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Crowe LLP


Vault’s Verdict

NOTE: Crowe did not participate in our most recent Accounting Survey; data here is from our 2018 survey.

Crowe is looking for driven candidates who are eager to learn and who have with strong communications skills. The firm’s internship program offers students great hands-on experience in both tax and audit, allowing them to get a good look at what a full-time staff position is like. Career development opportunities are plentiful for full-time staff, and include good training and mentoring, merit-based promotions, and the ability to move among different business units. Although busy season hours can be long and stressful at times, the firm offers staff a lot of flexibility with respect to where and when work can be accomplished, which goes a long way toward helping insiders have a healthy work/life balance. Crowe’s benefits package is generous, and the firm’s compensation package is said to be competitive with other public accounting firms, if not merely average for the industry. Crowe focuses on diversity and inclusion with respect to hiring and retaining women and minorities, but the firm could still use improvement in this area, particularly at the higher levels. Philanthropy is a strong suit of the firm’s; staff are given numerous opportunities to give back. As for business outlook, the firms is growing in the right areas, the firm’s leadership team is well respected and transparent with its plans, and employee morale is strong.

Hiring Process 

  • “Crowe puts a lot of effort into recruiting. We attend recruitment fairs at several universities within three to five hours of the Nashville office. We also do on-campus interviewing, followed by in-office interviews. In addition, we host dinners and events for promising internship and full-time candidates who are brought in for in-office interviews candidates. Often, students have noted that we provide the best recruiting experience of any firm they've seen on campus and feel very comfortable going through the process—from meeting people from the firm to going through formal interviews. They’ve also noted that we're very clear on our timelines and what to expect and when with respect to interviews, follow-ups, offers, etc.” 

  • “I really enjoyed my interview for Crowe. It took about an hour and they immediately got back to me with a job offer. Nowadays so many companies have extensive, difficult interviewing processes and ask people to travel long distances and miss class or work. These long interviews are unattractive to me. I don’t think it’s fair for a company to ask you to spend multiple days interviewing for a position like an internship.” 

  • “We hold a great deal of on-campus activities with various schools in the area. Last year, we have one round of interviews at the school and an off-site event with our second round of interviewees the day before the in-office interview. The second interview is done in the office with all the candidates on one day. We are looking for a great personality fit—both for us and the candidate. That is why the interviews are so critical for the student. We want to be able to talk to the person, to see how they present themselves and what interests them (especially about the accounting profession). But the student also needs to feel comfortable with us. At the office, students will be able to interact with at least six of us (not all are interviews) and that can help them make a decision as well.” 

  • “Crowe looks for individuals that seem to be teachable and have a thirst for knowledge and a desire to grow. The individuals should have a solid foundation in the area for which they would like to enter, but most of the intricate aspects to that area will be taught. Ideal candidates are those who show learning agility and great communication skills, which are needed to interact with clients.” 

Interview Questions 

  • “We ask some behavioral questions (‘Describe a time when ...’), but most of the interviews are conversational. I always ask if people are willing to travel, since audit requires it, and where they see themselves down the road.” 

  • “Tell me about a time when you were subject to a teaching style that was different from your learning style and how you worked through that challenge. Describe a time where you had conflicting responsibilities (home, school, work) and how you prioritized and worked through those conflicts. Have you ever had a group project where the outcome was not successful, and what would you have done differently in hindsight?” 

  • “Please provide an example of a time where you had a difficult situation at work and used teamwork to get through it. Please provide an example of a difficult conversation you had to have with someone you worked with and tell me about the result. How do you feel you have grown through your current job?” 

  • “Why did you leave your previous firm? Who was your favorite client you’re your previous firm and why? Who was your least favorite client from your previous firm and why? Why are you interested in joining Crowe?” 

Internship Experience 

  • “I worked on several different engagements over the three months at clients in different industries. I was trusted to prepare testing on various different accounts. Management was always available to answer any questions I had, and everyone taught me what I needed to know to get the job done. I was able to provide new ideas and ways of getting things completed, which made me feel like I was truly adding value to the firm.” 

