Grant Thornton Senior Associate Reviews | Glassdoor

Grant Thornton Senior Associate Reviews

Updated May 15, 2019
156 reviews

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US - All CitiesSenior Associate

3.7
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Pros
  • "Very manageable work/life balance" (in 213 reviews)

  • "Lot of learning oppotunities and great people to work with" (in 117 reviews)

Cons
  • "Work life balance is little worry" (in 139 reviews)

  • "Office location, long hours in busy season" (in 149 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great Culture and Opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Alexandria, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Alexandria, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Grant Thornton full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing people and company culture. Many opportunities for firm involvement and career advancement.

    Cons

    High utilization targets. Certain projects don't allow for flexible schedules or remote work.


  2. "Like any other large accounting firm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate - Advisory in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Senior Associate - Advisory in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Grant Thornton full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Mostly all great people who are willing to help/mentor. Many opportunities to work on different types of engagements (speaking from advisory standpoint)

    Cons

    All the requirements of larger Big4 accounting firms, without being able to drop Big4 on your resume. Benefits not great when compared to others in the industry. Recent "staff reductions" have really killed morale

  3. "Poor opportunities and even worse culture. Like doing more administrative work than learning? This is your place."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tax Senior Associate in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Tax Senior Associate in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Grant Thornton full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I don't have any positives for New York office.

    Cons

    Poor culture with little input/direction from senior managers, partners and practice leaders. Toxic atmosphere. Promotions are stagnant and often takes seven or eight years to become manager which is MUCH longer than Big4 and most other firms.

    Pay is not competitive. I received a 30,000 base pay bump by switching to a similar tier firm in the city.

    No camaraderie and segmented practices. Praise given to Managers and Senior Managers that treat lower level staff poorly. Hostile environment.

    No training or explanations when changes are made to work product to help staff understand why changes are necessary.

    Technology is outdated. At my new firm they apologize for giving me administrative tasks but at GT administrative tasks could take up several days of my work week. Basic tasks like entering time is noxiously time consuming.

    Unlimited time off policy is a scam. GT gives "unlimited" time off so they don't have to pay out for banked vacation days when a person quits.

    I wasted several years stagnating. Switching firms made me realize I was a zombie at GT.

    Advice to Management

    Talk to staff and listen. The environment is toxic and turnover is high for a reason. Allow anonymous upward feedback that allows those in less senior positions to voice complaints. Listen to those complaints. Engage staff in projects and allow staff opportunities that allow them to grow and learn.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "It’s public accounting"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Audit Senior Associate in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Audit Senior Associate in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Grant Thornton full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Get a wide variety of clients

    Cons

    You will get turned down for other jobs because it’s not big4 experience upon exiting

    Grant Thornton Response

    Mar 13, 2019 – University Recruiter- People & Culture

    Thank you for sharing your experience! We seek to provide our employees the opportunity to learn about different industries and clients, enabling them to be the captain of their career and advance... More


  5. "Tax Senior Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Lots of restaurants near walking distance from the office.

    Cons

    A lot of politics, a lot of anger, everyone acting only in his own interests.

    Advice to Management

    More team building activities might help to improve the office culture.


  6. Helpful (6)

    "The "flexible" time off policy is a misnomer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Alexandria, VA
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in Alexandria, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    I needed a new job due to my former employer losing a major contract and having to conduct layoffs, and I appreciate that GT gave me an opportunity to break into data analytics when I was mid-career and had not worked in the consulting world. The people I worked with in my brief time there were all smart and eager to help out, and the company really emphasized collaboration and working as a team.

    HR was really on the ball at getting me a decent offer and staying on top of my paperwork.

    Cons

    I knew by the end of my first day orientation at GT that I was going to need a NEW new job when I learned about the flexible time off policy. At GT, you can take as many weeks of vacation as you want, as long as you put in the 1870 or so billable hours for the client and another 300 or so hours towards training, writing proposals, and schmoozing at GT events. Excluding ten holidays per year, that means that you are expected to put in about 2170 or so hours over 50 weeks of work. Do the math, and you are doing nearly 44 hours per week even if you take zero weeks of vacation. Add an hour a week of additional work for each week of vacation that you would like to take. So yeah, you can take off half the year if you like, if you can get your team leaders to approve it and want to commit to working 70 hours per week for the other half of the year. Not for me! I'm too old and cynical to believe that I'm going to make partner if I work my tail off.

