PwC

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PwC Reviews in Chicago, IL US

Updated Mar 01, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 143 reviews

41% Approve of the CEO

PwC US Chairman & Senior Partner Robert Moritz

Robert Moritz

(29 ratings)

88% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • No work-life balance during busy season because the nature of assurance work (in 237 reviews)

  • It is a great place to start your career if you want to stay in accounting (in 116 reviews)


Cons
  • Also work life balance is very difficult to achieve until it gets to the problem stage (in 803 reviews)

  • Long hours during busy season but thats to be expected at any audit firm in the city (in 787 reviews)

More Highlights
9 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    From being part of a great company it's now being part of a non innovative company

    Advisory Director (Current Employee) Chicago, IL (US)

    ProsIt used to be that people and culture were the saving grace. But not sure that is true anymore.

    ConsLost culture, disillusioned work force and politics hampering individual growth I acting the collective growth of the company. Constant pressure on metrics when metrics are promoting bad behavior is not good. There is lack of innovative thinking and always being in a reactive mode to address market needs. More of the same appears to be the norm!

    Advice to Senior ManagementIn your zeal to make the newer talent pool from acquired companies feel welcome don't take the legacy folks from way back when for granted. All the new things that glitter is not Gold!

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Job Shadow

    Job Shadow (Former Employee) Chicago, IL (US)

    ProsWide range of exposure
    Got to interact with senior partners a lot
    Seemed interested in all shadowers

    ConsLectures rather than real shadow
    Very unorganized when I arrived
    Too many shadowers at once

    Advice to Senior ManagementAllow shadowers to actually shadow employees

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Poor work/life balance

    Audit Senior Associate (Current Employee) Chicago, IL (US)

    ProsPrestige, vacation time, working with young people

    ConsUnable to use vacation time, work comes first and life second, coaching has gotten worse due to everyone's lack of available time, creates too much red tape for itself

    Advice to Senior ManagementNeed to focus on more flexibility for employees, need to focus on more flexibility on audit engagements, things are too planned out in an industry where unusual items are the only constant, quit promising what won't be delivered

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

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

    Advisory Senior Associate (Former Employee) Chicago, IL (US)

    ProsGood 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

    ConsLack 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 Senior ManagementIf 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    unfulfilling

    Associate (Current Employee) Chicago, IL (US)

    Prosbig company, great for your resume

    Consunfulfilling work, antiquated corporate culture, felt like I wasn't doing anything positive for the world

    Advice to Senior ManagementGive more responsibility and purpose to employees

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Not worth the travel

    Senior Associate (Current Employee) Chicago, IL (US)

    ProsHuge client base.
    Terrific market recognition.

    Cons*Pay is not to the point of enticing a person to travel 4 days a week and stay away from family.
    *Its consulting, so it has its pros and big cons, I had recruiters simply not respond once they know I was consulting, so getting a corporate career can be tough after PwC.
    * Its consulting, so there is no sense of team spirit, its every man for himself, along with that comes the review being a farce, and the director and partners being gods as far as your career is concerned.

    Advice to Senior ManagementA simply advice to management would be to treat the Associates and Sr Associates like gold. A reason they got into PwC is because they are super stars in what they do, and some of them will rise to be C and D level management in their careers, and future business to PwC will be dependent upon what they feel and experience at PwC. Treating your younger folks with contempt is the quick sure way of ensuring declining revenues in the future.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Large, buareucratic, and mediocre culture create a great place for tax and accounting, not strategic advisory

    Senior Associate (Former Employee) Chicago, IL (US)

    ProsBase compensation can be very generous if you are in the right groups. The Diamond acquisition seems to be forcing management to make changes in the advisory business.

    ConsBonuses are anemic at best
    Infrastructure is approximately a decade behind most high performing professional services firms
    Support services have been outsourced and provide neither support nor service (nor courtesy for that matter)

    Advice to Senior ManagementLeadership is growing PwC at a very rapid pace, however their post-merger integration work in-house leaves much to be desired. I do not see how PwC continues to create value for its partnership by deploying capital on a continued string of stand-alone acquisitions.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Terrible

    Senior Associate (Current Employee) Chicago, IL (US)

    ProsThe people on your own level CAN be good people and enjoyable to work with

    They pay for your CPA (although depending on what group you work in, you may not receive a bonus for passing it)

    ConsEverything else. I mean, EVERYTHING else.

    Work/Life balance is preached, but I've never seen anything resembling it.

    An alarming number of my coworkers have been laid off for a company that "isn't laying people off in this economy"

    Low pay for what we do and the hours we put in

    Here's an example of how much sense their compensation system makes: When promoted, the rate they charge my clients for my time increased 50%, my pay increased 5%.

    Everything is contradictory. You are rewarded and punished for working more hours. You are rewarded and punished for being honest (mostly punished). You are rewarded and punished for speaking your mind in "anonymous feedback sessions". You are rewarded and punished for doing good work.

    You have to work something like 12 hours a day, but can often only charge about 6 or 7 of those, meaning you're underutilized and look like a slacker. You will receive negative performance reviews for this.

    The "critically-acclaimed" employee performance review is a clever way to cover that the partners end up playing favorites in the end anyway.

    The partners have no respect for you.

    The US leadership team uses the company's intranet site to brag about how they like to vacation in exotic places, spend time with their families, and talk about their hobbies. Meanwhile the staff has no time for hobbies as we work far too many hours, we are forced to use our vacation time to pay for the "firm-wide shutdown" at the holidays in order to save the partners admin money, and I've had a coworker who was told that she doesn't belong at PwC because she requested to not travel overseas for a month at a time because she had to take care of her 1.5 year old son. Let's just say, there's a HUGE double standard, and little to no respect for the staff shown from leadership.

    All the good employees have the good sense to leave, leaving only the people who can't do any better. So that "Pro" I mentioned about good coworkers doesn't last long.

    For people considering working here, just know this: The people on your campus telling you how great of a place this is to work, don't actually work here. They only do recruiting, meaning, they don't even know what hell it is to actually work here.

    I could go on much longer, but I have far too much work to do, and I'd like to leave work at 1am instead of 2am...

    Advice to Senior ManagementTreat your employees with respect for a change. When you make promises such as "the bonus pool is intact" and "raises will not go away this year" try to stick to those promises. Don't try to make us feel bad that the millionaire (or close to it) partners are taking a pay cut when we're making close to $10/hour when you factor in all the unpaid OT.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    The campus speeches and printed materials about PwC do not mirror the actual culture...watch your back!

    Advisory Manager (Current Employee) Chicago, IL (US)

    ProsIt looks great on your resume.

    ConsYour experience completely depends on the group you get to work with/for and your assigned client(s). Unfortunately, I worked with a hell Director that had no life herself and therefore did not allow anyone on our team to have a life. They contuniously preach (and put in print) the importance of work/life balance, but behind the scenes (and definitely not in print), they put unrealistic demands on Management and Staff which makes it nearly impossible to have a life. And unfortunately they do not currently have the amount of work available for individuals to make a choice. Additionally, moving ahead in the Firm does not depend on your quality of work but on who you know and how well the Partners like you and unfortunately the office I was in contains a large number of "good ole boy" Partners that are still resistant to women moving ahead.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPractice what you preach. OneFirm should not just be a slogan.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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