Deloitte has told staff it will cut around 1,200 jobs in the US, becoming the latest of the Big Four accounting firms to react to a slowdown on the consulting side of its business.
The reductions amount to 1.5 per cent of the US workforce, they were told, but will be higher in areas such as the financial advisory business, which has been affected by a slump in merger and acquisition activity.
Leaders of Deloitte’s Risk and Financial Advisory division revealed the extent of the cuts in a call with staff on Thursday, according to employees discussing the matter in online forums. Cuts at RFA amount to 3 per cent.
“Our US businesses continue to experience strong client demand,” a Deloitte spokesperson said. “As growth in select practices moderates, we are taking modest personnel actions where necessary.”
Deloitte’s cuts are less deep than those at rivals EY and KPMG. In February, KPMG said it was laying off advisory staff totalling close to 2 per cent of its US workforce.
EY said earlier this week that 5 per cent of its US staff would lose their jobs — 3,000 people in all. Its announcement came less than a week after the US leadership of EY scrapped a project to spin off its consulting business after more than a year of planning.
McKinsey, the strategy consulting firm, and Accenture, which specialises in IT advice, were also cutting jobs.
Deloitte and its rivals went on a hiring spree after the pandemic, when clients were clamouring for advice on how to transform their IT to deal with remote work and corporate M&A activity was booming. Deloitte’s US headcount swelled from 65,000 in 2021 to 80,000 last year, according to its annual transparency report.
While parts of the consulting industry are still growing strongly, others have contracted. In a survey of speciality consultants by the investment bank William Blair this month, only one-third of M&A advisers reported quarter-on-quarter growth in demand.