PwC Overtime Drama in the Style of Going Concern
I am so proud to see my darling Going Concern editor (the artist formerly known as public accounting hack 10-Key Tramp) Caleb Newquist show up in Huffington Post that I had to take a moment to get uncharacteristically squishy here and give him some props.
In case you are not aware, Going Concern is more than just a resource for accountants and CFOs, it's also one of the only places to find REAL layoff news, not that crap the BLS spits out every month about the job market. Just a friendly reminder.
Anyway, without any further squishy asides, there he goes! Congrats, CN!
Last summer Going Concern initiated its coverage on the wage and hour lawsuits against the Big 4 auditors and other firms that have been filed in California. The key case that is currently before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Campbell v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, may decide how the rest of the cases proceed.
These suits were filed by non-licensed associates who believe they were misclassified under California law as exempt professionals and are due overtime and other benefits due to non-exempt employees. The primary issue before the 9th Circuit has to do with whether or not, under the professional exemption, an associate is required to be licensed by the state of California in order to qualify for exempt status (see the initial post linked above for further details).
The implications of the suit could change the face of public accounting. On one hand, accountants may find themselves in the position to earn more money in the short term. On the other, clients may shift focus away from Big 4 auditing services, or, when using Big 4 services, engage primarily manager-level and other exempt professionals to avoid overtime charges.
If you want to read the rest and go cry over how quickly the kids grow up, head over to Huffington.
And might I offer a suggestion to PwC in the future? Kill the billable hour. You can't pay overtime if you're paying for performance, silly kids.