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Deloitte and Base Location

 
#1 Deloitte and Base Location
19/10/2012 15:21

Bravehearted

Hoping (ex)Deloitters can help here.

I live in/around Birmingham and not looking to move.

Currently work at one of the French firms where my "base location" is Birmingham. Now, this means that if I'm working on a project in London, my travel, hotel costs are expensed.

Have now accepted an offer from Deloitte and the contract says base location is London. So obviously, if I get a project in London, I have to cover the travel cost to London daily, wont get put in a hotel = mahoosive cost.

I asked my recruiting contact if my base can be changed to the Bham office, and the answer was that there would be a significant drop in salary - this was never the case in my current firm (your base location doesn't impact your salary). Turns out Big 4 firms look to cut your offer if your base is regional.

As it's highly likely I'll be on London projects, how can I cut this commute cost?

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#2 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
19/10/2012 15:35

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Bravehearted (#1)

Look, basically what you're asking is to have it both ways.

You want the low cost and lifestyle of living out in the regions, but want a London salary.

I would suggest that you either:

a) Get a job nearer to home.

b) Move to London if that's where you want to work.

c) Buy a flat to use as a commuting base Mon-Fri.

I guess what I'm saying is that it's not surprising they won't consider paying for hotels and subsistence when you're working in London, if you're supposedly based in London. And if you're based in Brum, well... it would seem reasonable then that you then work mostly in the midlands and get paid the local market rate (given that London projects could be staffed by people who are based out of the London office...)

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#3 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
19/10/2012 20:06

DCF to Bravehearted (#1)

I'm a bit confused. Did this not come up before you got the contract? You've applied for a London-based job so....?

Deloitte will usually want to pay you less if you work outside London. Someone told me the rates are 90% of London. You might have to work in London for a couple of years then try and swing a move back.

Or if you are tied to Birmingham it may be cheaper to take the salary cut than pay for trains and a flat - even if you save money using the Chiltern line or London Midland trains and find a Monday-Friday room.

Final option - possibly the cheapest - extreme commute. I think a season ticket is about £5k? I guess that only works if you live near New St or International.

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#4 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
19/10/2012 20:14

Bravehearted to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#2)

Thanks - but this is not accurate though. I'm not looking to have it both ways.

As stated earlier, in my current firm - base location does not impact salary negatively.

As such, I assumed this was the case everywhere - evidently not with the Big 4.

What I was therefore seeking was advice on ways to reduce commuting cost in the likely event that I get resourced in London.

I'm sure this must be the case for many people living in the midlands but asked to work in London.

To your point, I'm not certain it is the case that Bham based people mostly work in Bham. My view has always been that in consulting, where you live or where you are based matters little on where you end up being resourced - this has been the case for me for 2+ years.

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#5 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
19/10/2012 20:27

Bravehearted to DCF (#3)

Thanks.

I'm not tied to Bham - I just don't want to get a place in London, paying £500+ a month if I end up spending 4 nights a week in Leeds. As was the case for over a year for me.

I moved back to the folks, changed my base to Bham - and what has happened since is I stay in hotels during the week since I never get placed in Bham.

I guess my current firm doesn't place huge emphasis on resourcing projects with local people.

I'll do the extreme commute for a while & see how it goes.

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#6 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
20/10/2012 15:37

Calibri to Bravehearted (#5)

Unfortunately for you I think this is standard for Big4 (and many other firms). I'm surprised this didn't come up during the recruitment process from you or an interviewer/s.

Deloitte do have job vacancies for regional consultants, but the website states that the majority of consulting employees are based in London. In terms of salary, I think the £40k you previously mentioned would drop to £33/34k if you wanted your base location changed.

As well as the financial impact of travelling from Bham to London 3-4 days a week, I'd be more concerned about the impact on your personal time and sanity. The thought of finishing at the client site somewhere between 6-9pm, getting home 2 hours+ later and then getting up at 6am to do it all over again would be enough to make me really consider things.