  • “Throughout my internship I was exposed to various industries and was treated like an integral part of the team. I assisted in financial statement compilations and was provided the opportunity to work in every area of the audit. I worked both from the office and in the field, and had a fantastic experience.” 

  • “I was given chances to learn in several different areas of the audit in many different industries. I was given the right amount of work; I was never bored yet never overwhelmed. My seniors and managers were always very helpful and patient despite what I am sure were too many stupid questions.” 

  • “My internship was very enjoyable. It was very hands-on and learn as you go. Everyone was very helpful when needed and very flexible with your needs and how you want to work. The office setting is good, more on the quiet and relaxed side. If you are just working in the office, you can wear business casual, which is appreciated.” 

Career Development 

  • “The firm does a nice job mapping out the first five years of your career with formal training and clear career goals. Once you pass the five-year mark, the career development process is not as structured. But there are a multitude of opportunities available based on your interests. In recent years, there has been a shift in leadership's thought process to help employees identify and specialize in industries or subjects that really interest them. I think this leads toward long-term employment with the firm, as employees are encouraged to find something they’re passionate about and on which to focus their career.” 

  • “The firm does a good job of recruiting people, training them, and then ultimately helping them find the right fit. There does not seem to be a lot of red tape to transfer to a new market, business unit, or specialty group. Once Crowe hires you, they don't want to lose you, and will look for ways for you to stay with the firm and find another career option. The firm does not have a formal onboarding training for experienced hires, so it's often left up to their peers to spend a lot of time with those folks getting them up to speed on the do's and don'ts.” 

  • “Crowe provides visibility to long-term career opportunities early on and provides extensive opportunities for training, formal and informal as well as in-person and virtual. Everyone is assigned a career coach and peer mentor and is encouraged to check in with them frequently. I do think for the most part the firm promotes based on merit, but some offices/partners still prioritize the ‘scale’ (staff to senior, two years; senior to manager, three years). This can be frustrating when you feel you’ve earned a promotion earlier.” 

  • “The firm assigns a peer coach and career coach to help employees get implemented and to help them set obtainable goals. I like that they tell employees to take control of their own careers and put together a plan to do so. I think the firm could benefit by having a more structured onboarding process that allows new employees to shadow peers through processes, instead of leaving them to figure it out or ask questions only when they have an issue.” 

Quality of Life 

  • “‘People-first’ is a value that’s lived here; everyone is respectful of each others’ commitments. Client service will always require some longer days than others and juggling to ensure that a healthy balance is maintained. But the support to achieve that balance feels like it's here. And the tone starts from the top, with tools such as the wellness portal and a ‘work anywhere’ policy.” 

  • “Our firm implemented the mobility policy about a year ago. It has changed my life in the best way. My role doesn't require me to be in the office that often, so I work from home most days. By doing that, I am able to get work and personal things completed. I used to have to wait until the weekend to get anything done. It has also saved me three hours/day of commuting.” 

  • In general, I don't believe the travel requirements are too much; we do remote work on some of our clients (thank you, technology) and also have a 'where to work' policy that allows us to work wherever is best for our needs, whether it be from home, a coffee shop, etc. I get to spend extensive time with my clients.” 

  • “The best aspect is that the people I work with and the clients I interact with—it is always a new experience. I am learning a lot and seeing more than I ever will. Everyday is an opportunity to challenge myself with fulfilling work and being able to see how it impacts the lives of others. The worst aspect is the travel, but I am able to deal with it. I travel every single day to work to meet new clients. Driving for hours on end everyday and having to deal with traffic is a little cost to a big benefit. Crowe has been able to sufficiently reimburse me for the mileage I accumulate on my car and the hours I travel. It really helps out with the amount of travel I have to do everyday as an auditor.” 

