PwC

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PwC Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated Aug 1, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 144 reviews

41% Approve of the CEO

PwC US Chairman & Senior Partner Robert Moritz

Robert Moritz

(29 ratings)

87% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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
144 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    Leadership

    Managing Director (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsGood people, leader in their industry, lots of opportunity. Good place to work overall with a good deal of lateral movement.

    ConsThe organization tends to gyrate too much. Lots of studies and when leadership changes at the top every number of years the firm feels the need to reinvent itself too much. Creates a lot of churn.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStay the course more.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    A culture based on empowerment

    Manager (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsPwC offers great opportunities for international rotations. The culture is based on empowerment and allows junior team members to assume client facing roles with great responsibility early on in their career. The mix of assurance, tax and advisory function and a global industry network is very efficient to acquire skills during a career.

    ConsPartnership based corporate structure results in unqualified and occasiinally unmotivated people sticking around for too long.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Worked hard but great experience

    Experienced Audit Associate (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsGreat training, HR understands the demands placed on staff, knowledgable colleagues

    ConsWork life balance, Frequent travel

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Complicated company

    Advisory Consultant (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    Pros- Some very smart people who do care about doing good work - find them, and work however you can for them.
    - Brand still means something - and management consulting is an interesting space to be in.
    - The variety in consulting work is fascinating

    Cons- VERY political atmosphere. It's about who you know.
    - Utilization matters more than if you're a consistently good performer. I was laid off because there wasn't enough 'work for me to do', but had no visibility into sales cycle.
    - Travel and more travel.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you say you're not an 'up or out' company, then mean it. Culture is progressive in some areas, but lots of management that doesn't really care if you work hard.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great premier firm. Last of the consulting Partnerships!

    Manager (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsWealth of knowledge and experience to draw upon. Strong emphasis on relationship building and networking. Diverse culture. Revived focus on employee retention, onboarding, training, and supporting new employees to integrate and be successful. Solid base comp.

    ConsLong hours despite what was advertised about work and personal life balance. Culture can foster very direct, sometimes coarse interactions. Culture is competitive, extremely political, high judgmental, and word spreads among the grapevine quickly. Second chances...? Theme is "watch your back" at all times.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRetaining top talent can be improved with continuing to develop future leaders who can be personally vested in coaching mentoring and developing talent in a way that promotes bringing out the best qualities, performance and to build high performance teams. Train mid-level management to be genuine, supportive, and improving coaching and mentoring capabilities.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    I like my job and lucky to have landed it before the Diamond merger.

    Analyst (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsThe healthcare consulting group is growing
    It is big 4 firm so people know what it is
    Great mentorship programs

    ConsNot as prestigious as working for many smaller consulting firms

    Advice to Senior ManagementMake it easier for employees to be reimbursed after business trips.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    A mistake for MBAs looking for M&A or Strategy projects

    Advisory Senior Associate (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsGood brand name - I got calls from recruiters within a week of joining the firm
    Numerous offices
    Ability to see strategy projects carried through to implementation
    Decent health plan

    ConsLack of support for MBA new hires and Experienced Hires. PwC offers minimal training once you're more than a year past college. New Managers hired from industry aren't trained to manage clients, projects, staff, in the context of Management Consulting.

    Low compensation compared to other Consulting jobs. PwC lags the market on salary. Performance bonuses for each performance rating are about half what you might expect from a Consulting firm. Retirement plan is minimal and has a 5 year vesting schedule, so the vast majority of staff can expect to never collect on the employer contributions. The health plan is decent but the employee contribution is pretty high for a professional services firm.

    PwC's client relationships aren't as strong as they should be, so strategy projects are often sold on price, rather than value. Strategy projects are routinely underpriced, cutting rates and staff hours allocated without reducing the scope of work promised to the client. For staff, that means that you're working double hours and not getting rewarded for it.

    Expectations around utilization and how many hours you can bill per day don't account for the substantial differences between M&A type projects (very long hours, high pressure, short duration, unpredictable nature of when these projects come up), Strategy projects (long hours, 2-3 months duration, somewhat unpredictable demand), and long-term implementation type projects (more reasonable hours, duration of 12+ months, highly predictable demand). Overall, the expectations set for staff are based on the long-term implementation projects, so you'll have to make a tough choice between doing strategic projects that offer growth and learning opportunities, and staff-augmentation projects that hit your utilization numbers to keep you employed.

    PwC has some interesting projects, but you'll sacrifice your utilization metrics, because the strategic projects aren't as well defined. Directors won't communicate a clear end date for your current project, making it difficult to get seamless staffing onto the next project if you're not 100% sure when you'll come available. Some Partners will try to hold on to a particular staff member even when start dates are delayed due to client reasons -- but staff is accountable for utilization and during those days or weeks on hold, your utilization will drop off rapidly. Because despite PwC's focus on ethical practices, more often than not you will be pressured to under-report your hours by as much as 50%. If you don't comply, you'll be penalized in your reviews, and if you do comply, you'll still be penalized because your performance (billable hours) is less than that of your peers.

    Your mileage may vary -- the organizational culture within Advisory is highly inconsistent. I've worked for some excellent Partners and Directors who really support their people, and I've also worked for some Directors who lack the ability to communicate effectively and treat staff as disposable commodities. If you can find a great Partner or Director to work with, stick with that person as long as possible.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIf you expect to recruit and retain top talent, make upward feedback a larger component of the annual performance review process for Partners and Directors. These folks have wildly inconsistent expectations of staff at any given level. The good ones realize they can't push staff to the point of exhaustion and burnout, but quite a few haven't made this connection yet.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Excellent place to start your career!

    Advisory Experienced Associate (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    Pros-Unlimited opportunities if you look for them
    -Smart people
    -Great way to build your network

    Cons-Need more structure around project processes and templates
    -Quality is very uneven across the organization

    Advice to Senior Management-Growing very quickly, but be careful to grow with quality too

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    1 person found this helpful  

    Is It Worth the Wait?

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsGreat exit opportunities, good people

    Conslong hours, tedious but good people

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop paying us like accountants but then asking for ibanking hours.

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    Loved it! I was an SDI Intern! Great learning experience

    SDI Intern (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsGreat Salary, Great connections/mentor-ships, The #1 Accounting Firm

    ConsThere are none. Great environment.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGreat Job!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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