N.b a season ticket from New St to Euston is £5,240 a year - add another c£1k if you need a 1-2 travel card. If the salary drop is less than this, then it might be a worthwhile alternative to take the hit and have the comfort of everything being covered.

Are you sure the majority of client work will be in London?

Do you have any other job opportunities on the table?

C.

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#7 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
21/10/2012 14:00

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Bravehearted (#4)

"Thanks - but this is not accurate though. I'm not looking to have it both ways."

OK, I stand corrected. You don't want to have it both ways indeed. You just want to have a London salary and not live in London and have the firm pay for your hotels and meals and travel when you're working in London, yet for salary purposes be considered as being based in London even though actually you don't live there.

"As stated earlier, in my current firm - base location does not impact salary negatively."

Irrelevant, surely? What matters is the policy of the firm to which you're applying?

But, I like your way of thinkin. Have you perhaps considered if they would putting you down as based in NYC (Wall St) but limit your travel to working in Solihull?

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#8 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
21/10/2012 15:22

Bravehearted to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#7)

Again, my post is not motivated by salary - but rather, not knowing. I didn't go in knowing one region's salary was higher than the other. I applied for a role/job not a location.

I assumed the way my current firm does things was the way others did it. And now that I realise it isn't, I'm asking for suggestions best ways to commute.

Hopefully, I don't come across any bushy eyed partners when I start at Deloitte as you seem like one to avoid, with your inherent distrust of others.

Calibri - I'm not sure where the majority of the work is. One thing I've learned is not to be overly concerned with living in the region you think you'll work. Which is why I'm not rushing to move back to London.

My other opportunities are also Big 4, so as I've now learned, will face the same issue.

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#9 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
21/10/2012 16:19

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Bravehearted (#8)

Again, my post is not motivated by salary

Of course it is. That's why it's such a big deal to you.

I assumed the way my current firm does things was the way others did it.

So naive.

Hopefully, I don't come across any bushy eyed partners when I start at Deloitte as you seem like one to avoid, with your inherent distrust of others.

I expect there will be many bushy eyebrowed partners who are wise to all fibs people tell and who have no problem in fully sussing people out. They are not fools and will very easy see the flaw in your logic here, which you are oblivious to because you're not being impartial since it's your overall benefits package at stake and you want the best of borht worlds for yourself.

Let's face it, the facts speak for themselves:

You want to live in Birmingham and have the firm pay for your hotels, travel and meals when you work in London, yet be "based" in London for salary purposes.

In other words, you want to have your cake and eat it.

Let's put it another way:

a) Why would you expect the firm to pay for your hotels, travel and meals when you're working in London, if you're supposedly based in London?

b) Why would you expect the firm to pay you a London salary if you're based in Birmingham and hence get all your hotels, travel and meals paid for on expenses when you're working in London?

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#10 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
21/10/2012 20:52

Bravehearted to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#9)

Everything I do is done with the utmost unwavering integrity - and Deloitte clearly think so too as this is one of their core non-negotiable values. The insinuation that I am trying to game the system for monetary profit is offensive. And frankly, if you are a partner at one of the Big 4, I hope you have more faith in your people than you're currently exhibiting.

To answer you questions:

a) I don't expect the firm to pay me expenses when working in London - in fact I stated that they wont - and so sought tips to cut the costs I'll incur.

b) As stated, I wasn't aware there was a London vs regional salary. I only found out when Deloitte told me.

I'm 25 with no commitments - I can move anywhere if need be. I'm only in Bham because my parents live here. I mentioned earlier that I had a place in London, paid 500 pm but never stayed there because I was working in Paris, Leeds, Manc etc. Which is why I'm being more cautious now.

As you nicely put it, I naively assumed all firms handled base location in the same way, but I was clearly wrong. Not because, I want to eat with both sides of the mouth or fib or whatever.

