm has also made smaller tuck in acquisitions as well to fill in small, but important strategic capabilities such as Ants Eye View (for social marketing, social media strategy, and social listening), and BGT (for digital marketing agency work).

    It is a place where you can build a great career if you can deliver great work, excel at networking across the firm, and can build partner support. Exceptional employees are the "average" here, so if you aren't knocking it out of the park all the time then you can expect to only be rated in the middle of the pack, and receive nominal raises and performance bonuses.

    It has a strong brand in the market. The firm's latest brand health index rated it at the top of the other "big 4" firms (Deloitte, KPMG, and EY) as well as other non-audit/tax firms like Accenture. The Strategy& acquisition added significant strategy consulting capability to position PwC to compete with the likes of BCG, Bain & McKenzie (who have little to no post strategy execution capabilities...meaning they are good at telling you what to do, but aren't really able to stick around to help you do it).

    Bob Moritz (Senior Partner) and Miles Everson (Advisory Leader) are great leaders who do a good job at inspiring staff to provide great, differentiating client service. They are personable, approachable, and genuine (if they are not, then they deserve an Oscar for their performances - oh, wait, we audit the Oscars...maybe a Tony then). They have a strong vision for how we will shift the firm to a global operating model over the next few years (today, we are a collection of member firms with each territory representing its own firm structure) which will enable us to better serve our clients, most of which operate globally today.

    All in all, it is a place that I am proud to work at.

    Cons

    As noted by many, and as inferred by by comment around individual performance above, if you want to get ahead here you WILL work your rears off. Late nights and weekends, with minimal complaining, are the norm for those who are successful. The firm has tried to add in concepts of "flexibility" into our work force - but that is generally ignored in practice by those people actually delivering client work (great thought, poor execution).

    I know that many complain about what they see as the professional equivalent of "sweat shop rates" when it comes to compensation - but I honestly think that is over blown. Sure everyone would love to make more money, but you can make 6 figures as a Senior Associate and almost $300K as a Director PLUS bonus...so, to me, the pay issue falls on deaf ears. The one area that I think we could really improve on is in the area of our 401K matching percentage which is currently $0.25 on the dollar up to 6% of your contribution. Many of our industry clients match dollar for dollar, so quarter for dollar is a bit of a slap in the face.

    The technology that we use as practioners, for the most part, is terrible with the exception of some of our new web enabled tools for pricing engagements and managing engagement economics. For the last few years there have been many hints and encouragements that we would be replacing the much hated Lotus Notes (that's right boys and girls, we are still using the best of 1990s technology for email and calendaring). There was a great deal of excitement and buzz in the firm - until we were told that we would not be moving to the standard...Microsoft Outlook. Instead - we are "Going Google". So, not only are we replacing one terrible system with another, we are not actually getting rid of Lotus Notes at all because 1) the Federal practice can't use gMail (the Feds won't certify the security of gMail's cloud) 2) certain accounts (like Microsoft) won't allow the use of Google products (Microsoft was so angry that they lost the replacement of Lotus Notes that we almost completely lost the account), and 3) the rest of the global firm won't be switching. So we will be having to manage two separate email accounts and will be forced to use the terrible Google Docs over what everyone else in the world uses and likes - Microsoft Office. Why did we select Google, one might ask. The answer varies based on who you ask. Some say it is because Google's cloud based tools will allow us to work in ways that we can't today for collaborating on the creation of documents and through Google's "Hang Outs"...this is ridiculous because Google's user experience is horrible (else, Microsoft would be losing market share to them in spades), and Microsoft already has the standard for collaboration through Link and Jive. Some say it is because Google's cloud based services provide a lower total ownership cost - which is also ridiculous because Microsoft has Office 365 available through the cloud with Azure. Some say it is because our technology isn't cool which is impacting our ability to attract talent on campus - which is the most ridiculous reason of all because who really joins a company because they can have a gMail account? Also, I'm honestly not sure how we will be expected to use these fabulous tools in an offline capacity when we don't have internet connectivity (such as on a plane that is not equipped with WiFi).

