PwC Reviews

Updated June 26, 2015
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3.4
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PwC US Chairman & Senior Partner Robert Moritz
Robert Moritz
26 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

102 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great Company

    Current Employee - Intern - Hourly in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Intern - Hourly in McLean, VA

    I have been working at PwC

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    They really invest in your personal success, and want you to succeed in your future endeavors.

    I have been here for a month now, and I have learned and seen a lot. It is a warm working culture where you are comfortable to share your idea and thoughts.

    Cons

    The typical office issues, with gossipy coworkers and micro managing managers.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Good place to start

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    1. Great exit opportunities.
    2. Amazing resources available for self development you won't find in industry.
    3. You will meet a lot of high level people out on engagements.
    4. You'll form long lasting connections with others in your stat class.

    Cons

    1. Your experience will depend entirely on your engagement team. If you're working with people you get along with, a tough engagement won't feel too bad. However, if you are unfortunate and get placed on a bad team, your going to have a bad time. If you're staff, especially a first year, don't expect to be moved to another engagement just because you tell HR you're not getting along with your team. Bodies are needed on engagements, and you can bet no one is giving up a good engagement so that you can get out of a bad situation.
    2. Work/Life balance, as many have stated before, doesn't exist in Big 4. Senior management talks a big game about it, but implementation is difficult and there seems to be a disconnect between what they say and what actually occurs and in some cases is possible.
    3. Audit work is dull. No matter how much anyone tries to convince you otherwise it is not interesting. At least at the staff level.
    4. You will play office politics. "Face-time" is the name of the game. At times, you will be sitting in the office/on site just for the sake of being there and not because the work actually requires you be there.
    5. It's not to your benefit to be efficient. Milk any task they give you within reason.
    6. There will be times when you are given a task that will take longer than budgeted or expected by management. Don't take their word as fact, as they are very removed from the actual work performed and are really just wildly guessing at how long a task should take. Communicate any bumps in your progress, but expect to be chastised for taking longer than their expected timeline.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your staff. High turnover, while it supports growth opportunities for lifers, is not conducive to diversity. You're losing a lot of people that could have added value in areas you might not have expected.


  3. Work is only as good as your local practice

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tax Senior Associate in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Tax Senior Associate in McLean, VA

    I worked at PwC (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    PwC is a huge company that offers diverse opportunities across the country. For example, I was able to transfer from the Philadelphia office to the McLean office with no problem. Work cultures are different in every office. Pay scales are as competitive as could be imagined for accounting, and most employees beyond the associate level are company men who seek that reliable salary.

    Cons

    The second edge of the sword of PwC's culture is that your colleagues will likely not be worldly or interested in affairs other than making money in their practices. "Global acumen" is at a minimum. This is accounting, after all. Some groups and office treasure diversity and learning, while others keep their heads down to they can see an ever-increasing salary. That's the "other second" edge - raises are tantalizing high, so there is always the illusion of great economic benefit even if salaries are low. I had never seen a raise smaller than 14% in my four years.

    Advice to Management

    This varies by the nature of the partners running their groups. To some I say bravo, fight the good fight. To others, I would suggest, for the sake of morale, taking a look around at what your staff values - it's likely not your revenue.


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  5. FDD

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

    I have been working at PwC full-time

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

    Pros

    Its a great experience working in FDD. You get to learn about the company in a short period of time but it can get very exhausting

    Cons

    Transition from audit to transaction services is difficult since you come on the front line and start preparing stuff


  6. Helpful (2)

    Great reputation, did not match my experience

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

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

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

    Pros

    -Reputation
    -Opportunities for upward mobility
    -Strong corporate culture
    -Intelligent, motivated co-workers
    -Good benefits including gift cards for participating in wellness activities such as preventative medical care and exercising

    Cons

    I felt that the information I was told in my interview as well as during the 2 week orientation for new employees did not match my experience once I arrived at my client site. I was told that PwC handpicks only very interesting and challenging projects to take on that involve solving problems rather than maintenance/staff augmentation. The project I joined could not have been farther from that description. There was not enough to do, and it was essentially data entry.

    At PwC you are required to reach a certain number of billable hours, as well as "hours over standard." People are constantly struggling to meet these hours. There are many required work activities that do not count towards these hours. As such, people are working all day and all night and seem burnt out, although at orientation we were told that PwC is all about work life balance. Client facing employees are way more focused on business development to the detriment of the quality of the work they are performing for the government clients.

    Finally, while PwC assigns you with career coaches and mentors, it feels like no one really has time to help you or guide you. Everyone is so busy with trying to meet all of the internal requirements in addition to their client work that they really don't have the time.

    Advice to Management

    Paint a more realistic picture of day to day life at PwC during the interview and orientation process, or practice what you preach. Also, cut back on the administrative requirements. Employees are overwhelmed and spend so much time on housekeeping tasks that seem redundant.


  7. Managing consulting

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

    I have been working at PwC full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Fast paced, career oriented, good people

    Cons

    Competitive, quality control, pace of work

    Advice to Management

    Chill out.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Great experience, but a hyper critical environment.

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Brand appeal. Training. Lots of opportunity if your able to conform to the rules.

