PwC Reviews in Chicago, IL

Updated October 29, 2014
Updated October 29, 2014
5,221 Reviews
3.6
5,221 Reviews
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PwC US Chairman & Senior Partner Robert Moritz
Robert Moritz
1,091 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

154 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Leadership

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

    I worked at PwC full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    Stay the course more.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    A culture based on empowerment

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

    I have been working at PwC full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    PwC 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.

    Cons

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Worked hard but great experience

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Work life balance, Frequent travel

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Complicated company

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

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

    If 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great premier firm. Last of the consulting Partnerships!

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

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

    Pros

    Wealth 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.

    Cons

    Long 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 ManagementAdvice

    Retaining 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

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

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Not as prestigious as working for many smaller consulting firms

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make it easier for employees to be reimbursed after business trips.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

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

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

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

    Pros

    Good 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

    Cons

    Lack 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 ManagementAdvice

    If 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.

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

    Excellent place to start your career!

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

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

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Is It Worth the Wait?

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at PwC full-time

    Pros

    Great exit opportunities, good people

    Cons

    long hours, tedious but good people

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop paying us like accountants but then asking for ibanking hours.

  11.  

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

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    There are none. Great environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Great Job!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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