PwC Reviews

Updated July 21, 2015
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PwC US Chairman & Senior Partner Robert Moritz
Robert Moritz
8 Ratings

Pros
  • PwC provides a solid work life balance (in 257 reviews)

  • You will learn a lot if you have the right people teaching you (in 132 reviews)

Cons
  • Absolute lack of work/life balance consideration (in 930 reviews)

  • Long hours but you know when it is going to end (in 866 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

19 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Unfair

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

    I have been working at PwC

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great learning opportunities and exposure to big name clients.

    Cons

    Annual rating is based on favoritism. Lower salary rates compare to other Big 4 firms. Some staff levels have unfair adjustments to their salaries and end up making just as much (or slightly higher) than a new hire.

    Advice to Management

    Show your staffs some appreciation for their hard work.


  2. "Grow Your Own Way" is not attainable unless your "way" is onto another job

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

    I have been working at PwC full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The training and the client base is the best. If you pick a Big 4 firm, pick PwC! On-boarding is some of the best in the world in my opinion, and if you're not unlucky you will have a solid network of coaches and coworkers who can help you get amazing experience quickly.

    Cons

    The San Jose location has really become a black hole of despair. The hours are ungodly, and be prepared to be completely thrown for a loop schedule wise at any time. Live in Campbell? You now work on an IPO in San Francisco! Just finished a tough year-end and have a week unassigned? Here, have another year end that bleeds into the weekend! I've also worked with seriously rude people that made me question my sanity for working here, but I don't know what's worse- people yelling at you, or people resigned to spending their whole lives in an audit room. If you're unlucky, you'll never quite get your network sorted, and if you're on a hard client ,you are most likely stuck there. The perks of a big company ultimately do not outweigh all of these problems. If you want to really be a major part in the success of where you work, this isn't the job for you. It really does have that "cog in a wheel" feeling.

    Advice to Management

    Put your money where your mouth is- demand flexibility, don't just suggest it! Older generations don't know how to remotely work, and what's the point of implementing new technology if no one in upper management uses it! Also- you need to sort out your client base location wise. It isn't fair to ask people to work over the whole of the Bay Area when our traffic is so bad. Consider splitting or giving some clients to the SF office!


  3. Underwhelming

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

    I have been working at PwC full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good exposure to clients. Chance to lead early. Some nice people.

    Cons

    Underpaid. Overworked. Senior management and partners are not in touch with the people.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more and give a genuine focus on work life balance.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Non-uniform promotion criteria

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

    I worked at PwC full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Working with clients Access to lengthy training materials/pdf (good that it's comprehensive, but when you are out of time, everyone wants point form & examples) You learn (mostly by yourself) I think all these pros are available at other CPA firms or big 4s. Nothing really differentiates pwc. Other good things are the excellent "software" the firm has for audit work - outsourcing, computer software to aid etc.

    Cons

    Promotion criteria from 3rd year associate to senior associate is not uniformly applied across the board - there were those who promoted by performing normally (not stellar) while those who put in the extra effort & had great attitudes were delayed. Many who even joined midseason and were not used to industry specific accounting rules were promoted from 3rd year associate to senior associate. Some teams have a much larger say than other teams that you've worked with who support your promotion. So it encourages politiciking and resources focused on this rather than actual quality work. Upward feedback process doesnt get taken seriously. Rigid and anal senior associates get promoted to managers who lack the "people" touch to get things done. compensation is linked to how much non-work contribution you made to the firm - hiring, volunteering, committee involvement etc. So in other words, this becomes officially on your job description if you want more pay and if you aren't active enough, your next level of compensation gets dinged. Look, if you want people to do all this crap, either lessen the work load or hire full time resources who can do volunteering, hiring etc. Even with getting involved in all this, one must push one's involvement to the max. 1-2 months of this isn't sufficient to get a higher comp rating. The comp would be equivalent to one who was inactive. Employees have lives. And their lives don't just revolve around their work, pwc & pwc & pwc.

    Advice to Management

    Relook into the promotion criteria. How did so many people are slipping through the cracks and how did the others succeed? That's how you lose talent. Cut the crap on not promoting staff & saying that the firm is "setting you up for failure". That's bull. Lessen the politics between teams that support and dont support for promotion. At the end of the day, if the person who represents you was on the team that didnt support you, it goes to say that the work done on the team that supported you really wasnt appreciated.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Great place to start your career, then jump.

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The pay is good but oddly is heavily weighted towards salary instead of bonus. If you make friends with partners you will keep a steady stream of work, which is key. You can get as much work and get involved in as many things as you like, which gives you more exposure.

