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Can PA stop you joining a competitor?

 
#1 Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
04/08/2008 07:51

Just not right

I have a friend working for PA who went for interview a couple of months back with EY.

About a week after the first interview they said they couldn't bring her back, as PA, who are auditted by EY, have threatened to pull the audit contract if EY hire anyone from PA.

Personally, I think that both EY and PA should be ashamed if this is true.

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#2 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
04/08/2008 10:33

anon to Just not right (#1)

If (and it is a big if) it is true then you are right...given they amount of PA staff that are leaving from some practices to other areas.

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#3 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
04/08/2008 11:04

Secret Squirrel to anon (#2)

I know of two PA people who have joined competitors with no problems, apart from the usual clauses of not approaching existing clients for 12 months etc.

Also EY are having a recruiment freeze.

SS

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#4 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
04/08/2008 11:54

anon to Secret Squirrel (#3)

No recruitment freeze in EY - well, within BAS London anyway

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#5 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
04/08/2008 14:15

Me to anon (#4)

Yes, but is it true anon? Pretty shameful that EY can be bullied so easily

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#6 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
04/08/2008 15:23

not a consultant to Me (#5)

I thought there was something in the consulting world which prohibits companies from poaching consultants who have worked for them for a period of time?

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#7 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
04/08/2008 15:35

too many students? to not a consultant (#6)

Do the people commenting on this actually work in consulting?? If you do, you'll sign a contract saying you can't join competitors or clients.

Of course, people jump to both all the time, but if the company you work for sees you as a senior person or potentially someone who clients could follow, they have the right to veto it.

This particular story sounds rubbish though, given one auditing contract is not worth that much!

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#8 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
04/08/2008 16:41

anon to too many students? (#7)

I think people are living in cloud cuckoo land if they think EY would be bullied by PA over an auditing contract!

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#9 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
04/08/2008 19:23

Frank to anon (#8)

Even if its true that this is what E&Y HR told your friend, this has gotta be bullsh*t. Sounds more like a lame and misjudged excuse. But when your friend does get another job somewhere they should complain about the HR bod from E&Y.

If this were to be true, E&Y's audit independence would be completely shot - and therefore this is a very serious allegation. Your friend's complaint should see this properly checked out.

NB. Not all audit contracts are small: turn down a couple of grunts vs a few £100k. Its not impossible, I guess. But not likely for a firm of E&Ys size.

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#10 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
05/08/2008 10:59

el Presidente to Frank (#9)

Agree with Frank above. E&Y would probably not want to loose an audit (there is more to it than the simple fee, reputation, why the plug was pulled, etc)...On the other hand, there would be a serious breach to the independence as E&Y would be under pressure to a) not give a qualified audit b) not hire anyone.

On a different note, if your friend was intending to work for E&Y's audit practice at a senior level she probably shouldn't/wouldn't be allowed to work on the PA audit (I really don't think this is the case).

The bottom line is that's not a good enough reason and if she really wanted to kick up a fuss she could contact the internal independent auditing independent committee and refer PA (and embarass E&Y)...

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#11 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
05/08/2008 11:15

Casio to el Presidente (#10)

I'd imagine PAs audit wouldn't be particuarly substantial. FTSE 500 companies make up the vast majority of big 4 audit revenue. Also consider that consultancies have relatively simple business models, low capital etc. An easy (cheap) audit we can probably assume.

Audits rotate all the time, statute demands this. There would be no damage to reputation in losing PAs audit.

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#12 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
05/08/2008 11:21

anon to Casio (#11)

It sounds quite plausible to me.

PA: We need an auditor.

EY: We will audit you for a fee.

PA: But you will forge close relationships with our staff, many of whom you would like to employ yourselves. We are concerned that you might poach them.

EY: We won't poach them.

PA: Well if you do then you can say goodbye to that audit contract.

EY: OK, we won't poach them.

Junior PA pleb: I wanna join EY!!!

HR person: Thanks for your application. Please join us for an interview.

EY Partner: Uhh, this guy works for PA. We're not losing this contract just so we can employ him. His sort are a dime a dozen.

HR person: OK. I'll let him know.

Junior PA pleb: Why won't they take my application further!!? That's so unfair!!

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#13 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
05/08/2008 12:07

Secret Squirrel to anon (#12)

A partner from one of PA's highest performing practices has recently joined EY. This wouldn't suggest an aversion to employing PA staff.

I'm guessing that you are either one the many PA bashers who seem to frequent this forum or EY have given you some BS reason to not employ you.

SS

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#14 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
05/08/2008 14:23

EYer to Secret Squirrel (#13)

PA got a bit twitchy when staff that joined EY started to target MCs and partners to bring across, hence the threat from PA to pull the audit contract.

EY have been under a lot of fees pressure recently, and have stopped recruitment in tax and audit areas, so are obviously quite sensitive to such a threat from PA.

Neither firm really cover themselves in glory from all this though, which probably explains why both firms are, and always will be, second tier operators.

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#15 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
05/08/2008 14:26

PAer in E&Y to Secret Squirrel (#13)

I joined E&Y from PA in march 2008, no issues and happy here. I met many folks from PA too.

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#16 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
05/08/2008 15:32

one big MBB Roman orgy to PAer in E&Y (#15)

"Neither firm really cover themselves in glory from all this though, which probably explains why both firms are, and always will be, second tier operators."

Sure, the great enlightened "top tier" don't mind when senior people join competitors. They make so much money that they don't care if someone walks off with a few million worth of business surely?

Or, more likely, just an excuse for you to have a snipe.

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#17 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
05/08/2008 20:36

jeff s to one big MBB Roman orgy (#16)

The audit fee was 0.6 million pounds in the last Annual Report. Seems big enough to influence. Still, it still smells like bull.

The friend of the first poster should complain - whether its true or not, there should be ramifications. If its untrue, then this chain is very unfair on PA or E&Y. If its true, it would right and good for heads roll on both sides.

Hope someone senior at PA and E&Y is already on the case.

First poster - you should check your sources too. You may not realise quite how serious this allegation is.

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#18 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
05/08/2008 21:15

LK to jeff s (#17)

Perhaps I'm not fully understanding the independence thing but why is it such a big deal? I'm guessing the staff that were being recruited by EY were probably related to their consulting division and not their audit division.

Secondly, surely PA are entitled to say that if EY don't stop poaching their consulting people into EYs consulting practice, then the relationship between EY Audit and PA might falter?

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#19 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
06/08/2008 20:21

Ken L to LK (#18)

Auditors are meant to be independent -especially independent of influence by their clients. Audit is legal requirement.

If this is true - then E&Y's independence is completely compromised. If PA could influence E&Y so deeply on such a minor matter, who knows what else E&Y are being unduly influenced on. Do you remember the auditing scandals in the early 2000s?

However, this is probably bull. If it is true, some E&Y people are for the chop and the individuals sanctioned by their professional bodies.

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#20 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
07/08/2008 16:44

Mark to Ken L (#19)

Sounds to me like your friend was trying to find an excuse as to why she screwed up her interview.

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#21 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
07/08/2008 20:22

Also-a-XPA-@-EY to Mark (#20)

Interesting as officially there isnt a recruitment freeze but only new joiners seem to come from IBM, formerly known as PWC!

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#22 RE: Can PA stop you joining a competitor?
08/08/2008 20:07

Big Blue to Also-a-XPA-@-EY (#21)

BAS, and F&PM, in particular is overrun with ex-IBMers. One only has to look at some of the very strange round of promotions to Senior Manager this time around.

If you hadn't worked in IBM / PwCC before, you didn't stand a chance

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