PracticeAccounting FirmsMore heads roll at Andersen UK

More heads roll at Andersen UK

Around 90 Andersen UK staff who believed they had survived the firm's cull of 1,500 jobs two weeks ago were told on Friday they too would lose their jobs.

The additional losses come as a result of the impending closure of the firm’s Nottingham financial administration office.

It is understood that senior partners at the firm had hoped that rival Deloitte & Touche, which is hoping to take over the firm this summer, could be persuaded to take on some of the internal management systems used by Andersen and run from Nottingham.

However, stunned staff at the office were told on Friday morning that Deloitte was taking only a limited amount of Andersen’s internal management systems.

Staff, who look after Andersen’s time management, billing, payroll, expenses and other functions, were told the vast majority would therefore lose their jobs by the beginning of September.

They have not yet been told about redundancy payments, but the 1,500 UK employees informed by email two weeks ago that they would be losing their jobs are getting a week-and-a-half’s payment for every year they have been with the firm.

There had been general consternation within Andersen staff about the level of redundancy payments with one of those affected describing the sums as ‘horrendous’.

It was only after negotiations that the payments were raised to the agreed levels.

Andersen told staff it simply could not afford to pay more.

Insiders talked of annoyance at the fact that Nottingham staff had been led to understand they had survived the initial round of job cuts, which had reduced the number of staff at the office by around sixty from over 140.

The office provides internal management services not just to Andersen in the UK, but also to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Australia.

Up to 80 partners will leave Andersen as part of the cull which has prompted a scramble among other firms and headhunters to recruit the departing professionals. Firms like BDO Stoy Hayward have been quite open in their attempt to pick up many of the staff forced out of Andersen.

At one stage the Big Five firm admitted that it was in talks with up to 40 Andersen partners.

Andersen closed its practice office in Nottingham late last year, relocating staff to offices in Birmingham.

Andersen now has less than 3,000 UK staff. A spokesman for Andersen confirmed that ‘consultation’ was underway on job losses at the Nottingham office.

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