Cherry Bekaert Reviews

Updated October 18, 2014
Updated October 18, 2014
62 Reviews
3.1
62 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Cherry Bekaert Firm Managing Partner Howard J. Kies
Howard J. Kies
38 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • PTO in line with big 4 (except they lump sick days in with PTO so not quite the same) (in 8 reviews)

  • learning experiences, wide variety of clients, great partner base, knowledgeable professionals, respect of work/life balance (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • In the audit department there are less than 5 people left from last busy season below partner (in 8 reviews)

  • There is no prestige working here - you are better off paying your dues at Big 4 and at least getting name brand recognition on your resume (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Stay away! You won't be happy here!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Accountant in Tampa, FL
    Current Employee - Senior Accountant in Tampa, FL

    I have been working at Cherry Bekaert

    Pros

    Support in completing the CPA exam
    Decent amount of paid time off
    For the most part, the people are really nice, and pleasant to work with.
    Plenty of opportunity to earn CPE credits.
    Firm-wide training events.

    Cons

    With a few exceptions, senior level and above don't really care about the professional development of staff; people tend to only be concerned about their own development.
    Salary tends to be on the low side compared to other firms in the area.
    The firm is unclear about the direction of the company.
    Management doesn't care about job satisfaction, they are just concerned about the number of billable hours and how much money you are making to support the partner salaries and luxury items in the office.
    Overall CBH is a good firm, but I wouldn't recommend working at the Tampa office.
    Inequality in salaries among people at the same level.
    Inequality in work loads.
    Low morale among the majority of workers.
    Unorganized HR department.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are more important measures of job performance than number of billable hours.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Decent, not great

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Staff Accountant
    Former Employee - Staff Accountant

    I worked at Cherry Bekaert

    Pros

    People are generally nice and client travel is local since it is a regional firm. Generally no more than an hour to a client, usually significantly less

    Cons

    Salary is not near big 4 firms - but that is to be expected; go to a big 4 firm unless you want a little less travel and probably a little less stress; but you're still working alot of hours, and when you consider that with your salary, you really aren't getting paid that much; some ideas on how to run things in the firm don't always make sense.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Raise salaries to be more competitive for top talent from better schools

    Approves of CEO
  3. 6 people found this helpful  

    This is not exactly the kind of review CB&H would want.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Staff Accountant in Charlotte, NC
    Former Employee - Staff Accountant in Charlotte, NC

    I worked at Cherry Bekaert

    Pros

    As a recent college graduate, I was happy with the compensation package. My salary seemed to be right in line with what my classmates were getting from other firms (of course, Big 4 firms were paying more). Although some of my co-workers were not thrilled with the insurance coverage we had, I thought it was pretty good. I had to pay around $110/month for my "regular" insurance, and I also had dental and vision coverage.

    I also believe that the company has a bright future. I was impressed with some of their short-term and long-term plans, and I was looking forward to starting my career in accounting there.

    Finally, there were several co-workers who were tremendously helpful to me, and I am thankful to them for everything they did to assist me with my job.

    Cons

    Since I used the past tense during the "best reasons" section, you may very well be able to guess what happened. I was fired/let go/tossed three and a half months after I started. At this point, while I am tempted to go into the gory details of that event, I'll leave it at this: three staff accountants started in January. On April 30th - the last day of their fiscal year - two of those accountants were let go. I could say much more, but I'll leave it at that for fear of sounding like I've been eating sour grapes every day since my dismissal.

    I was promised an "interim" evaluation after the March 15th deadline. I did not receive one. My regular evaluation was scheduled for May 13th. I (obviously) did not get that one either. During tax season, it's understandably difficult for managers/seniors to keep up with review notes, so I can say without much doubt in my mind that I truly had little to no idea where I stood in terms of my job performance. Time budgets were constantly stressed to me; once, I was talking to a manager about a budget I was struggling to meet. I told her I'd try to stay within the budget. She looked at me and said, "Well, you kind of have to."

    I completely understand that this is the nature of public accounting; deadlines are followed by more deadlines, and if the return was done in eight hours last year, this year you'll get seven to do it. I am aware of this. However, there is a way to handle these pressures in a manner which does not leave employees twisting in the wind.

    There was no communication regarding hours to be worked during busy season. We three staff accountants had no one else to turn to, so we asked each other what the best number would be. 60? 65? 70? Our workloads were steady but reasonable until the last three or four weeks of tax season, but even when we were keeping up with our work, it seemed as if we were being frowned upon for whatever number of hours we chose. In the end, we were between 70 and 75. The seniors were working more (we didn't have enough of them), but we could keep our desks pretty clean at that level.

