Plante Moran

  www.plantemoran.com
  www.plantemoran.com

Plante Moran Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated December 22, 2014
Updated December 22, 2014
74 Reviews
4.0
74 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Plante Moran Firm Managing Partner Gordon Krater
Gordon Krater
48 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work-life balance is highly promoted within the firm which makes work enjoyable (in 13 reviews)

  • Nice offices and flexible hours (in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • The work/life balance promoted by PM is only good for your first year when your charge hours are not tracked (in 6 reviews)

  • You must be willing to work long hours, but that is true for any large firm (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

21 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Worked in Chicago tax department for 3 years

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

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

    Pros

    Work schedule is generally flexible

    Opportunities for good client work

    Cons

    Compensation is well below market level.

    Path to manager from staff level is long, difficult, and involves playing politics.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Fully deserving of its current spot on Fortune's "Best Companies to Work" for list!

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

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

    Pros

    1. true work life balance
    2. exposure to assurance and tax (rather than having to specialize in one right away)
    3. busy season work days end by 7-8 pm, typically, depending on your industry (regardless, the hours are better than 14+ hour days like Big 4 firms!)
    4. co-workers and management are fun to work with and great mentors
    5. firm philosophy is to live by the Golden Rule and this is actually carried out and discussed a lot
    6. mentoring is available if you take advantage of building a relationship with and reaching out to your team partner, as well as your buddy
    7. office-wide events are planned several times a year (Halloween party for staff and families, Christmas party, post-busy season party, team outings with your team partner and team co-workers)
    8. great amount of PTO as entry-level staff
    9. ability to work from home
    10. community service committee allows you to get your non-charge hours by planning events and coordinating charitable efforts
    11. yearly firm-wide meeting that encourages unity despite the numerous office locations (all employees from all 18+ offices meet to see managers get promoted to partner and hear about exciting news for the firm and celebrate anniversaries and retirements)
    12. transferring between office locations is possible with a valid reason
    13. Women in Leadership committee has been encouraging women to take on leadership roles in the firm for many years now (Plante had this initiative before it was the "popular" thing, like it is now)

    Cons

    1. like any company, there are some bad co-workers and managers
    2. hours can be long during busy season, but that is typical of the public accounting industry (overall, Plante has great busy season hours compared to competitor firms)
    3. office locations limited to Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're doing! Upper management is doing a good job. Communication with staff and managers is great. Expectations are clear, growth is encouraged, and support is given.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Don't believe the hype

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

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

    Pros

    Pros: Some great people who work hard, fun group events, updated office, somewhat flexible work schedule, some great leadership from Managing Partner and others. Good clients to work with. Decent amount of PTO time is offered. Schedule is more relaxed in summer for practice staff.

    Cons

    1. The firm does not have a strong presence in Chicago. There’s no way Plante can compete with the Big 4 in Chicago, though they may try. They can’t compete with their salaries, either. If you aren’t based in Michigan, good luck.

    2. Charge hour goals not realistic at all. Not much say in the types of clients you’ll work with. Hours during busy season are excessive, despite the firm’s claims that you’ll work less hours than bigger firms.

    3. They love to shove slogans down your throat – work/life balance, jerk-free, Best Places to Work, best accounting firm in the country. But they don’t show staff in their actions how these things are true. And if you show one iota of doubt that you don’t believe Plante is the best firm on the planet, you will be quickly ostracized.

    4. As others have stated, it is a very political environment. Expect a lot of gossip, cliques, scapegoating, looking for people to blame, and the expectation that you go out drinking with the right people. There’s a lot of negative talk that goes on behind peoples’ backs. Many staff are also incredibly fake, so it’s hard to know who is genuine and who isn’t. Promotions seem largely based on politics.

    5. The HR team leaves much to be desired. They are very political, they play favorites, and there’s a lot of gossip and mistrust. It seems they have final say on salaries, promotions, and performance reviews. Many of them seem to be hungry for power and not entirely ethical or trustworthy.

    I left Plante for an accounting job outside of public, and received a big bump in base pay, my bonus potential more than doubled, and I can leave by 4:30 every day. My stress level has decreased and quality of life has improved immensely.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As countless others have said, take a lot at the politics, cliques, administrative inefficiencies, and the overly gossipy environment in Chicago. Stop shoving slogans down peoples' throats and demonstrate why you're a great place to work in your actions and how people are treated. Stop overworking people and make charge hour goals more realistic. Pay people what they're worth based on qualifications, job duties, and geography. Take a look at the outdated compensation philosophy. Insist that your people start to demonstrate the golden rule that you speak so fondly of.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    Culture Needs Improvement

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

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

    Pros

    Nice, modern office in Chicago. Somewhat flexible work hours with option to occasionally work from home. Everyone gets a laptop with remote access. Some really nice and smart people work here and people work hard. Some really great Partners who are good at sharing their knowledge, acknowledging hard work, and mentoring others. Internal training opportunities. Some fun firm events for everyone to enjoy. They offer a lot of free meals for practice staff during busy season, and free babysitting on required Saturday's during busy season. Pretty good internal communication of important news. The firm's managing partner writes a blog which is very informative and uplifting.

