PwC vs Deloitte (MC) Who would you work for if given the choice?

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19 posts [Last post]

7 May 2010 - 1:18am

Hey there everybody,

I was recently lucky enough to receive an offer from PwC on their Autumn graduate intake for Management Consultancy and have a Final Assessment Day coming up soon with Deloitte for Management Consultancy as well.

If I received an offer from both PwC and Deloitte, I am looking to understand which company would be the best one to work for in regards to Management Consultancy. The following factors would be pertinent to making a decision:

1) Which company has the best reputation in the industry for Management Consultancy?

2) Who has the better working culture?

3) Which company gives the best salary and joining bonus?

4) How long you would work in / spend away from London? (I've heard PwC keep you in London more than Deloitte, which is of course better for me)

5) Which company has the best career progression and future opportunities?

If anyone can enlighten me further on any of the above five points, that would be really, really useful for helping me make a decision and also helping others see things more clearly who may be in the same boat. Note: This is purely for Management Consultancy only, not Strategy or Economics Consultancy.

Hope to hear from you guys soon. Cheers.

26 May 2010 - 2:09pm

Hi there,

I've received a summer internship position for management consulting at PwC. Although I can't answer all your questions this is my view:

In terms of the management consulting industry Deloitte is probably better recognised. That's because they were the only Big 4 firm to keep their consulting arm after the Enron Scandal so have been around for longer. However, PwC is the bigger and arguably better recognised professional services firm so it is debatable which will look better on the CV - there really won't be much difference. My friend was in consulting at PwC for two years and is now working at McKinsey - so there really is nothing you can't progress to.

The Deloitte salary is higher than PwC (about 31k I think compared with about 28k with a 1-2k bonus). However after 3 years at PwC you should be on at least 45-50k which is similar to Deloitte.

As far as working in London, it really depends on where the clients are based. I have no idea if PwC has more clients based in London than Deloitte.

Still, given the choice this is why I would choose PwC: - Their rapidly growing the consulting arm so it will probably be easier to get promoted. Plus it means it will be an exciting time to work for them. - In Deloitte you have to specialise (i.e. operations, people, finance, tech) straight away as oppose to PwC where the first 2 years you experience all sectors before specialising. This means you would arguably gain a broader business experience with PwC. Seeing as many only do consulting for a few years then go into industry, this is quite an important point. - Deloitte require you to do the CIMA qualification. Learning accounting methods can be tough if you don't have a numerical background and whilst beneficial, is not in my interest. Moreover, if you fail an exam twice your fired. PwC offer a Prince II project management qualification which I think suits me better and would be more worthwhile for a career in consulting or management.

5 June 2010 - 5:48pm

Thanks for getting back to me, lqyacb. I felt your answer was extremely well informed and thought out, and you kind of took the words right out of my mouth (Meatloaf) that I was already thinking and wanting to say before I posted this for clarification... So Bravo, Good Sir.

Anyway, I completely agree with you on all your above points about PwC though; especially the advantages working for them has over Deloitte at this point in time (bar the salary), such as not specialising from the beginning which would inevitably breed resentment, doing Prince II PM instead of CIMA, and the clearly better career progression opportunities that will be available at PwC because of the current rapid expansion to their consulting arm. I think we're on the same wavelength it seems. Hopefully I'll meet you one day at PwC and then we can both move onto McKinsey, Bain or BCG and be true strategy consultants!

Are you serious though about your friend moving onto McKinsey after two years at PwC, because if so, that is phenomenal. Which University did he go to, when did he join PwC, and was he in Strategy, not Management, Consultancy? I must admit, looking at the new joiners on PwC Embark's facebook application, all the people I'm going to be working with in September went to some seriously high power Universities - Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, Durham, Bristol, Edinburgh - so it has made me feel very lucky to have got the offer, even though I did attend the latter institution in that list myself. That and the fact I wasn't accepted by Deloitte, which I am really kind of glad of now considering the points you mentioned above, have made me feel altogether very fortunate about the future employment situation I've managed to find myself in.