    The firm is also replacing its current performance management system (and process for handing out annual performance ratings and subsequent merit increases and performance bonuses) with a new system called the PwC Professional. Basically, they are replacing a tried and true system of documenting written performance feedback (which is good for not only developing people but also for serving as a record of what people don't do well in the event an adverse action needs to be taken against an employee) with a mobile app that captures a rating against five dimensions and which replaces written feedback with oral feedback that has no memory and no record. The "coach" who used to be responsible for representing their "coachees" at the Annual Review Committee time now has almost no role in the performance outcome of their staff displaced by the "relationship partner" who has responsibility now to personally know each and every staff member that they represent so that they can represent them to the other partner only "performance roundtable" discussions. Partners today have very little time for junior staff, let alone demonstrated interest in their individual careers. So now, a process that was cumbersome but was overly fair (you could only talk about things during ARC time that were documented - if it wasn't documented it was if it never happened and you had at least one person who knew you and advocated for you in the room when your performance was being discussed in the form of your Coach) and very transparent is being replaced with the equivalent of a papal conclave supported by a popularity contest. Additionally, this mobile app (Performance Snapshots), only requires commentary if a staff member is not meeting expectations or is partially meeting expectations...so if you are meeting expectations you can't even comment on performance unless you are highlighting a performance differentiator that they only expect less than 50% of staff to have. Lazy reviewers are incentivized through the design of the app to give everyone a meets expectations on all five dimensions and move on. Our attrition rate has been very low for a professional services firm - it will be interesting to see what happens to attrition after the next round of annual reviews using the new PwC Professional.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are so many good things about this firm, but this obsession with being "different" isn't always good. It is good to differentiate on the things that matter, but you hobble us with terrible technology, put performance measurement systems that are tied to our compensation in place that are nothing more than a popularity contest, and then expect us to work our hinds off for you with big huge smiles on our face. You have not once asked the firm what they think of these new changes in any way that would allow honest, but confidential feedback - because in truth, you don't really want to know. Stop trying to "sell" us on these new tools. You have never had to do that before. When the value is obvious, you will have an entire firm that will support and adopt the changes. Right now it feels like a used car salesman who has to over sell on the paint color to make up for the terrible interior and under powered engine. If you have to do this much selling to get us to use something - is it really THAT good to begin with?

    Differentiate on the things that matter - the additions to our capabilities though the amazing acquisitions we have made, the deployment of the value exchange, our positioning with the analyst community, thought leadership that allows us to carry a strong point of view into the market place, the significant investment you make in the training and skill development of staff, the relationships that we build with our clients every day through the amazing work we do. You have a ton of people who are proud to work here and who trust and value you as leaders, but these decisions you are making now make us question whether that trust is well placed.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    decent company but little room to explore and develop once you are staffed

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

    I worked at PwC as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    great HR, very well organized, competitive pay, known company, multiple offices

    Cons

    get tracked into a role, little room to move around, few exit opportunities, work life balance can suffer

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on developing your consultants as generalists

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Big but Nice Company

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

    I worked at PwC

    Pros

    Many opportunities, international engagements,

    Cons

    You become a number most of the time, demanding workload

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Tailor your training programs to all of your employees, not target employers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

    Very beneficial to fast track a career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate - Advisory  in  San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Associate - Advisory in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at PwC full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - Best of class compensation
    - Challenging work environment
    - Lots of new projects going on all the time

    Cons

    - High demands on your time makes have a life outside work hard
    - They put you in feet first and tell you to find your own projects/groups in the company. Not finding anything satisfying has led to lots of Associates leaving before a year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Improve ways to help new hires find jobs they like

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    pros and cons

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at PwC

    Pros

    Great people, great place to start a career.

    Cons

    Long hours, crazy work load

  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great learning experience... plenty of opportunity for advancement... poor project management/talent retention strategie

    • 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 full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    great opportunities for career advancement...

    great training (all firm sponsored and paid for)

    great opportunity to network with some of the brightest minds in the industry

    Cons

    poor work life balance... largely due to poor project mgmt

    Decrease in funding for travel-based training based on budget cuts... This is critical considering that one of the best perks of working here is the networking opportunities

    Inability to adjust to increasingly stringent compliance regulations

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to improve on talent mgmt/retention strategies... especially considering that the business is dependent on bringing talented consultants to the table

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great learning experience with many opportunities that open up .

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

    I have been working at PwC full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Provides great opportunities after you leave public accounting and the culture was pretty relaxed.

    Cons

    Long hours, long nights, long weekends.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep it up.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    PwC was a great place to start my career

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

    I worked at PwC full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    PwC offers a superior place to enhance your knowledge after college and get impressive experience fast.

    Cons

    As PwC in a client serving firm their will be times of long hours.

    Positive Outlook
  10.  

    Risk Assurance Associate

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

    I worked at PwC full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Outstanding opportunities to high profile companies and clients. Great people.

    Cons

    Long hours and life is dependent on work at all times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep pushing team flexibility

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Intellectually challenging

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

    I worked at PwC full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Challenging work, intelligent peers, variety of clients and work. You must be willing to work and seek out new initiatives or stay at the cutting edge of the area you work in.

    Cons

    Challenging to understand who/what impacts your career the most in terms of projects, salary and promotion. Imperative that you have a Mentor in Senior Management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more transparent about what it takes to be promoted or work on international assignments.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Worked for PwC? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.