Accounting

Genuinely curious, have you any of you worked on a client that was so incredibly difficult that the Partner / Principal decided that the client wasn’t worth it anymore?

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Yes; I have fired a client - twice. Not the same client. Two different ones. Not worth me or my teams being abused.

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One client is a name you would know but they were just a total a$$holes. I am at EY in ITS. This client had an ex-KPMG partner as a consultant. His sole job it seemed was to fabricate roadblocks on a project. They had complicated facts and we came up with a solution that fixed their problem. The consultant was angry that we came up with a solution and he didn’t. He then proceeded to try and find fault with ever minor issue; terms of Pref shares, etc. He was abusive and would call my Senior Manager stupid if she didn’t know the answer to something. She is also Asian and he made an off color remark. After that I told the CFO we would never work for them again. I spoke with our GC and together we prepared our document firing the client. They still paid their bill. The second one was a small company and it was over 10 years ago. I don’t remember the details but the CFO and another partner of mine got into a shouting match over OOS billing. The CFO then said some pretty nasty things about EY. That really set my other partner off and We basically told them on the spot that we would never work with them again. When we went back we formally fired them as well. We also made sure that they were removed from all future mailings. The Tax Director was due at one of our tax conferences in two weeks time. GC prepared an email informing them that they were no longer allowed to attend and that security would be present to remove them from the event if they disregarded the instructions. The company went bankrupt in the economic downturn (CFO’s fault too). The other partner and I still joke about the client

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No, unfortunately. I worked on a client that was so terrible that I ended up leaving the firm. There were 5 other managers across the span of 2.5 years who had worked on the matter and also quit. I lasted 3 years, the longest ever manager to stay on the engagement. The partner who I was working with on the matter just didn’t care and would make me have all the difficult conversations with the client (fee discussions etc) and at one point when I asked the partner to join the fee discussion, the partner even said “no, it’s too uncomfortable for me and I don’t really like being on them so you can take the call and then just update me afterwards”

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The balls! And also the lack thereof?

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I raise this question because a client MD actually got up on a table and screamed at me and my other managers for missing deadlines and taking no accountability for her team’s shortcomings. Like there’s being upset but then there’s also being an adult. Like you’re 40 not 4.

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Actually stood on the table?

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I worked on a client at EY that PwC had gotten rid of the year before by sending a massive OOS bill. The EY partner talked about it as an account that she had “won” from PwC, but the amount of the OOS bill was such that there was no way PwC didn’t know what the reaction would be.

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Out of scope bill

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Long story short, I’m looking for a new job because I can’t deal with this BS. The partner will continue to make his $ while I ruin my life, career and gain no new skills. Let me know if anybody is looking for a FSO strategy manager

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EY2: hey now you a free agent. Just apply to zipp recruiter and jobs on linked in. From experience it’s better to do your due diligence about the type of environment your seeking prior to transitioning. More choices may draw you closer to finding the best spots. Good luck 🍀

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I’m in a situation like that right now. The senior manager wants to pull the team out and the partner isn’t allowing that.

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Yes and I have started to look for jobs outside. This isn’t working for me, this is a toxic environment. The partner says nasty things to the SM and I have to deal with the result as I am the manager

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Yes, we tried to fire them but partners who don’t work with the client said we couldn’t. 6 years later and they are still ruining my vacations with calls.

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The client I referred to in my comment above would call me on weekends (Saturday night 7pm) on my personal mobile to blast me about work that hadn’t been done yet or they weren’t happy with. If I didn’t answer my mobile, I would get SMS

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Yep, admittedly we only got rid of them after they delisted but the fee was not worth the headache at all

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I have a client that the tax director is so unorganized and she always focus on the wrong things... lots of last minute changes and ask for turnaround the next day. Last 9/15 she sent me an email at 6am and saying she forgot there should be a few more 5471s need to be added to the partnership returns. And they need the return by noon so they can paper file, great. If she found she made mistakes, she would blame our team for the wrongs. And she said we “messed up” near deadline for things she didn’t even carefully check (turn out we were correct but she missed it) So sad her boss couldn’t fire her and unfortunately this is my biggest account that Partner and I can’t just easily say “you’re fired”

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Yes! Cost and headaches outweighed the fee.

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Yes! As a senior I caught two different private clients either lying or hiding documentation from us (saw it one day, next day drawer was empty and client said the records never existed). Both clients were fired within the week. Had another client though where the cfo was a drunk and sexually abusive and I was told I was being too sensitive, but that was a long time ago. I don’t think that would happen now

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I was on a very large engagement for 2 years that mowed through hundreds of people (Partners and non-Partners). One of the partners said he would retire if he wasn’t taken off of it. Firm kept sending people out there till the client got rid of us.

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I’ve seen a client that has given us a verbal confirmation to mobilize across several service lines for their engagements multiple times and then called pencils down shortly after. The director thinks they’ve just been using us as leverage to get the provider they want so they told them no

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Life is too short to live with terrible work conditions. I would switch companies if such situations occurred

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Yep I was only on it for one year but it had been a client for three years and somehow steadily got worse and worse and they also were obnoxious about paying audit fees... so we do not do that client anymore

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