PwC

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PwC Reviews

Updated November 21, 2014
Updated November 21, 2014
5,321 Reviews
3.6
5,321 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
PwC US Chairman & Senior Partner Robert Moritz
Robert Moritz
1,129 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

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Mixed Experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in Calcutta (India)
    Former Employee - Consultant in Calcutta (India)

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

    Pros

    Work life balance is good. Colleagues are helpful and they possess good technical knowledge. Work is ok in software development. Scope of learning is average. Small teams. So you have more ownership. You get to know things end to end. Annual parties.

    Cons

    Lack of good quality clients. Due to some policy, the company in India can not approach US UK clients. Thus opportunity of travelling these places is less. Most of the clients are domestic clients. You may have to travel a lot inside the country, depending on your client's base location. Salary increment is less. Appraisal process is not great. Scope of learning new technology is less.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Technology consulting has a lot more potential.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    PwC Wealth Management Tax Services (WMTS) Pittsburgh

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

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

    Pros

    "Big 4" on your resume. If you can put a decent one together, you will get a call back if you are looking for a new job.

    They have deep pockets. Expect things to be paid for (trips, phone, graduate school, dinner, etc.) as well as a decent salary. Unfortunately, money and a "prestigious" name is about all that WMTS can offer you.

    Cons

    HOURS AND TURNOVER:

    WMTS management will tell you that you need to work "60 hours a week, 12 hour days, and Saturdays" during busy season (mid January - mid April). It is more like at least 80 hours a week, 14-15 hour days, and weekends if you want to do well. You can scrape by with 65-70 hours per week if you are okay with getting average performance reviews. Non-busy season is about 40-50 hours a week. Some will work more though, since there is a ton of work still - hence the slackers really get to thrive during the summer.

    I have witnessed several WMTS "lifers" work 90-100 hours week regularly.

    Some years (such as 2014) the turnover is very high, approaching 30-40% for associates. This alone should be a red flag. There have been multiple instances recently where people have actually left WMTS with no other job lined up - essentially choosing to become unemployed over working there.

    QUALITY:

    As far as tax technical abilities, credentialing, and general competency, the senior associates and managers in WMTS are the bottom of the PwC barrel. About 90% of people who obtain their CPA leave within a year or two (transfer or new firm), and you will often find most of the practice relying heavily on the tax return preparation software.

    You will commonly see senior or managers spewing "input it in the software, and let it figure it out." This is an easy way for them to get out of explaining difficult concepts to their staff, as they more than likely are incapable of doing so.

    Speaking of the software, it is pretty poor. WMTS leadership will tell you that they "invest a lot in the technology." This is an absolutely load of crap, and they know it. They invest just enough to ensure that they can scrape their 7 figure profit off the top. They are so cheap with their software, that they force their employees to "test" it to see if it is working properly every year. This allows them to get a nice discount from the provider.

    During tax season every year, there will be dozens of "URGENT, CRITICAL" work around emails that come out when issues are discovered with the software. This leads to absolute frustration across the preparers, as the numbers are not "flowing" to the right places, hence they actually have to THINK.

    ETHICS:

    The ethics of senior management (partners) are very poor. They don't seem to have issues lying to their staff's faces regarding the opportunities within WMTS (there are almost none). They continue to sell WMTS as an elite tax practice, when that couldn't be further from the truth. WMTS employees are essentially overworked, over-glorified bankers, performing menial and repetitive tasks throughout the year. The only thing that this practice has going for it is that it can fly itself under the PwC flag.

    Management also don't seem to have a problem leaving their clients uninformed about super high turnover and client information breaches (tax sensitive information going to the wrong addresses - they prefer to sweep it under the rug if possible).

    Managers also will routinely tell staff to respond to IRS and state notices with incorrect or incomplete information. Managers have referred to this as "the industry standard." More like the WMTS standard if you ask me... bottom of the barrel again.

    Particularly, there is one engagement in WMTS that does not file the majority of their state returns properly. The seniors, managers, directors are well aware of this, yet they negligently refuse to file the returns because "that's how it has been done in the past." Again, industry standard, or WMTS standard?

    BEWARE of WMTS job postings claiming that you will do corporate tax, partnership tax, franchise tax returns, provisions, etc. This is a completely blatant lie, and I am not sure how they can even legally get away with stating that. You will prepare and/or review fiduciary and non-profit income tax returns. You will also make (I refuse to call this preparing. It is clicking buttons in a software system.) Form 1099s. That is pretty much it.

    INTERNS:

    Interns... oh the interns. WMTS hires about 100 interns from the greater Pittsburgh area to do their printing, stapling, envelope stuff, and general office functions. Typically the interns work from January until March.

    Some people don't realize how big Pittsburgh is. It is not very large - there are only about 5-6 major universities with good business schools that WMTS recruits from. Due to this, let's just say, the average quality of the WMTS interns is not what I would call good.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your annual contract billing is not a good business model for public accounting. It allows slackers to "get by" and the overachievers to kill themselves working too much. In a typical public accounting model (hourly charge) it is much easier to track quality, who is getting what done, and progression.

    To add to the billing strategy, consider using some sort of calendar or planner to set schedules for your associates and seniors. Schedules should be formally set and tracked, like any other normal practice.

    Invest more in your technology, seriously, it would make the practice a lot better.

    Stop trying to make the EA a legitimate credential. It just isn't.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Audit senior

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

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

    Pros

    Loved the fast pace and variety.

