Ryan, LLC
4.2 of 5 185 reviews
www.ryan.com Dallas, TX 1000 to 5000 Employees

Ryan, LLC Reviews

Updated Mar 24, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.2 185 reviews

                             

94% Approve of the CEO

Ryan, LLC CEO and Managing Principal G. Brint Ryan

G. Brint Ryan

(163 ratings)

85% of employees recommend this company to a friend
22 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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Not what it appears to be

Director (Former Employee)

I worked at Ryan, LLC full-time for more than a year

ProsBest in Class service to clients. Strong Marketing. Has all the tools to be a great place to work.

ConsCompany politics and a wild west approach to sales make this a difficult place to work. With such rapid growth into other countries, the philosophies of Ryan H/O to do not transfer to their international branches.

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to the employees that leave your company. With such a great product and service the main reason people leave is leadership.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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If you want to be in tax, this is the place to be in terms of career development and growth.

Consultant, Sales and Use Tax (Former Employee)
Houston, TX (US)

I worked at Ryan, LLC full-time for more than 3 years

ProsStrong management team with good growth potential.

ConsBoring, lots of menial job tasks.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great place to start.

Consultant (Former Employee)
Boston, MA (US)

I worked at Ryan, LLC full-time for more than 3 years

ProsA lot of freedom, flexible work schedule. Worked at home whenever I wanted. Even allowed me to live out-of-state and still excel at my job. Good place to acquire skills to break into a big four firm.

ConsNot a lot of room to move up. Especially compared to other companies, there is not a lot of fostering of talent. Little to no client interaction at a low level.

Advice to Senior ManagementSame response from superiors regardless of whether engagement level is high or low. Without room to grow (or at least to appearance of room to grow), there isn't a lot of motivation to be ambitious. The firm could be missing out on many rising professionals for this reason. Although maybe that doesn't matter, since the firm has a reputation internally for not promoting from within.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Okay for an entry level position

Sales and Use Tax Consultant (Former Employee)
Houston, TX (US)

I worked at Ryan, LLC full-time for more than a year

Pros- Work/life balance
- Time-off policies

Cons- Low salary
- High turnover rates

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Terrible place to START your career

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Ryan, LLC full-time for more than 5 years

ProsFlexibility is how people describe, although it depends to some extent on the type of work you perform and your manager.

ConsI've seen a few reviews state that Ryan is a great/good/decent place to start your career. Here's why it's the exact opposite:

When you get hired, you're either an "experienced hire" or a regular hire. Experienced hires in this case may have direct experience (they come from a competitor where they performed the same basic job functions), or indirect experience (their previous work had direct similarities to their job at Ryan, but was not the same job; e.g. you worked for a REIT and now you'll be a property tax consultant).

Experienced hires have significantly higher salaries, which makes sense since they are more valuable starting out. However, regular hires obviously become experienced at some point, but Ryan has no mechanism for recognizing this. Therefore, someone who comes in as a regular hire will generally always be paid significantly less than experienced hires regardless of results, education, ability, responsibilities, etc.

Imagine two people, we'll call Ralph and Betsie who graduate college together. Ralph lands a new job as a Property Tax Consultant at Ryan, and Betsie lands the same job but at Ryan's competitor, Lame Tax Consulting. Ralph has a starting salary of $41,000 which he thinks is decent. Over the next 5 years, Ralph performs admirably and earns a 5% raise each year, now making $52,328. Betsie's company goes under and Betsie calls her old friend Ralph who manages to get her a job on his team in the same position he has. But Betsie is now an experienced hire, so Betsie gets hired at $70,000.

Both Ralph and Betsie now have 5 years of experience, they have the same responsibilities, the tax savings they generate over the course of the next year is within $10,000 of one another - meaning their revenue is within a couple hundred dollars - but during his 5 years, Ralph also managed to earn a master's degree. When raise and promotion comes around in October, they will both earn 5%, now making $54,944 and $73,500, respectively. Ralph will never be paid what Betsie is paid, despite being equally valuable to the company (in some ways Ralph is more valuable because of his familiarity with Ryan's policies and procedures).

Even if Ralph is promoted above Betsie, he will not catch up to her salary-wise. He may get 10% instead of 5% (though that is unusual).

Ralph's only hope of being paid his market value is to leave Ryan, to the detriment of his team.

Hence Ryan has created a system whereby it incentivizes the resources it has spent thousands of dollars training and grooming, to leave precisely when they become most valuable to the company.

Advice to Senior ManagementYour starting salaries are fair for the most part. HR does a decent job of setting up the brackets. If anything, certain people are paid way more than they're worth in the beginning. But the compensation committee tends to base raises as a percentage increase of employees' existing salaries. The problem with this line of thinking is that for some people, at some point their existing salary becomes completely divorced from their value to the company.