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#11 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
22/10/2012 01:00

big mac to Bravehearted (#10)

I am going to have to agree with bushy eyebrow partner...I think its pretty safe to say that all Big4s would operate in the same way. London salaries are higher to compentate so the higher cost of living. To be blunt, if you live outside of London but apply for a London based job than that's your problem. I think the fact it didn't come up during the interview process is because it is assumed if you apply for a London based role, communting is your responsibility.

If you know your projects are going to be primarily in London, a season ticket is your best bet. BTW - 500 a month on rent is pretty cheap for London anyway!!!!!

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#12 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
22/10/2012 09:02

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Bravehearted (#10)

Everything I do is done with the utmost unwavering integrity - and Deloitte clearly think so too as this is one of their core non-negotiable values.

Groan. You're new to this, aren't you?

The insinuation that I am trying to game the system for monetary profit is offensive.

OK, so what exactly ARE you looking to achieve? A one-man movement to change the way that large companies pay their staff, so that they ignore geographic differences in market rates for labour? Clearly you ARE trying to game the system by wanting to be "based" in Brum for expenses purposes ("I asked my recruiting contact if my base can be changed to the Bham office") yet work in London and be paid a London salary.

Put another way: why did you apply for a job and accept a job in London if you want to be based in Birmingham?

Also, to be frank, you've gotta be nuts if you're planning to live in Brum but work in London for the Big 4. You may hack it for a while, but eventually the cost and time of the commute will wear you down bigtime. Those sorts of places are tough going even if you live next door. Eventually you will surely either get a job closer to home, or alternatively move to London. I don't mean that in a rude way, I'm just a tad concerned that you perhaps haven't thought this through fully... For instance, do you know what time you're likely to leave the office each night (probably much, much later than you expect if you're staffed under the management of some aspiring partner-wannabe...)? Have you thought what time you'll get back home and what time you'll need to set off at again in the morning?

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#13 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
22/10/2012 13:35

celtic tiger to Bravehearted (#1)

I also live outside London and have worked in consultancy for many years.

I actually withdrew from the recruitment process with Deloitte over the base location issue. During my initial conversation with HR I raised the matter of base location and was told that it was not a problem I could be based out of an office closer to my home. However, I pushed on this and then received a call saying that the person who had told me I could be based out of a local office was wrong. All consultants are based in London and when not working on client site I would be expected to be in the office - I don't think that point has been raised in the previous posts?

Where other organisations are concerned some will find a 'work around' or state you are home based (which is the ideal) and I have never been asked questions by HMRC, but that is not to say that questions will never be asked.

Not sure if you are aware but the HMRC rules are interesting and you have to get into working out travel distance between your base location and the client site??? There is also a large amount of liability on the employer - one of the reasons they want everyone out of one location.

What surprises me is that somebody working in consultancy is not aware of this situation and did not ask the relevant questions during the recruitment process.

Having faced this situation for many years you learn to avoid certain employers as they stick to the one location. If you make the decision to live outside London, or you have reasons why you cannot live there then you have to accept that not all jobs are open to you.

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#14 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
22/10/2012 15:27

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to celtic tiger (#13)

If Deloitte would just give the juniors a £5K pay rise across the board, it would take so much pressure off them. Property is so expensive these days and many of them live together and share flats. The young male ones often have families to support and they work so hard to hold down a secure job and provide for their families it genuinely upsets me sometimes.

Even though the juniors can be hired cheaply, I think young people should be valued more - and that includes paying them more. I for one always vote in favour of paying young people more, even if it reduces my own income, because they do not have it easy these days. And, they are our future after all.

(I'm not a partner at Deloitte btw.)

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#15 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
22/10/2012 16:56

Bravehearted to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#12)

Bushy partner - what am I looking to achieve?

For the last time, its simple. Suggestions on the most cost effective alternatives.

I'm not looking to change any policy. I have accepted that this is how Big 4 works. I'm allowed to research the best method to navigate this.

I have no bones about moving to London if need be. But I think it's prudent to test the waters before committing to a 12month rent contract.