    Cons

    Very political environment; success here will mean forming alliances with important people who are either in a certain influential clique or well-aligned with important people. It's kind of like the show "Survivor". Form your alliances early, find out who the big influencers are, and get on their good side immediately. Even if you don't perform in your job, you will be safe if you are "in" with the right people and go along with whatever they say and never question anything. Make sure you start "drinking the kool aid" immediately and don't ever stop while employed here.

    From the first day I started, staff members were constantly being labeled and judged, such as "this person is great", "this person is terrible", "this person is never going to make it." There were stigmas attached to people that seemed to be formed by rumors and gossip and not by the person's true performance or value to the firm. As a new hire, this was alarming.

    Be wary of expressing an opinion or idea that is different than the firm's established practices, even if you are just trying to be helpful or share a best practice you've used in the past. This is frowned-upon and seems to be viewed as a threat.

    The "jerk-free culture" marketing tagline is not very accurate. I definitely met some difficult/unkind people here, some with big attitude who were quite rude and condescending. Some big egos at the Partner and management level really ruin the jerk-free culture myth. It's commonly known who the "jerks" are, but they get away with their behavior because either they are a strong technical resource or they produce a lot of revenue (or they are in a clique that protects them).

    Certain staff members within HR are hard to trust. Certain members of HR were very gossipy, cliquish, competitive, cutthroat, and in some cases, immature. If you are not "in" with someone in one of the main cliques in HR, you should be careful in trusting them with information you share about anything at all. Be very wary of expressing interest in another job within the firm other than your current job. HR also basically runs the firm and has a lot of power and influence. If HR decides someone doesn't fit in or fit the "standard Plante Moran profile", they will communicate that to several people and go out of their way to make the person's life as difficult as possible. Even if you are productive and achieving goals, you can be forced out if HR doesn't like you or believe you fit the "profile."

    Pay seems lower for audit and tax staff than at other large competitor firms in Chicago, especially at the manager and above level. The high cost of living in Chicago doesn't seem to be taken into consideration. HR runs the compensation process and it is a somewhat old-fashioned and antiquated process; very little room for negotiation means losing some good potential hires.

    Overall, a strong foundation for greatness is present here, but the culture is made weaker by office politics, gossip, rumors, cliques, some unkind and insensitive people, favoritism, lack of flexibility in how things are done, and some unreasonable expectations. There's been a lot of recent turnover, and these factors probably have a lot to do with it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reconsider the use of the "Jerk-Free Culture" tagline. It seems a bit silly to use the word "jerk" all over the web site and it's also not entirely true. Consider addressing the office politics, cliques, gossip, labeling of staff members, and reconsider who is making important decisions. Perhaps offer some training about employee engagement, inclusion, respecting diversity and different viewpoints, and what it truly means to treat everyone with respect and equality. Stop letting HR completely run the firm and take a look at the cliques who ruin morale. Look at compensation for tax and audit in Chicago to ensure it is competitive beyond the campus recruiting level. Take a look at why there has been an increase in turnover in recent months.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 7 people found this helpful  

    Started well. Promises made. Promised broken. Framed for someone else's mistake. Fired.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior IT Audit Consultant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior IT Audit Consultant in Chicago, IL

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

    Pros

    Paid me a salary for 6 years.

    Cons

    Politics. Lots of it. Backbiting. Lots of it. Lies. Lots of them. Fluff mottos (work like balance...jerk free etc etc). Lots of travel. Reimbursement after you jump through hoops. Middle management is typical of a top heavy company (good ol boys club).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be real. Listen to what the employee wants, not what you want to hear. Stop playing games, it's our lives and careers you are messing with.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    A good place to work

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

    I worked at Plante Moran full-time

    Pros

    Plante Moran truly cares for their employees- you won't feel like you're just a number. The pay is fair, and the benefits are excellent. Most people working there are friendy and willing to help. There is a lot of room for career development and advancement. Overall, it's a great corporate culture.

    Cons

    As with any big firm, there are some administrative processes that seem unnecessary.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Great place for temporary work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Contract Attorney in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Contract Attorney in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Plante Moran as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    The staff is great - very professional but approachable. Scheduling is typically very flexible, but it depends on the project/client. Old facilities were cramped and outdated, but the company has moved to a brand new space in the Loop.

    Cons

    It's temporary work, so you never know when it will end or when the next project will begin. Communication with staff between projects is minimal, and when you get a call for a new project it usually starts the next day. This is somewhat typical for contract work, but it is difficult to deal with at times.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great place to work !

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

    I have been working at Plante Moran full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    So far so good on the "relatively jerk free" environment. Management is very accessable. Great concern for advancing and growing as an individual within the firm.

    Cons

    Long hours. On-call periods. Mandatory Saturdays during busy season.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    A great place to work!

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

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

    Pros

    The culture and environment in the office is great. They say it's "relatively jerk free" and they mean it - I enjoy all of the people I work with which makes working in accounting much more enjoyable. They really care about their employees and their success.

    Cons

    Busy season - but what accountant wouldn't have busy season?

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    In Charge

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

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

    Pros

    Growing business in chicago. People are good work with. work-life balance is actually there in the summer/off busy season.

    Cons

    Extremely stingey with promotions and poor management over all.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get more involved in staff and recognize who wants to be there and who doesn't.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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