    Cons

    pwc is an up or out firm, no matter how they try to deny it. The forced grading on a curve ensures that some are forced into ratings that aren't necessarily accurate because they need to meet the arbitrary curve. one of the moments that sticks out to me most: at a director's meeting, an executive got up and talked about how its not important to be home to tuck your kids in bed at night or to be at every soccer game. According to him, being a parent, and what your kids remember are the "milestone moments" like when he rented out the dallas cowboys stadium for his kid's birthday. Sorry- being a parent IS about being there for all the small moments.

    Advice to Management

    pwc will continue to be a fast moving treadmill that people jump on and off of. Sometimes the machine is so big it doesn't matter who is in what spot, its just a job.


  7. Helpful (1)

    Area for development

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

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

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

    Pros

    - Opportunities for training - Generous vacation time and sick time - Working here looks great on your resume

    Cons

    - Lack of appreciation for IFS staff - Tracking your hours in multiple databases - Unrealistic admin to partner ratios (some EAs support 6-7 partners) - Compensation is way below SV market but the firm will only compare itself to other Big Fours firms that also pay under market rate - No real career growth for IFS and performance management tools are a joke - Benefits are so so. You have to pay a deductible for all medical plans which can be challenging for IFS and junior staff that earn modest salaries.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees like you would treat your best customer!


  8. Helpful (1)

    Good place to start your career but very stressful environment

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    In terms of learning curve, if you are smart enough to figure out by yourself, it is very steep. You will learn a lot in a very short period of time but not necessarily in details. Still, you will experience lots of stuff in Accounting, so you can get a general picture of Accounting concept really quick.

    Cons

    Very inefficient structure and the quality of people you are dealing with is very extreme. Only half of employees is smart enough to get the job done but the other half raised a question how they even got the job. Very high-turn over, so always lack of resources and they just bring people from Singapore. Top-down culture is very exhausting and some managers treat you as almost like a work slavery. No weekend, holidays, or vacations. Lots of health issue can come up because you don't have any time to exercise or take care of yourself.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your associate better. If manager is not qualified, the senior management needs to step in rather than just watching over the associates are suffering from managers. If the senior management doesn't change the culture, you cannot stop the high turn-over rate. Bring people from Singapore will never be a solution.


  9. Be prepared to work very hard

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tax Manager in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Tax Manager in San Jose, CA

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

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

    Pros

    If you take the initiative, you can generally seek out the type of work and projects you most enjoy

    Cons

    male-dominated culture; access to some high-profile clients seems to be confined to the "boys-club"; associates and seniors are hired in with the knowledge that PwC will just grind them down and burn them out--PwC should be honest about the fact that long-term career potential won't exist for the majority of the young staff it hires.

    Advice to Management

    I think it is inappropriate the way that PwC will continue to try to shape who ends up at which clients after we have resigned from PwC. There seem to be a lot of "off the record" conversations which are very unseemly.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Weak Management of Administrative associates

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Team Assistant in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Team Assistant in San Jose, CA

    I worked at PwC full-time (More than a year)

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Well known company; good résumé builder; high level exposure.

    Cons

    High level administrative leaders employ coordinators that cannot do the work they are handing to the admins to do. They do not listen to process improvements and overload you with work. If you do not finish your work they question everything you did. I documented everything and was hailed one if the strongest on the team, however, the coordinator would never recognize my contributions. Truly a great place but staffed with the wrong coordinators.

    Advice to Management

    Get the right people in there. Embarrassing to PwC culture to see this go on for so long.


  11. Frustrating, arduous, Consuming, Stressful- BUT it will get you a better job if you tough it out

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    -Connections -Its like a background check for employers- they know that you were top of your class- leaped hurdles and then were malleable enough to listen and perform under stress, deadlines, and ridiculous hours

    Cons

    -No more life- Extremely negative environment- hierarchical to the max- nit picky- busy work, pointless work- looooooooong hours for me it was 70-90 hrs a week 6 months out of the year- then the other 6 months were 55+ was given things to do with no introduction, then scolded for not meeting expectations, doing the best-best i could do only ended in not getting scolded- no positive reinforcement- deceitful management just trying to convince you it will get better. Our market team was understaffed for the whole time i was employed- and they couldn't stem the 50% turnover and kept telling us it would get better promising more staff and delivering nothing.

    Advice to Management

    Abandon your business plan in Audit... it ruins too many of the young intelligent people- creates zombies who no longer have a drive to do anything but get by without getting yelled at.



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