PracticeAccounting FirmsBig Five staff cuts on cards

Big Five staff cuts on cards

As Ernst & Young prepared to cull more partners and staff, it emerged this week that at least one other Big Five firm was taking action to control its costs.

KPMG, which earlier this year axed 200 jobs in its tax practice, confirmed it had told staff it would be carefully evaluating any pay increases, due to be announced before the firm’s year end in September.

E&Y said 21 partners, about 5%, would be leaving the partnership, and that a further 150 staff jobs were ‘at risk’, but denied it was part of a cost-cutting exercise.

A spokesman for the firm said: ‘The marketplace is going through some major changes, and we need to make sure we have got the right balance.

There is over capacity in some areas.’

The cuts for both staff and partners will be across all areas of the firm, including, audit, tax and corporate finance. But the spokesman added the firm would be recruiting in other areas.

Last September the firm slashed 200 jobs, blaming economic uncertainty after the September 11th terrorist attacks.

The news of a tough pay round at KPMG emerged last week when chief operating office John Griffiths Jones sent an internal email to staff explaining the firm would be looking very carefully at staff pay rises this year.

But a spokesman said he was not aware of any plans to cut jobs at the firm.

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