However, the last point I'd like to mention is the salary difference. I do not understand why PwC's graduate starting salary is so relatively measly in comparison with E&Y's or Deloitte's ones. I mean it's not that it really means that much to me at this stage but a difference of nearly £4,000 is quite a lot for a graduate if PwC are trying to highlight their competitive position and show their recognition and experience; it just naturally makes you feel they are an inferior consultancy company. Shouldn't the salary to a very clear representation of that? I find this hard to understand. Thoughts anyone?

10 June 2010 - 6:37pm

I am facing the exact same dilema now. Deloitte's EA or PwC's MC. The PwC's salary is ridiculous, but I like the role more and it seems there will be more opportunities for growth there.

Ugh.

19 June 2010 - 2:28am

hi anyone know about the kind of travel in Big 4 management consulting? I'm looking at the offices in London and I completely forgot to ask about the travel (though they mentioned that it is 90% client's place based).

my specific qns are

1) how much is "travel" within London itself and is this by the tube and is it reimbursable in any way?

2) How much is national travel outside of london

3) How much is international travel, in and out of Europe?

What are the travel "perks" if any among the big 4?

and lqyacb, i'm really impressed that your friend got into McKinsey. this sounds VERY promising. I had previously thought I'ld just have to do a merry go round amongst the big 4.

20 June 2010 - 2:43pm

hi marianeliz,

I'm starting MC at PwC in September and tho I've not got any real experience I can tell you what others have told me.

Travel is spread around where offices are and as about half of all major head office type places are in London, half of all travel is within London. All travel from your home office is paid for so I assume this includes travel across London too, and I've heard PwC pay for hotels and some meals and such if you're working more than 90 mins away from the home office.

As far as I understand it, there is little international travel in the first few years, but you could be lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you look at it).

21 June 2010 - 4:17pm

hi stonefish150, thanks for your reply.

that's disappointing. i enjoy travel (at least while i'm still young) and i was hoping for some int'l travel, at least around europe. So there isn't even any real travel outside of the UK?

Is there travel over the weekends or can we return home during the weekend?

travelling within London itself sounds like buzzkill. IT'll be worse if we have to stay over during the weekends too. :-(

22 June 2010 - 11:47am
ikm

Hello all,

I'm currently a Consultant with Deloitte and most of the travel I do is based outside London(but this depends on the industry you work in). So Financial Services would predominantly be in London, whereas Consumer Business or Manufacturing would be outside. Deloitte does have the advantage of more international projects than PwC because it is very large and the international offices are well established.

Currently my colleagues are working on projects in Memphis(USA), NYC,Sydney, Auckland, Chile, Poland, Germany, Kuwait, Bahrain, Slovenia, Moscow amongst others. We even have secondments for 1-3 years with LOCOG(the London 2012 Olympic Committee) which is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So travel is definitely very much a part of the consulting lifestyle. I've only spent 1 month in London in my 2.5 years.

All expenses are paid for projects outside London and in some cases(depending on the client's budget), travel and food can be covered if you're in London as well. If you're travelling abroad, you fly business class and you can certainly rack up the air miles. The hotels are generally five star or the best you can get (if it's a small town) and you get a daily allowance as well. It's certainly a glamourous lifestyle and when your young the travel is good fun. My bf is a consultant with BCG, so thankfully I've never had to deal with stick from my partner...but you always get your weekends in the home office anyway.

I can't speak for the other Big 4, but moving from Delotte to the Strategy houses is quite common. Specializing in a certain area (such as Supply Chain, Enterprise Applications, Technology) makes you more attractive to both MBBB and industry since noone wants a generalist with 2 years work experience. It's easier to sell specific skillsets that the strategy houses wouldn't possess and thus covet.

You can control the projects and travel you want, and in the end it really is about networking. Consulting in any firm gives you a foot into the door to any career path you want.