The other good point that was mentioned by someone else is the expectation to be in the office even when not on client site. At my current firm, you can stay at home (within reason) or just go to any local office. Again I wasn't aware of the Big4 difference. Not an issue though, will be happy move to London if it starts to kill me.

Bushy, no offence, but Im happy you aren't at the green dot.

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#16 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
22/10/2012 17:29

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Bravehearted (#15)

I think you should cycle to work every day.

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#17 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
22/10/2012 17:57

celtic tiger to Bravehearted (#15)

I mentioned the working at the office when not on client site as being honest with you, unless you are in this type of situation where you are not living where you are based it goes not mean anything to you.

I agree with you that you should be sure of the role and the employer + all the other bits involved when you change jobs before moving to London. Can I suggest - even if you hate the idea - you find somewhere you can stay for X number of nights for the first 3/6 mths?

Finding yourself in the wrong role and having moved - assuming you can sell your house in this market - is a very bad place to be, yes, I have been there but managed to stop the move at the last minute.

Have you actually resigned from your current role? As I do not know your reasons for wanting to leave your current role would it not be a good idea to really think through what accepting this role would mean to your life in general?

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

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#18 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
23/10/2012 01:41

Bravehearted to celtic tiger (#17)

Cheers celtic.

Staying in London if I have to is not a problem at all. Just to be clear, I have no issues with upping and moving to London. I just don't want to do so before starting in case I dont need it.

Will definitely be resigning and joining Deloitte. Deloitte is a very positive career move for me at this stage.

Thanks.

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#19 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
24/10/2012 21:20

DiamondSea to Bravehearted (#18)

I loved the bit about integrity being a core value of a (Big4) firm...

I can guarantee the commute would be SIMPLY undoable in terms of time even if it was in Tokyo. If you factor English elements such as:

- being potentially staffed anywhere in greater London, from Canary Wharf to Wimbledon

- train delays and cancellations

- delays and cancellations to that text book example of overpriced DISservice that TfL are

- easily having to work 8-to-8

you'll see pretty soon how the whole commute scenario is just tin foil hat lunacy unless you run on atomic batteries and can sleep 4 hours a night.

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#20 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
25/10/2012 01:31

Calibri to DiamondSea (#19)

I have to agree with the above.

I understand what you're trying to do - I just don't think in practice it works, unless you only have to go to London the odd day and/or have a team which have surprisingly short hours.

-----

An example; team meeting in Canary Wharf at 8.30am, which I'd say is a fair start time and could be worse.

Lets assume you can get from your folk's house to Birmingham New St/International within 20min.

- Leave your house at 06.10

- Depart Birmingham New St: 06.30, arrive into Euston at 07.53.

- Underground (w/ 1 change) to Canary Wharf (25-30min), arriving around 08.20 and then a stroll to the office.

That's about a short as possible and if anything goes wrong along the way, that 2hrs 10m+ journey still might not get you there on time. If the team are meeting at 8am, you're really in trouble.

End of the day: finish at 6-9pm (probably having to turn down any after work drinks or meals) and do the same journey back. Set that alarm for 5.XXam. Repeat.

Hopefully you can push to get staffed on projects out of London or find a cheap solution with some mates. Sounds like it's a good opportunity for you so I'm sure you'll be able to figure out pretty quickly what's doable and what's not.

C.

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#21 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
25/10/2012 08:59

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Calibri (#20)

Alternatively, if he cycles (as all good eco-citizens are being persuaded to do these days), then:

Wake up at 00:01.

Brush teeth, have breakfast, set off at 00:15.

Arrive in office at 12:00.

Do 1 hour of work.

Set off back home again. Arrive at home around 23:00.

Sleep for 1 hour.

Repeat.

In order to make up the remaning 7 hours of your working day, you could perhaps do some work while you are on your bike, just like how people are supposed to work on the train.

Also, you may be eligible for special firm discounts on your bicycle.