    Cons

    Hyper critical environment. Growth and development focusing too much on your weaknesses (often irrelevant ones not related to your career path) and not enough on your strengths. So much overhead and administrative work. A good 8-10 hours a week required to stay on top of admin responsibilities.

    Advice to Management

    Realize the talent pool is changing. Talent are no longer are motivated by what motivated you at their level. Adapting takes more than revised branding and internal messaging efforts.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Sr Associate (treated as Sr Mgr)

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

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

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

    Pros

    Great salary and benefits pkg comparatively among Big 4

    Cons

    Completely stacked with incompetent , skill lacking MBAs that rely entirely on the meager amount of qualified technical staff. Work you to the bone and then add 20 hrs+ weekly in admin BS. Mgrs regularly take all credit from savvy underlings to include accolades, bonuses and promotions.

    Advice to Management

    Ensure all managers have a modicum of real technical expertise, particularly in tech expertise rich engagements. Should allow departure from heavy handed verticals to improve career opportunities.


  10. Helpful (4)

    An Employer that Falsely Advertises its Brand: Poor Value System, No Work-Life Balance, Old-Boys Network, and Toxicity

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

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

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

    Pros

    Admittedly Strong Hygiene Factors: Name, Advertised Brand, Historical Reputation, Decent Pay (on the surface if you don't factor in math on the long hours), Good Benefits, Minor Travel and Office Perks

    Cons

    Where to Start? Poor motivators for more seasoned employees, especially those coming in mid-career. A variety of demoralizing factors:
    passive aggressive leaders, young managers and director-level employees (mid 20’s thru mid 30’s)) who manage much more mature, seasoned, and frankly effective strong performers who were hired in as more junior (associate and senior associate levels) and are forced to submit to this upside down management structure. These younger managers and directors are often times immature (chronically and emotionally), have no management skills so they attempt to micro-manage, have short fuses, exhibit an utter lack of respect for the individual, and have a tendency to snap at you when you don’t immediately meet their ridiculous and petty demands. In short, they are bullies! These people also expect you to regularly work 10+ hour days, be available on email until late into the night, and sacrifice your weekends, at times for work assignments that can easily wait until Monday morning. Additionally, there is no tolerance and respect for individual communication styles as well as for minor errors and the learning curve. You are expected to know everything day one on the project and are sometimes looked at as sub-human if you don’t capitulate to the above points and don’t do everything perfect 100% of the time. Hard work is unappreciated, only thing that matters is how well-connected/well-liked you are, namely if you are a good brown-noser or a male. Soon after starting here, terrible feelings of guilt began to overcome me because of the culture that I am describing and I actually began to believe that I was a bad employee - this is how they brainwash you. Women have it difficult here, despite well-touted diversity claims. God help you if you want to start a family and be a good mother; it’s nearly impossible, for work is always expected to come first expect for a chosen few whose path has been greased by favoritism. Additionally, the “keeping up with the joneses” mentality is very prevalent around pay, bonuses, and promotions. Everyone is advertising the numbers (if they received generosity) and speculating aloud why employee A was/wasn’t promoted and employee B was/wasn’t. This is especially hard to stomach if you are a diligent and hard worker and strong performer, but this is not reflected in your annual assessment and compensation. This place created a host of issues for me and ruined my mental and emotional well-being. I am still recovering a year later.

    Advice to Management

    I feel that a firm such as PwC is a lost cause and its toxic environment is sadly emblematic of today’s white collar workplace. The employee is expected to be available 24/7 with resultant burn-out, and give up one’s personal life with no guarantee of success in their career with this Firm. For example, I went from being an avid fitness buff, to one that felt guilty for getting in the occasional workout after work, as well as had to give up active participation in 2 different volunteer organizations. Additionally, I became known as a hermit to my friends, since I stopped being available to socialize with them during my entire tenure here. In order to turn itself around. PwC needs to adopt a value system that begins at the top and flow down through the partner teams that espouses, integrity, dignity, respect for others and their abilities, trust, consideration of one's personal life vs. profits, just to name a few, and change its culture where hard work will get you ahead, not your gender, “token status”, or your political connections. Seriously, none of the work that PwC performs is such an emergency that would cause loss of human life if work on it ended by 6 PM each day and started up at 9 AM the following work day. But sadly, everything is treated as urgent.I really have no hope of positive, well-considered, and applied changes happening with this organization as to do this might cause the partners to actually show some concern for their employees first and profits second (GOD forbid!). I urge those that currently work there to get out while they can and any job-seekers that are contemplating working here to run away as fast before they are seduced by a variety of falsities!


  11. great company, but will wear you down

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tax Senior Associate in McLean, VA
    Former Employee - Tax Senior Associate in McLean, VA

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - great benefits
    - great people
    - lots of flexibility
    - excellent training

    Cons

    - expectations don't seem to be commensurate with the compensation
    - promotions and company standing seem to be very political-based
    - they will overload you with work over time even when your schedule is already full and doesn't accommodate
    - even though they say it is easy to rotate around within the company, it is not nearly as easy as they make it seem, especially if you are considered a vital cog within a particular group or engagement

    Advice to Management

    - listen to your staff's complaints and try to address them, particularly with the compensation
    - focus on adjusting your structure for evaluating employees (the new Snapshot program seems very faulty)



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