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Smith & Williamson Reviews

Updated 9 February 2018
34 reviews

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34 Employee Reviews

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  1. 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.


  2. 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!


  3. 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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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Completely old fashioned"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good work/life balance. Good people to work with. That's about it

    Cons

    Completly old fashioned and out of touch. Systems completely out of date and actually hinder productivity

    Advice to Management

    Invest in systems which let employees do their job properly


  6. Helpful (7)

    "A mixed bag"

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

    I have been working at Smith & Williamson full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    A friendly culture makes for a pleasant day to day working environment.

    Cons

    A lack of management and leadership training has given rise to pockets of bullying behaviour. My boss was a horrible bully and because there are no expected standards of behaviour or corporate values, there was little I could do about it. In fact, I was worried that saying anything would come back to damage me.

    Advice to Management

    Train your leaders and set the parameters of expected behaviour. If you do this I believe you will see dramatic improvements in general productivity and performance.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Good company to work for. They look after their employees. Good benefits package."

    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

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

    Pros

    Good work life balance here and better than average holiday

    Cons

    It was hard to fit in at first as a new joiner


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Old fashioned and out of touch"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good reputation and the office is in a central location.

    Cons

    So old fashioned and a complete lack of idea what's going on in the market outside.

    The management are far too busy covering their own backs to focus on career development.

    There was also a culture of working late for the sake of it. The clients didn't expect it. It was just what people in Corporate Finance did.... So old fashioned and pointless.

    As a result, the atmosphere is utterly depressing.

    Advice to Management

    Retire and let the younger generations drive the business forward.


  9. "Good First Step"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Big name firm which looks good on CV, Culture is what you make it

    Cons

    old school, 'dull' at times. Too much admin / red-tape with review / control processes often taking longer than jobs


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Old fashioned"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager
    Current Employee - Assistant Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Smith & Williamson full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There are some great people that work at the firm and lots of training.

    Cons

    Very old fashioned systems, no online document management system for the non investment team (i.e. audit and tax), so endless paper trails

    Advice to Management

    Invest in paperless systems like the other top firms


  11. "Interesting and busy, always work to do."

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

    I have been working at Smith & Williamson full-time

    Pros

    Family feel, staff passionate about the work.

    Cons

    Plays safe, slightly old fashioned, people scared about making mistakes and being blamed.

    Advice to Management

    Empower your employees


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