    In the end, I have this to say: this is the first review of CBH on glassdoor.com, and I do not wish for my words to be taken as the gospel. Perhaps other CBH offices are different...I'm sure they are, since no office has the exact same set of personalities. All I can tell you is what happened to me. Eight days after I was let go, I accepted a job with a small single office firm. In the two months I've been there, I've learned a great deal. My co-workers are helpful. I enjoy working with them, and I finally feel like I'm starting to "get over" what happened at CBH.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I (and other CBH employees) had the feeling that staff accountants were interchangeable parts, and that seniors/managers could be lured away from other firms instead of promoting from within. While I can certainly see the short-term benefits of this policy, I do not think it bodes well in the long run. All I ever wanted from CBH was a chance. I do not consider three months, no reviews, and a firing "a chance."

    Oh, and one more thing. When my new firm received a request to bid on an audit and I got to re-write the proposal, I knew we were competing against four other firms, and I knew one of them was CBH. Well, we got it. That probably has nothing to do with me; I'd imagine it was probably because our bid was lower. But I don't care. In the only way I could, I got to give my new firm - the one that is truly giving me a chance in this industry - a new client. And you - who never gave me that chance - lost one.

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

    Don't work here - pay your dues at Big 4 instead

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

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

    Pros

    PTO policy is competetive. Lack of organization and accountability mean you can pretty much do whatever you want. Provided a steady paycheck while I searched for (and found) and amazing job that pays me 50% more than I was earning before at Cherry Bekaert.

    Cons

    The firm is devoid of leadership. Pay is well below market standard. Offices act as their own companies rather than part of a larger company (i.e. there is no unified message). Leadership committee is filled with chronyism and basically the same group of people year over year, so ideas are stale. The firm hasn't organically grown (see it's ranking in the Top 100 accounting firms year over year to see the slide from the teens to the 30's in terms of rankings). Bonuses are not standard and are in fact quite difficult to achieve (especially considering that certain evaluation metrics are beyond an employee's control).

    There is no culture of accountability - as long as you are aligned with the right people and are generally 'a nice person', you are going to do fine here. There is no prestige working here - you are better off paying your dues at Big 4 and at least getting name brand recognition on your resume. The firm targets small to middle market companies who usually do not have the bankroll to pay for engagements where the firm makes any money. As a result of client targets, jobs are usually not very interesting since they tend to be more about rudimentary issues.

    Bottom line is this: if you think you are going to learn a lot at Cherry Bekaert, you may, but not what you think. You will learn how not to run a business and you will learn the types of people you don't want to become partners with. Leadership doesn't have the stomach to cut non-performing partners, perpetuating a continual cycle of 'how do we move forward, let's try this' that never works because it's the same group of people throwing a new pile of garbage against the wall to see what sticks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change your leadership if you truly are interested in changing anything.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    great place to start a career

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cherry Bekaert

    Pros

    learning experiences, wide variety of clients, great partner base, knowledgeable professionals, respect of work/life balance

    Cons

    compensation a bit low for the amount of time and effort spent, inadequate bonuses

  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Very unorganized firm, managed poorly

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

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

    Pros

    The number of hours required are fewer than Big 4. Working overtime hours outside of busy season was rare. In my office, most people didn't work weekends except the partners.

    Cons

    Pay is lower than the average for the public accounting industry. Promotion track is not clear. Because they've been expanding through acquisitions, every office doesn't something different and there is no centralized firm guidance. Because the pay is low, the employees tend to be less qualified than someone you'd find at BIg 4 or a national firm. Clients are mainly government, which are disorganized.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer higher pay to employees so you can recruit better talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Disappointed

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

    I worked at Cherry Bekaert full-time

    Pros

    Good compensation, good manager, hours were consistent

    Cons

    Job title was misleading, poor training

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

    Great place to work

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

    I worked at Cherry Bekaert part-time

    Pros

    Flexible and independent work schedule

    Cons

    Negative attitudes amoung many of the employees

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    The firm is challenging

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

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

    Pros

    Firm is very pro growth; good opportunities to grow and specialize in a specific industry; people are friendly; provide you with a clear path to advance by letting you know what you need to do to move to the next level.

    Cons

    Firm is in a transition where they are trying to move from a decentralized regional firm to a more national type of firm. its been a very difficult with what seems like a lot of trial and error.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Good Place to Start

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

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

    Pros

    You will gain a lot of experience, good co-workers, decent benefits, not too much travel if you don't want it.

    Cons

    Salary not so great for the number of hours you are expected to work, especially during busy seasons. Can be a stressful environment.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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