KPMG Offering unpaid leave or four-day weeks

#1

Hi Guys,

I have just come across with this article. Apparently, KPMG started feeling the pinch in credit crunch and KPMG’s 11,000 staff members have been offered sabbaticals or a shorter working week as the accountancy giant braces for the downturn.

Let’s just hope for the best!

#2

What’s most worrying is that accountancy firms are supposed to be doing best out of the credit crunch.

Fairly worrying news!

#3

Where does this leave people who have received a contract starting September '09 (and haven’t yet accepted)?! Or even candidates that have accepted their contract!?

I know to some extent it depends on the department in which you work (i.e. Audit are busy, whilst Corporate Finance and other divisions not so much). Nevertheless, could this affect everyone?

From what I’ve read in the news, 4 day weeks etc are not with immediate effect and KPMG’s plan is forward thinking i.e. “If the economy gets worse this is an option that we can quickly move to rather than a knee jerk reaction when you fire a load of people” a KPMG spokesman said, however KPMG added: “not all staff who apply for a four-day week or sabbatical will be granted them” (which I feel is slightly suspicious).

To worry, or not to worry: that is the question…

#4

Of course it makes you wonder what next is the next thing!?

#5

…a three day week…

@Elitepunk - WikiJob will call KPMG on Monday and get the low-down. I expect you’re right… more likely to be shock journalism after a highly cautionary measure on KPMG’s part that will almost certainly not come to fruition. Fingers crossed!

#6

Interesting, clearly KPMG are feeling the pinch more than the other Big4.

#7

You know…I’m really beginning to wonder if one of the Big Four will go under, what with all the scandals we have been hearing about. It happened to Arthur Andersen over night didn’t it ?!

#8

God, this news made me think the early closure of recruitment for KPMG’s 09 audit intake in London. KPMG said they filled up all vacancies for the Audit Sep 09 intake in London Office in Oct 08, which really suprised me, cos they were still recruiting for the Audit Sep 08 intake in London office in July 08. There must be something wrong! I am really scared!

#9

Scandals?..

Oh right. You mean these!..

…and that’s just the last couple of months.

Some people are even blaming the entire collapse of the economy on the [[Big 4]] - see [http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2008/10/23/the-wolves-are-in-the-hen-house/ this article] & [http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2008/10/01/pwc-is-not-part-of-the-solution/ this article II].

@ Blessedme - you’re right. Be scared!!!

#10

I am really worried abt other big four’s future job security! Are PwC and Deloitte 's audit practice relatively safer than KPMG? Any ideas?

#11

Rumours are that there’ll be another round of redundancies in July if the recession continues like this. I personally think that as grads we should be largely ok, mainly as we’re fairly cheap and the firm has a commitment towards us in respect of the training contract. Then again, you never know - I think it would be outrageous if they started sacking the junior staff.

I noticed in the last round they asked people who joined recently or weren’t performing - in our practice any way - we lost managers grades. And this was for the one of the best performing practices in tax - over 30% yoy growth. The way they they handled redundancies was pretty poor. First they said there weren’t going to be any. Then there were a few quiet chats. People left. No fanfare, not even a goodbye in most cases. The way they were treated was pretty piss-poor to be frank. Partners basically ignored it. Don’t talk about it. Bit Stalinistic really.

Anyway, what is there to do? Keep being chargeable, don’t fail exams. That said, I’m meeting a graduate for lunch next week…

#12

Audit across the Big4 has taken a relatively big hit with fees being slashed.

From what I’ve heard KPMG will be implementing this supposed ‘contingency’ plan towards the end of February, with it involving a large number of staff. I heard rumours a couple of months ago that KPMG were least well prepared (out of the Big4) to weather the storm and it seems those rumours were correct.

#13

This is astonishing, if true. Like Ed said, I respect the fact they aren’t considering slashing staff. I hope graduate offers are honored.

#14

This piece of news is seriously worrying…

I accepted a graduate offer from KPMG last week, just before this news broke.
I hope I don’t regret what I’ve done!

Incidentally, for those who’ve accepted graduate places with KPMG, do you guys think it’s worthwhile phoning HR to ask them about this situation???

#15

i have also accepted a kpmg offer. fingers crossed till september!!!

#16

Is PwC 's audit practice relatively safer than KPMG? Any ideas?

#17

I think so. I may be wrong, but I suspect KPMG will lose its HBOS audit, and PwC gain the combined Lloyds-HBOS audit. It doesn’t make sense to have two external auditors.

#18

No one is entirely safe right now. PwC have been doing a lot of stupid stuff recently… check the links to FT articles I posted above to see!

WikiJob will be calling KPMG Monday to find out more on this situation, particularly in relation to grads. If we can, we’ll get a KPMG spokesperson on this forum to answer your questions.

If you want us to ask anything in particular - let me know. If you want us to call all the [[big 4]] to find out more, let me know. If you want to call these companies too - do. But let us all know what you find out in this thread!

Ed

#19

Thanks for your ariticles Redsuperted.

#20

Hi guys

I was due to start with KPMG within Corporate Tax in January 2009 but received a call from one of the partners in November telling me that the company is deferring its graduate intake to August 2009. I got some financial compensation which was good of the firm but I have to admit I’m very worried that my offer could potentially be cancelled completely.

Really don’t know what to think about it all. On one hand I received a decent amount of money which made me feel quite valued and the partner that phoned said my job was safe barring ‘a catastrophe.’ However, after speaking to a few friends who work for KPMG about the above news article and situation in the firm I feel much less positive. Also I don’t know what classifies as ‘a disaster’!. What makes it worse is that I actually got the job in November 2007 but due to not being able to reply to an email straight away while travelling (it’s a bit of a long story) I was forced to start in the Jan 09 intake instead of the August 08 intake that I applied for. So at the moment I’m actually on course to start almost 2 years after I actually accepted my offer! It’s really frustrating - I just want to get on with it and if I don’t get to start with them then it will have been two years effectively wasted.

So I’d just like to ask anyone whose had an offer from KPMG recently to start Tax in August 09 if they were given any assurances that they would definitely be starting come the summer? Was there ever any talk that you could be deferred or that your job is not completely safe? I suppose it’s a fairly good sign that they are still recruiting as it means they are still planning taking on a fair few people in the summer rather than performing any severe cutbacks. I’d like to think I’d be one of the first people on the list to start due to my situation as well.

All in all it’s a rubbish situation. I really want to use my time wisely i.e. see some more of the world while I still can while doing somthing beneficial for my CV like learning another language but I’m a bit hesitant about leaving the country in case my offer is cancelled and I have to get on with other applications straight away.

I’m going to phone the grad team on Mon to see if they can give any assurances or just fill me in on the situation a bit more.

Anyway, just thought I’d share my situation with you. Really hope none of you are you faced with the same one anytime soon - it’s not so good…