Schneider Downs & Co.

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Schneider Downs & Co. Reviews

Updated May 2, 2014
Updated May 2, 2014
9 Reviews

3.4
9 Reviews
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Raymond E. Buehler Jr.
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Challenging and rewarding work but long hours.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Tax In-charge  in  Pittsburgh, PA
    Current Employee - Tax In-charge in Pittsburgh, PA

    Pros

    The work is challenging but there are many resources available from co-workers to online access to various reliable sources. Generally the employees are friendly and easy to work with on projects. Room for advancement if you are a CPA.

    Cons

    The company expects a lot of time from its employees but does not offer incentives for working the long hours. Expect big 4 work environment without the rewards. Small work areas.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reward employees with additional time off after busy season.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Ok experience if you play the game

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

    Pros

    Decent pay, sometimes you work fewer hours than fellow big four siblings. Offers the client great service (often at expense of employees). In house training is satisfactory. Monetary incentives to pass CPA exam are competitive, although management doesn't really seem to value your passing score on the CPA exam.

    Cons

    expect to follow the cookie cutter fashion of work. Not much innovation. The client base is pretty boring. If you don't play the game, you will get caught in a strong undercurrent of the political culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your staff. Live the cliche of "caring." Don't throw the buddy system at new staff unless you plan to take mentoring seriously. Otherwise, stand out of the way and let your staff spend their time bettering themselves.

    Learn to innovate. Your Saly style of training associates is weak and doesn't leave much room for innovation.

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

    Great experience, mostly good people, too may hours - no work-life balance. Typical public accounting firm.

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

    Pros

    You can have some flexibility in your own schedule as you move up within the company - depending on the manager and/or shareholder for which you are working.
    You gain great experience - can work on numerous clients in numerous industries.
    Most of the people here are great to work with & most are family oriented and understanding.
    Great CEO - cares about all his employees.
    Raises are usually excellent.
    You get to work with people around the same age as you & work your way up with them, so you gain a lot of additional friends at work, which makes it more enjoyable.

    Cons

    Although you may get some flexibility, work-life balance is still really hard. It depends on the manager for which you are currently working. You end up working many hours (not just in busy season), including weekends - all while trying to stay "under budget."
    Most of the people here are great to work with; however, there were some manager that only cared about themselves & would do anything to get ahead. It is also very "gossipy" - almost like being back in high school - at this company... and this includes the shareholders.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the "gossipy," "cliquey" atmosphere the best you can. It makes some employees very uncomfortable.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Good place to work. Better than most CPA firms.

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

    Pros

    The company is focused on helping younger staff learn how to perform their tasks.

    Cons

    As you move up the ladder, slotting becomes an issue like it does at most CPA firms. A slot needs to be available for you to move up in the ranks. So, it is not always performance driven.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Audit Senior

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Audit Senior  in  Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - Audit Senior in Columbus, OH

    Pros

    The people are great and the raises are excellent. The experience has also been very good. There are also frequent after hours events like happy hours and other firm events. People below the manager level also hang out frequently after work.

    Cons

    The workload is not evenly spread around. The top performers receive similar raises and advancement but are worked much harder. Communication regarding advancement is also not clear, as evidenced by people who were surprised when they were not promoted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more clear regarding advancement and if people are on track to reach the next step. Provide this feedback more timely, not at the annual evaluation. Spread the workload around so that the top performers don't get burned out because there is little incentive to be a top performer. Raises and advancement are similar as a mediocre performer compared to a top performer.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Schneider Downs provides what I would expect is a pretty typical public accounting experience.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Staff Accountant  in  Columbus, OH
    Current Employee - Staff Accountant in Columbus, OH

    Pros

    The best reason to work at Schneider Downs is they seem to give 8% raises to pretty much everyone in their audit practice. I had heard about it from a person that had been working there for about 5 years and that was what I got when raise time came.

    Cons

    The management group doesn't really seem to care about the distribution of the work load. Which is frustrating. Some people work 40 hour weeks and others work 70 hour weeks. I thought it would even out over the course of the year but it didn't.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Good environment with generally happy employees.

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

    Pros

    Good learning experience; senior-level employees treated interns well and with respect.

    Cons

    Work was a bit dull; slow periods mean not much for interns to do.

    Neutral Outlook
  9.  

    The New Big-4

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Pittsburgh, PA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pittsburgh, PA

    Pros

    SD offers a higher pay for the relative same job as the Big-4. The teams are smaller and tight-knit, and the managers are more open to using alternative procedures and approaches. Senior auditors also get more freedom, but this comes at a cost in other areas.

    Cons

    SD was a large regional firm that boasted a culture different from the Big-4 firms. Over the past 2 years, the things that made SD so appealing to those professionals burnt out on the Big 4 have gone away and been replaced with the iron-fist and politics that make the Big-4 a churn-and-burn sort of experience. This is further complicated by the managers and above not giving ample opportunities to those staff and seniors to get in front of the clients and grow. At least the Big 4 had a "sink or swim" approach to this type of growth.

    The company has decreased some of the holiday activities since the company has grown so much in the past 2 years. And cut out a lot of the "frivolous" (as top mgmt put it) activities that helped grow and create relationships within the company.

    There is also a lack of compliance regarding the entire review and promotional schedule. In my 5 years there, I had one set of reviews that were on schedule and never got the feedback necessary from management until these meetings that were often every 8 months as opposed to the 6 months.

    There is also a strange way the promotions and advancement take place. In some areas where utilization is low, you will see an increased number of promotions, where the areas that boast the most utilization was stagnant in the promotions and advancement aspects of the personnel.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would keep your philosophy in line with what made the company a great place to work - keep away from the politics and iron-fist that the Big-4 use; after all, that is where most of your experienced hires came from to get away from that culture.

  10.  

    Best top 5 Regional Firm for Work/Home Balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Audit Senior  in  Pittsburgh, PA
    Current Employee - Audit Senior in Pittsburgh, PA

    Pros

    Management is very open to personal and professional issues and concerns no matter what the level of the employee.

    Compensation is above industry average for new and experienced hires.

    Management is very supportive in all the professional development standards and requirements and give the individual the ability to select what they do as long as it is pertinent to their job and responsibilities.

    There is a lot of cross practice exposure and opportunity (external audit, tax, M&A/Due Diligence, internal audit)

    Cons

    Due to the fact it is a smaller CPA firm - advancement can be hindered due to a 'small company mentality'. This is not to say it doesn't happen, but it occurs much slower than at a larger CPA firm (top 10 in nation/worldwide).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would like to see management move to a larger firm mentality. This is no longer a small, regional firm. The company has grown to over 300 employees and has eclipsed two of the big 4 firms in the Pittsburgh Market. Columbus has also been growing at a rapid rate. As the company grows, the clients move from private companies to SEC traded companies and large retail/mfg clients. This involves more travel and subsidiaries which does not lend well to all current practices.

    This applies not only to a more aggressive development/promotion of employees, but also to time/expense reporting. Some of the practices are arcaic and do not add value to the employees, but rather hinder their productivity. As a member who travels more frequently than most, this is one of the main issues with the company in my opinion.

    Recommends

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