    I also hated that the clock reigned supreme. We had to enter our hours down to the quarter hour, and the ADP software was programmed to send a reminder to you to enter your hours for the day by 10 am the next morning, and if you fail to meet that deadline, you get a warning or a demerit or something. I stayed on top of it, but it all fed into my perception that I was just a revenue-generating unit within an impersonal bureaucracy.

    I was working in the federal practice at GT, and before I came to GT I had already worked as a contractor at federal agencies where I worked 40 hours per week and would get paid overtime if I was asked to work beyond that. I also contributed to proposals, but it was considered an optional activity. And I didn't have to schmooze constantly to get put onto new projects. I left GT to accept an offer with one of these smaller companies that offered me a much better opportunity with higher pay and more flexibility on the lifestyle items.

    Also, this may be a pro or con, depending on your background: I was in the data analytics practice, but culturally I am a techie, not a business major. I felt that business majors would feel much more at home at GT than techies who are used to being less buttoned-down. Everyone was smart and helpful, but it wasn't really my tribe, and I didn't expect that over the long term I was going to fit in very well, which was ultimately going to hurt my ability to get staffed on teams.

    Advice to Management

    I think that these historically straightlaced consulting firms venturing into data analytics is going to lead to some culture clashes. If GT is your first job out of school, then there are some clear rewards to staying with this job and molding yourself to fit the culture, but if you've worked elsewhere, you know that there are jobs out there that offer less rigidity. I think it would behoove GT to allow people to earn vacation days instead of this FTO nonsense, but I know that they are competing with the Deloittes and McKinseys, and those places keep the partners rich by putting the kids fresh out of school through the meat grinder of long hours, so GT will do the same. It's the way the world operates, even though I wish it were not so.

    Grant Thornton Response

    Feb 13, 2019 – People & Culture

    Thank you for sharing your feedback - We’re grateful to hear about your experience, both the positive and practical areas for improvement. Our culture and career initiatives focus on offering our... More


  7. "Great Place to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Grant Thornton full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Open culture, strong leadership, Flexible time off and of course happy hours :)

    Cons

    Lack of local training.

    Advice to Management

    You are doing great. I absolutely love working for Grant Thornton.

    Grant Thornton Response

    Feb 15, 2019 – University Recruiter- People & Culture

    Thank you for taking the time to post your review! So happy to hear you are able to use our flexibility policies to enjoy work life balance. Our people and culture are awesome too, sounds like we are... More

  8. "Great culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Tax Senior Associate in Iselin, NJ
    Current Employee - Tax Senior Associate in Iselin, NJ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Grant Thornton full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, friendly staff, opportunity to advance quickly, great culture.

    Cons

    Opportunities for internal training could be better. Compensation not on par with Big 4.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Excellent place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Grant Thornton full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great experience at GT; got to work on impactful engagements, interacting closely with managers, directors, and partners at the firm as well as with top officials at client site. Really learned a lot and definitely recommend this as a solid place to work. Management is really enthusiastic about maintaining and promoting the firm culture and you can really see the positive impact on it in the way we work and the way our team members interact with each other and with the broader firm.

    Cons

    Only real con is that engagement opportunities remain opaque; it's hard to tell what opportunities are out there and often you find out about a new project from Resource Management a day or two before it starts, without much flexibility in pursuing your own preferences at least in my experience.

    Advice to Management

    Consider making the resource management process more open and flexible, to allow people to seek engagements that line up with their interests and skills (at least when it makes sense with the firm's staffing needs).

    Grant Thornton Response

    Oct 29, 2018 – People & Culture

    Thank you for sharing your experience! We seek to provide our employees the opportunity to learn about different industries and clients, enabling them to be the captain of their career and advance... More


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Advisory Senior Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Associate - Advisory in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Associate - Advisory in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Grant Thornton full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great co-workers, laid back

    Cons

    Poor management, and lack of staff.

    The turnover of an entire class of seniors led to a vicious cycle of poor work
     quality, and inexperienced associates being dumped with engagements that were handled by seniors that were on their way out. As a result, the associates and seniors remaining were left holding the bags on clients that were unhappy, angry, and overbudget.

    In my opinion the office here never recovered from that exodus, and since then have slowly been losing more and more staff and knowledge to the point that we now have a year long busy season, and performing triage most of the time to stop the bleeding.

    You sometimes thrown into engagements just to "put a body in" so inexperienced people are left doing work. 100% of the time, when they are told to "roll over" work, it ends in poor quality work that results in redoing all the work and blowing up the budget. Accountability of work is not there.

    Advice to Management

    I'd say to hire more staff, but I don't think staff will stay long in this current environment. SSC doesn't cut it.