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Senior Manager
in Bowling Green, NY

"Why I came and why I'm glad I'm gone."

What do you like about working at Thomson Reuters?

"Thomson Reuters is, on the whole, I believe, a good company and mostly a good place to work. My business unit, however, was terrible -- and that is the opinion of most of my former colleagues. However, many of the company's products are good, and the corporation tries to cultivate a good work environment."

Do you have any tips for others interviewing with this company?

"The people are genuinely friendly at the low-level manager and analyst level, if not sometimes naive. Don't be suckered in, however, by their cordiality -- if it's a sales person, she will stab you in the back at the first chance; if it's a consultant, he might be more naive than he seems. And don't be wowed by the elegance of the space; they got a good deal on a used space after 9/11 when nobody wanted to be in lower Manhattan. Avoid anyone there who is under 45 and who has been there more than four years or anyone who has returned after an absence -- if they have asked you in for an interview, you probably already know more than they do. But if you need a job badly and they make you an offer, do consider it; you might be taught something there, as there are a few good people from whom you can learn a lot. I did."

What don't you like about working at Thomson Reuters?

"My business unit was not typical, I believe, of the organization as a whole, which is why I left and why I'm glad to be gone. Before I was hired, that unit had been a start-up company which was purchased by and merged into TT&A, but Thomson did not get rid of most of the executives at the time of of the merger. Consequently, that upper management -- who admitted knowing nothing about the tax area in which we claimed a specialty -- were busy guarding their fiefdoms, protecting their jobs, and hiding their ignorance. To make matters worse, the CEO, who actually was a Thomson transplant, understood that Thomson had paid too much for the company -- the company was actually a service provider, even though it masqueraded as a software company, and Thomson paid a multiple of ten times earnings (like a software company) instead of a multiple of two times earnings (like a service company) -- but instead of admitting as much and trying to move forward, he was busy protecting the people who had made the error, who had failed properly to do their due diligence; and consequently, instead of cleaning up the mess, he was busy perpetuating the charade. And because, he, too, knew nothing about the tax issue that was the supposed specialty, and instead relied on the advice of the executives in place from the acquired company, he had no idea that he was being buffaloed by those execs. And they were terrible managers -- grumpy to work for, stifling innovation, clueless about what tax practice is really like or what software tools are really helpful to tax practitioners,and, to boot, cooking the books to make themselves look good in the eyes of the unit's CEO and TT&A division management."

What suggestions do you have for management?

"1. Get rid of the executive directors -- either by termination, or by promoting them to a place where they can do no harm. 2. Decide whether the business unit is a service provider (in which case get over the fact that TT&A paid too much for it and go ahead and develop the services wing by investing in people and cultivating an honestly professional atmosphere -- one focused on the client's actual tax needs, rather than on its next purchase, or create a real-life software firm that does not depend on its service segment to attract clients."

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