An extremely intelligent person who comes here straight out of college ready to prove themself is probably ok with his starting salary; but once he's proven himself, once he's gained valuable knowledge and training, once he's demonstrated that he can use that knowledge and training to consistently outperform his peers, no consideration is given. No adjustment is made. He gets the same congratulatory letter with the same 5% raise as his well-paid experienced-hire teammates who rely upon him to solve the complex problems they are incapable of solving.

And therein lies the central flaw in the whole concept: how does the compensation committee, made up of people who have never met the individual or his teammates, who have no knowledge of the daily work the person performs, know that he solves these problems? How do they know his value to the company? How CAN they possibly? Especially when they overrule the suggestion of his manager (without even discussing it with the manager) who IS privy to this information.

So I guess my suggestion is fairly simple, or maybe it's complex, I don't know.

First, implement a sort of premium into the raise component for regular hires that reflects the experience they gain from working at Ryan. Make it a straight-line, accelerating, or diminishing increase, whichever makes the most sense in your opinion, for the first 3 - 5 years of employment, contingent upon results, performance evaluations, etc.

Second, when the compensation committee asks for feedback from managers during the raise and promotion cycle, include information about performance relative to teammates as well as how their salaries compare. 5-10% salary variance among similarly qualified teammates based on experience, age, education, etc. seems acceptable, but 30% is indefensible without some performance-based reasoning.

Third, to address the immediate disparity that exists from the absence to date of such a program, launch a review of salaries of normal hires with 3+ years of experience and seek extensive feedback from their managers with regard to their performance and perceived value relative to their experienced hire peers. Adjust salaries as needed.

I also highly suggest that you look up the Equity Theory of Motivation - you can find it on Wikipedia if needs be - for why this is a much bigger problem than you might otherwise believe. WIN emails and workplace awards DO NOT motivate employees beyond the weak-minded, highly suggestible, and usually recent hires. Long-term motivation is impossible when your teammates are making 150% of your salary for the same (or less) work, and attrition is inevitable.

– I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Liked the company until things started 'slipping off its axis...'

Executive Assistant (Former Employee)
New York, NY (US)

I worked at Ryan, LLC full-time for more than 5 years

ProsBrint Ryan has been committed to implementing programs and benefits that will better serve his employees. The company has come a long way and I liked the changes that were made.
The increased flexibility has been good for most employees.
I was able to work with many functions in my administrative role and build a network of support that helped me better assist those in my office.
I felt like I could contribute and implement processes and that was welcomed in the office.
It was a nice place to work until egos got in the way.

ConsNot sure if exit interviews are used for the stated purposes. Exit interviews/pre-exit interview was used to send out behind the scenes email to leadership team to trash personal reputation and performance. This was just unbelievable and quite disappointing.

Raise system needs to be reviewed. Never had a formal review. Had to approach management when I sensed something was wrong. That's when the floodgate opened with all of these "issues". What happened to ongoing communication and coaching from the "LEADERSHIP" ranks? Attestations regarding data entry errors were not my fault, but it was easy to blame it on "the help."

Company pushes fitness and wellness on a corporate level, but on the local level the managers had a problem with it. What I did on my unpaid lunch break became a sore spot for management and I couldn't understand why.

Management complains about outside interests as if that were a crime. Making a one word generic LinkedIn profile containing "entrepreneur" should not have been raised to me as a bad thing. How dare I think more of myself than just being an admin? Apparently it was felt that I had some nerve to describe myself in that way.

Pay not competitive for admin roles in NYC, but the expectations on how your attitude should be was as if they were paying you big bucks. Make the salary match what you want out of the person so they won't have to think about doing something else outside of work.

Manager wanted a so-called "Dallas-like" personality as if I had not been professional in the 6.5 years that I had been there. I had "lasted" because I had did a good job and got things done. Not because someone was doing me any favors by letting me stay around.

Advice to Senior ManagementDon't use exit interviews to send out emails on employee performance to 'beat' the publication of what was said by the exiting person. Let them have their say as their last rites.

Honestly I tried to "protect" certain people because I genuinely liked them, but it was all for nothing apparently. So disappointed that email happened after 6 months as a temp making less than $14/hour, then after another 6 years as a FT employee? I proved I was dedicated, and it was the longest that I ever worked anywhere. And all of what I did was trashed. All because I said "office environment" as the reason for me leaving the company. That's the thanks I got. Wow.

Communicate your expectations to employees and don't let things escalate to a point of no return.