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#22 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
25/10/2012 11:40

TripleTwistTrump to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#21)

You seem to be one really bored person trying his/her best to write anything anywhere when possible....that said, I dont mind reading the stuff you come up with

3Ts

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#23 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
25/10/2012 13:07

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to TripleTwistTrump (#22)

If everybody were as active on this forum as I, then it would be a buzzing hive of consultant activity and gossip!

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#24 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
25/10/2012 15:27

AnotherConsultingDrone to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#23)

Why on earth would someone who lives in brum get a London salary? The idea of regional pay is pretty well established. Surprised this caught you out!

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#25 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
25/10/2012 16:00

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to AnotherConsultingDrone (#24)

re-read it!

:-)

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#26 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
25/10/2012 17:07

AnotherConsultingDrone to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#25)

I was just surprised the thread starter (or anyone else for the matter) would think they can enjoy cheaper midlands living, be less flexible in terms of hours they can work (because they have huge commute) and come with the baggage of having to be put up in a hotel and have their meals paid for on any project outside of brum and expect to be paid the same as a Londoner who has none of that baggage. Salt in the wound to the Londoner is he has higher living costs and has to pay all his own expenses. I am glad to see the big 4 agree and put a stop this kind of unfairness to be honest. Regional pay is only fair. Otherwise lets all sell our small London flats/houses and go live on big farm houses up north whilst enjoying London pay, free commuting and accommodation during the week!

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#27 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
25/10/2012 19:30

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to AnotherConsultingDrone (#26)

I couldn't agree more!! :-)

Love the bit about big farm houses!

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#28 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
25/10/2012 22:12

Bravehearted to AnotherConsultingDrone (#26)

Clearly, you aren't very sharp. And seem bitter for no reason.

This thread has become long enough for any genius to realise that I don't expect regional bases to pay the same as London.

It's your prerogative to have a small pokey London flat - don't be mad at those that saw the light.

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#29 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
26/10/2012 09:40

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Bravehearted (#28)

I wanna be based in the Cayman Islands and have the Big 4 pay my expenses for me to work in Coventry between Mon-Fri (First Class flights or private jet only). ;-)

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#30 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
26/10/2012 12:18

AnotherConsultingDrone to Bravehearted (#28)

Clearly, you aren't very sharp. And seem bitter for no reason.

This thread has become long enough for any genius to realise that I don't expect regional bases to pay the same as London.

It's your prerogative to have a small pokey London flat - don't be mad at those that saw the light.

"Have now accepted an offer from Deloitte and the contract says base location is London. So obviously, if I get a project in London, I have to cover the travel cost to London daily, wont get put in a hotel = mahoosive cost."

You only worked that out AFTER accepting the offer? And you think you are the sharp one?

For the record i don't live in London either.

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#31 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
26/10/2012 12:47

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to AnotherConsultingDrone (#30)

It's not just the cost either, it's the time!

Imagine how bad THAT commute will be!

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#32 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
27/10/2012 08:19

Bravehearted to AnotherConsultingDrone (#30)

Boy, I really hope you don't work at Deloitte because you really aren't coming off as able to analyse information.

If you actually read the thread, you would see the clear explanation for this.

I was always going to accept the offer regardless.

Do I have to repeat the fact that many firms (my current one included) don't practice the regional pay thing?

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#33 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
27/10/2012 21:45

presidentbartlet to Bravehearted (#32)

Nor does mine

"sent from my big house in the North"

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#34 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
22/02/2013 20:45

Matrix to presidentbartlet (#33)

I'm looking for a place now in London and I really enjoyed this thread. Some people!!! Bravehearted, did you get your cake and eat it too?

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#35 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
23/02/2013 20:34

Bravehearted to Matrix (#34)

Hey Matrix

My hope was I would start at Deloitte based in London and get a project away from London thus averting the need to get a place in London.

Unfortunately haven't got a project yet, so still having to commute from Bham. I'm trying to go in 3 days a week when possible.

