Fortune reveals its Top 100 List; Big Four make the grade

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Fortune magazine has revealed its much-anticipated list of 100 Best Companies to Work for in 2010, with all Big Four accounting firms on the list, along with large regional accounting firm, Plante & Moran of Southfield, Mich., consulting firm Accenture and Intuit, maker of Quicken.

Fortune and the Great Place to Work Institute conducted extensive employee surveys and scored companies based on worker attitudes about management’s credibility, job satisfaction, camaraderie, pay and benefit programs, hiring, communication and diversity.

“The most important considerations for this year’s list were hiring and the ways in which companies are helping their employees weather the recession,” said Fortune Deputy Managing Editor Hank Gilman, in ExecDigital magazine. “All 100 companies on our list are currently hiring, many of them aggressively, leading to more than 96,000 open job positions expected in the next year.”

Cary, N.C-based SAS, the world’s largest privately owned software company, earned the top spot in the rankings this year after 13 years of working its way up the list. Its perks are so extraordinary, Fortune reports, that even Google used SAS as a model. A partial list of benefits includes two day-care centers, dry cleaning, massages, car detailing, a UPS depot, a book exchange, in-season tax preparers, an orthotics store, an Olympic pool, sauna….the list goes on.

Rankings of accounting-related companies:

44 – Ernst & Young

52 – Booz Allen Hamilton

66 – Plante & Moran

70 – Deloitte

71 – PricewaterhouseCoopers

84 – Accenture

88 – KPMG

94 – Intuit

Ernst & Young professionals enjoy benefits that include financial planners, generous time off, flexible work arrangements, back-up childcare, and college coaching for parents of children heading to college. The company added five new benefits this year. "We work hard to recruit, develop, and retain the best and the brightest", said Nancy Altobello, Americas vice chair of people, in a statement. "With that said, it's really the commitment of all of our people to our inclusive, team-oriented culture that makes Ernst & Young such a great place to work."

Plante & Moran, the 12th largest CPA and business advisory firm, has been on the list for 12 years. Managing Partner Gordon Krater said in a statement: “Considering the average life cycle for an organization on the list is three years, our recurring presence is evidence that our team has created a truly unique and extraordinary work environment.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers noted that during the past year, PwC, its partners and professionals donated more than $30 million to charitable organizations and spent more than 134,000 hours in community service. All U.S. partners and staff were given 10 additional hours of paid time off annually to volunteer for their personal causes and charities. "Even in tough times like these, responsible organizations continue to operate with an eye toward doing what's right for their business – as well as their communities – over the long term", said Bob Moritz, U.S. chairman and senior partner.

Accenture responded to the rankings by noting that the magazine highlighted the company’s Smart Work program, which is designed to reduce travel to client sites, and more than 45 telepresence locations where employees can hold virtual meetings with clients and colleagues around the world.

“People are our greatest asset, and attracting, nurturing and developing the best talent remains a top priority,” said LaMae Allen deJongh, Accenture’s managing director, U.S. human capital and diversity, in a statement. “We are honored to be recognized once again as a leading employer of choice—particularly as we continue to actively recruit for a variety of skills in the United States and around the world.”

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