Big Four out the door: EY adds to list of layoffs

EY London HQ

Big Four accounting firm, EY has added to the list of layoffs this year with a further 30 partners and 100 consultants axed before the holidays.

In addition to these job cuts, EY’s Hong Kong law practice will close its doors for the final time on 23 January 2024, marking the second closure the firm has seen in its legal services.  EY Riverview Law based in Manchester which was acquired by the firm back in 2018 announced its closure earlier this month.

EY US spokesperson told ERP Today: “As part of our long-term planning, EY has been transforming our business to focus on the areas where our clients have the greatest needs.”

“At this time, we have made the decision to separate a limited number of people from the firm and in certain areas defer start dates for some new hires.

“These decisions have been thoughtfully made with respect and fairness for all of our people and the future of our business. EY will offer comprehensive support to those who are affected.”

This follows recent trends of other Big Four firms cutting down on their staff, said to be caused by the industry slowing down after needing more employees amid the consulting influx during the pandemic.

Towards the beginning of the year, EY axed around 3,000 jobs in the US caused by “overcapacity”, with the layoffs predominantly affecting the consulting side of the company. These cuts were announced shortly after the collapse of Project Everest where plans fell short due to ongoing disagreements with EY US auditors having campaigned for a larger slice of the tax practice post-divide.

This latest development comes a month after EY announced the election of Janet Truncale as the next EY global chair and CEO effective from 1 July 2024. Truncale will succeed current EY global chair and CEO Carmine Di Sibio, who will step down on the same date.

Elsewhere in the industry, a KPMG UK spokesperson told ERP Today: “A challenging economic environment has driven a softening in a number of markets, including the deals market. These conditions have impacted demand in certain areas, as some clients have chosen to pause or delay projects.

“We have therefore taken the difficult decision to put forward proposals to reduce our headcount in a small number of areas of our business. Our people are at the heart of our firm and our priority is to support them throughout this consultation.”

PwC have also been seen to make similar cuts and have since commented to ERP Today: “In light of lower than normal attrition rates and subdued growth in parts of the business, we are making targeted voluntary severance offers to some of our people. Decisions about jobs are never taken lightly – this is about flexing our business to demand. There are still areas of good growth and recruitment.”