Salary and Benefits 

  • “I assume everyone always wants to be paid more, but I think Crowe does a good job of providing good salary and benefits. In addition, the intangible benefits—dress for your day policy, maternity/paternity leave, and ‘work where you want’ policy—are all great additions that keep me here. The firm treats us like adults who can make our own decisions about how best to get our work done, which offers a lot of flexibility to create a good work/life balance. The only downside I see is that the firm seems to be reactive when it comes to salary, not proactive. In other words, they will meet what the market offers, but will not lead the charge and have salaries or bonuses better than competitors.” 

  • “We are paid fairly compared to others in our industry. The company provides bonuses, gym reimbursement, a lot of vacation time, flexible working hours (if you’re not at clients), HSA contributions, and 401(k) matching. There isn't much to complain about when it comes to compensation, but as far as budgeting goes, it’s hard to budget for a bonus because we never know what it might be. Also, the 401(k) plan matches up to 2.5 percent but I would rather have a bonus than a bigger 401(k) match.” 

  • “There are many ways the firm promotes healthy living, such as through the wellness portal, a variety of fitness challenges, and monetary/reward incentives. Some examples of monetary perks are the cell phone reimbursement, gym membership reimbursement, and gift cards and reduced medical premiums for achieving certain levels on the wellness portal. The firm also pays for dinner if we work late during busy season and pays for lunch on Saturdays. Furthermore, Crowe's mobility and dress policies, known as Where to Work and What to Wear, respectively, greatly increase the flexibility of my schedule. The firm also paid for my CPA study materials and fees, and I received a very generous bonus when I passed the CPA exam.” 

  • “Best aspect of perks is the firm's mobility policy, allowing employees to work wherever as long as it fits into their schedule. The casual dress policy is a nice touch as well. The worst aspect of the benefits and perks would have to be the salary range given to employees. Per research, salary pay grade is below industry average.” 

Diversity, Philanthropy, and Green Initiatives 

  • “I think the firm recognizes the need for women leaders and has developed some great programs in women leadership. I also really like the push they have for us to be involved in the community and donating to organizations that are dear to each of us through the Crowe Horwath Foundation.” 

  • “The firm sets goals and encourages all employees to volunteer and even declares a match for some organizations. The firm also is quick to respond to natural disaster relief if that occurs. In recruiting, we are all told about the firm’s diversity initiative and also attend diversity training to locate biases we may have and work on them.” 

  • “The firm is very diverse and works hard to be inclusive. I would like the firm to make greater strides to be green and add recycling throughout the firm's office locations. In addition, I would like to see the firm schedule firmwide days of service for our local communities.” 

  • “The firm has made a strong commitment to all aspects of diversity in the workplace and community involvement. For its fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, Crowe has a 75,000 community service volunteer hours challenge in celebration of its 75th anniversary. Diversity has also been emphasized by the current CEO, Jim Powers. There has been more budget allocated to attend diversity conferences and hold local office events. But more can be done as far as diversifying the upper management ranks, as they are still mostly held by men.” 

Business Outlook 

  • “I am excited about the firm’s future, and I really appreciate how leadership sees that the important thing for us is to continually change and adapt to the ever-changing business climate. I like the focus on technology and see that as being something we should continue to focus on.” 

  • “Seems as though the firm is growing in a lot of different spaces, and that means a lot of opportunities to learn and grow for employees, especially the younger ones. The firm is also very forward thinking in regards to leveraging technology and streamlining processes in order to achieve client satisfaction in the most efficient and effective manner, which is a very important thing for a professional services firms.” 

  • “I believe the best aspect of the firm's business outlook is our current leadership. They are transparent about the firm’s goals and strategy and encourage constant innovation by employees.” 

  • “The firm has made strategic acquisitions to penetrate growing industries and innovative technologies. And the firm’s leadership team is strong and truly cares about employees’ wellbeing. Jim Powers is a confident yet compassionate leader, and I am very proud to serve under all partners and leaders at the firm.”

Crowe LLP

225 West Wacker Drive
Suite 2600
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: (630) 574-7878

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private Partnership
CEO: Mark A. Baer
2021 Employees (All Locations): 4,223

Major Office Locations

Chicago, IL