Congratulations on your offer - Having a blue chip name as your first job adds weight to your CV and the only way to go is up.

27 June 2010 - 3:12pm

hi ikm, thanks for the post. it really gave me some valuable insight before i start at the london office at one of the big 4 in MC. will update on my experiences too.

5 July 2010 - 11:56pm

Came across this post by accident, and was interested to see how people answered the question.

I just wanted to point out that the reply by the Deloitte consultant is a little biased and I would say not factually accurate. Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion.

My advice to the original poster is to look for independent advice as much as possible, good avenues to pursue are:

- Ask former employees of PwC and Deloitte what they make of them (there are many people out there have worked for both), I'm sure you can find some on the web somewhere. - You can find PwC and Deloittes big clients quite easily online (consulting and assurance / audit etc), look for contacts in the clients and ask them their impression of the company and the people.

Good luck in your decision making!

A

6 July 2010 - 10:46am
ikm

Thanks for the reply Opelmonza. My response was directed to the questions in the thread on travel and lifestyle. As a Deloitte consultant, you're quite right that I'm biased to think Deloitte is by far the best Big 4 consultancy (since they were the only ones to retain their consulting arm after Anderson collapsed). But it is most certainly factually accurate, since this is based on my experience within the firm.

Also, while asking previous employess who worked for both is definitely a good idea, asking clients is not. Because their opinion will be based on a specific team and not the company as a whole. The only people who could give you a holistic view of the Consulting firm is upper level management and I do not think they would do so to a young grad - especially since there are certain legal and image issues involved in bad mouthing a firm they've hired.

Any of the Big 4 is a great place to work at and I would base my decision on the people you meet at the grad events. It would be hard to nitpick on quality, because they're all good. Also, look at reports by Kennedy etc that rate MC firms - that's quite useful to understand the forecast of the firm and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

Cheers,

IKM

6 July 2010 - 2:18pm

"Deloitte does have the advantage of more international projects than PwC because it is very large and the international offices are well established."

Can you show some facts to back that up?

" travel and food can be covered if you're in London as well"

This never happens these days

"since they were the only ones to retain their consulting arm after Anderson collapsed"

This doesn't mean they have the best consulting business these days. Note that big four firms did not lose consulting, they mainly lost systems integration capability.

Anyway, I appreciate your biased for your personal reasons.

I just wanted to make sure the original poster understood there are no facts to back up your claims and your basically trying to sell Deloitte in this posting.

I actually like Deloitte and have worked with them before, but feel for fairness someone should call out your innacurate claims.

Oh, if you still disagree please produce some benchmarks, reports, awards etc. to back up your claims.

10 July 2010 - 1:42pm

I was thinking if we could get enough people to contribute (or better yet if someone already knows) to compile a list of latest graduate entry salaries for each big-4 for their various divisions. Gives a good idea to prospective job candidates; what do you guys think? Perhaps later broaden the scope to Financial Services etc etc.

11 July 2010 - 10:31am

Hi there, I enjoyed reading all your comments and found them really helpful so I was wondering if you might be able to provide me with some thoughts. I'm a Chartered Engineer with 6 years experience, 4 of them at the engineering consultancy Atkins, most experience in the power sector. Lots of technical, analytical, commercial, project and client experience and wondering about making the move into management consultancy by applying for a job with Deloitte, specifically Strategy and Technology Integration. So my questions are:

1. I still really enjoy the technical work, figuring things out, can I continue to use these kinds of skills (I read and hear lots about analysts, etc.)

2. All my jobs so far have been that you have a contracted number of hours per week (e.g. 40 hours) and that's generally what you work. How different is the work culture, will I have to work lots of extra hours?

3. Travel - how much on-client-site working is needed. In the past sometimes I have found it difficult to get a good work-life balance working away from home, so I wanted to find out a company's expectations for this.

