Layoffs, pay cuts, and dialed-back recruiting: Here’s how the biggest accounting and consulting firms are cutting costs and shrinking headcount


Professional services firms have been laying off employees and cutting pay as the coronavirus pandemic has hit their business pipelines.

Firms have seen clients rein in on spending on consulting and advisory work as economic conditions across industries remain unclear.

The question mark over the economy has also led to less recruiting at these firms, impacting graduates from both undergrad and graduate programs.

Employees are also staying put more than usual because of an uncertain job market, meaning the firms have to take more proactive steps as opposed to relying on people leaving on their own to help manage headcount.

Business Insider has been keeping track of which firms have announced layoffs, pay cuts, and how they’re thinking about recruitment.

Do you have information about layoffs or pay cuts at professional-services firms? Reach out to the reporter: [email protected] or send a message via encrypted messaging app Signal at 646-389-7866.



KPMG laid off 1,400 of its 35,000 US employees from its 35,000-member US workforce in late September.

The layoffs included tax, audit, and advisory employees, the firm confirmed, and additional staff in business process groups, according to a source familiar with the matter. It also cut pay for some employees.

Read the whole story here.


Accenture office

Professional services firm Accenture is cutting up to 25,000 jobs from its workforce, including layoffs in the US and more planned cuts in the UK and India.

Analysts say the proposed cuts — about 5% of Accenture’s workforce —are on par with how many employees usually leave the company per year and could affect all teams and industries.

Read about how they’re laying off US staff…

… and how those cuts could shape up.


FILE PHOTO: The Deloitte Company logo is seen on a commercial tower at Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi August 9, 2012. The Big Four accounting and consulting firms, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC, also are offshoring some audit work for U.S. companies to India, where salaries for accountants are a fraction of those in the United States. REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma

Deloitte’s Canadian arm laid off about 200 people in May at its Toronto headquarters.

The cuts affected the artificial-intelligence group, as well as auditing and consulting operations.

Click here to read the full story.

MBA recruitment plans

College graduation

The Big 4 usually extend job offers to summer interns and then recruits additional MBA candidates in the fall to start work after graduating in the spring.

This year PwC says they’re pausing fall recruitment efforts, although they remain committed to hiring summer interns.

KPMG, Deloitte, and EY said they would continue to recruit MBA candidates, but it is expected there will be fewer hires.

Here’s how business school career counselors say they’re preparing graduates.

Do you have information about layoffs or pay cuts at professional-services firms? Reach out to the reporter: [email protected].