Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ernst & Young Layoffs and Wild Speculation Wednesday

Tramp just received a tip that the Ernst & Young tax practice in New York will be laying off staff tomorrow. This layoff is a follow up to the dismissal of 50-60 tax professionals that occurred in February.

This also occurs after the reported tax layoffs in the UK by KPMG.

Tax professionals getting the axe, while historically being excellent survivors, leads us to wildly speculate whether this layoff trend in tax will continue to proliferate across the firms' tax practices.

It could simply be the result of audit partners weeping about how bad they've got it and the bigwigs are asking the tax partners to get a little blood on their hands as well.

If anyone out there has more specific information or other tips, please pass them along. Sphere: Related Content


  1. Hi. I was one among those laid off. All I could infer from the lay off pattern was that it couldn't have been performance. My own performance ratings were between "good" and "excellent". The more shocking observation that I made was that "ALL" of the 12-15 people that I saw beeing booted (and I knew quite a few of them as they sat on the same floor as I) were foriegn workers on H1B or L-1 visas. My friend and colleague who was in the next wave/group being fired, observed the same thing.

    Ernst & Young, apparently not an Equal Opportunity Firer.

  2. Yep. Confirmed. Big layoffs. Only confirmed cities I know off are Metropark, Boston and New York. There may have been others. The main group hit was Diversified Shared Group. They advertised this group as the future of the industry. A resource shared by all practices. This resource was trained into becoming a Jack of All trades during supposed rotations (that did not work in practice) and finally these same people were laid off, probably because they weren't a master of any practice in EY. Thats my speculation but its pretty sad to see such talent wasted. Probably better for all those people in the long run anyways. Severance was 4 weeks apparently.

  3. Does anyone know if the CBK is going to be hit again?

  4. I am not sure why everyone is acting surprised by the layoffs at E&Y. In the Detroit practice, they have been letting groups of people go within the first week of the month, every month since last September 08. More recently was a large group laid off in May from the tax group. It is clearly an indication that E&Y is not getting the contracts that they expected to get and are falling behind each quarter in revenue. I would not say that they are getting rid of just H1's or other visa holders, as I was laid off in the round from March 09. I was rated a 4 and any E&Y employee knows that is the highest rating you can get, they just didn't have any work. There were no H1/Visa holders in my group. The more recent round of layoffs included employees who were staffed at clients, received a meeting notice from the downtown office, and were let go without preparation –these individuals were billable and valuable consultants. The interesting thing is, that when I reviewed the "bench" numbers previous to my layoff there were about 90 on the bench and 60% of those were staffers that just got out of college who were on the bench with no work for more than two months, but they are all still there. This is going to hurt EY's business as most companies moving forward in the current economy are not going to settle with any firm who can only provide low quality "learning" resources. The direction should have been to keep at least some experienced professionals with client contacts and industry experience. It almost seems as if they are throwing everyone’s name in a hat at the end of each month and pulling out names for the next round. Truly shameful! It appears that all Big 4 and Big 5 Consulting organizations have been hit hard by the economy, and I believe in this industry it is going to get worse before it get's better.

  5. I'm in the Southeast and we just had our annual reviews... people who've been getting 3, 4 and 5 reviews are averaging a 2 and many Senior 3s are not being promoted to manager so we're anticipating a hit... scary times...

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