4. Do I have enough business experience to join a management consultancy? I have the experience of running projects, managing people, deadlines, issues, implementing solutions, project budgeting and forecasts, that kind of thing. But I am concerned that although my degree gave me some business awareness and knowledge (e.g. basic accounting, strategy, financial investment, and marketing) I may not have the experience of using the specific business tools that, if I were to get a position, my peers would be proficient in.

5. What sort of salary range might be reasonable to expect? 

Any help, advice or useful web links much appreciated.

Cheers!

17 July 2010 - 7:55pm

I just got and accepted my offer for Deloitte Operations Consulting over Accenture ACG scheme. Anyone think it should be the other way around? I still have time.

Also compared to PwC, Deloitte consulting is far ahead and better regarded and recognised. Look at wikipedia or any specialist rankings. In fact Deloite is now competing for business with top tier MBBB strat houses and ranked just behind them for strat and MC by Vault and Kennedy etc.

Hope that helped.

17 July 2010 - 8:25pm

I also went with Deloitte Consulting EA as opposite to PwC Management Consulting. I just got much more pleasant vibe throughout the whole recruitment process -- from HR, analysts, managers/partners. The fact that during the AC group exercises at Deloitte we were evaluated by 4 partners while at PwC by 2 HR chicks made me think that Deloitte takes recruitment and new hires a bit more seriously.

Both Deloitte partners willingly gave me their business cards and answered by questions within .5-1 days after me contacting them before I made my final decision. Again, they seemed very approachable (which I recognize may be for recruitment needs, but still) and helpful. At the same time the first PwC manager with whom I spoke (1st round interview) directed me to HR phone line with any questions that I had. At the AC the manager/partner did not even have his business card on him and did not care to share his contact info with me. As a result there were only basic HR contact people that I could reach out to. They were of course very nice, but the whole experience, again, made me think that PwC did not really give that much crap about the new hires. Also, I never actually got satisfactory answers to my inquires from the HR contact when I was deciding on which offer to accept.

One thing that I was concerned about when choosing the offer was the fact that PwC's strategy for the upcoming years is to really focus on building up the consulting arm. Supposedly, this would create lots of opportunities for professional growth. Well, from talking to one analyst at the AC I got a feeling that things were pretty messy within consulting at PwC as a result of this strategy. They were still working things out. Also, I am a bit sceptical about career growth opportunities when the intake at PwC this year is about 600 if my info is correct. I think it will be easy to get lost in the crowd. Also, lots of the partners and managers come from outside of PwC -- they have all different work styles, expectations, etc. so I think moving between them will be a bit more bumpy than working with the Deloitte senior staff.

And lastly, Deloitte has a solid and well established brand in consulting not only in the UK but also outside of it. PwC is still more of a gamble, which I do not see the benefits of taking.

17 July 2010 - 8:47pm

^^^ What he/she said.

So bugsior when do you start? I'm told august 16th. Guess I'll cu around then although I chose operations over EA! Also pls tell me if an offer by a partner by telephone implies a guarantee or is this conditional? They've already checked our docs during the AC right.

I was lucky cos due to the lack of numbers we didn't have any group discussion...had 3 hours to kill between my email exercise and partner presentation/interview!

Cheers

17 July 2010 - 9:19pm

Hey cyborg_001,

I am not sure how that works in theory but in practice a call from a partner with an offer means you got it. Period. You should be getting the official contract next week (that's what the HR email sent this week said). I am pretty sure I will see you around during the training although IT IS possible we never actually face each other -- still there will be over 100 new hires this August, I believe.

I chose Deloitte and I think you also did the right choice. Ops was also something I was very interested in and until today I am not entirely sure EA was the best choice. Will see. I hear that it is actually more about what partners you know and who you keep in touch with -- so maybe you can keep me posted on things that are going on in your Ops group and pull me onto one of your projects at some point!

Take care.

22 July 2010 - 2:20am

Well good luck every one!

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