Let people be who they want to be outside of work and on their LinkedIn accounts. I represented the company JUST FINE being the person I was when I was off the clock.

Keep expectations professional and not personal. A manager being upset because he wasn't (quote) "number one" to me was a bit much. Especially to the person that you barely spoke to, who didn't get a raise, a bonus, and was getting paid below market rate. Honestly, making you feel 'number one' is a job for your spouse. I wasn't getting paid enough to be anyone's Edith Bunker.

People are individuals. Never tell anyone to 'be like' another person. Statements like "Be like the ladies in Dallas", or be like this person or that person is not how supervisors should coach employees. People will become resentful when things are stated in that way. That's like saying "I wish you would be more like my ex-wife or ex-husband." Focus on SKILLS and CHARACTERISTICS that you would like emulated. I'm sure any HR professional will tell you that as well. Management needs training in coaching employees at that company big time.

I was honest in everything that I said in my conversations regarding my exit. Manager felt betrayed and I have no idea why when I was the one who served my head on a platter and left voluntarily. I did that to make others happy...not myself. But in the end I didn't even get credit for that. I put others before myself and I was still made out to be a bad employee anyway in some email. So no matter what I did, I just couldn't win.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Plenty of freedom, not much money.

Consultant, Property Tax (Current Employee)
Cleveland, OH (US)

I have been working at Ryan, LLC full-time for more than a year

ProsLots of freedom in your work/life balance. Easy to work from home. Work is not monotonous and gives plenty of opportunity to network.

ConsSalaries are way too low compared to other tax consulting firms, regardless of the fact that the CEO brags about being better than the Big 4.

Advice to Senior ManagementSet salaries to attract talent away from the other tax consulting firms rather than paying large finder bonuses for recruiting people from those firms. That makes me feel like you value people fro other companies more than your own employees.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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In a rut for entire career

Team Leader (Current Employee)

I have been working at Ryan, LLC full-time for more than 5 years

ProsThe workplace flexibility is incredible. I can work whenever and wherever I want. I just need to focus on completing my work.

ConsAn absolute vacation is out of the question. Managers are always on call. Additionally, employees are placed in a practice area with little ability to learn new areas.

Advice to Senior ManagementDevelop a system for employees to cross train and learn different practice areas. Additionally, give employees resources for covering work when on vacation.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Decent firm, Slightly Bizarre Culture

Tax Consultant (Current Employee)

I have been working at Ryan, LLC full-time for more than a year

ProsSenior management is very involved and genuinely seems interested in employee's success. If you're on a good team it can be rewarding. Really depends on your team.

MyRyan is good if your manager embraces it.

ConsI found the culture to be very bizarre. The firm is obsessed with winning (seemingly meaningless) awards and people speak of Brint Ryan as if he is God. I'd get a constant barrage of e-mails asking me to fill out surveys for random awards and make contributions to the (quite conservative) Ryan Political Action Committee. Perhaps it is because I came from a very large firm, but the culture just was too weird for me.

Aside from the culture, the only other cons I can think of is that your success really depends on your team and the review/compensation process could be better. If you're on a crappy team, it's not fun. Not all managers are equal and not all managers embrace MyRyan.
Additionally, the review process is not entirely logical and can hamper your advancement and compensation until the next year. As an aside on compensation, I found Ryan's base salaries to be below market, but there is a high bonus potential. I left the firm for a very comparable position at a comparable firm with significantly higher base pay.

Advice to Senior ManagementMore consistency in managers/training. Ease up on the awards and other random stuff and let people work. Who cares if Ryan places 3rd in Sheboygan Wisconsin's Best Places to work list? Let employees focus on clients and driving revenue and stop flooding inboxes with this stuff. Base salaries more in line with the market will attract better young talent, not these meaningless awards. It's not like the firm is competing in Forbes or Fortune or anything.

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

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Flexible schedule, great experience, and LOTS of room for improvement

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Ryan, LLC full-time for more than 5 years

ProsFlexible schedule, working remotely, immediate supervisor is awesome to work for, bonus structure, ability to work on different projects in various industries, and enjoy working for/with clients

ConsTakes forever to get new technology, needs to be a way to anonymously bring up issues (e.g. laziness, inability to complete tasks, etc.) with co-workers as we work in teams, there needs to be a way to divide up money-making projects equally, ergonomic furniture, better annual salary increase, less expensive health insurance, and more accountability, to name a few.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the forward thinking progress and remember that a thank you with your employees goes a long way. Even our Christmas bonuses have gone away.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Ryan, LLC – Why Work for Us?

Ryan has won over 100 workplace excellence awards during the last four years, including numerous city, state, and national workplace excellence recognitions, as well as highly selective international awards and… Full Overview

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