I've flagged the fact that I may need a base location change to my Director.

To be honest, I'm not motivated by the money - the difference is about £145 a month which means I'm worse off going to London - I just have no desire to live in London.

Stupid rule makes me miss my previous French Consulting firm.

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#36 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
23/02/2013 22:03

Zorba to Bravehearted (#35)

What about joining the French firm back on a higher salary!

by the way this is common, London salary is higher because cost of living is higher. simple.

Another piece of advice is, you will find in some consulting firms getting into a London-based project is difficult if your base is not London and they have options. (reason - your expenses!)

Z

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#37 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
24/02/2013 09:26

Bravehearted to Zorba (#36)

Hmmmm - join the French firm? No way José.

Their vision doesn't sit welll with me at this stage of my career.

Any project anywhere other than London works for me.

I have a railcard till May, so the cost of the travel is essentially what I would pay in rent if I lived in London.

The commute isn't killing me - yet and I try to get out by 6 so it's not too bad. It'll be an issue if I'm on project and have to stay late. In fact it has been an issue as I've had to work on bids and they're always left till the last minute, causing everyone to stay till like 2am

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#38 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
24/02/2013 18:22

Arby the Manager to Bravehearted (#37)

To be honest I'm surprised the phrase "I live in/around Birmingham and not looking to move" has been passed over...

I would suspect anyone living in the Midlands but not looking to move as being more than slightly mental...

BEP - your comments are inspirational to me - keep them coming girl...

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#39 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
24/02/2013 19:29

Bravehearted to Arby the Manager (#38)

To be honest I'm surprised the phrase "I live in/around Birmingham and not looking to move" has been passed over...

I would suspect anyone living in the Midlands but not looking to move as being more than slightly mental...

BEP - your comments are inspirational to me - keep them coming girl...

And you base your suspicion on...?

Or you're just one of those who's had one too many of the London is the hype Koolaid?

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#40 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
24/02/2013 21:19

Arby the Manager to Bravehearted (#39)

Woah - chill out... In London they would call that a joke... Sorry to have offended.

(not that I'm from London btw - it's nearly as ghastly as Birmingham)

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#41 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
08/04/2013 07:40

Coolcat to Arby the Manager (#40)

.

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#42 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
08/04/2013 07:40

Coolcat to Arby the Manager (#40)

.

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#43 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
08/04/2013 07:41

Coolcat to Bravehearted (#37)

Hi I realise this is an old thread but interesting nonetheless.

I do have a question for Braveheart. When you took on the role was it based upon your projects in London? Or did Deloitte give you a London salary knowing that regional salary was significantly different but your projects to be based outside the capital?

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#44 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
09/04/2013 07:37

Bravehearted to Coolcat (#43)

Coolcat - I accepted my offer knowing that my projects could be anywhere really. Having projects in London wasn't really the overarching priority.

Deloitte offered a London salary simply because the role was based in the London office - the key thing here though is at the point of applying, you aren't necessarily aware of this. I certainly wasn't. I just thought that when I do get an offer, I would be given a choice of bases and choose Bham.

Things have worked out good so far though - I'm on a project outside London which means I get my travel expensed and get to go home every night. Decent commute to the client, still based in London, but living in Bham.

The client isn't my preferred industry, but Im not fully aligned to an industry yet, and with it being my first role at the firm, it's not been too bad.

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#45 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
09/04/2013 20:34

Coolcat to Bravehearted (#44)

Bravehearted - Is there any way on here I can PM you?

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#46 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
10/04/2013 18:38

Bravehearted to Coolcat (#45)

Cool cat - I'm not aware that this forum has a pm feature.

Happy to receive any questions here or on my anon email though - mmindxl@yahoo.com

Cheers

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#47 RE: Deloitte and Base Location
11/04/2013 22:32

Coolcat to Bravehearted (#46)

Hi my email address is londoncoolcat@gmail.com

I will drop you an email.

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