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Smith & Williamson Reviews

Updated 13 November 2017
31 reviews

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31 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "enjoyed my time here, would recommend"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    the people are great, good work/ life balance

    Cons

    old fashioned in processes/ attitude to technology


  2. "Nice people and work/life balence"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Smith & Williamson full-time

    Pros

    Generally people are all very nice and thus it makes for a good working environment. Work/life balance is sensible, which means you can progress without sacrificing time with family and friends. Management are open to ideas and are supportive if you want to make change.

    Cons

    Historically has felt a bit old fashioned, with a lack of investment in IT and marketing, however this is already changing.

    Advice to Management

    Take the time to communicate your strategy to the firm. Ask people for their opinion and what they can do to help deliver the firms goals, and then hold them accountable for it.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Old School"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Smith & Williamson full-time

    Pros

    Some nice people and good work life balance

    Cons

    Management do not care about their employees especially non graduates, pay is mediocre considering how hard they want you to work, very snobby people and antiquated IT systems!

    Advice to Management

    Care about staff rather than your salaries and bonuses and listen!


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  5. Helpful (9)

    "The Primark of accounting firms"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tax Trainee in London, England
    Former Employee - Tax Trainee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Smith & Williamson full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I joined the Business Tax Department (fka Corporate Tax) as a graduate and the sole reason for awarding it one star is the diverse range of work and clients you are exposed to. This gives you a very solid base and is appreciated by other firms both in industry and practice. Having said that, if you want to specialise in an area, there is very little scope to do so.

    Cons

    Now that I have left, I can only describe this place as ancient and akin to Primark.
    The technology is extremely outdated, making you inefficient at work, with work often taking longer than it should. .
    The management and heads of department are overly focused on 'facetime', staying late in the office is encouraged and should be you be seen to leave at a reasonable hour (god forbid you should want to go to the gym) then you are often considered to be slacking. Most importantly clients do not expect this culture.
    The firm expects loyalty and dedication however are not prepared to offer anything in return - poor benefits (if any), lack of bonuses and slow career progression. Maternity pay is statutory, staff have challenged this in the past to bring it in line with other similar firms, however the heads of the company refused to change it, which leads me to believe that sexism still does exist in the work force. This is further enhanced that out of about 12 partners, only one is female.
    HR have been asking junior members of staff to write good reviews on this website so I would take these with a very large pinch of salt.
    My advice - work elsewhere. Do not be fooled by the 'nice' culture, they are only in the top 10 accounting firm because of the success of the investment bank

    Advice to Management

    Look after your staff. You will continue losing staff unless you don't start rewarding hard working employees.


  6. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people and atmosphere, good diversity of work available, good extra training, extra opportunities in long run (going abroad on secondment, going on secondment in industry).

    Cons

    Only 70h of over hours paid each year (of which you can take 35 as TOIL), due to current industry trend.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Auditing Intern"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Young and friendly people around your workplace that you can always ask for advice. I had the opportunity to work onsite on a client project. You can maintain a good work-life balance.

    Cons

    The Internship is unstructured, it seems there is no plan for projects or specific tasks. Instead I was often lacking work and had to constantly ask if someone had tasks for me to complete. Most tasks were basic and repetitive, such as reviewing financial statements and checking rounding errors and spelling mistakes. No compensation.

    Advice to Management

    If you take on Interns, make sure that you create a plan of the work they are supposed to do and allocate specific projects and teams.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Good overall experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in London, England
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Smith & Williamson full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great people to work with especially when joining the grad scheme, almost feels like being back at university. Plenty of social aspects and great range of work.

    Cons

    The work life balance is not good if you are a hard worker as you will always be busy. Those less diligent get away with not doing as much.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate the hard workers.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "jaguar of the accountancy world"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Secretary in London, England
    Former Employee - Secretary in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The company prides itself of only choosing reputable clients who are not likely to be talked about negatively in the press. They have a lot of integrity, are very skilled, slightly old fashioned in their approach and outlook but they are in this for the long term catering for gentlemen and ladies with equally reputable backgrounds and reputations. Very lovely people, friendly environment and stable. Built some lasting relationships and friendships there. Ladies and gents of the business world you can count upon: a rare commodity indeed in this fast paced, hard core capitalistic and edgy financial world.

    Cons

    Slightly old-fashioned, not very progressive especially with the more admin type roles, still calling assistants secretaries and not very competitive salary.

    Advice to Management

    Much more could be achieved by very bright and educated assistants/PAs who could really take on more duties and help the business to evolve in line with other more competitive companies. This is a lost opportunity and lost talent. A shame.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Out of touch!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Private Client Taxation in London, England
    Former Employee - Private Client Taxation in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Smith & Williamson full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are some brilliant middle managers who are helpful and understanding, however they don't have a lot of power t change things. There are also some promising young partners, however you get the feeling the old partners dictate the play and refuse to change anything or invest for the future.

    Cons

    If you like Jurassic park, this is the place for you, it's full of old dinosaurs. Unfortunately the department is run by some very old fashioned partners who run the company like it's the 1980s. They are out of touch with the modern world and are at risk of being left behind!

    There is a lack of investment in IT systems that are ridiculously out of date for a top 10 accountancy firm. They don't seem to think this is an issue.

    The firm is so terrified of being sued that endless amounts of procedures and red tape have been introduced to stop it, to the point where it hinders productivity. Unnecessary procedures and forms take longer than the job it's self! Some of the partners are very anal, meaning jobs go back and forth just for the sake of it and in the process incur huge fees, this gets very petty and frustrating. It's hard to fit in if you were not trained by Smith & Williamson, you are not given anytime to adapt to the style of play.

    Advice to Management

    It's the 21st century, time to invest and modernise the firm!


  11. Helpful (4)

    "Terrible place to work. DO NOT WORK HERE!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in City of London, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in City of London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Smith & Williamson full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good colleagues if you join in a grad scheme

    Cons

    Absolutely no recognition for hard work. Directors are pushing for longer and longer working hours each year, with no extra remuneration. You are just expected to work 10-11 hour weeks for over half of the year. No bonuses. Very poor pay compared to competitors.
    Terrible HR department - you are basically a number to them. They do not care about your welfare in the slightest.

    Advice to Management

    Fix your broken HR department. Pay your staff more to reward them for their hard work rather than holding all of your profits back for your own pockets.


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