PwC

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PwC Reviews

Updated November 19, 2014
Updated November 19, 2014
5,318 Reviews
3.6
5,318 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
PwC US Chairman & Senior Partner Robert Moritz
Robert Moritz
1,128 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • No work-life balance during busy season because the nature of assurance work (in 254 reviews)

  • You learn a lot about how to run complex businesses in fast-changing environments (in 129 reviews)


Cons
  • Work-life Balance does not exist as much as they say they are still working on it (in 902 reviews)

  • Long hours during busy season but thats to be expected at any audit firm in the city (in 855 reviews)

More Highlights

2,221 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 79 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 (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. 3 people found this helpful  

    Massive and structured, yet unique

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

    I have been working at PwC full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    All the benefits of a big firm - best technology, tools, support and opportunities. Smart people, who have the ideal opportunity to work with other smart people.

    Cons

    Structure can be oppressive. Salary matrices and increase models don't offer flexibility within the framework to recognize performance. The old adage - you have to quit and comeback to get a real raise - still rings true.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be careful with the office culture - it's diminishing - we need a more vibrant office. Consider the limitless vacation policy of Virgin Atlantic and others.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Risk Assurance Internship

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

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

    Pros

    Great people—cannot stress that enough! Atleast on the associate level.

    Cons

    The recruiters are terrible at contacting and informing you of deadlines. Beware when recruiting, because it might bite you in the butt

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Push for a flatter structure. I felt like there was a lot of bureaucracy in the company, which made it hard to express interest in new areas.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Work hard and good learning experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Experienced Audit Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Experienced Audit Associate in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at PwC full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work for some big companies. Good teams. Smart nice people.

    Cons

    Long hours. Don't get to choose your clients.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Compensation should be commensurate to the work expended.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Big place

    Former Employee - Contract Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Contract Employee in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    Lots of areas to explore.

    Cons

    Because they are so large it is easy to get lost. One must be proactive in expanding career opportunities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management should be more proactive in nurturing talent from within. HR processes take so long that good people who can bring value end up going elsewhere.

  7.  

    Senior Associate

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

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

    Pros

    Great people to work with
    Young and vibrant culture
    Big salary increase each year
    Fun training events
    Flexibility to work remotely on Fridays

    Cons

    Work life balance
    90% travel
    Extra work is expected beyond client work
    Poor integration with newly acquired companies

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 13 people found this helpful  

    Great benefits, great employees, low pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Risk Assurance Manager in Tampa, FL
    Current Employee - Risk Assurance Manager in Tampa, FL

    I have been working at PwC full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    PwC is a great company. They care about their employees, and you truly are more than a number. Their maternity benefits are unbeaten (12-14 weeks fully paid, plus your vacation. The option to take up to 6 months off), we receive unlimited sick days, and 5 weeks of vacation, all of which are great for a working mom. They also offer the option of working a reduced schedule, so I have many coworkers who do not work Fridays. They are truly trying to promote flexibility, but the results are mixed depending on your client and the engagement team. My experience has shown that teams are very understanding of the need for flexibility, as long as you are willing to make up the hours at night or on the weekends. So flexibility may mean leaving at 4 for a soccer match, but signing back on at 8 and working until 11. Or working from home, but still putting in a 12 hour day.

    PwC only hires top performers. So as a whole, you work with very intelligent, capable, and hard working team members. You also are generally expected to perform at one level above your position, which pushes you to succeed and grow.

    Cons

    The biggest negative is the salary. As a manager with 8 years of experience and consistently high rankings in annual reviews, I am still not making 6 figures (close, but not quite there). I know in certain markets the pay may be higher, but in the smaller markets, it is pitiful, particularly for the hours we work and the level of responsibility and pressure that we manage.

    Additionally, PwC tends to have a sink or swim mentality. They advocate coaching and real-time feedback, however, when everyone is strapped for time, you only get so much attention from those above you. Therefore, it is common to feel like you are drowning and no one throws you a life raft until you are already under. This is a direct result of being consistently understaffed, and while I would like to say that this is a temporary concern, we have been severely understaffed in our market for the past 4 years.

    Also, our the cost of our health insurance is ridiculous. I pay $700 a month for my husband, myself, and one child. I could get better rates purchasing individual insurance on the health exchange.

    Long hours are the norm, however, that is generally understood by anyone coming to work in our industry. Taking vacation can be difficult, and the culture is such that you will continue to take phone calls and respond to emails on vacation. However, again, that is typical in our industry, and so I consider that less of a con, and more of a necessary evil.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Profits have been exploding over the past several years, pass the rewards down the line. Also, hire more people. If you continue to leave engagements severely understaffed, quality will suffer and you will continue to lose good employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Great starting place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Experienced Audit Associate in Minneapolis, MN
    Current Employee - Experienced Audit Associate in Minneapolis, MN

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

    Pros

    Career opportunities, fast paced learning, exposure to high levels of management early in career, great resume builder, working with young and motivated professionals.

    Cons

    Long hours, high stress, high burnout, turnover.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great Career for Fresh Graduates

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant in Los Angeles, CA

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

    Pros

    Great learning environment, new hires are provided with lots of training and through out your career, very supportive team, challenging projects.

    Cons

    Work-life balance, pay could be better, travel can be exhausting sometimes, you really need to be a high performer to survive.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Great experience of working with hard, smart people. Great exposure to current economic events.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at PwC

    Pros

    Surrounded by hard-working and smart folks. Great exposure to different kinds of engagements.

    Cons

    Tough busy season, can be busy all year around. Lack of work-life balance.

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