    Cons

    Great deal of travel and overtime. Difficult to make work as mom.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great work place ppl with high integrity

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate - Tax in Seoul (South Korea)
    Current Employee - Senior Associate - Tax in Seoul (South Korea)

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

    Pros

    You will meet the best professionals in the area

    Cons

    Long working hours and working for at least 16 projects at the same time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Thank you

    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great experience, but don't stay forever

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Advisory Director in Sydney (Australia)
    Former Employee - Advisory Director in Sydney (Australia)

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

    Pros

    Fantastic people - made some friends for life
    People strove to do the best they could on their deliverables
    Provided learning and development which was useful and stretched my thinking about strategic projects

    Cons

    Good energy to start but fell off over time as the partners pinched and brutalised staff to make their numbers
    Dog eat dog - hard to trust other staff who were stealing ideas and stakeholder relationships to climb ahead

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be mindful of the politics which can eat at the soul of your staff

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Good place to learn and make career

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

    I worked at PwC

    Pros

    Good learning and will meet different people and great working experience. Learn to get organist and stay top of things

    Cons

    Work life balance And need to perform all the time otherwise you are done

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too aggressive

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Enter at your own risk

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Zürich (Switzerland)
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Zürich (Switzerland)

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

    Pros

    Work can be interesting, if you manage to grab interesting projects and clients.

    As long as everything is great, everything is great.

    It is a good starting position to better jobs; just don’t hang around too long. When you reach manager position or after five years (whatever comes first) leave or risk being stranded for a long time (industry does not like to hire overqualified advisers for in-house roles; even if you wish to reach a partner position, it is always easier to do this from outside by coming from industry then waiting for in-house promotions).

    Salary is a better as in industry and in other countries for the same position; but beware of a trap: together with promised promotions and occasional pay raises they will try to keep you in place so long that you become overqualified and no longer interesting for the industry. Then you become stuck in your position.

    If you are an actor, you will do great: threaten every year that you will leave the firm and you will be guaranteed a promotion, pay rise and bonus. Then act as advised above.

    Cons

    Politics - it is a boy's club (even if some boys are girls) and there are no real role models. If you don’t get the right boss to support your promotion you will not happen no matter how great your annual performance review looks like. Typical excuse is: “You’ve done great, it has been a tough year for the firm, maybe next year.” If you get right support you get promoted regardless of actual results. Typical official explanation to the team: “She/he has such a potential, we simply cannot afford to lose her/him.”

    Competition for clients and assignments between staff (also within your own team) is completely normal. Even worse is that this tactic is officially condemned and in practice encouraged by the leadership. Get ready to spend your vacation time checking your emails on hourly intervals just to make sure that your colleagues don’t steal your prime client whom you have been targeting with a new project for the last six months. Even if you are just on a business travel (or on lunch break) and a client calls your office phone, expect your peer to try to snitch the client of you.

    PwC requires long hours, but offer flexibility; this would be great IF the company wouldn't encourage “dog-eat-dog” culture. To summarize: you do have possibility to take days off, but you will be penalized for this. A lot of people have overtimes and unused vacation, because they are afraid not to be in the office. Unused vacation and overtime is written off at the end of the financial year – which is (conveniently) end of June.

    There is no long-term strategy; by the time people climb to the senior partner role they are old enough to look towards their retirement; all they are interested in is to take in money as soon as possible, before they are forced to quit the firm.

    Bosses are too busy to care (or they just don’t care). They follow the path of the least resistance: whoever comes first with a story about a coworker will be heard, no facts checked; you will then have to defend yourself and if successful you will be told to solve the issue with the accuser and not molester the boss again.

    Lack of professionalism and competence among HR - no matter what you wish to discuss or ask for a (job related) help, you are there on your own – what you will receive is a worn out phrase: “We can't help you here, but if you need anything, just let us know.” Despite what HR say, if you come to them with a problem, you are the problem.

    About 40% of staff are foreigners. PwC hires them, because they cannot find competent people within Switzerland. However, PwC does not recognize that these foreign employees are expats. You will be paid less than your Swiss equivalents. You might get a relocation package, if you are persistent enough. Afterwards, forget any kind of expat package or basic support like help with immigration or other authorities, help with income tax filing…

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don’t encourage lying, gossiping, cheating, scheming and back-stabling. Don't award people who employ this tactic; their sole interest is to eliminate capable competitors.

    Hire trustworthy and competent HR people who will do more than just bare minimum and actually care for the well being of employees and not only look nice to their bosses.

    Follow your own advice. Don’t just speak how great of a company PwC is, how great you are taking care of employees, how you lead by example… If you can’t put your words into action it is better to just shut up. At least you won’t be a hypocrite.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    A big four bleeding

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

    I worked at PwC (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Descent amount of time off. Great place for new college graduates to learn and get used to working under pressure.

    Cons

    The firm has a retention issue because, when the honeymoon stage is over and eventually people get fed up over the unfair evaluations that the firm pushes all the time. If you want to go to a place to learn and be appreciated and have a life, this is not the place. This firm requires you to play defense all the time, watch your back as backstabbing is prevalent to get ahead. The backstabbing is encouraged based on the firm culture and asking staff to constantly raise the bar when that has already happened. Staffers leave because they end up seeing year after year how unfair the system is.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Good place to get experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Montevideo (Uruguay)
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Montevideo (Uruguay)

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

    Pros

    World class company. Great people to work with.

    Cons

    Salary is below average. Difficult and slow path to build a career inside.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    PwC Risk Assurance Full Time

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PwC Risk Assurance Associate in New York, NY
    Current Employee - PwC Risk Assurance Associate in New York, NY

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

    Pros

    The People
    Training and Networking Opportunities

    Cons

    Travel (for people who don't like traveling)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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